The Prophet (SM) and his Companions (Ra) once paused during a journey, and made a camp where they could rest. The Prophet went round the camp, talking to the men, and making sure that everything was all right.
Then, not far away, he saw a fire Someone had lit the fire to keep himself warm. The Prophet (SM) walked towards the man w T ho had lit the fire, to talk to him.
Suddenly, he saw that not far away, there was an anthill The ants could be seen running about near the hill, working very hard, as ants do. Some of the ants were further away from the anthill than others, and the Prophet (SM) saw that they were getting very close to the fire the man had lit. If they came much closer, the ants might be burned up or harmed in some way-
The Prophet (SM) was disturbed to see this. The ants were in danger. That meant that God's living creatures were in danger.
"Who has started fire here?" he asked.
The man who had kindled the fire looked up.
"I kindled the fire, O Messenger of Allah (SWT) " he replied.
"It is cold and 1 needed to make myself warm."
"Quick! 11 the Prophet (SM) told him. Put out the fire! Put out the fire!"
The man obeyed at once. He took a blanket and beat the fire until its flames died away. Then, the man looked round and saw that there were ants in the surrounding area where the fire had been, He realised then that the Prophet (SM) had been .worried about the ants. He did not want the fire to hurt them and in his great mercy had ordered the fire to be put out.
Even afterwards, the man always remembered to look round carefully before he lit a fire.
'There might be ants or other animals nearby' he said to himself.
"And Allah (SWT) forbids that any man should hurt them!"
Sunan Abi Dawood, Al-jihad, Hadith no. 2675)
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