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Qur'anic Zoology[edit]

Would somone please tell me why the second book of the Qur'an is called "The Cow." As somone who is just starting to study Islam, this is very confusing to me and no one seems to have any information on it.

I also heard somewhere that Muhammed hated dogs. Is this true? Speaking as a dog-hater myself i would like to know a little bit more on that topic as well.


An anonymous person, trying to get a better understanding of Islam.

The name of the second chapter (Translation: "The Cow") comes from verses 67-71 which involves the slaughtering of a cow (or heifer, which is a young cow).
And remember Moses said to his people: "Allah commands that ye sacrifice a heifer." They said: "Makest thou a laughing-stock of us?" He said: "Allah save me from being an ignorant (fool)! (2:67, Yusuf Ali)
They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what (heifer) it is!" He said; "He says: The heifer should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age. Now do what ye are commanded!" (2:68, Yusuf Ali)
They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us Her colour." He said: "He says: A fawn-coloured heifer, pure and rich in tone, the admiration of beholders!" (2:69, Yusuf Ali)
They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what she is: To us are all heifers alike: We wish indeed for guidance, if Allah wills." (2:70, Yusuf Ali)
He said: "He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish." They said: "Now hast thou brought the truth." Then they offered her in sacrifice, but not with good-will. (2:71, Yusuf Ali)
In addition, the name of the chapter also relates to the Jewish practice at that time of worshipping cows, as mentioned in verse 51:
And remember We appointed forty nights for Moses, and in his absence ye took the calf (for worship), and ye did grievous wrong. (2:51, Yusuf Ali)
Of course, the second chapter talks about subjects that don't relate to the cow.
About the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) disliking dogs, I have never heard that. However, that does not mean it's not true. I do believe that many Muslims today don't like dogs because they are unclean. joturner 21:20, 11 January 2006 (UTC)