It is told that Muhammad awoke one day to the sounds of the Adhan, the Muslim daily call to prayer. Preparing to attend, he began to dress himself; however, he soon discovered his cat Muezza sleeping on the sleeve of his prayer robe. Rather than wake her, he used a pair of scissors to cut the sleeve off, leaving the cat undisturbed. When he returned from the mosque, Muhammad received a bow from Muezza in gratitude. He then stroked his beloved cat three times.
Although the story is related in Western sources, there is no actual hadith in Arabic sources relating that this actually happened. Therefore the story is baseless. What is present in history books, though, is that the Sufi leader Ahmed ar-Rifa'i did cut his sleeve because a cat was sleeping on it, then stitched it up later and said: "nothing changed". This is probably the source of the myth about Muhammad.
However, Muhammad in other hadiths commanded that animals be treated kindly, giving the example of a prostitute who had her sins forgiven because she got water from a well for a thirsty dog, and another woman who goes to hell because she kept a cat locked up, not feeding it, nor allowing it to forage for its own sustenance.
Additionally, a UK-based pet food company, Halal Pet Products Ltd, produces what they claim to be a completely halal cat food, which they named Muezza Pure. The company justifies their development of the product by asserting that, while there are no laws in Islam prohibiting animals from eating haram foods, Muslims are forbidden to handle or feed haram foods, such as pork and carrion, to animals.
- Cats and Islam
- History of cats
- Moral status of animals in the ancient world
- Abu Hurairah, lit. "father of the kitten"
- Geyer, Georgie Anne (2004). When Cats Reigned Like Kings: On the Trail of the Sacred Cats. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-4697-9.
- Stall, Sam (2007). 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization: History's Most Influential Felines. Quirk Books. ISBN 978-1-59474-163-0.
- Al-Thahabi, Shamsuddin. "الرفاعي", Siyar A'lam Al-Nubala. Retrieved on 24 October 2014.
- Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj. صحيح مسلم. Retrieved on 24 October 2014.