Q. 30: Rights of Animal in Islam

Can you briefly allude to the rights of all living thing besides man? A: It is a lengthy topic. However, a few main points are given below: Wild Animals:

Hunting for pleasure or sport is haram (unlawful.) It is allowed only if the aim is to eat its meat or to trade its meat and/or hide. Domesticated animals:

  1. It is wajib to look after them properly by feeding them and protecting them from cold or heat etc.

  2. It is haram to hit them on the face or head.

  3. It is not allowed to brand them on face.

  4. According to the traditions narrated from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the Imams (a.s.), a domesticated animal has seven rights on its owner:

1) When he gets down, he should begin with feeding it and giving it water before himself eating;

2) If during a journey, he passes by a stream or pond of water, he should take the animal to it;

3) He should not hit on its face, because it glorifies the praise of its Lord;

4) Not to ride it except in the way of Allah {i.e. for lawfijl purposes};

5) Not to put heavy load on it beyond its normal strength;

6) Not to make it run beyond its strength;

7) Not to use its back as a seat for talking with friends/companions.


Is music haram in religion?

A: Yes, it is forbidden. I am sending to you a booklet, Music and Its Effects, which explains various aspects of this topic. However, it should be mentioned here that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) spoke Arabic and his immediate audience were Arabs.

Therefore, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala used plain Arabic language for revelation and promulgation of the shari'ah. All the words were used in their normal and prevalent meanings except a few which were given new connotations, like salah and zakah which originally meant invocation and purification, respectively, and the shari'ah gave them new meanings as we know them.

"Music" was not given any new meaning. Therefore, it is to be taken in its usual meaning. Past scholars, never the less, had tried to define "music" as a prolonged voice with varying pitch. Nowadays, they explain it as a voice which arouses base desires and lust in the listeners.

Some say that it is a voice that is more in keeping with gatherings of irreligious people. But I feel that the explanation given by late Ayatullah As-Sayyid Abul Qasim Al- Khou'i (and later adopted by ayatullah As-Seestani) is the best. He has written that music is the sound which irreligious persons recognise as music. Thus he has thrown it back to the general usage, (which is the proper way of explaining a word to which islam has not given a special meaning).


In your book "Your Questions Answered,. Vol.III, in reply to Q. 56, you have written about Music. "To recite or listen to the words of a song without any music is permissible provided it is not obscene and/or immoral."

Now according to Ayatullah Al-Khui, to recite Munajaat or Marthiyah in tune of a song is Haram, then do you think it is allowed to recite the following Munajats which are indeed film songs..

th- Film Dayare Madina-madad kijie Taajdaare Madina' or nowadays ladies recite of 12 Imam 'madad kijie Ya Imame Zamana'. nd- Film 'Niaz or Namaz' - 'Ai Momino niyaz dilawo Imam ki' which is recited on the 22 of Rajab on sufra of the 6th Imam,

A: Late Ayatullah al-Khou'i had defined the music as the sound which irreligious people recognise as music. Ayatullah Sistani has used another wording to express the same idea. He writes that the haram music is the one which is befitting to the gatherings of pleasure and debauehery.

To identify which sound is haram music and which is not, one has to look how the general public treats it. If they say, "He is reciting the poem (or nawha or marthiyah) in a good voice, then it is halal. But if they say, "He is singing the marthiyah etc. then it is haram.


Islam is a religion based on the fundamental concept of peace. How do you reconcile this idea with the concept of Jihad?

A: Your question requires some detailed explanation, Islam does not like to exterminate wrong-doers, it wants to remove the wrong. Evil deeds are like diseases. They need treatment, and every doctor wants to cure an ailment with medicine as far as possible.

But sometimes the ailment reaches a stage where no medicine can do any good; the doctor feels that surgical operation is necessary, if the life of the patient is to be saved. Then he decides, not happily but reluctantly, to ampute one or more limbs of the patient.

It may cause hardest pain for the time being; but it is not torture, it is mercy. Likewise, this humanity is a compact body. If some of its parts become infected with spiritual diseas and every medicine of sympathetic persuasion and rational pleading has failed, and there is a danger that the infection is going to inflict damage to other parts; now the spiritual doctor, (I mean the Prophet or Imam who is guided by Allah), is confident that a surgical operation is essential to save other sections of mankind from harm.

Then, and only then, he will order jihad; and even then it will be limited to that part which is most necessary to remove.

However, even when you feel that there is a necessity of a surgical operation, you will not entrust this dangerous task to an unauthorized person. It will be a very foolish and irresponsible act. You can never be sure that the operation is essential unless a qualified doctor tells you so.

Therefore, according to the Ithna-'asheri law, a war cannot be started unless specifically authorized by the Prophet or Imam himself, and that also to the limits prescribed by that Representative of Allah. After all life is a creation of God and it should not be destroyed unless it has been sanctioned by a Representative of God.


