Aug 21, 2009, 6:00 AM
We commend the president of The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, Imam Muhammed Lamin Touray, who has condemned the serious hostility levied on animals in this country. Animals provide us with food and their hides provide us with clothing and other materials. They have been given to us by God and as such we should treat them with proper respect.
Speaking in a prolonged sermon delivered in his home town mosque of Gunjur Kombo South, Imam Touray expressed his dismay on how people treat their animals. We concur with this dismay and urge all of our readers to treat their animals well. We have been created by God and are lucky enough to find ourselves possessed of both reason and the capacity for intelligent thought and must use these facilities for the benefit not only of each other but of the planet that supports us.
Imam Muhammed Lamin Touray stated. "I cannot understand why people are so hostile to their animals especially those that we use to do our daily work. We use our donkeys, cows, horses and much more to plough our farm lands, carry our heavy baggage and also on journeys, yet we are still hostile to them. If you go to Serrekunda and Brikama, you will see donkeys with fatal wounds and yet they are forced into the busy traffic with heavy loads on them. And despite these heavy loads their masters with rugged hose pipes hit them to be faster than normal."
This kind of behaviour is not only unacceptable but counterproductive. If we treat our animals well they will live long and productive lives and in doing so be of more benefit to us as individuals and the community as a whole. We pray that people will heed the advice of the Imam on this matter and begin to treat their animals better. The benefits for all of us will be significant both here on earth and in heaven.
In the same sermon the Islamic Council president also called on people to forgive each other for past mistakes.
He said, "We cannot live together without offending each other but we can forgive each other for past mistakes. Allah loves those who can forgive whenever they are offended." In this, as in his statements quoted above, we support Imam Muhammed Lamin Touray.
"Animals are always loyal and love you, whereas with children you never know where you are."