Humanity: A relative term

One morning, while heading to my car after being allowed to move about, I found six newborn puppies in a shallow hole dug behind a tire. So I started thinking about moving them to a safe place until a solution is found. It was not too long before their mother came, and somehow was not scared or at least did not look at me as an enemy.

I started to pick up the puppies to put them in a safe place, but every time I picked one up and placed it on the other side, the mother would carry it back to the original hole. Anyhow, my neighbor and I cared for the dog and her puppies for a few days, then his wife was able to take them to a shelter in Wafra. You would not believe how grateful that dog was in that period and I am sure she was thanking us all the time.

Who among us nowadays can be sure about the attributes given to mankind – what are called humanitarian feelings, such as love, hate, compassion and many others? In fact I am no longer sure about the claims that such emotions do not exist in what we call animals.

If you look closely at what is going on in this universe and follow the behavior of animals, you will find behavior that can be described as “humane”, as long as the term humanitarian is for acts describing compassion and love, happiness and sadness, and so on. I do not think that there is anyone among us who did not see an animal or even a bird that does not favor its babies over itself when it comes to food, or expose itself to imminent danger while attempting to defend them.

Most of us learned or heard about animals expressing their faithfulness and loyalty to their “human” masters. Some animals may refrain from eating because of sadness over the loss of another animal or a person who used to care for it. The animal’s love and compassion can be seen in the care of their babies, and yet we insist on keeping these noble acts for human beings only.

Look at what human beings are doing to each other – this should prompt us to wait a minute before giving them the term humane, unless such a term means something else! Is it humane to let blood spill in the horrifying fashion that we see on screens every day in the four corners of the globe, while many countries look on without making any move? Is it humane to bury infants alive under the rubble of their bombed houses or sheds?

Is it humane to waste the lives of men, women and children by spraying deadly gas on them? Is it humane to see sick and displaced people out there in the street without feeling their suffering, pain and unmatched sadness? Is it humane to wipe out entire cities and neighborhoods for the sake of individual interests? Is it humane to besiege cities and deprive their inhabitants from food and water?

If we insist on describing those who commit such atrocities as “human”, and those who keep silent towards them, then it is also not our right to call them savage and animalistic, because animals are more caring for their own and have more feelings and mercy than human beings. If what human beings are doing to themselves is considered humane, then animal acts can be considered angelic.

Allah says in the Holy Quran: “..whoever kills a souls unless for a soul or corruption (done) in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one — it is as if he saved mankind entirely.” (5:32)

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