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Imam Opens Istanbul Mosque for Cats

CAIRO – Known for his “good humor and diligence”, a Turkish imam has opened the doors of an Istanbul mosque to stray cats to protect them from harsh winter, winning the hearts of social media users.

“Our mosque’s Friday guests, a surprise awaiting us at the sermon today. The kitty has found the heart of compassion and mercy,” imam Mustafa Efe, the imam at Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi Mosque in Istanbul’s historic Üsküdar neighborhood, wrote on Facebook, Daily Sabah reported.

The imam also shared a video he took of a mother cat taking her kittens from the street into the safety of the mosque.

The video has given his everyday acts of compassion a global audience.

He frequently shares photos and videos of the mosque’s visitors on social media.

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Some photos also showed him with the mosque residents of cats.

The domestic cat is a revered animal in Islam, admired for its cleanliness as well as for being loved by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

According to many hadiths, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) prohibited the persecution and killing of cats.

One of Prophet Muhammad’s companions was known as Abu Hurairah (literally: “Father of the Kitten”) for his attachment to cats.