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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Interfaith > Chand Kazi and Chaitanya > 06 Cow Killing



Chand Kazi continued: "On the path of material activities, there is regulation for killing cows. If such killing is done under the guidance of scrip¬ture, there is no sin."


In the Holy Qur'an not one single verse allows killing cows or bulls. But very clear instruction is given about what is intended for humanity as food:"And We (Allah ) said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Garden, and eat freely of the fruits thereof where you will." (2.35)


"And give glad tidings (O Muhammad) to those who believe and do good works, that theirs are Gardens be¬neath which rivers flow; every time they are fed with fruits therefrom." (2.25)


"Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth, and causes water to descend from the sky, thereby pro¬ducing fruits as food for you." (14.32)


"Who has appointed the earth a resting-place for you, and the sky a canopy; and causes water to pour down from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you." (2.22)


From these four ayats of the Qur'an it is obvious that when Allah created Adam and Eve, He gave them for food, the fruits. And when the pious will go to paradise they will have their food in the form of fruits. Then when Allah created earth He "produced fruits as food for" mankind. Also from the very life of the Hazrat Muhammad, we can see his daily food was bread, milk and palm-dates. Sometimes in his life he sacrificed a sheep or a camel, but never cows or bulls.There is only one story in the Holy Qur'an (2.67-71) which describes the sacrifice of a cow:

"When Moses said to his people: Allah commands you that you sacrifice a cow.'They said: 'Do you make game of us?'He answered: Allah forbid that I should be among the foolish!'They said: 'Pray for us unto your Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is.'(Moses) answered: 'He says, that the cow should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age; now do what you are commanded!'They said: 'Pray for us unto your Lord that He make clear to us of what color she is.'(Moses) answered: 'He says, that she is a yellow cow. Bright is her color; gladdening beholders.'They said: 'Pray for us unto your Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. To us are all cows alike; if Allah wills, we may led aright.'(Moses) answered: 'He says, that she is a cow not trained to till the soil or water the fields; whole and with¬out a mark.'


They said: 'Now have you brought the truth.' Then they sacrificed her; though they scarcely did it."This story is accepted in Jewish traditions, which are themselves based on certain sacrificial directions from the Old Testament. The cow story of Jewish tradition is based on the Numbers (19.1-10), in which Moses and Aaron ordered the Israelites to sacrifice a red cow with-out a spot. Thus Moses announced the sacrifice to the Israelites, and they treated it as a joke. When Moses con¬tinued solemnly to ask for the sacrifice, they put him off on one pretext followed by another, asking a number of questions which they could have answered themselves if they had listened to his directions. Their questions were sarcastic criticisms rather than the result of a desire for information. It was a mere thin pretence that they were genuinely seeking for guidance. When at last they were driven into a corner, they made the sacrifice, but if they did this willingly then the sacrifice would have been more effective for their purification from sins. The cow's body was to be burnt and the ashes were to be kept for the purification of the congregation from sins.


We can see and learn from this narration that the killing of a cow is very dangerous and not part of the teachings. So much so that the people were very hesitant to commit such an act even when the order came from high authority, Prophet Moses. So this particular sacri¬fice was not carried out whimsically but with due con¬sideration. We should also understand, that the cow was not simply killed for the sake of eating but the body of the cow was burnt and the ashes were to be used for the higher purpose of purifying the people from their sins. It is very important to mention that in the present age cow sacrifice is also forbidden, because no qualified people are available to conduct such a sacrifice successfully.Thus we can conclude that cow killing is not sanctioned in the Holy Qur'an and the only cow sacrifice which has been described was not meant for meat eating but for purification of sins.The Iranian scholar Al-Ghazzali (1058-1111 AD) was one of the most brilliant philosophers of Islam. He has stated that besides pieces of bread whatever we eat is simply to satisfy our urges. At the age of 28, he headed the Institute of Islam in Baghdad. His main book, Ihya Ulum ul-Din —The Revival of Religious Sciences is highly respected. In this book (part 2, page 23, lines 17-19) the detrimental effects of beef and the virtues of clari¬fied butter and milk from a cow are stated as follows:


