Children find animals fascinating. Not only are animals amazing manifestations of our Creator’s intelligence and ability, they are also a mercy to us because Allah (SWT) made them for the benefit of humankind. These passages invite us to marvel at our Lord’s creation, and explain animals’ relationships to human beings.
Our first story, “Skunk in the Backyard,” teaches that by appreciating all the living things Allah (SWT) has created, we can better appreciate our Creator. In His divine system and design of the world, there are lessons for us. We are told, “…in your creation and in the spreading of the animals are signs for those who possess firm faith” (45:4). Therefore, learning about and reflecting upon the creatures around us can help us become stronger Muslims.
Our second lesson is that we must treat animals with respect and kindness. They exist for the benefit of human beings, but must not be abused. Even if an animal is subservient to us, it still means we need to treat it with fairness. This is because of the fact that while we may be masters over other creation, we are still subservient to God. If we hope for God’s clemency, we too should be merciful to His creation. Our Prophet (SAW) said, “Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy upon you.” In the story “Pet Peeves,” Shireen realizes this key learning when she mistreats her pet ants and must fix her mistake.