Anecdotes from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad

by Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui

Kindness to Animals

1. Amar Rami relates:

“We were sitting in the company of the Prophet when a man came with a blanket wrapped round him and said: ‘O Prophet. I passed through the woods, and heard the sound of young birds. I took the birds and put them in my blanket. Then their mother came fluttering round my head. I uncovered the young, and the mother fell down upon them. Then I wrapped them in my blanket, and here I have them.’

Then the Prophet said, ‘Put them down.’ When he did, the mother bird continued to fondle its young.

On observing this the Prophet said, ‘Do you wonder at the affection of the mother towards her young ones? I swear by Him Who hath sent me, verily God is more loving to His creatures than the mother is to these young birds.’

Then he directed the man to return the young birds to the nest from which he had taken them, and let their mother be with them.”

2. It was a hot summer in Arabia, and there was a great scarcity of water. A woman of ill-repute happened to pass by a well and noticed that a dog suffering from extreme thirst was running round and round the well, but could find no water to drink. Upon seeing this, the woman took pity on the animal. Taking her shoe, she tied it to a string, and dropped it in the well and thus drew out some water and offered it to the dog. The dog gratefully lapped up the water, wagged his tail and went away. This incident was seen by somebody who related it to the Holy Prophet. The Prophet was greatly touched by it and said that this act of mercy and kindness shown to a distressed creature of Allah drew Allah’s mercy in return, and that the woman’s sins had been atoned for.