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To what extent should we help an animal who is suffering?


I get to see so many animals who are suffering especially stray dogs and I try to help them as much as I can because if I don’t, it hurts me deeply and I go into depression. There is a dog in my area, it had a big maggot wound on his neck. I looked after him for about 6 months otherwise it would have died because the people in my area hate dogs and dont care about them. This dog gets himself into fights every now and then. Sometimes its the same wound that opens up and sometimes its a new one and so i have to go out to clean his wound and to apply ointments. This makes my mother unhappy. She doesnt want me to go out on the street to look after him. But if i don’t, it depresses me to the extent that i dont feel like living anymore. What should I do? I cant see him or any other animal suffering like that. Should i obey my mother or should I go out to treat the animals?


Assalamu Alaykum

Thank You for your Question

I must say, you’re a very kind hearted and loving soul. May Allah (az) fill your heart with Maarif.

It is good to understand that one must look after other creations of Allah (az) and this will include the stray dogs you’ve been attending to. However, apart from bringing joy and peace to your soul, it should only be done to an extent that it does not interfere with your daily normal life or keep you worried/blue unnecessarily. You should try your best to save their lives and assist but know that the best of the provider and protector is Allah (az) Himself. Hence, your job is to do what you can and leave the rest to the Almighty. This concept will certainly put your worry at peace and you will rely on Allah (az) more than ever.

in the meantime, it will be good to speak to your mother and explain how this work helps the creation of Allah (a) and any help to the creation of Allah (az) can be counted as Ibadah. But again Ibadah is supppose to be bringing joy and tranquility and not sadness and depression.
On the other hand, your mother maybe asking you to stop the work after seeing you so low or worried. To solve this, pls ponder upon the first paragraph

also, if after doing the above you still have very sad thoughts and fear for you health, you may want to seek some counseling. And this should be immediately attended to if you have thoughts of not living anymore.

hope this helps,