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Animal lovers will stop at nothing to help an animal in need. We recently shared the inspiring story of a man who built a “wheelchair” for a goldfish who couldn’t float (you have to see the adorable photos!), and we can’t forget about the boys who heroically saved a stranded dolphin simply because they knew it was the right thing to do. Seeing these stories gives us hope that there are plenty of people who see animals as valuable and important members of our society.

So when we read the story of a Muslim woman who refuses to stop caring for animals even though she has been outcast from her community for doing so, we were left in awe of her courage.

Norashikin Ahmad created a small shelter, called Shikin Shelter, for abandoned animals next to her home in 2014, and when a video of her rescuing an injured stray dog in a drain went viral, many praised her actions. Unfortunately, she also faced criticism for touching a dog with her bare hands. Many Muslim scholars discourage the touching of dogs, particularly wet dogs, but doing so to save a life is permissible as long as the proper purification process is used. But as this rescuer explains, she did have gloves initially but after coming face to face with animals, did not think they were needed.

Even though she has to travel to a mosque in the next village to pray because she is not welcome at the one right outside her house, she is undeterred. Her thriving shelter now houses about 120 cats and about 50 dogs with the no sign of slowing down. Ahmad uses her late father’s words as inspiration, “He told me that we should help anyone or anything that needs to be helped. It does not matter if it is a cat, a dog or any other animal in need. If we have the ability to help it, then we should.”

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Ahmad’s relationship with her mother was also strained for a period of  time. “Many people feel it is not appropriate me to touch food after touching dogs as it is considered unclean,” she explained. “At one point my mother could no longer take what the residents were saying, and told me to leave and take my dogs and cats with me. Eventually, she accepted what we were doing when she saw how we rescued a dog that was in pain, nursed it back to health and eventually gave it away for adoption. But it took time.”

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We love how fearless Ahmad is despite the rising challenges she faces. She shows us that doing what is right trumps all. If you’re feeling as inspired as we are after reading this story, you can make a difference in the lives of homeless animals simply by volunteering.

Organizations rely heavily on volunteers to assist with animal care and day-to-day operations. There’s never a shortage of things to do and opportunities are available for people of every skill set. You can help take dogs for walks, give them food and water, and make sure their area is clean. If your preference is helping out behind the scenes, you can volunteer your services by assisting with fundraisers, outreach events or general office tasks. And please, always adopt and never shop!

To follow Ahmad’s work and keep up to date with recent rescues, follow the Shikin Shelter Facebook page.

Image Source: YouTube

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0 comments on “Despite Criticism From Her Community, This Muslim Woman Refuses to Stop Caring for Stray Animals”

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Susan
6 Months Ago

Calling a person “Muslim “is an insult! It implies that when one practices Islam she/he has no national identity/cultural/history/language identity which is far from the reality. There are people from highly diverse backgrounds, geographic locations and cultures who may practice Islam. Islam is NOT a cultural identity, although the mainstream media actually deny the so called Muslim\'s identity all together! I guess it is just the continuation of the old colonialism. I love this One Green Planet website and I believe that you don’t want to be following the path of thee so called main stream media, so please do pay attentions to my objection here.
Now, on the subject of dogs and cats, I come from Tehran, and I grew up looking after dogs and even sleeping with my cats, so no matter what "Islam" may say, many people love and care for animals in so called "Muslim majority countries", and I would say just like everywhere else, there are always people who love animals and many who don\'t! I also know that the older generations of my family from other parts of Iran, always looked after animals and loved them, so please do not generalize the opinion of people who may be from peasant or uneducated background from some remote part of the world.


Reply
Renata
28 Mar 2017

Susan, I would like to explain how I understood this article: the problem that this brave woman had to overcome was not connected with her nationality but with her religion. She lived in a Muslim environment and she was ostracised because she touched stray animals, dogs in particular. Her nationality is irrelevant. A Buddhist, a Hindu, a Christian, a Jewish community wouldn\'t have objected and therefore there wouldn\'t have been a story. This poor woman was not even allowed to attend the religious functions in her own "praying house" (her mosque) because of her compassion.
In London (UK) there have been a couple of cases of Muslim bus-drivers who refused access to dogs (even guide dogs for blind people) because of their religion. Now if these drivers feel so strong about dogs either they shouldn\'t have taken such a job (well knowing that sooner or later a dog would go on their bus and this is perfectly legal) or gone to drive buses in countries where dogs are not allowed.
The article wanted to show the courage this woman ha. There are even Imams who allowed stray cats in their mosques and many Muslims who work for stray animals. No-one denies this. Unfortunately this woman was in a religious community that didn\'t have such sensitivity and compassion, based on religious beliefs.

john pasqua
6 Months Ago

NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE THIS ON GREAT EARTH NOW WHO CARE .


Reply
moonlit
6 Months Ago

What a wonderful, caring and brave woman! Truly a hero!


Reply
Alessandra Ferrari
6 Months Ago

Great Lady! Keep it up! We animals lovers are all with you in spirit!


Reply
Seth Tyrssen
6 Months Ago

A good woman -- stuck in a lousy religion, if it forbids helping animals in such a manner.


Reply
Umm Musa
6 Months Ago

Hello, I\'m a Muslim convert who grew up with dogs. The issue is that the saliva from a dog is impure, so one must wash thoroughly afterwards. Dogs are permissible for security, for farming, for hunting. There are some gross misunderstandings by the community mentioned in this article. This woman is actually following the commandments of our religion which is to care for all beings. There is a teaching about a prostitute who gave water to a thirsty dog and she was forgiven her sins for this act of charity and kindness. Please do not judge Islam by the actions of any Muslim or community of Muslims.Thank you for sharing this sister\'s good works!


Reply
Alessandra Ferrari
27 Mar 2017

Than you.

Alessandra Ferrari
27 Mar 2017

Thank you.

Soliel
27 Mar 2017

But they truly do not get the proper role of humans to animals. Animals are not "unclean". They are much more than just for protection or hunting or farming. So much Islam does not get.

Renata
28 Mar 2017

I totally agree with Soliel. And if there is anything dangerous it is dealing with other humans not with other species since very few diseases can be transmitted from one species to another: infinitely more dangerous to travel on a crowded bus or train. And if you think that dogs can be used (because this is the meaning of what you say, which equates to "exploited") only for farming, security and even hunting: for God\'s sake why on earth are you on this website? Appalling.

Lauren bjorklund
6 Months Ago

What kind of religion forbids touching a dog with bare hands? or at all? they think dogs are dirty? That is despicable. Happy that this woman saw the fault in that and helped the animals regardless of what her religion said.


Reply
Renata
28 Mar 2017

:-) AGREE!!!! Beware of humans instead!!!!

h
6 Months Ago

What an amazing person!


Reply


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