Download PDF: Significance of Lion in Islam

Some characteristics of a lion:

  • It displays patience when hungry
  • Very rarely does it feels thirsty
  • It does not eat from the left overs of other animals
  • When satisfied, it leaves the rest of the feast for others and never returns to it
  • In case of extreme hunger, it becomes very moody but becomes really comfortable and relaxed when its stomach is full
  • It never drinks from the water where a dog has drunk
  • It does not chew its meal and eats each bites it takes without chewing
  • Its grip is very strong
  • It does not befriend other predators
  • It has long lifespan
  • Although it is considered to be the bravest of all animals but it also has its weaknesses; such as:
  • It fears the cries of some birds
  • It also fears the sound of a cat
  • It gets terrified looking at fire
  • It cannot attack a pregnant woman despite how desperately he might want to eat her
  • The sign of its old age is when it starts losing teeth.


Lions mentioned in the Hadith:


It has been mentioned in “Shifa al-Sudoor” that Hazrat Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhuma spotted a caravan during a journey and found them stranded.  He stopped and asked them if they were in any ganger.  They informed him of a lion in the way who has frightened them due to which they are stranded.  Hazrat Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhuma approached the lion, grabbed its ear and moved it out of the way. He then said, “It is so true what Allah’s Messenger Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam had stated about you that you are appointed on the mankind due to them fearing anything besides Allah azza wajal.  Had they feared Allah azza wajal only, and not anything else, you would not bother them.”


The Curse of Beloved Prophet Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam for Atabah:


Allah’s Messenger Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam cursed Atabah and made Du’a, “O Allah azza wajal, appoint one of Your dogs on this man.”  A lion attacked Atabah in Zarqaa (Syria) and ate him up. (Imam Hakim narrated from Abu Naufal Ibn Abi Aqrab, ‘an Abeeh, and said that the chain is sound)




Hafiz Abu Nu’aim narrated from Hazrat Aswad Radi Allahu ‘Anhu: Once Abu Lahab and his son Atabah undertook a journey to Syria.  I also travelled with them.  When we stopped to rest near a church at a place called Shera’, the monk came and asked, “Why are you resting here?  This place is full of deadly predators.”


Abu Lahab said to everyone, “You all know me very well, and that Muhammad has cursed my son Atabah, so please help me protect my son from any deadly attacks by securing him on the top floor of the church and then we all can rest peacefully.”


When everyone fell asleep, a lion came and sniffed everyone’s face and finally, it somehow made its way to reach Atabah and detached his head from his body.


What does a lion say when it roars?


It’s mentioned in Tabrani and Dailami:


Hafiz Mundhiri narrated the Hadith from Hazrat Abu Hurairah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu that the Beloved Nabi Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam once asked his companions, “Do you know what does a lion say when it roars?”  They replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best.”  The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam stated, “It supplicates, ‘O Allah, do not appoint me on a good and pious man’.”


Du’a for protection from a lion:


Hazrat Ali Radi Allahu ‘Anhu said to Hazrat Ibn Abbas Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, “When you fear that a lion may attack you, read this Du’a:

اَعُوْذُ بِالدَّانِیَالِ وَبِالْجَبِّ مِنْ شَرِّ الْاَسَدِ


Shari’ah ruling about the meat of lion:


Imam Abu Hanifa Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, Imam Shafe’i Radi Allahu ‘Anhu and all the other ‘Ulama have considered it Haraam to eat the meat of a lion, based on the following Hadith:

اِنَّ النَّبِیَّ ﷺ قَالَ کُلُّ ذِیْ نَابٍ مِنَ السِّبَاعِ فَاَکْلُہٗ حَرَامٌ

The Beloved Nabi Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam stated, “It’s forbidden to eat a

predator that has fangs.” (Sahih Muslim)


(Hayatul Haiwan)