Animals are treated differently by many people, they have different attitude towards animal depending on the status of the animal and the way people see them. However, humans cuddle, love and pamper their animals, they carefully care for them. On the other hand animals are used as a means to an end.
Islam as a religion of peace equally protect animals against cruelty, apart for killing them for food.

The prophet Muhammad often chastised his companions, who mistreated animals and enjoined them in doing mercy and kindness to them. The Prophet of Islam is recorded to have said:
“A lady is being punished because of her cat, she prisoned her cat, she locked her cat until it died; she would enter the Hell because of her action, she did not feed the cat and also imprisoned her, and she never freed the cat to seek for the food”.
This saying of the prophet made us know the greivous punishment for a person who shows lackadaisical and cruel behavior towards animals.

Furthermore, there are many benefits that the Almighty ascribed to us that are in animals. Allah says:
“And He created the cattle for you; you have in
them warm clothing and (many) advantages and
of them do you eat”. Q16v5.

The Almighty explained to us that there are many benefits like making cloth from them. He further explained
“And there is beauty in them for you when you drive
them back (to home) and when you send them forth (to pasture). Q16v6

The Almighty beautified them for us to ride them around and to serve as ornaments examples are camel, horses etc. The Quran made this assertion:

“And (He made) horses and mules and asses that you might ride on them and as an ornament and He creates what you do not know. Q16v8

All the Quranic verses above unarguably made us know that animals have so many benefits for the entire humanity.
However, animals don’t have free will, they follow their natural instinct, God given instinct which means they submit to God’s will. Allah says:

And your Lord inspired to the bee, “Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct Q16v68). The verse shows how animals are being inspired and also submits to command of Allah which is the essence of Islam Muslim must consider their lives as worthwhile and cherished.

In the end, Islam is a peaceful religion and also advocate for peace, it made us understand that animals are also creatures of the Almighty. Treating them badly is a grievous sin in the sight of the Almighty.

Abolaji AbduLlah