Is it right to compare humans with animals?

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SHAFAQNA – In Ayah 179 of Surah Al-A’araaf, Allah (SWT) said: “Certainly, many of Jinns and human beings have been created for hell; they have hearts (wisdom) but they do not understand (they do not think), and eyes which they do not see with, and ears that they do not hear with; they are like cattle (livestock), they are even more misguided; they are heedless.”

In Ayah 176 of Surah Al-A’araaf, the story of a scholar (Bal’am Ba’oora) is mentioned who was in the right path at the beginning and then deviated as a result of following his own desires by saying: “If it had been God’s will, he should have been elevated with our signs; but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that of a dog; if you attack him, he lolls out his tongue, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls out his tongue. That is the similitude of those who reject our signs; tell such story, so that they may reflect (may think things over).”

The reason for comparing Bal’am with a dog may be is due to his unlimited desire or thirst for worldly pleasures and sticking to his own vain desires. He went towards the world, not because he was in need of worldly goods but his attachment towards the world was like rabies which dogs can be infected with, and in that situation, dogs get very thirsty, their tongues are lolled out and their thirst cannot be quenched.

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