Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Cultures by Richard Foltz

By Richard Foltz

This e-book, the 1st of its variety, surveys Islamic and Muslim attitudes in the direction of animals, and human responsiblities in the direction of them, via Islam's philosophy, literature, mysticism and paintings.

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He finally returns to the topic of lions under the subheading "Their Lawfulness [to eat]," in which he takes note of the numerous hadiths stating that the flesh of carnivores (defined as animals with fangs) is not lawful. " He then discusses the beneficial properties of things taken from the lion, such as smearing one's whole body with lion fat so as to ward off dangerous predators. Animals in Philosophy and SCience 63 Al-Damiri claims that if an epileptic child wears a lionskin he will be cured, but that after puberty this remedy is ineffective.

Fearing they may be losing the case, the humans begin to contemplate bribing the judges and other sneaky behavior. The animals, meanwhile, hold councils according to their kind·predators, birds, sea creatures, crawling things - and consult with one another respectfully and democratically to elect a representative from each animal category to present their case to the King of the Jinn. In the discussion among things that crawl, the Brethren go so far as to challenge the example of the Prophet in their defense of animals' right to live.

The latter, by contrast, is immaterial and eternal. In the mind of many Muslim philosophers and mystics, it is the aim of the rational soul to be re-united with Universal Reason (that is to say, God). Non-human animals, lacking this "rational soul," cannot aspire to eternal life in union with the Divine. THE CASE OF THE ANIMALS VERSUS MAN The so-called "Pure Brethren" (Ikhwan al-safa') were a group of radical Muslim philosophers who lived and wrote in the southern Iraqi city of Basra during the latter third of the tenth century.

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