Positive Muslim News

News about good things Muslims are doing in North America and around the world.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Faith inspires Muslim veterinarian's compassion for animals

Dr. Zia Usman is a rarity within the U.S. veterinary profession.

Not only does the Indian-born and -trained veterinarian own a companion animal practice on Chicago's North Side, Dr. Usman is also a Muslim.

Such a combination is unusual among first-generation immigrants who are followers of Islam, according to Dr. Usman's colleague, Riaz H. Siddiqi, a professor at Truman College in Chicago and president of the Muslim VMA.

The association believes approximately 500 Muslim veterinarians are in the United States. Dr. Siddiqi thinks most of them are employed in academia, research, industry, or government, where they are likely to be inspectors in slaughterhouses. Few Muslim veterinarians in the United States work with pets, he said, but this is more a matter of economics, not any Islamic taboo.


Dr. Usman cited a popular account in the Hadith—a collection of narratives based on the words and deeds of the prophet Muhammad and, in addition to the Quran, one of Islam's primary sources for instruction. According to the story, a man took pity on a thirsty dog by giving it water from a shoe. "Allah approved of his deed and made him to enter Paradise," the story goes.

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