Dogs

Quran is not opposed to keeping dogs and in fact mentions dogs as pets:

18:18 “You would think that they were awake, when they were in fact asleep. We turned them to the right side and the left side, while their dog stretched his arms in their midst.”

18:22 “Some would say, they were three; their dog being the fourth, while others would say, Five; the sixth being their dog, as they guessed. Others said, seven, and the eighth was their dog. Say, My Lord is the best knower of their number. Therefore, do not argue with them; just go along with them. You need not consult anyone about this.”

5:4″They consult you concerning what is lawful for them; say, Lawful for you are all good things, including what trained dogs and falcons catch for you. You train them according God’s teachings. You may eat what they catch for you, and mention God’s name thereupon. You shall observe God. God is most efficient in reckoning.”

It is very likely that Prophet Muhammad’s order to kill dogs, quoted by many to prove that Islam is against keeping dogs as pets, was a temporary one. Some Ahadith seem to suggest that there was an abundance of stray dogs in Medina and the idea was to reduce their population. How is this any different than our county governments putting dogs to sleep or to allow a hunting season for killing deer?

There are also Hadiths which prove that Prophet Muhammad did not hate dogs.

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 538:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle said, “A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that.”

This is what Montgomery Watt says about him: “He was able to enter into the spirit of childish games and had many friends among children. He had fun with the children who came back from Abyssinia and spoke Abyssinian. In one house in Medina there was a small boy with whom he was accustomed to have jokes. One day he found the small boy looking very sad, and asked what was the matter. When he was told that his pet nightingale had died, he did what he could to comfort him. His kindness extended even to animals, which is remarkable for Muhammad’s century and part of the world. As his men marched towards Mecca just before the conquest they passed a bitch with puppies; and Muhammad not merely gave orders that they were not to be disturbed, but posted a man to see that the orders were carried out.”

I think this is ample proof that Prophet Muhammad did not hate dogs and in fact was more kind to animals than most people in his day.

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7 thoughts on “Dogs

  1. Mariam July 24, 2011 at 3:46 am Reply

    So if Prophet Muhammed did not hate dogs, than is it okay to keep them in the house as your pet and touch them and play with them and keep them?

    • sincereadvisor July 24, 2011 at 3:55 am Reply

      Dogs are considered “najis” in Islam, meaning that they are unclean, and if their saliva comes into contact with any part of your skin or clothes then you have to wash before you can say your prayers. One can keep them outside of the house and certainly play with them.

  2. Green Creation June 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm Reply

    The explanation I’ve read somewhere and find most convincing (as it’s rational/ makes sense and Islam is very rational re ”angels don’t visit houses with dogs” is not a general statement or anything to do with dogs, but aimed at dog owners who do not allow their dogs to be dogs (e.g. keep them locked inside which is against dog ’fitra’/ natural life)

  3. Khair Khoah August 5, 2013 at 6:22 am Reply

    Dear Sincere Advisor, can you please quote the hadith with source that tells us the statement mentioned above “and if their saliva comes into contact with any part of your skin or clothes then you have to wash before you can say your prayers”

    • sincereadvisor August 8, 2013 at 4:09 am Reply

      Here is the Hadith: Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu’z-Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah said, “If a dog drinks from your vessel, wash it seven times.”

      Now it all depends on how you interpret it. Hanafis interpret that to mean that dogs themselves are not impure but their saliva is, because when a dog laps at the water, it’s saliva renders it so impure that it has to be washed seven times! Shafi’is take the same Hadith and consider all dogs, not just the saliva, to be unclean. Malikis, on the other hand, do not see things that way. They quote the Quran, “They ask you what is lawful to them as food. Say: Lawful unto you are all things good and pure and what you have taught your beasts and birds of prey which you have trained as hounds are trained. You teach them that which Allah taught you. Eat what they catch for you and mention Allah’s name over it. And fear Allah, for Allah is swift in taking account.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah] They argue that when a hunting dog catches its prey, the catch is exposed to dog’s saliva, yet one can eat it. But I agree with the Hanafi position because one is likely to wash the catch of a hound before cooking it, which can kill impurities.

  4. Melanie Dodge March 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm Reply

    Seeing that dogs clean their germy parts with their tongues, it would seem logical to consider that if their mouth (saliva) comes into contact with your skin, then your skin is made germy. The spirit of the law clearly indicates that we should not pray with unnecessary germiness upon us. Therefore, we should treat being licked by an animal that cleans its gerniness with its mouth as we would if we had touched our own germy parts: by washing.

  5. Herman47 February 1, 2015 at 4:44 pm Reply

    Hi, sincereadvisor!
    You write: “It is very likely that Prophet Muhammad’s order to kill dogs, quoted by many to prove that Islam is against keeping dogs as pets, was a temporary one.”
    But then you do not provide the hadiths that cite this order! Are you ashamed of the brutality in these hadiths? Let me provide them for other readers, so that they can decide how “temporary” the order was, and whether the rationale behind the killing was “overpopulation” or instead something else.
    Abd Allah B. Mughaffal reported the apostle of Allah as saying: Were dogs not a species of creature I should command that they all be killed; but kill every pure black one. (Sunan Abu Dawud, book 10, #2839)
    Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle ordered that the dogs should be killed. (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, #540)
    Ibn Mughaffal reported: Allah’s messenger ordered the killing of dogs and then said, “what is the trouble with them (the people of Medina? How dogs are nuisances to them (the citizens of Medina)? He then permitted keeping of dogs for hunting and (the protection of) herds. …[and for] for the protection of cultivated land. (Sahih Muslim, 3814)
    Abu Zubair heard Jabir Abdullah saying: Allah’s messenger ordered us to kill dogs and we carried out this order so much so that we also killed the dog roaming with a women from the desert. Then Allah’s apostle forbade their killing. He said: “It is your duty to kill the jet-black (dog) having two spots (on the eyes) for it is a devil. (Sahih Muslim 3813).
    …He [Gabriel] said: Yes, but we [angels] do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture. Then on that very morning he [Muhammad] commanded the killing of the dogs until he announced that the dog kept for the orchards should also be killed, but he spared the dog meant for the protection of extensive fields (or big gardens). (Sahih Muslim, 24:5248)

    “kill every pure black one” Muhammad said. No mention of “overpopulation, instead mention of backward, ignorant superstition.
    But even more telling is that because of a single puppy in Muhammad’s home, he had his mad followers kill many other dogs, just because angels do not enter homes in which “there is a dog or picture.” Of course, if Muhammad is always correct, as Muslims believe, then there is no reason for us to consider the order “temporary”, lest we risk angels not entering our homes.
    At the website, debatingislam.com, the debate topic for the month of February is “Black Dogs” and Muhammad. I strongly hope, sincereadvisor, that you stop by there, as I am longing for the day when your brain becomes free.

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