|The Sunnah and Blessings in Healing effects of Cats|
|The story of the cat|
|Abu Hurayrah -The father of kittens|
Abu Hurayrah, famous as a companion of the Prophet (saw) and a major narrator of his sayings. Was given the nickname Abu Hurayrah (literally father of Kittens) by the Prophet because he used to care for a small male cat. ("Cat" word comes from the Arabic word qit/Hirra but a tiny male cat is called hurayrah, or thus In Arabic, hirra means cat and hurayra means a kitten.)
Also Legend has it that the reason Sayyiduna Muhammad (saw) loved cats so much was that his life had been saved by one. A snake had crawled into his sleeve and refused to leave. A cat was called and asked the snake to show its head, in order to discuss its departure. When the snake finally appeared, the cat pounced on it and carried it off.
There is also a legend about this in which a cat saved the Prophet's life from a deadly snake. The story is narrated by Annemarie Schimmel as follows: "There are variants of the story of how Abu Huraryra's cat, which he always carried in his bag, saved the Prophet from an obnoxious snake, whereupon the Prophet petted her so that the mark of his fingers is still visible in the four dark lines on most cats' foreheads, and, because the Prophet's hand had stroked her back, cats never fall on their backs" (A. Schimmel, Deciphering the Signs of God, Albany, NY, 1994).
The cat is such a clean animal that according to authentic narrations one may make ablution for Prayer with the same water that a cat drank from. Yet, it is known that some people nowadays have opposed the traditions of the Prophet by taking up the evil practices of torturing and poisoning cats.
In Islam, the punishment for such actions is severe. Islam holds a special place for cats as lovable and cherished creatures, and mistreating a cat is seen as a serious sin. Al-Bukhari reported a hadith regarding a woman who locked up a cat, refusing to feed it and not releasing it so that it could feed itself. The Prophet Muhammad said that her punishment on the Day of Judgment will be torture and Hell.
There are many records of the Prophet's love for cats and his relationship with them. "The prophet's fondness for cats is often referred to, and whether or not the hadith that ‘Love of cats is part of the faith' is genuine, it reflects the general feeling for the little feline."
There are also many testimonials regarding many other animals in Islam such as horses, camels, bees, ants and even flies. Fundamentally the life of the Prophet Mohammed is the understanding of the Quran itself. There are some verses associated with animals and references regarding the responsibility of the human domain in the world and its contents which include balance, justice, mercy and much more moral content. To show mercy to animals is the part of the faith of Islam. Prophet Mohammed taught mercy to all of God's creation.
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 the 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 Prophet (s) said this was alright as the cat is not unclean and is "one of those who go around amongst us".
The Prophet of Islam was once performing ablution (Wudhu) for prayers from a pot of water. A cat passed there and turned its eyes at the pot of water with a thirsty look. The Prophet realised at once that the cat was very thirsty, so he stopped the ablution (Wudhu) and placed the pot before the cat. Only after the cat had fully quenched its thirst, did the Prophet resume the ablution (Wudhu).
Anas said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade tying up animals so that they could be shot at and killed."
[Agreed upon]Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)
"Those who are kind and considerate to Allah's creatures, Allah bestows His kindness and affection on them. Show kindness to the creatures on the earth so that Allah may be kind to you." Hadith - Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi
Allah's Apostle said, "A woman was tortured and was put in Hell because of a cat which she had kept locked till it died of hunger." Allah's Apostle further said, "(Allah knows better) Allah said (to the woman), 'You neither fed it nor watered when you locked it up, nor did you set it free to eat the insects of the earth.' " Hadith - Bukhari 3:553, Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar [Also in Muslim, Narrated Abu Huraira]
Yahya related to me from Malik from Ishaq ibn Abdullah ibn Abi Talha from Humayda bint Abi Ubayda ibn Farwa that her maternal aunt Kabsha bint Kab ibn Malik, who was the wife of the son of Abu Qatada al-Ansari, told her that once Abu Qatada was visiting her and she poured out some water for him to do wudu with. Just then a cat came to drink from it, so he tilted the vessel towards it to let it drink. Kabsha continued, "He saw me looking at him and said, 'Are you surprised, daughter of my brother?' I said, 'Yes.' He replied that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,cats are not impure. They intermingle with you .' "
Yahya said that Malik said, "There is no harm in that unless one sees impurities on the cat's mouth."
Dawud ibn Salih ibn Dinar at-Tammar quoted his mother as saying that her mistress sent her with some pudding (harisah) to Aisha who was offering prayer. She made a sign to me to place it down. A cat came and ate some of it, but when Aisha finished her prayer, she ate from the place where the cat had eaten. She stated: The Messenger of Allah said: It is not unclean: it is one of those who go round among you. She added: I saw the Messenger of Allah performing ablution from the water left over by the cat.
Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Jabir ibn AbdullahThe Prophet forbade payment for cat.
Islam teaches Muslims that, in relation to a cat:
- the cat should not be sold for money or other traded goods
- cats 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, providing the cat with enough water and food and giving "roaming time" (a degree of freedom of movement)
Islam 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 and can lead to punishment as the story of the women who mistreated a cat and she went to hell for punishment.
Article collected by Muhammad Sajad Ali - 20th March 2010