Q. What is the Islamic view regarding scientific
experimentation using live animals?
A. I don't know what the ulama have said on this modern
question. I doubt that such experimentation is pleasing to the
Creator, based on the following hadiths:
- Abu al-Darda' said that the Prophet, blessings and Peace
upon him said: "If you were only forgiven your
mistreatment of animals, you would be greatly
forgiven." Ahmad, Tabarani, and others narrated it
with a good chain.
- Ibn `Umar relates that the Prophet, blessings and Peace
upon him said: "No people refrain from paying the
poor-tax (zakat) except they would be denied rain from
the sky, and if it were not for the sake of their animals
they would not be watered." Tabarani related it.
- Abu Hurayra relates that the Prophet, blessings and Peace
upon him said that a man (in another version, a
prostitute from the Bani Isra'il) gave water to a thirsty
dog and for this action his (her) sins were forgiven.
Bukhari relates it in three different places.
- Both Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurayra relate that the Prophet,
blessings and Peace upon him said a certain woman entered
the Fire because she tied up her cat and starved it to
death. Bukhari and Muslim relate it.
- Anas said: "One of the families of the Ansar had a
camel which began to act difficult with them and not let
them ride him. They came to the Prophet, blessings and
Peace upon him and said: We have a camel who has begun to
act recalcitrant and who prevents us from riding him, and
we need to water the date-trees and the plantations. The
Prophet said to the Companions: Let us go. They went and
entered the enclosure where the camel was. The Prophet
walked towards it and the Ansar exclaimed: Ya Rasulallah,
he has become like a (wild) dog and we are afraid for you
lest he act violent! The Prophet said: He has no grudge
against me. When the camel saw the Prophet, blessings and
Peace upon him it came towards him and fell prostrate in
front of him. The Prophet took its forelock, and there
was nothing more docile than that camel. Then he took it
to work... It was related by Ahmad, al-Bazzar, and
al-Nisa'i with a sound chain. Al-Baghawi relates a
version in "Sharh al-sunna" where the Prophet,
blessings and Peace upon him says that the camel
complained of over-work and harsh conditions.
- The story was told, in the Prophet's presence, of a man
who was driving a cow while riding on it. It turned
towards him and said: "I was not created for this; I
was created for tilling the field." Hearing this the
people said: "Subhan Allah!" The Prophet said:
I believe this, and Abu Bakr believes, and Umar
believes." Bukhari narrates it.