The dark side of the human species encompasses a tendency towards violence and aggression. Within females, this surfaces as relational aggression, which is all about women putting down other women. This was discovered and acknowledged due to social psychology research. There is the “power dead-even rule,” a term coined by Pat Heim, whose books are recommended reads at Harvard University. This rule governs relationships, power, and self-esteem. For a healthy relationship to be possible between women, the self-esteem and power of one must be, in the eyes of each woman, similar in weight to the self-esteem and power of the other. In other words, these key elements must be kept “dead-even.” When the power balance gets disrupted (such as a woman rising in status above other women), women may talk behind her back, ostracize her from the group or belittle her. These behaviours aim to preserve the dead-even power relationship that women have grown up with their entire lives. In the workplace, this makes a woman doubly vulnerable and isolated, as she cannot trust her gender while being subverted by men. It has implications in social settings too. Once this subconscious but powerful and pernicious behaviour was discovered, the next step was initiating social change. Thus, the latest American trend on social media is for women to uplift other women, and to call out those who still try to disparage and subvert other women. Millennials and Generation Z, being the most supportive of their gender. This is true progress. The above change in women is direct promulgation of the Quranic commandment: “O believers! Do not let some ?men? ridicule others, they may be better than them, nor let ?some? women ridicule other women, they may be better than them. Do not defame one another, nor call each other by offensive nicknames. How evil it is to act rebelliously after having faith! And whoever does not repent, it is they who are the ?true? wrongdoers.” (49:11). For a healthy relationship between women, the self-esteem and power of one must be, in the eyes of each woman, similar to the self-esteem and power of the other. Just as humans, animals too have feelings and they also deserve freedom from abuse and suffering. In human existence, animals have always been subjected to extreme cruelty. The realization that many industries cause extreme animal cruelty caused American consumers to vote through their dollars to reject products that use animals in their production process. With the advent of social media, the platform of social and animal activism became more powerful. People across the globe now use their social media accounts to sign petitions that lead to relief for helpless animals. With PETA (Prevention of cruelty to animals) taking the lead, businesses and entertainment corporations are being influenced to rethink associations and procedures viz-a-viz animals. Circuses are no longer a popular entertainment avenue and even performing whales and dolphins are getting advocacy through conscientious humans. American consumers rejected makeup and beauty products tested on animals employing extreme cruelty. This prompted the design and use of Cruelty-Free labelling on beauty products for consumer satisfaction. Fur, once a fashion statement and a social marker of wealth, is no longer considered something desirable. In a landmark move, in 2021, Canada Goose banned the use of fur thanks to the tireless activism of PETA and its affiliates’ international campaigns through years of eye-catching protests, hard-hitting exposés, celebrity actions, and legal battles, spearheaded by the inspiring Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA. The work of Ingrid Newkirk, who has devoted her life to protecting animals from abuse-despite not being a Muslim-can be seen to be acting upon this Quranic command directed at the Muslims: “Such of the believers as remain passive – other than the disabled – cannot be deemed equal to those who strive hard in God’s cause with their possessions and their lives: God has exalted those who strive hard with their possessions and their lives far above those who remain passive. Although God has promised the ultimate good unto all [believers], yet has God exalted those who strive hard above those who remain passive by [promising them] a mighty reward.” (Quran 4:95). These days in the US, there is a meme to adopt and not shop for pets (mainly cats and dogs), which is perfectly in line with Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) prohibition on buying and selling cats, dogs, and monkeys etc (Saheeh Muslim 1569). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) loved cats and called them ritually clean animals that live amongst us. If they drink from our cup or eat from our plate, the food or drink remains (Tahir) pure, as advised by our prophet (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi 92). It is no surprise that cats are the most popular pet in the US and cat videos are all the rage on the internet. Prophet (PBUH) is known to show mercy to all animals, including camels, birds, monkeys, and also dogs. There is an Islamic hangup about dogs in Pakistan, which has resulted in posing an existential threat to Pakistani stray dogs. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) did not consider dogs to be a menace. He treated them kindly. Martin Lings in his biography on Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) wrote that during the march towards Makkah upon its final conquest, Prophet (PBUH) saw a female dog feeding a newborn litter. He (PBUH) appointed Ju’ayl of Damrah to stand on guard beside her until every contingent-totalling ten thousand-had passed. Viral videos of cat and dog rescues employing the resources of the fire brigade depict the same spirit by westerners, usually Americans. Islamic nations are commonly cruel to animals, with the exception of Turkey, where cats and dogs are well treated. Greed is part of human nature, as Allah says in the Quran: “You are obsessed by greed for more and more. Until you visit your graves.” (Quran 102:1-2). It was a post-World War-II American policy decision to fire the economic engine through consumerism. Fast forward a few decades, hoarding and industrial waste were having a detrimental impact, with climate change threatening the planet’s very existence. The people woke up to this reality and decided to change their behaviour. The latest trend is to reject retail therapy and practice minimalism, which also has the benefit of freeing us of the stress that “stuff” brings. Minimalism is a growing movement. MInimalism is commanded by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who said: “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a traveller/wayfarer.” (Bukhari: 6416) Retail therapy leads to hoarding and then discarding goods, which seriously harms the environment. Americans are rethinking purchase patterns and distinguishing between needs and wants to buy and consume responsibly. By curing shopping addictions and forming “buy nothing” groups to circulate goods gratis within the community, Americans are helping the planet and also man’s social condition by suppressing envious competition that results in violence. The practice of forming communal buy-nothing groups on social media, to help the community and to cure shopaholics, is perfectly in line with Islam, where communal lending of everyday use items is actively encouraged, and withholding such objects is condemned by Allah. “Have you seen him who denies the Reward and Punishment of the hereafter? That is he who repulses the orphan (harshly), and urges not the feeding of the poor, So woe unto those performers of prayers, Whose hearts are remote from their prayers, Those who do good deeds only to be seen (of men), And refuse simple assistance and small kindnesses.” (Quran 107:1-7). The above verse talks about various social obligations placed upon Muslims. The feeding of the hungry is possibly the only social obligation, where Islamic societies trump western ones. (To Be Continued) The writer is an independent researcher, author and columnist. She can be reached at email@example.com.