Islam faith and cats – Arabs in the VIIth century believed that the cat was pure spirited. Before the Islam faith commenced Arabs worshiped the Golden Cat. The Prophet Mohammed was tender and kind towards cats, it seems (his name is also spelled Muhammed or Muhammad). He appreciated cats. Mohammed’s favorite cat was called Muezza. There is a well known story regarding the Prophet Mohammed and Muezza.
When call to prayers was announced Muezza was asleep on one of the sleeves of the Prophet’s robes. The Prophet wanted to wear the robe to go to prayers. Rather than disturb Muezza Mohammed cut off the sleeve to leave Muezza in peace. Mohammed then stroked the cat three times, which, legend has it, granted Muezza seven lives and the ability to land on his feet at all times. As you might know, cats have a self-righting mechanism,a righting reflex, which is a complex series of movements when a cat falls and which protects the cat from breaking her back.
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Mohammed was so attached to his cat that when he gave sermons he let Muezza rest on his lap and he also drank from water previously drunk by his cat. He also did his ablutions from the same water that was drunk by a cat. He seemed to treat his cat in the same way as cat lovers do today but even cat lovers might think twice about drinking the same water that had been drunk by a cat for fear of transmission of disease from the cat’s saliva (but see below).
The Islam faith teaches Muslims to treat cats well and that the cat is a creature to be cherished and loved. Mistreating a cat is regarded as a severe sin in Islam.
Cats according to the Qur’an and Sunnah
An example as to how Muslims are punished for mistreating cats can be found in the Hadith (oral traditions telling the story of the Prophet Mohammed and which have been recorded in writing). When a woman kept a cat locked up and failed to feed the cat until the cat died, the woman was tortured and “put to hell”.
It is believed that you will suffer no harm if you drink from the cat’s water provided no impurities are seen in the cat’s mouth. In another story from Hadith it is stated that a when a cat ate a pudding put down during prayers, the person who was in charge of the pudding ate from the same place as the cat and Mohammed said this was alright as the cat is not unclean and is “one of those who go around amongst us”.
The Islam faith teaches Muslims that, in relation to a cat:
- the cat should not be sold for money or other traded goods
- cat’s saliva is harmless unless the cat has “visible impurities” in the mouth
- that Muslims are free to live with cats but they must treat cats well in providing the cat with enough water and food and giving “roaming time” (a degree of freedom of movement)
The al-Bukhari’s authentic (Hadith) is one of the Sunni six major Hadith collections (Wikipedia).Muslims see this Hadith as the most trusted and is the most “authentic” holy book after the Quran.
In this Hadith, the Islam faith in relation to cats is set out in Volume 3, Book 40, Number 552. The story of the women mentioned above is recited. It seems that the woman was scratched by the cat and to punish the cat she imprisoned it a failed to feed it. Her actions were frowned upon and she was duly punished.
The islam faiths teachings in relation to cats indicates a gentle approach to our fellow creatures. If the teachings are this caring towards animals then (without studying the Hadith and Quran further) it must be that Muslims are taught to treat other people with respect. This flies in the face of the terrorists claims that their actions are supported by Islamic teachings.
One final point, a question. Seeing how Islam teaches Muslims to be kind to cats and look after their welfare, does this actually happen on the ground, in practice, in reality? I have never heard anyone say that it does happen.
Addendum: 27th August 2010, the Times newspaper reported the bizarre story of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Iran and their edict which is based on a fatwa. The edict was made by Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi who is 86 years old.
He declared that dogs are unclean under Sharia. The edict states that all advertisements for pets, pet shops, pet food and products be prohibited.
This obviously affects cats as much as any other companion animal. The rules are clearly out of step with the Prophet Mohammed’s feelings about cats and the teachings of the Quran. It is not inline with the teachings of the Islam faith.
This I feel is another example of how a dictatorship can be built on a religion, in this case the Islam faith, distorting it to their own personal advantage and to the disadvantage of the animals and people.
On a separate issue the website of the organisation concerned with the conservation of the highly vulnerable cheetah in Iran has closed down or at least moved. I wonder if this too is part of this dictatorships governance and if so I fear for the last remaining cheetahs in Iran.
Islam faith – Resources:
- Times Newspaper.
I’m talking about many of the videos shared by animal activists in the Mideast.I am in contact with a few who post updates of those they rescue or of the cruelty they endure.I’m not talking about well known groups,but groups of 3 or 4 who work together to save the street cats there.I am aware there is this brutality everywhere,but some cultures just appear more prone to it and act like it is normal.That is most disturbing. In this day and age no culture should condone such cruelty.
Thanks Geri for that. There is a acute lack of education. There is a ton of ignorance in the world still. For me the world is a mess because hug parts of it are patently ill-educated and they have little or no sensitivity towards animals. Ignorant people. Sometimes I hate people. I never hate animals. I nearly always love them. There is nothing to hate in an animal whereas there are many aspects of humankind which is hateful and depressing.
A bit late to this post,but from the videos I have seen of how Muslims treat cats it is criminal.Torturing them,beating them to death,setting them on fire,not to mention how cruel they are to other animals as well. And the whole time they were laughing,mocking the suffering animals.Sorry,no room for being politically correct when such cruelties are done to animals and people.Mohammad may have loved cats,but not so his followers today.
I agree completely.
It’s a different Muslim world than ever before.
There are other cultures that hate cats too for no specific reason. It’s mind boggling.
The Muslim extremists live in the 15th century and they have caused untold damage to the world. It is quite appalling and depressing.
