The prophet Muhammed treated cats better than women. This is what a visitor to PoC stated in a comment. It made me smile. This is not being disrespectful of anyone or the Islam Faith; it is something that made me think and I would like to briefly explore that statement.
Mohammed and Cats
Firstly, it is well documented that the Prophet Mohammed loved cats. He kept a cat called Muezza. I can envisage this man keeping several cats. I won’t go over the way the Islam faith relates to cats because it is all on this page and the link opens up a new window so you can read about it while reading this (if you like).
Mohammed and Wives
The Prophet Mohammed had 11 or 13 wives. We are not clear. Until he was 50 he had one wife. Thereafter he had several wives simultaneously. It seems his reasons for multiple wives were practical and well intentioned, let’s say, but by today’s Western culture it is unacceptable. I think it is also a signal that women are lesser than men. Multiple wives encourages the belief that wives are chattels in the possession of the husband, a very old-fashioned concept. However, Mohammed did live about 1,400 years ago! He must have been a good man because he loved cats ;).
Koran (Quran) and Bible
In summary the Islam faith teaches Muslims to treat cats well. In this regard the Islam faith is in stark contrast to Christianity. The Bible is well known for having no reference to cats other than the lion. There is nothing in the early teachings of the wise men of the Christian faith about how to treat cats. Jesus never mentioned them. Christianity is human-centric. It revolves around people and animals are on the fringes whereas cats are at the heart of Islamism thanks to the Prophet Mohammed’s love of cats. How fortunate for cats.
However, I don’t believe what the Prophet Mohammed taught in respect of cat welfare is necessarily followed. I don’t see any outstanding evidence of it. I am sure if I went to Pakistan (I have been there in 1971) I would see many mistreated cats. However, at least the start was great and exceptional. The Muslim faith is the only major faith with such a powerful connection to the domestic cat.
Imams Teaching Cat Welfare
What Islam needs is a modern scholar, or a worship leader (an imam), who teaches cat welfare. I have never heard of such a person. This is deficiency in the Islam faith. From a purely commercial and promotional point of view it would improve people’s perception of Islam if the scholars promoted cat welfare as taught by the prophet. It would be a public relations exercise that might counter the terrible damage done to the faith by extremist terrorists. Cats are at the centre of the internet. Use that phenomenon to good effect.
Islam and Women
So, what does the Islam faith teach its followers about how to treat women? As a casual observer and an outsider, I associate Islam with woman covered head to toe in black with a couple of anxious eyes peering through a slit in a face mask. That is an extremely simplified and probably incorrect attitude but simple observation can tell us more than reading a pile of books. It is about the difference between what is practiced and what is taught. There is often a gulf between theory and practice.
I see some Muslim woman being treated as a second class citizen or as a shadow of the man of the house. She always walks behind the husband on the pavement. She does not want to learn English or is prevented from doing so. She appears to be “kept down” and placed into a subservient role. Is this due to the teachings of the Islam faith? Or is it a combination of the teachings and the interpretation of the Quran and hadith by Muslim men?
The subservient nature of Muslim women is similar to the role in society of British women hundreds of years ago (no vote etc.).
The Quran teaches that men and women are equal. A good start but nothing special. Common sense dictates that they are equal. Things go a bit wrong for women in the 21st century because the Quran states:
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to respect the other, and because they spend from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard.”
That smacks of servitude to me. In modern society it is out of place. Are Muslim women worth less than men in terms of hard cash?
Blood Money (diyyat)
When blood money is paid the payer pays less if a woman is killed compared to a man. This is a straight reflection on the “value” of men compared to women in a Muslim society. Blood money is a part of Islamic jurisprudence (the theory of law).
In conclusion: the killing of a woman attracts a lesser diyyat than the killing of a man. When you convert a person to cash, which the concept of blood money does, the true attitudes of people become apparent.
It could be argued that this uncomfortable difference is due to the early teachings of the Islam faith. At the beginning of the Islam faith women were seen as the property of the man. It seems to me that Muslims in the 21st century interpret the Quran literally. This is unfortunate because it was written when the world was a completely different place.
Although there are many other issues concerning women and the Islam faith, I’ll stop there because PoC is about cats 😉 However, in conclusion, I can’t agree that Muhammed treated cats better than women. I don’t know. However, I don’t think he did despite having multiple wives. Except that anyone who loves cats is likely to treat humans less well! That may have been the case with Muhammed.
The Islamic faith is based on life 1,400 years ago. The Quran implies women are not equal to men. It is interpreted literally. It should not be because it is a very old document.