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Does Islam dislike dogs?

By: admin

Question

There are Ahadith in which prophet(pbuh) has ordered killings of dogs, why?There is also a hadith in which Gabriel(as)refused to enter the house of prophet Muhammad(pbuh) as there was a dog beneath his bed yet there is another hadith in which prophet(pbuh) has advised cleaning of utensils seven times if a dog has licked them.As a result of these narratives almost all muslim clerics are of the view that one cannot keep dogs as pets and cannot even touch them as they are unclean.

My question is that why Islam dislikes dogs whilst we know that dogs have many qualities which are recognised and appreciated world over.

Regards

Answer

My dear brother,Islam does not dislike dogs. Infact, it is contrary to what you think.Our respectable muslim clerics have misunderstood these narratives ascribed to prophet Muhammad(pbuh) and hence these narratives have prompted aversion towards dogs and also restraint against keeping them as pets.

Whilst attempting to understand any issue in Islam it is imperative that we consult Quran first.Entire muslim ummah is unanimous on the principle that no ruling will be acceptable if it is against the teachings of Quran.

To the surprise of many dog has been lovingly mentioned in the Quran in following two places;

  • In Surah Al-Maaidah 5: 4, God has allowed Muslims to eat the meat of such animals which are caught by such of their animals who have been properly trained in hunting. Obviously, these trained animals also include hunting dogs too. It is also obvious from this allowance of the Qur’an that it does not prohibit the keeping and the subsequent training of a dog. Furthermore, the Qur’an has referred to this training of these animals in such words, which clearly refer to God’s mercy and providence. The Qur’an says:

You teach them a part of what God has taught you. (Al-Maaidah 5: 4)

Keeping this directive as well as this aspect of the training and the attention that an owner of a dog gives to his pet in perspective it seems quite strange that angels should feel averse towards something which is not only created by God but also possesses some extraordinary natural and God-gifted qualities, which has traditionally made it man’s best friend.

  • In Surah Al-Kahaf 18: 9 – 25, the Qur’an has narrated an incident relating to a group of pious and God fearing young men, who, due to their fear of persecution at the hands of the polytheists, took refuge in a cave. The Qur’an, in its narrative of the incident, has also specifically mentioned that these young men also had their dog with them. The Qur’an has referred to the incident as a clear sign of God’s mercy and providence for these men. Whilst narrating the incident, the Qur’an has stressed on the fact that God showered His blessings on the young men and safeguarded them from their enemies through the presence of their dog.They lived in the cave for 309 yers.

    One can easily derive from the Quranic account that the presence of a dog did not hinder God’s mercy and blessings for these men.Allah also caused to turn their sides to their right and to their left whilst they were asleep.Were they not being looked after by the angels who bring blessings?

    Keeping this narrative of the Qur’an in perspective, the dislike of the angels toward dogs, mentioned in the narratives ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh) under consideration, seems quite inexplicable.

Before passing any ruling against dogs being kept as pets or even allowing dogs inside the house our respectable clerics must explain satisfactorily the dislike of Almighty for dogs on the bases of above two verses of the Quran. We have no doubt that if one looks at these verses with no bias in his mind one cannot but believe that Almighty Allah has given a special position to dog compared to other animals. So, in our view keeping dogs as pets is not at all against Islamic teaching.

Allah knows the best

Hope it helps

UIUIK team

 

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