[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
Every Muslim scholar, who has written the biography of the Prophet ﷺ , has included numerous incidents that showed kindness and compassion of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ towards animals.
Mishkat Shareef has an entire chapter on how to be merciful towards animals even while hunting or slaughtering them. All of this is a proof of his gentle and kind nature and a proof that he truly is Rahmatulil Alameen. Every follower of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, who claims to be a Muslim, should try to attain these characteristics and should try to pass on these chracteristics to the next generations as well.
Fear Allah about the rights of the animals whom you burden with load -
A very interesting Hadith from Musnad e Ahmed, narrated by Muadh ibn Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) says:
“I have heard the Prophet ﷺ ) instruct his companions: “Whenever you mount on your animals for traveling, mount upon them when they are strong and not when they are sick, injured or weak. Free them when they are old. Do not take them as your chairs”.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ instructed us to treat animals like living beings and not as mere furniture, allowing them to rest just like we need to rest after traveling. A Prophet who does not tolerate hardships upon animals, would never be harsh upon humans.
Abu Dawud is known as one of the six authentic books of hadith. Another Hadith in Abu Dawud, that is narrated by Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) says: -
“Beware of making the backs of your animals into pulpits (by resting upon them when you travel), because Allah has made these animals subject to you so that you may travel upon them and not to overburden them. He has made the earth a carpet for you, so utilize the earth to fulfill your needs.”
The Arabic term used here is Iyyakum (ایاكم), which means that there is a danger if you do this. For example, a blind person is walking in the direction of a well and you have to stop him in a hurry. In Arabic, they say Iyyakum Iyyakum, ‘Beware beware’. The above hadith indicates that animals are for us to use and benefit from them. Once you are done with your traveling, dismount and take a rest. . It also includes allowing the animals to rest and to feed them. This hadith does not apply to any one kind of animal, but in general, all animals whom you ride for travelling.
The books of Islam are full of stories, depicting and instructing care and kindness towards animals.