Our Prophet’s (pbuh) Cat, “Muezza”
Our Prophet (pbuh) had a cat called “Muezza.” He loved Muezza so much that one day, when Muezza was dozing on the sleeve of the Prophet’s (pbuh) robe, the Prophet (pbuh) chose to cut that part of his robe off rather than wake her up.
In addition, the name Abu Hurayrah, who narrated many hadiths from the Prophet (pbuh), means “father of the kitten.”
Our Prophet’s (pbuh) Affection toward a Mother Bird and Her Young
“We were on a journey and during the Prophet’s absence, we saw a bird with its two chicks; we took them. The mother bird was circling above us in the air, beating its wings in grief. When Prophet Muhammad returned he said, ‘Who has hurt the feelings of this bird by taking its chicks? Return them to her.’” (Sahih Muslim)
The Baby Goat
Our Prophet (pbuh) said this to a man who was milking a goat. "Leave some milk for the kid of the goat when you milk." (Majmua'z-Zawaid, 8:196)
A Starving Camel and Its Owner
Our Prophet (pbuh) entered an orchard belonging to one of the Muslims of Medina and saw there a camel groaning in hunger, and was deeply troubled by this. He approached the camel and stroked it and then asked who its owner was. He then warned the owner by saying, “Do you not fear God in respect of this beast which God has placed in your possession?” (Sunan Abu Dawud, "Jihad", 44)
In another hadith our Prophet (pbuh) says; “Fear God in respect of these dumb (animals).” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Jihad, 44/2548)
A Sleeping Antelope
During a campaign, our Prophet (pbuh) saw an antelope sleeping in the warm shade. He commanded one of his companions to wait there and ensure that the animal was not disturbed until everyone had passed. (Malik’s Muwatta, Hajj, 79; Sunan an-Nasai, Hajj, 78)
A Donkey Branded on the Face
One day on the road our Prophet (pbuh) saw a donkey that had been branded on the face and said, “God curse the one who branded it." (Sahih Muslim) and he recommended that branding should be done without hurting the animals.
Treating Animals Well
A man on a journey was thirsty and descended into a well and drank from it. When he came out of the well he saw a dog who was also very thirsty and was licking the ground with his tongue. Thinking that the dog was thirsty just like him, he went down into the well again and brought water up in his leather socks for the dog to drink from. At that, Almighty God forgave him his sins. The Prophet (pbuh) was asked if acts of charity even to the animals were rewarded by the Almighty. He replied: "Yes, there is a reward for acts of charity to every beast alive." (Sahih Bukhari)
When his companions asked, “Will we earn merit if we give animals water to drink?” the Messenger of God answered, “There is merit to be earned from giving water to all living things.” (Tajrit, Vol. VII, p. 223)
The reason why we are citing the hadiths in question as valid evidence is that they are compatible with the Qur’an. The reason why our Prophet (pbuh) was so affectionate toward animals is the education he received from the Qur’an. Our Prophet (pbuh) was surely the person best able to appreciate that God created numerous life forms, each one lovelier and more skillful than the next, as proof, beauty and a blessing. He clearly saw how God manifested His names of the Compassionate and Merciful and His glorious artistry in living things. Our Prophet (pbuh) showed through his own actions how the compassion and affection recommended in the Qur’an, which praises love, should be seen in a Muslim. One can also see this in the advice that our Prophet (pbuh) gave concerning compassion:
“Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy upon you.” (Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 1924)
“Someone who is devoid of gentleness and kindliness is devoid of all goodness …” (Sahih Muslim, Birr, 76)
Therefore, the peddlers of superstition look in vain for cruelty toward animals in Islam or in the actions of our Prophet (pbuh), and instead engage in fraud on the subject in order to persuade others of their nonsensical views. The Qur’an is the Book in which a perfect love for human beings, animals and plants is described, and our Prophet (pbuh) lived by the Qur’an throughout his life.