Muzaffer Hussain is a Padmashri, an eminent Muslim lawyer, a writer of books like Muslim Manas, Insight in Minoritism and 12 others. He has won 13 National Awards. His latest book is Islam and Shakahar ( vegetarianism ) which he has sent me.
Chapter 3 is entitled , the Cow and the Koran. This is the one that interests me the most because all through Rampur , Bareilly, Aonla and Badaun , my constituency and district , cows and bullocks are being killed with a frenzy .They are taken openly in trucks or walked to a slaughterhouses in Bareilly and one in Sahaswan, Badaun. Thousands are killed every day in the most brutal conditions. I have caught many trucks during my election and everyone in my constituency has been told that this will no longer be tolerated. The police of Faridpur get a weekly bribe from the butchers and a large number of policemen spread across Aonla, Aliganj. The centre of the killing is a village called Bhagvantapur in Faridpur but no policeman dares enter it because the last one who did so was beaten and hospitalized.
For Non Vegeterians there are other options in the meat .But for the humanity’s sake , they should sacrifice the very idea of cow slaughter.It is not only the moral duty of mankind to protect the cow, but it is the religion of humanity itself to do so.”
The Imam of the London-based mosque Shahjahan, Al Hafiz B S Masri says, the Koran is totally against cruelty to the cow.In many places in the holy Koran is clearly stated that kindness be shown towards animals and all living organisms in the world.
In this book “ Protection of Animals in the Islamic world ’’, Al Hafiz Masri writes, it is a matter of shame for the manner in which Muslims the world over ,slaughter animals in the name of religion.
The holy Koran says, -“ You are answerable for the smallest harm you cause to a tiny bird.One who is kind to the smallest living being ,Allah shall ultimately return him the benefit in equal measure in this world and even beyond it .’’
Those Muslim invaders , who came to India and stayed on to make it their home and rule over it ,understood that the people of India had a special veneration for the cow .Hence as a mark of respect towards their feelings, the rulers prohibited the slaughter of cows.
Babar in ‘ Tuzuk-e- Babari’ while making a will in favour of his son Humayun , says that the people of India are very religious minded. You should respect their sentiments. They are extremely compassionate towards the cow.
Hence do not allow the cow to be sacrificed or killed anywhere in the limits of the Mughal Empire. The day any Mughal emperor ignores this will, the common people or the citizenry shall reject him. “ Aurangzeb refuted the will and it did not take long for his downfall.
In India, there have been many ‘fatwas’ which came up in the Daar-ul-fatwa of Deoband , Barelvi, Phuleri Shareef, Lucknow and Hyderabad in the matter of cow slaughter. There has always been a common thread amongst all the ‘fatwas’; they were not in favour of cow slaughter.
Because India attaches a lot of religious , social and scientific importance to the cow family ,its population comes into direct confrontation with those who destroy the cow on the basis of their religion fervour and fundamentalism. The government of India is more culpable than the Muslims in the matter of protection of the cow because its lame laws and appeasement of its vote bank stand as the biggest obstacle in its path.
In 1857, Delhi remained independent for just four months. The brave sons of India dethroned the British Government and proclaimed the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar as the king of Delhi. It seemed to be end of British rule in India. Unfortunately it was not.
During this time, Bahadur Shah Zafar’s efforts at Hindu-Muslim unity were immortalized in history.The proclamation of the Mughal Emperor in honour of the cow became an important document in history.The royal decree of 28 July 1857 banning cow slaughter reads as follows :
“ Creation of the Lord ( Khalk Khuda Ka ), in the empire of the emperor , by the order of the supreme commander of the armed forces, whosoever slaughters or sacrifices a cow or a bull ,or a calf openly or surreptitiously in his house in this festive season of Bakra Idd, shall be considered an enemy of the emperor himself and will be punished by death”
Not only within the Mughal Empire but in every Muslim kingdom and principality, were orders decreed regarding the cow.
Contemporary kings and nawabs continued to make royal decrees in this regard and whenever necessary even issued ‘fatwas’ .Islam prohibits that act which hurts your neighbour’s feelings, and that food item which when consumed creates ill-feeling in those who surround you .Hence it is a common sentiment that to preserve communal brotherhood or fraternity India must legally ban cowslaughter. Islamic scholars of different school of thought have until now issued 117 ‘fatwas’ appealing to Muslims not to slaughter cows.
Jamiat-ul-ulema president late Asad Madani had issued a statement requesting the Muslims not to kill cows on Bakra-Idd.
Muslims have set up Goshalas ( cow-shelters) in many places .Sufi saints have nurtured cows. In Nagpur one such Muslim saint and his wife used to run a goshala.Tajjuddin Baba was famous for his devotion to cows. Urdu poets have written poems in the praise of cows. If Raskhan is famous in Hindi for this, then the late poet Mohammad Ismail of Meerut is equally well-known in Urdu. His poetry is recited by students in Urdu schools and they sing in praise of the cow.
I can only request Muslims to please stop this illegal killing voluntarily .