Animals as Teachers The Sunday Guardian | July 11, 2010 | Page 14
According to the Holly Quran, Cain and Abel were the first sons of Adam and Eve. As the result of a controversy which arose between the two brothers, Cain killed Abel. One part of this story is narrated in the Quran.
When they both presented an offering, it was accepted from one of them and not from the other.
The latter said, ”I shall Kill you!”
The former said, “God accepts (things) only from the righteous. If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you…” His lower self persuaded him to kill his brother, and he killed him and he became one of the lost. Then God sent a raven, which scratched the earth, so that He might show him how to hide the corpse of his brother. (5:27-31)
In this story the Quran depicts the raven as a teacher of man.
This is not an isolated incident. It has a general application. It teaches the lesson that in animal behaviour there are good examples for man.
Why can animals serve as teachers to man?
The reason is that man and animals were both created with the same nature, that is by following the good universal model for behaviour.
But there was a difference. Man was given the freedom of choice, while animals have no choice other than to follow the universal pattern.
There are deviations in human behaviour, but in the case of animals, there is no deviation from the path of nature.
As a result of this difference, man can be right or wrong, but animals are always right.
So, man should emulate the behaviour of animals in his life. This is the best way for man to stick to the straight path adopted by animals under the guidance of nature.