You said in your lecture that Islam is based on social justice. Why has Islam failed to establish practical social justice in the Midle-East where we have seen wars between Iraq and Iran and between Iraq and Kuwait?

A: You should not confuse Islam with the Muslims. Social justice needs a society based on Islamic ideals, and that in turn requires a righteous system of government which draws its strength from the Qur'an and sunnah. Nowadays there are nearly forty five "nations" that are populated predominantly by Muslims.

But their system of governance is totally unIslamic. Even the idea of "nation-states" is a legacy of the Kuffar (infidels) of Europe. In the eyes of Islam all Muslims are one nation. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says: "Surely this your nation [or religion] is but one nation, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me."

(21:92) But the Europeans sowed the seed of "nationalism" in the minds of the Arabs and nurtured the idea - with the sole aim of dissecting and annihilating the Ottoman empire, which, in spite of all its short-comings and defects, had kept the whole Middle East together under one Muslim ruler.

Look at the map of the Middle East; you will find numerous "nation-states" in it like pieces of a jig-saw puzzle. And these states are always in conflict with one another; they are merely puppets whose strings are pulled by their Western and Eastern puppeteers. It is a very painful story and cannot be described in a short letter. But this much is enough to tell you why there is always one or the other conflict in the Muslim lands.


What is the basic difference between the various sects of Muslims and what remedy you do suggest for removing these differences. A: I am sending you a small booklet of mine, Sects of Islam, which will give you an idea of the differences.

At present, it is impossible to remove these differences. We have to wait for the re- appearance of al-Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) who will establish the rule of God on the earth, and the original Islam will prevail over all other beliefs and ideologies.


You mentioned that Muslims have compartmentalized Islam in pigeon holes; can you perhaps explain why this has happened?

A: It is not possible to say at which point of history this thing had happened. As for why, I think this phenomenon crept into Islamic academic life imperceptibly. Let us say, a scholar is very fond of hadith; he spends his time in pondering on its various aspects. Another is enamoured with jurisprudence; he thinks over and solves legal problems.

Each trains his disciples in his own field, and thus a time comes when a jurist is not so proficient in hadith, and a muhaddith has no expertise in jurisprudence. In this way different "pigeion holes" were created in Islam.


You said that jurisprudence is the starting point of Muslims' spiritual journey. To gain excellence one has to go on spiritual path to one's final destination. What is this path? A: I am a sinful man, and am not in a position to provide guidance to you from personal experience.

However, I have studied biographies of many men of God, and based on that, I can tell you that there are some very important steps which one has to take in order to proceed on this lofty spiritual path.

First of all, you should cleanse your tongue from all types of undesirable talk:backbiting, falsehood, slander and tale-bearing etc.

Second: Make sure that the food and drink going into your mouth is of halaI category, and you have obtained it by halal means.

Third: Always remember that you and all that you have, belong exclusively to Allah Subhanahu va Ta'ala, and you should always be ready to sacrifice or abandon all if He demands it from you. Forth: Reserve at least half an hour for the study of Qur'an. Merely its recital brings divine reward to you: but if you ponder on its translation and its deep connotation it can change your life.

Fifth: Pray nawafil with all five wajib prayers. And make tahajjud prayers a compulsory part of your routine. Sixth: Keep sunnat fasts on Thursdays regularly.

Seventh: Make sure that you fulfil the rights of the parents, the children, the spouse and other relatives. Also be careful about the rights of your neighbours. You may learn about these rights from my book, Family Life of islam.

If you follow this regimen sincerely, a time will come when you will enjoy Allah's worship and truly feel the taste of obedience to Allah and His Messenger. That is the sign that your endeavours are succeeding and your are proceeding in the right direction. May Allah give you and me the tawfiq to acquire these noble traits and virtues. Amen.


What is the best way to develop spirituality in innerself and in the society as a whole. A; For personal development, the regimen given in preceding reply should help. As for the society, it needs a government based on Islamic values to bring societal upliftment in the desired manner. Please note that a government based on Islamic values is not the same as a government run by the Muslims. A system of governance based on Qur'an and sunnah will create the atmosphere conducive to the society's spiritual development.


How is the Charter of Imam Zainul 'Abideen relating to us (Muslims) in the light of considerable propaganda from the western media? In other words, how do we counter it and propogate Islam as religion of PEACE?

A: Prejudice is born from the womb of ignorance. If we try to remove or decrease the prevalant ignorance about Islam, this unremitting onslaught against this noble religion will stop.

That is, if it emanates from ignorance. But, if it is the result of wilful slandering, then it is not easy to counteract --- except from the position of power. Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala has given the Muslim rulers enough power to make the West kneel down before them. But these rulers are blind to the realities.

If they start withdrawing their petro-dollars from western banks, the West's attitude will change in one week. May Allah have mercy on the Muslim masses and release them from the clutches of these puppet regimes.