Islamic law commands that a Muslim should avoid every form of cruelty towards animals, especially within the task of ritual slaughter. For instance, it is stressed that never should a knife be sharpened in front of the beast to be slaughtered, and that no beast should ever be killed in front of other animals. Muhammad (pbuh) advised people to take the life of an animal only for food, and to be as humane as possible.
There are many such examples from the teachings of Islam, for instance, when a Muslim plants or sows something, that an animal or bird feeds itself from, this is a charity in the eyes of God.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) cursed whomsoever mutilated an animal, or hitting animals on the face. He even reprimanded those who sat idly on their camels and horses with the warning: "Do not treat the backs of animals as chairs".
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself wiping with his own cloth the face of his horse, and stating that is a good deed for anyone to give even a grain of barley to a horse. It is also forbidden to separate a beast from its progeny or to burn a nest of ants without an adequate reason.
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