“Doing Research on Animals: What Does Islam Say?”

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Doing research on animals exist long time ago. There are records were found in Egypt, dated in the 3rd Century B. C, where a scientist philosopher used animals to study body function. Since then, the use of animals in research has broadly multiply. Millions of animals are studied in research laboratories each year in order to test any new findings for human disease. Researchers have carried out experiments on monkeys, dogs, cats, chimpanzees and others, because these animals can serve as useful models of many human reactions.

The western view on animal testing is somewhat agree because it benefits both human and also animals, there is great similarities between human and animals in the genetics and it makes more new and progressive findings for human diseases. On the other way around, there are also some western who do not agree about animal testing, it is because animals also have rights, using animals for experiments which is different from human and it is immoral and should not be allowed. The animals testing benefits both human and animals in similar ways.

Tests of new surgical techniques often are first carried out on animals. Some animals are subjected to diseases so that researchers can observe the animals and investigate potential cures. In addition, animals studies resulting in many of new treatments and cures for human disease such as epilepsy, spinal cord injuries, stroke, treating anxiety and many more. At the same time, it also benefit animals; animal sexual behaviour, genetics and experimental aspects that control the timing and way of migration and animal necessity for habitat and territory.

This is an effort to save endangered species from extinction. Human and animals share few biological and genetics similarities. Many medical treatment and procedures have been developed with experiments on animals. Since they share many of the features with human, researchers use animals to test the safety and effectiveness of newly developed drugs before they test on small group of patients and it is extremely unsafe to use without animals testing. Continuous doing research with animals make new and progressive findings for human diseases.

Without animals testing there would not be the medical advances in today’s technology. Animals are closest things that resemble human life systems. Animals testing are also needed to ensure the medications, vaccines and surgical procedures are safe for human and it is very important for the survival of human race. In opposition, there are also those who against the use of animals testing because animals also have rights. They have right to be treated with respect and right not to be subjected to pain or discomfort. Animals should be treated as having value in themselves.

Some also claimed that animals testing are not applicable to human. Human may share some of the similarities but they are totally different; the brain functions, habitats, psychological needs and so on. Researchers cannot simply do test on animals and further use it for treating human diseases. Animals testing are immoral and should not be allowed. Many people are concerned that doing research with animals only makes animals suffering unreasonably and brutality. Every year, millions of animals undergo painful suffering or death as a result of scientific research.

According to Islamic principles, humanity is not allowed to do anything to the living things and must only take their lives if necessary. There are Islamic restrictions on manipulating animals because they represent Allah’s unique and wonderful creations and we must treat them nicely. Islam does not specifically agree or disagree about animals testing. Muslims believed that, all living creatures were made by Allah, animals exist for the benefits of human beings, but they also need to be treated with kindness and compassion.

Muslims are also instructed to avoid treating animal cruelly and neglecting them. Generally, using animals is allowed in Islam. It is stated in Quran; “It is Allah Who made cattle for you, that ye may use some for riding and some for food; And there are (other) advantages in them for you (besides); that ye may through them attain to any need (there may be) in your hearts; and on them and on ships ye are carried. ” (40:79-80) As though Islam does not restrict animals testing, they must not suffer from any pain or mutilation and there must be a good reason for the experiment.

Action shall be judged according to intention; killing with purpose which is for finding new treatment for human diseases. Even Prophet S. A. W also ordered His believers to use sharp knives and not to blunt ones while slaughtering animals as to minimise the pain and discomfort to them. The concept of ehsan is contained in the Islamic law, which is the basis of the rights of animals. The ehsan to animals mean providing enough food, enough space for them and being gentle. This is very important while conducting research with animals. As state in Quran; “We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.

” (21:107) Therefore, as Muslim, we shall promote compassion and gentleness to these tested animals as much as we can to reduce the sufferings of these animals. Muslims researchers must respect animals as created beings and not simply as laboratory tools. They have an ethical obligation to ensure that their research aims cannot be achieved in other ways. As moral beings, man should not even tolerate pain on the part of animals except when it serves a clearly defined such as saving a precious life, as found in Abu Dawud Hadith, it forbids the disfiguration of the body of an animals, Prophet S.

A. W said “do not clip the forelock of a horse, for decency is attached to its forelock; nor its mane, for it protects it, nor its tail, for it is, its fly-flap. ” In general, animals experimentation should take place when and where there are no real alternatives. It is also true that researchers cannot use human in their research study because it takes more than a year to develop vaccines or cures than using animals. Muslims researchers should follow the guidelines that have been provided in al-Quran and Sunnah.

These are the most important things that prophets S. A.W left for humankind. Quran and Sunnah guides human in every aspect. Animals testing did not exist at the time of Prophet S. A. W, so it is not specifically cited in the Sha’riah. Guidance from such issues comes from analogy and inference (Ijtihad). Therefore, Muslims researchers must understand what comes in Quran and Sunnah, so that they will make use of Ijtihad. The use of animals by doctors and researchers to understand the physiology of human beings is not unique to this century. Animals have been used in medical research for at least 2,000 years.

The fact that animals testing has greatly contributed to medical field are undeniable. Animals make good subjects for research on human disease health conditions because they share certain biological and genetic similarities with human. We can use these advantages for studying and developing new medical treatment. Animal testing will continue to aid medical research in order to improve the health of human beings. Without animal testing, many procedures or new drugs would be extremely unsafe. As we can see from doing research with animals, we find many advantages compared to disadvantages.

Animals testing give us a broader view of finding new treatment for human diseases. Not only that, these animals testing also benefit animals; in efforts to save endangered species from extinction, researchers studies on few topics on genetic factors, animal sexual behaviour and so forth. Though it is true that animals should not be manipulated for unnecessary testing such as cosmetic testing, animals testing should not be eliminated from medical filed until a true successful alternative have been develop to substitute animals testing.

Quran provides broad guidelines concerning the spiritual and material aspects of life. It is also a scripture of guidelines and not a book of any physical or social sciences. Due to that, Muslims researchers should follow guidelines stated in al-Quran and Sunnah. While doing research with animals, it is necessary not to harm or hurt them, although animals are created for human benefit, they are also creations from Allah. A true Muslims in the unity of God will show deep respect for Allah’s entire creation.

Muslims researchers also must understand the intention while conducting animals testing which is to find a new treatment for human betterment.

References: Kimmel, Allan. J. (2007). Ethical issues in Behavioral Research. Australia: Blackwell Publishing. James E. White. (2009). Contemporary Moral Problems. U. S. A: Thomson Wadsworth. http://www. themodernreligion. com/misc/an/an1. htm http://shaikhsohail. wordpress. com/2008/06/10/animal-rights-from-islamic-perspective/ http://www. bbc. co. uk/religion/religions/islam/islamethics/animals_1. shtml.

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