The scenes of the Australia wildfires are devastating. 24 people have died, 1300 homes have been obliterated, but the biggest casualties are from animals.
In the massive bushfires sweeping the country, Australia’s wildlife is helpless. With an area of 14.6 million acres burned or burning, there’s nowhere for these poor creatures to go. Current estimates are that around 480 million animals have died since the fires began in September.
Many species are on the verge of becoming severely endangered, or even extinct.
Some of the most heartbreaking images and videos coming out of the crisis involve Australia’s animals — koalas shielding their babies from smoke, kangaroos being comforted, and many other heartbreaking scenes.
Let the Australia wildfires be a wake-up call as well as a reminder about the Islamic stance on animals’ welfare.
In Islam, caring for animals is one of the best acts we can do. Taking care of our environment is also crucial, as we are only in this world for a short time. We are just caretakers, it is a trust that we have been given. Here are some timely reminders of the Islamic stance on caring for animals.
Allah will reward us for our good treatment of animals, who deserve kindness, mercy, and empathy. As the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
In every living being there is a reward for charity.” (Sahih al Bukhari 5663)
This moving video of firefighters giving water to a thirsty koala is a good reminder of a Prophetic hadith reported by Anas bin Malik from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):
Any Muslim who plants a tree or sows seeds and then a bird, or a person, or an animal eats from it, this will be regarded as a charity for him.” (Sahih Bukhari 2195)
“Whoever is kind to the creatures of Allah, is kind to himself”. – Prophet Muhammad, related by Abdallah bin Amru in Sahih Muslim and Sahih al Bukhari
“And the earth, He has assigned it to all living creatures” (Quran 55:10).
Allah created all animals and placed them on this earth, and they deserve to live safely. We need to protect them and take care of their habitats – it’s our responsibility.
It’s time to step up and take care of these creatures, just like our religion shows us.