Imam Mustafa Efe has the same attitude towards cats as the Prophet Muhammad. There is a great deal of tenderness and genuine love towards stray or community cats at the Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi Mosque in the historical district of Üsküdar where Imam Efe works (Imam: “a worship leader of a mosque”). The tenderness and love emanates from its Imam who leads the way. It seems that the congregation have allowed this love to infuse their attitude towards the cats at the mosque because they wander around the building as if they belong there, amongst the congregation and even in the pulpit where one cat nurses her young.
Jean McCarthy (a Facebook commentator) writes:
“You are the epitome of what a religious leader should be sir, if only there were more like you. Thank you for opening not only your mosque but your heart to these beautiful cats.”
There is something extremely charming, refreshing and so totally anti-terrorist about a Muslim cleric loving domestic and stray cats at his mosque. It is the opposite to the barrage of news that we receive almost daily about Muslim terrorists slaughtering innocents in the name of a distorted interpretation of the Koran (Quran). The terrorists are simply brutal murderers completely distanced from the core tenets of the Muslim faith.
I’m sure that Mustafa Efe is fully aware of the history of the Prophet Muhammad and his love of cats. If you love cats and if you show mercy towards stray cats who wander into the mosque you present to the world a beautiful aspect of the Islamic faith which I believe is much needed to rectify the distorted profile that the religion has adopted due to misguided and dangerous Muslim terrorists.
Imam Efe said:
“There is no power greater than mercy…”
I would like to translate all the quotes from this Imam under the Facebook images but unfortunately Google translate does not do justice to them. However, it is absolutely clear that the words “mercy” and “compassion” are used in this Imam’s vocabulary when describing his love for the cats at his mosque. From this compassion comes tenderness towards vulnerable creatures, which can just as easily apply to humans as well as cats. This is what religion is all about; educating people to be compassionate to others including all animals and if it is not “educating” then imbuing these people with an attitude towards others which is compassionate.
The basic tenets of all religions must be concerned with respecting and, where appropriate, loving others; treating them as one would expect others to treat oneself. For me this includes treating animals as equals to humans in respect of basic rights at the very least.
It is great to see the photographs that accompany this article which are from Facebook. This is the face that the Islamic faith needs to present to the world. This is the true Islamic faith and how the Koran should be interpreted today in the 21st century; following in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad and the Hadiths which guide followers.
One little note about dogs: these are traditionally perceived as unclean by Muslims. This is wrong and unfair and inconsistent with the basic tenets of their faith in my view.
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