How cats are treated in Islam
Categories: AnimalsBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/how-cats-are-treated-in-islam
Despite the fact that in Islam, as in Christianity and Judaism, there are no sacred animals, Muslims have a special attitude to cats. These animals are referred to as "pure" and they are mentioned in many hadiths. Cat hair cannot defile clothes or a prayer mat, and if a cat drinks from a container for ablution, they do not see anything terrible in this. The Prophet Muhammad himself once said that cats are pure creatures and are not capable of polluting something. Why is there such a reverent attitude towards these human companions in Islam?
A cat, unlike a dog, is not at all uncommon in Muslim homes all over the world. Moreover, they can be found even in mosques, where they feel absolutely comfortable. Offending a cat, and even more so killing it, is a big sin. One of the hadiths tells that a woman deliberately locked up an animal, depriving it of water and food. The cat died, and her torturer went to hell.
This story is connected with the fact that in Islam it is believed that a person is responsible for pets. On the Day of the Trial, cats have the right to testify against a negligent or cruel owner. The fact that animal abusers will be punished for their actions speaks about the special position of cats in the Islamic world.
There were many cat lovers among the iconic figures of Islam. One of the prophet's closest companions even bore the nickname Abu Hurayra, which means "father of kittens." Muhammad himself, as his biographies say, had an Abyssinian cat named Muizza. It was an animal with snow-white fur and eyes of different colors.
The Prophet loved the pet very much and did not part with her even during prayer. When Muizza fell asleep on her clothes, Mohammed never woke her up, but took another one. And once he even cut off the floor of the dressing gown on which the kitten was sleeping. According to legend, one day a poisonous snake crawled into Muhammad's sleeve. The cat who lived in the house managed to prevent the accident and killed the reptile before the prophet had time to take the robe. However, we don't know for sure if it was Muizza or some other animal.
Cats in the Ottoman Empire were on a special account. They even organized two shelters for them: Uskyudare and Dolmabakhche. The staff of these establishments fed the animals and cared for them. Baron Wenceslaus Vratislov, who visited the Turkish capital in the 16th century, recalled it like this:
A similar "cat garden" was founded in Cairo by the Egyptian Sultan Baybars in the 13th century. This shelter for homeless animals still exists today.
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