Kindness to Birds

Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an: And, (O mankind!) there is no moving (animal) on the earth nor a bird that flies on its two wings but (such) that they are species like you [umamun amthalu-kum — in several traits].

(Qur’an 6 Surah Al-Anam :Verse 38)

The Glorious Qur’an emphasizes the point that even those species which are generally considered as insignificant deserve to be treated as communities; irrespective of their usefulness or apparent ineffectiveness. Birds too have individual and social life, like members of a human community. In other words, they are like communities in their own right and they too have rights. Islam wants us to think and act in the positive terms of accepting all species as communities like us in their own right and not to sit in judgment on them according to our own whims and desires.

Holy Qur’an mentions the communication of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) and Prophet David (peace be upon him) with birds.

And Sulaiman (Solomon) succeeded Dawud (David) and said: ‘O people, we have been taught the speech of birds (as well) and we have been granted everything. No doubt, this is most obvious Grace (of Allah).’
And armies for Sulaiman (Solomon) were collected from among (all species of) the jinn, human beings and birds. So they were held on (in his service) for discipline and training.

(Chapter 27 Sura Al Naml, Verse 16-17)

So We alone taught Sulaiman ([Solomon] the way to make that judgment) and blessed them all with reason and knowledge. And We made (even) the mountains and the birds subservient to (the command of) Dawud (David). They all celebrated (Our) Praise (with him jointly). And it was We Who were doing (all this).

( Chapter 21 Surah Al-Ambiya : Verse 79 )

There are traditions which show that our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) communicated with birds. Prophet Muhamamd (peace be upon him) used to command his followers to have mercy on birds. Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) once reprimanded a group among his companions who had taken the young ones of a bird and the mother bird complained about them to the Prophet (peace be upon him). There are numerous incidents in books of Sufism which talk about the Muslim saints and other holy men who could talk to  birds.

A companion of Holy Prophet (pbuh) Hazrat Abu Darda (Radiyallahu Anhu) used to buy sparrows from children and free them and used to say, “Fly away and lead a free life)”

Causing Distress to Birds for the sake of amusement is forbidden

Its forbidden in Islam to  mutilate live animals, incite birds to fight and to set up birds in a cage as a target and tie up live birds as targets.

During a journey of Prophet (peace be upon him) with his companions ,he had left them for a while. Some among the travellers saw a bird with her two young ones and they captured her young ones. The bird came and began to spread its wings.

Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) came and said: “Who grieved this for its young ones? Return its young ones to it.” 

{Ref. Sunan Abu Dawud , Vol 3,Hadith #902}

Abdullah reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stopped in a place and then someone took a bird’s eggs and  the bird began to beat its wings around the head of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
He asked, “Which of you has taken its eggs?”
A man said, “Messenger of Allah, I have taken its eggs.”
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him said, “RETURN THEM OUT OF MERCY TO THE BIRD”

{Reported by Imam Bukhari in Al -Adab Al-Mufrad,Hadith # 382}

Unlawfulness of making target of a tied bird

Hadith #1

Hadrat Sa’id b. Jubair (Radi Allahu anhu) reported that: Hadrat Ibn ‘Umar (Radi Allahu anhu) happened to pass by some young men of the Quraish who had tied a bird (and  made it a target) at which they had been shooting arrows.  So no sooner did they see Hadrat Ibn ‘Umar (Radiallahu anhu) they dispersed.
Thereupon Hadrat  Ibn ‘Umar(Radi Allahu anhu) said: “Who has done this? Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) invoked curse upon one who does this(i.e. made a live thing the target of one’s marksmanship)).

{Reported by Imam Muslim, Kitab-us-Said wa’l-Dhaba’ih,Hadith #4946}

Hadith #2

Hisham b. Zaid b. Anas b. Milik (Radiyallahu Anhu) reported: I visited the house of al-Hakam b. Ayyub along with my grandfather  Hadrat Anas b. Milik, (and there) some people had made a hen a target and were shooting arrows at her. 
Thereupon Hazrat Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu) said that (meaning) : ”Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) has forbidden targeting of tied  animals (with arrows etc)”.

{Reported by Imam Muslim, Kitab-us-Said wa’l-Dhaba’ih , Hadith #4942}

Hadith #3

Hazrat Ibn ‘Abbas (Radi Allahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said this(meaning): ”Do not make anything having life as a target by tying it.” 

{Reported by Imam Muslim, Kitab-us-Said wa’l-Dhaba’ih,Hadith #4944}