Hamid had an inquisitive mind and was fond of learning all about wild life, how they lived and behaved. He used to obtain different books on animals and keenly study them. This hobby induced him to go out to the woods in order to observe animals in their natural surroundings.
One day he accompanied his friend Abdul, Professor of Zoology and expert on animal life, to a nearby lake. They strolled on the shore and came over to see storks, with their long legs, calmly standing in the water to snap up passing fish with their long beaks. Storks thrive on fish. One of them forlonely stood aside, looking rather sick and unable to fly.
Both Hamid and Abdul became curious to know what was wrong with that bird. As they went nearer, the bird tried to flee, but could not do so. It had a broken leg. Lovingly they caught hold of the bird and examined its leg. They were amazed to see that its injured leg had a plaster of dry mud over it. On removing it they found the leg rather swollen. The bone was either fractured or broken.
Hamid was amazed to see this phenomenon and wanted to know more about it. Surely, someone had shown mercy to the bird and had tried to help. “Is there a doctor around here who attends to sick or injured animals?” he asked.
“No” replied Abdul. He added, “Before doctors could discover the benefit of plaster, this bird was already aware of it. It knew instinctively how to make use of mud to hold fractured or broken bone in place.” The treatment of broken and fractured bones with lime plaster is well known in medical circles as Plaster of Paris.
Professor Henry Mondoor – a wellknown Zoologist Writes in one of his books on animal life that animals have amazing ways of curing their sicknesses. It is from observing such animals that medical experts have made discoveries about curing certain maladies.
It is mentioned that when a cat catches cold or suffers from headache, it immediately tries to find a particular herb which when eaten promptly cures this sickness. If it is not available the cat lies down in one corner to take complete rest. Alternatively it finds a warm place to lie down and thus feels better and is then able to move about normally.
No wonder if it is from this experience that doctors today advise patients suffering from cold to rest at home for some days. One of the animals in the forest is a fox. it is cunning and has many enemies. It has to contend with snakes in the forest. When bitten by a snake, the fox immediately looks for a particular herb which it applies to the bitten part of its body. That herb makes in ineffective the poison from the snake-bite.
A deer in the forest normally lives in the area where water is easily available.This animal by nature swings and runs from place to place. In so doing, it sometimes develops excessive acidity which causes it to suffer from rheumatic pain. When this happens, the deer is seen to go and stand for quite a time in a particular furrow of mineral water. Today Sulphur bath or mineral water is considered a natural cure for rheumatic pains even among human beings.
Now let us ask ourselves:
Who inspires a stork to use mud plaster for its fractured leg? Who guides a cat to find a particular herb to cure its cold? Who shows a fox how to remove poison from snakebite?
On deep reflection, we shall have to admit that it is no one else but the creator
Allah who inspires them how to remedy their ills. It is HE who inspires the ways of acquiring sustenance and meet the challenges of survival in this world. On this the holy Quran says:-
“He said: Our Lord is He Who gave to everything its creation, then guided it (to its goal).” (20:50)
However, it must be remembered that it is not good to hurt animals deliberately. Islam teaches universal charity even towards animals.