Meuzza and the cats of Islam
Moslems are traditionally taught to regard cats as lovable and cherished creatures. Abusing or neglecting cats is considered
a sin in Islam.
One of the holiest cats in history was Meuzza, which belonged to Mohammed. According to legend, the prophet was called to
prayer by the bell. Rather than wake the sleeping cat on his arm, Mohammed cut the sleeve from his robe and set it down with
the dozing cat. The blessed cat resides in paradise.
One of the reasons Mohammed was so fond of his cat may be because the feline saved his life by killing a snake that had crawled
into his sleeve. The prophet blessed the cat with the ability to land on its feet.
of Mohammed's writings states that the prophet had a vision of a woman suffering the agonies of the damned
because she tied her cat to starve and did not let it loose to feed upon the vermin of the earth.
According to the Koran, the cat is the essence of purity. Unlike dogs which eat their own feces and are unclean, cats bury
their waste. In Bab-el-Nasz, A cat hospital was built. It was considered a blessing to bring food to the
patients. Furthermore, it is unlawful to chase cats from Mosques.
While it is permissible to keep cats, it is not permissible to buy or sell them; they
may be given as gifts or given away. Scholars treasured their cats because they ate mice that would have damaged precious
books and scrolls. Cats were used as lessons in morality by the sufis.
In one tale, the grammarian Ibn Babshad was sitting on a mosque rooftop having a meal
with his friends. When a cat came by, they fed her scraps and she ran away. The cat returned again and again for
the scraps only to carry them off. Intrigued, the scholars followed the cat. She led them to an adjacent rooftop
and placed the scraps before a blind cat. Babshad was so moved by this compassionate act that he gave up all his possessions
and lived in poverty until his death in 1067.
One of Mohammed's followers, Sahaabi
Abu Hurayrah (literally “Father of the Kitten”) was so called because he used to love
cats and keep them. He became well known by this name and people forgot his real name!