Early Muslim Vegetarian
Vasu Murti sent us an email about an early Muslim vegetarian girl, which tells a very important story:
Rabi’a al Adawiyya was born in 717 AD in Basra, in what is now known as Iraq. During childhood, her parents died, and she was sold into slavery. Rabi’a was a Sufi, a member of a mystical sect that preaches total love of God and total union with Him. After her release from slavery, she went to the desert for prayer and meditation.
She returned to Basra, leading a life of voluntary poverty and simplicity. She refused gifts of money and riches as well as many offers of marriage. Her life was marked by acts of kindness towards humans and animals alike. When she was in the mountains, the animals gathered around her: deer, gazelles, mountain goats and wild donkeys. In her presence, they were trusting and fearless.
Once, when another Sufi teacher, Hasan-al-Basri approached her, the animals ran away. He asked her why the animals gathered around her, but ran from him. Rabi’a responded by asking him what he had eaten. “Onions fried in fat,” he replied. “You eat their fat!” exclaimed Rabi’a. “Why should they not flee from you?”
For years, we have been observing the reactions of wild animals to the presence of human vegans as opposed to those who eat animal flesh, secretions, and by-products. The animals seem to be able to detect the odor of people who eat animals, much like they do with animal predators, and it sparks a fear and flight reaction, which is exactly what we are told in Genesis 9:2.
2. And the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.
This is part of the curse given to humans because of their hardness of heart and desire to eat animals.
As this 1300 year old story tells us, we can reverse this curse if we stop eating any animal products and become vegan.