Animals in Islam
Masri’s Book and Scholarly Reflections on His Work
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An authorized and authoritative republication of B.A Masri’s seminal book and reflections on his work by important scholars and experts.
The uniqueness of this book, Animals in Islam, is that it is possibly the only truly authoritative work on Islamic Concern for Animals. The author, Al-Hafiz B.A. Masri, was the first Sunni Imam of the Shah Jehan mosque, and is widely respected for the depth of his scholarship in this field. The observations he makes are supported by a wealth of quotes from the Qur’an and Hadith. Animals in Islam is a republication of this iconic text for the world to enjoy, edited by his grandson, Nadeem Haque.
True to Islamic tradition, Al-Hafiz Masri welcomes readers—particularly theologians and scholars—to write to him, giving their opinions on what must be one of the most relevant and thought-provoking pieces of literature on animals within Islam to be released for several centuries. The esteemed contributors are Joyce D’Silva, D.Litt, Richard Foltz, Michael W. Fox, Princess Alia, Sarra Tlili, Lisa Kemmerer, and a biography on Masri by Nadeem Haque.
“Animals in Islam shows that in Islam, as in other religious traditions, there is ample material to justify a compassionate view of animals, and in particular, one that is incompatible with treating billions of sentient beings as if they were merely things, to be crowded into factory farms that take no account of their nature and their needs but see them only objects for human consumption.”
—Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, author of Animal Liberation
“I had the good fortune to have known the late Al Hafiz Masri in the mid-1980s when he was working on the first edition of this book. I gained much from this relationship in the environmental themes that I was myself developing at that time and his erudition and wisdom is not lost on his grandson, Nadeem Haque, who as editor has produced the second version of this volume. Compassion in World Farming has also much to commend itself for pushing out this volume and is largely responsible for the shape of the final chapter with its emphasis on stunning. Although this volume is meant for a western readership the material is relevant to the Islamic world generally and should be compulsory reading for all those interested in humane slaughter. It also forces people to rethink their dietary habits given the negative impact of high meat consumption on the environment.”
—Fazlun Khalid, Founder of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, author of Signs on the Earth: Islam, Modernity, and the Climate Crisis (Kube Publishing Ltd., 2019)
“A most important book! One of the earliest and very few to offer a comprehensive Islamic perspective on contemporary animal welfare issues. It brings to life and conveys the urgency of a key Qur’anic insight: that our lives and the lives of other animals are inextricably intertwined; that kindness to animals is not a quirk or secondary concern, but an essential part of human virtue.
“By all accounts, Masri was an illustrious scholar and the kind of person one meets once and never forgets. May both Muslims and non-Muslims meet Masri through this book and find inspiration in his kindness.”
—Rainer Ebert, PhD; Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, UK, and International Research Associate at the University of Dar es Salaam, in former Tanganyika, one of the many places Masri called home.
“This new edition of Al-Hafiz B.A. Masri’s seminal work is great news for research in Islamic animal theology, especially since it is accompanied by contributions from major authors on these questions. It is an outstanding tribute that the editor Nadeem Haque pays here to the pioneering work of his grandfather.”
—Sébastien Sarméjeanne, translator of the French edition of Animals in Islam (Les Animaux en Islam)
“As concerns grow for the sustainability of life on our planet, animal welfare has become an issue of increasing relevance and importance. This pioneering book provides an overview of animal welfare through the lens of Islam and encourages the reader to rethink how values of compassion can be implemented.”
—Sabrina Sehbai, Founder and Director of Join Hands
“In the divine revelation of Islam, we see multiple references to animals in different contexts. Clearly the Qur’an alludes to a high level of sophistication (or even development) that some (or many) animals or even insects may have. Masri, in his seminal contribution, sheds light on animals in Islam that extends the debate beyond the question of animals as a source of humans’ pleasure or utility. In light of the modern Western culture of extreme excess in everything, and in light of the dominant Muslims’ culture that mainly focuses on which animal products are permissible to eat, and in light of the advances in psychology, sociology, and the physical sciences, Masri’s book will ignite a broader debate that is highly timely.”
—Omar M. Ramahi, Author of Muslims’ Greatest Challenge: Choosing Between Tradition and Islam