Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Cultures by Richard Foltz

By Richard Foltz

This ebook, the 1st of its sort, 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 artwork.

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This tale persuades the king that his own friend, the peaceful, herbivorous bull, cannot be trusted. Not content with turning the king against his dearest companion, Dimna then proceeds to incite the bull against the king, pointing out that lions are carnivores and eat herbivores like the bull. 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.

1229), an epic poem of nearly five thousand couplets which was completed in 1177. The gist of the poem is that the birds of the world have gathered together and decided they need a king. One of them, the hoopoe, insists that they have a king already, the Simorgh (a magical bird from ancient Iranian mythology), but that they must find him. The hoopoe takes charge and tries to motivate a large group of birds to set off in search of their rightful leader and guide, but many of them find excuses not to come.

When animal figures do appear, they are not always animals. In the Tale of the Donkey, for example, two thieves steal a man's donkey when he isn't looking and one of them puts the beast's lead aronnd his own neck. He tells the owner he is a man who was transformed into a donkey because of his sins. The foolish owner believes him and sets him free, only to see his actual donkey for sale at the marketplace the following day. 7 In other stories, humans really are turned into animals, as in the tale of the Fisherman and the Genie.

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