Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Cultures by Richard Foltz

By Richard Foltz

This booklet, 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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Extra resources for Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Cultures

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The question is not easily resolved. Whatever the ultimate intentions of the authors, The Case of the Animals versus Man remains quite distinctive in the context of Muslim society, as much today as during the century in which it was written 8 It is important to note that the views of the Pure Brethren were never accepted into the mainstream of Islamic thought, and that in subsequent centuries, only the heterodox Isma'ili Shi'i sect,' identified today with the Aga Khan, adopted their writings as authoritative.

She stayed by him and never left him, but when hunger forced her. And he grew so acquainted with her, that if at any time she stayed away from him a little longer than ordinary, he'd cry pitifully, and she, as soon as she heard him, came running instantly. Besides all this, he enjoyed this happiness, and there was no beast of prey in the whole island. 11 As the boy matures, however, he begins to sense that he is somehow" different": He considered all the several sorts of animals, and saw that they were all clothed either with hair, wool, or feathers.

Recalling the story of the lion and the camel, in which a sickly camel takes refuge with a lion but at the instigation of the lion's fellow carnivores becomes a meal nevertheless, the bull falls into despair. Through a further set of tales, Dimna persuades the bull to launch a surprise attack on the lion king before the lion attacks him. Of course, in the end the lion kills the bull, though immediately afterwards he is stricken with remorse for doing so. Kalila, disgusted by his brother's treachery, disowns Dimna forever, but that is the extent of the latter's punishment and Dimna regains his position as the lion king's adviser.

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