Hi Geri. Please tell me where you saw this behavior? I am interested to know in which country you were at the time. I dislike political correctness. It is a modern phenomenon which has caused a lot of problems.
Well, Muhammed treated cats better than women, which he allowed/recommended to be beaten, but you don’t have to mind my opinion, I’m just a woman. My testimony is less than that of a cat … sorry a man
Hi Ava, nice comment. Made me smile. I didn’t know that Mohammed allowed or recommended that women be beaten. Without wishing to upset anyone, today, men who believe the Islam faith often seem to treat women as second class citizens. I think the black dress that covers the entire body is a way of keeping women as second class citizens – “non-people”. Hidden away and like ghosts. That is the way it looks to me, a Westerner. It is as if the men are conspiring to keep the women down and subservient to them. Perhaps Mohammed started this idea.
just as you protect gold and hide it from people as gold is precious,the same way women in islam cover themelves as they too are precious- micheal
just as you protect gold and hide it from people as gold is precious,the same way women in islam cover themelves as they too are precious-women look elegant in black- micheal
If the women is pretty I find the dark eyes sexy behind a veil 😉 True. No one has discussed this before but it is possible that the full black dress with mask and just the dark eyes showing is more sexy than showing flesh to some men. If that is true it undermines the whole idea of covering up the female body. My feeling is that women are conditioned to wear these clothes by the oppressive and dominant nature of the men in the Islamic faith. Women should break free and start to think about equality. When they wear these clothes they are supporting inequality.
I am Muslim but born and raised in the West. So I understand both views. The thing is we look at this from our own view, our culture, up bringing and moral values.
Just as the veil is seen as oppression of women by some, so is it’s opposite. You can make arguements for and against either.
The problem is how in some countries it is enforced on people, with religion used as an excuse or due to cultural norms. Sadly, we are also seeing people being forced to not wear veils in Western countries such as France, Germany, Belgium and other countries considering following suit. This infringes on one’s personal rights.
If it is about freedom of choice, then I agree. But the Islamic dress code doesn’t restrict equality. Wearing these clothes doesn’t mean they are supporting inequality. That is your own prejudice against it. Just as Ava has her own prejudice as what she mentioned has shown she is uninformed about Islam and Mohammed (PBUH).
Hi Reza, thanks for visiting and sharing your views. Nice comment. You say this:
The point I would like to make is that many Muslim women are what I would call “brainwashed” into believing that they aren’t equal to men, which is how men like it, and which leads to them agreeing to wearing these clothes that cover them from head to foot. These women are not exercising free choice because that has been knocked out them from birth.
Isn’t it the other way around though? Women are chained to false beauty standards today. Hair, nails, body, face. A woman isn’t considered ‘normal’ if she does not wear booty shorts in the summer. Everyone wants a “summer body”. Why am I wearing a t-shirt instead of a bikini at the beach. I find that the exact opposite of freedom.
And the burka is not mandatory in islam. It is a personal choice (or it is SUPPOSED to be). The hijab, is mandatory.
The niqab was an arab tradition, to protect the nose and mouth from sand. Women who wear it, aren’t even required to.
And before you call us “brainwashed”, what is western society?
Free by thinking your skin and your tan and your curves are what make you a person of value? My friends are worried about their knees, and their hair, and the marks on their arms.
I don’t. I find THAT freeing.
I agree with you. What I mean is I agree that it is not only Muslim women wearing these clothes who are brainwashed or conditioned.
Western women are also brainwashed into flaunting their bodies and being addicted to appearance rather than substance. Western women should focus more on what they can do and less on what they look like.
Either that or they are driven by hedonistic desires to procreate at any opportunity.
It is still very much a man’s world in general and the Muslim faith is massively patriarchial.
I do not believe that Muslim women who wear this dark veil and black clothes covering everything do so through freedom of choice. They’re not told to wear the clothes but they have been conditioned to a certain extent by the patriarchal society to wear them.
An extra thought. Muslim women wearing the full black covering are not getting enough Vitamin A. These clothes are detrimental to the health of Muslim women.
Vitamin D (the sunlight Vitamin) surely?
Yes, sorry, I made a mistake, a silly mistake. I meant vitamin D.
What are your thought on the about Catholic nuns in their full length habits?
On a side note, an ex-partner’s sister was a fully ordained nun and I remember him telling me she got dreadful sunburn during a church visit to France. Ironically they were allowed to wear shorts and t-shirt during the hot weather, but not allowed to use sun-screen lotion because that was considered vanity! This lovely young woman was a school teacher before joining a convent, where they immediately took control of her bank account. Family and friends could only visit one day per year and the men were never allowed to get involved with the washing up and clearing away after our meal. The nuns considered it ‘womens’ work’.
When I was a child, I shared my ice cream cone with the cats who wandered by. I’ve never had a parasite or infection from this special treat (for me!). Even when I was pregnant with my child, nurses warned me that I should not clean the litter box. Silly. I had been exposed to Toxoplasma gondii since my childhood. My newborn would be just fine, and she was.
Note: I know that cats are not supposed to eat ice cream. It was a ritual for me, as a child. One lick for me, one lick for you. I don’t eat ice cream now, so no harm to my cats. 😉
Well you were doing an Islam type thing. The sort of thing Mohammed did, which I like. There is far too much doom mongering and scaremongering with respect to transmission of diseases and infections from cats to people. It is just a human trait. You are fine 😉 Some (not many) diseases can be transmitted from cat to person but also in respect of some diseases from person to cat.
Y r u posting wrong information about Islam?
May allah guide u
I don’t believe I am because the article was copied by The Muslim Observer. They copied what I said! Say no more.