"The meat of cow is marz (disease), its milk is safa (health) and its clarified butter is dava (medicine)."Is it not more intelligent to protect cows and use their milk and clarified butter for our benefit? The cow is considered a mother of mankind because she gives us her valuable product, milk. As a mother feeds her child with her breast milk, similarly the cow feeds mankind with her milk. It has been scientifically proven that if one regularly drinks cow milk his fine brain tissues develop. As a result of this, one's memory capacity increases, favoring remembrance of Allah. Therefore the cow and its milk play a very important role in the development of human society. We practically see this being applied in schools where a bottle of milk is part of a child's daily diet and doctors stress the importance of milk for our development. So even without considering that cow kill¬ing is a great moral sin, practically it is one of the greatest misuses of our human intelligence to kill such a vital creature. Those who are eager to eat meat, they can eat less important animals like sheep and goats but cows should be protected.A Imam of the Shah Jehan Mosque in London, England, Al Hafiz B. A. Masri says that the Qur'an itself is very specific about prevention of cruelty to animals. Muslims, who form one-third of the world's total population, need to start a movement for the prevention of cruelty to animals based on Islamic tenets. It is time to ensure that all precepts laid down in the Qur'an against cruelty to animals are followed strictly everywhere in the world. Therefore he wants to start a Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the Islamic world. Animal welfare worker Al Hafiz Masri would love to see the world embrace vegetarianism.


In his booklslamic concern for Animals, Al Hafiz Marsi has expressed sorrow about the excessive killing of animals in the name of religion. Quoting from the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, he described all acts of torturing animals, and even keeping birds in cages as sinful. According to him even the cutting of trees is prohibited in Islam. On page 18 the Imam Marsi has repeated the saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad:"There is no one who kills even a sparrow or anything smaller, without its deserving it, but God will question him about it."

"He who takes pity even on a sparrow and spares its life. Allah will be merciful on him on the Day of Judgment."The Imam Marsi is himself a vegetarian and advises everyone to adopt vegetarianism.Chand Kazi has the titleMaulana. When a Muslim is learned and religious he gets the title Maulana. So this magistrate, Chand Kazi, was a very learned scholar, not only in Muslim scriptures, but he was a great scholar of Hindu scriptures also.As a learned scholar, the Kazi challenged Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, "In your Vedic scriptures there is an injunction for killing a cow. On the strength of this injunction, great sages performed sacrifices involving cow killing."


Nahaprabhu immediately replied, "The Vedas clearly enjoin that cows should not be killed. Therefore any Hindu, whoever he may be, does not indulge in cow killing."In the Vedic scriptures there are concessions for meat-eaters. It is said that if one wants to eat meat, he should kill a goat before the goddess Kali and then eat its meat. Meat-eaters are not allowed to purchase meat or flesh from a market or slaughterhouse. There are no sanctions for maintaining slaughterhouses to satisfy the tongues of meat-eaters. As far as cow killing is concerned, it is completely forbidden. Since the cow is con¬sidered a mother, how could the Vedas allow cow killing? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu pointed out that the Kazi's statement was faulty. In the Bhagavad-gita (18.44) there is a clear injunction that cows should be protected:


"The duty of farmers is to produce agricultural products then trade and give protection to cows."Therefore the main injunction in the Vedic scriptures is to protect cows."In the Vedas and Puranas there are injunctions declaring that in order to check the purity and power of a priest an animal is killed in a sacrificial arena. If the priest is pure enough his chanting of the Vedic hymns will give new life to the animal. Therefore the great sages sometimes killed old animals and by chanting Vedic hymns gave them new life for perfection. The killing and rejuvenation of such old and invalid, animals was not killing but an act of great benefit. Formerly there were powerful brahmanas (priests) who could perform such tests using Vedic hymns, but now, because of this degraded age, Kali-yuga, brahmanas are not so powerful. Therefore the killing of cows and bulls for such tests are forbidden. In this age of Kali, five acts are forbidden: the offering of a horse in sacrifice, the offering of a cow in sacrifice, the acceptance of the order of sannyasa (renunciation), the offering of oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and a man begetting children in his brother's wife. Since you people cannot bring killed animals back to life, you are responsible for killing them. Therefore you are going to hell; there is no way for your deliverance. Cow-killers are condemned to rot in hellish life for as many thousands of years as there are hairs on the body of the cow."