scientific experimentation using live animals
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.
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America