Hadith on Animals: The Prohibition of Unjust Killing

📖Sunan an-Nasa’i 4445
It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr, who attributed it to the Messenger of Allah: “There is no person who kills a small bird or anything larger, for no just reason, but Allah will ask him about it.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah, what does ‘just reason mean?” He said: “That you slaughters it and eat it, and o not cut off its head and throw it aside,”

From this hadith, we can learn the following lessons:

  1. Prohibition of killing animals without a just reason: The hadith emphasizes that it is forbidden to kill any living creature, whether it is a small bird or a larger animal, without a valid and justifiable reason. This highlights the Islamic teachings on the sanctity of all life and the importance of preserving and respecting the creation of Allah.
  2. Accountability for unjustifiable killing: The hadith warns that those who unjustly kill animals will be held accountable by Allah. It implies that humans have a responsibility to treat animals with kindness and mercy and not to harm them unnecessarily.
  3. The concept of a just reason: When asked about the meaning of a “just reason,” the Prophet Muhammad clarified that it refers to slaughtering an animal for the purpose of consumption. This indicates that Islam permits the lawful slaughter of animals for food but discourages wasteful killing or causing harm to animals without a valid purpose.
  4. Ethical treatment of animals: The hadith encourages Muslims to adopt a humane and ethical approach towards animals. It highlights the importance of utilizing the animals’ meat and not wasting any part of the slaughtered animal. This aligns with Islamic principles of avoiding extravagance, appreciating the blessings of Allah, and being mindful of resource utilization.
  5. Environmental and ecological consciousness: The hadith indirectly promotes environmental and ecological consciousness. By discouraging the wanton killing of animals, Islam encourages its followers to maintain a balanced relationship with nature and contribute to the preservation of ecosystems.

In summary, this hadith teaches Muslims to refrain from unjustifiably killing animals, emphasizes accountability for such actions, promotes the ethical treatment of animals, and encourages environmental awareness.