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Famous Vegetarians - Abu 'L-ala Ahmad bin Abdallah al-Ma'arri

  • Abu 'L-ala Ahmad bin Abdallah al-Ma'arri, SYRIA, Poet; source: Warraq, Ibn. **Why I Am Not A Muslim** (1995: Prometheus Books), page 289
    notes: Best known simply as "al-Ma'arri". He was born in 973, and died in 1057.
    Here is a relevant quotation about him from the above mentioned source:

    "Another remarkable feature of al-Ma'arri's thought was the belief that no living creature should be injured or harmed in any way. He adopted vegetarianism in his thirtieth year and held in abhorrence all killing of animals, whether for food or sport. Von Kremer has suggested that al-Ma'arri was influenced by the Jains of India in his attitude to the sanctity of all living things. In his poetry, al-Ma'arri firmly advocates abstinence from meat, fish, milk, eggs, and honey on the ground that it is an injustice to the animals concerned. Animals are capable of feeling pain, and it is immoral to inflict unnecessary harm on our fellow creatures. Even more remarkably, al-Ma'arri protests against the use of animal skins for clothing, suggests wooden shoes, and reporaches court ladies for wearing furs. Von Kremer has justly said that al-Ma'arri was centuries ahead of his time."


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