Dogs in Islam

Original thread can be found here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=239954

I was on Google searching for some info about dogs and ran across an old thread on this forum about dogs in Islam. I didn’t want to post on it so I thought I’d start a new one… it just drives me nuts when Muslims speak poorly of dogs based on cultural biases that have nothing to do with Islam.

First, I am Muslim.

Second, I own a Pitbull and have owned German Shephards in the past.

Third, Islam does not ban owning dogs.

When interpreting Islamic law it is important to understand that the Quran supercedes everything. Everything. This includes Hadiths.

Now, most of the hadiths concerning dogs come from Abu Hurairah. “Abu” means father and “Hurairah” means “little cats.” In sum, the name means “Father of little cats.” I mention this so that you, and my fellow Muslims, can begin to understand why someone named “Father of Little Cats” might have some bias towards dogs.

When a Hadith and the Quran contradict each other, the Quran always supercedes. One of the most common hadiths (attributed to guess who… Abu Hurairah!) Muslims like to quote when talking about dogs is how an Angel will not enter a home with a dog. However, the Quran relates the biblical story of the 7 sleepers who had a dog guarding the mouth of their cave. Angels had no problem entering. Therefore, since the Hadith appears to create a rule that is directly contradicted by the Quran, it must be dismissed.

It’s like if someone found a hadith that stated you could eat pork. Since it is expressly forbidden in the Quran, that hadith would be disregarded. The same is true here.

Prior to the modern era, Muslim scholars had a variety of opinions concerning dogs. For example: The Maliki school holds that a dog is pure even its saliva. The Shafi’i and one of two narrations of Ibn Hanbal schools state that a dog is impure even its fur. The Hanafi and the other narration of Ibn Hanbal schools maintain that a dog’s saliva is impure while its fur is pure. Hence, there are a variety of opinions regarding dogs and always have been. Any Muslim that tells you Islam bans dog is making it up. There is no definitive answer.

There are even stories of dogs being in the Prophets Mosque. Not any mosque, but the one used by Muhammad himself. The stories describe how dogs (quite common in any ancient city) would travel through the mosque from time to time and even urinate on the outside (better than my dang dog…always peeing on the carpet… :slight_smile: )

Further, Muslims are specfically allowed to eat animals killed by hunting dogs. Dogs hunt with their mouths. If dogs were so impure, Muslims would not be allowed to eat what has touched their mouth.

Dogs are also said to be able to see demons. Why would God bless such a creature with this ability and then ban it from our homes?

It doesn’t make any sense.

Essentially it comes down to culture. In eastern cities dogs are viewed as pests. In the Western world, dogs are neutered and generally not allowed to wander as strays. Go to an eastern city and you will see a dramatically different picture. Dogs are everywhere, thye eat garbage, are covered in ticks and fleas and rabieas is quite prevelant. Hence, eastern cultures have tended to view dogs in a very negative light (a lot like rats).

I’ve always found this cultural bias extremely annoying because I have owned dogs since I was young and have always been told it is against Islam. I looked into it and found it was simply not true. Dogs are mentioned several times in the Quran; never are they mentioned in a negative tone. Indeed, the 7 Sleeper story is own example of which they are spoken of in a positive light.

Bottom line: God doesn’t mess around. If he didn’t want us to be around dogs, he would have said so in the Quran. It makes no sense that he would discuss dogs in the Quran and provide no instruction.

Anyway, I apologize for reopening this thread but reading some of the ignorant stuff written on here just irritates the heck out of me.

Rashid,

(Edited)

Apart from anything to do with dogs, what your post explains is that the hadiths and koran have contradictions. When that happens the koran is right and the hadiths are wrong.

I have never read the koran, but am interested to know whether or not there are also contradictions in the koran.

(Edited to remove needless quote)

Very interesting. We own 3 dogs :slight_smile: :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Very interesting post. Some breeds - I’m thinking of the magnificent Saluki and the Afghan have clearly been developed by Muslims in past times. And the Prophet was unusually concerned for animal welfare. My dog is walked off the leash, and will walk towards people standing still, and then veer away when he has sniffed in their general vicinity (not them). This causes problems when he walks past Muslims, because they step back, which is dog for ‘let’s play’. So now I bring him to heel when I see people I guess are Muslim. Dogs get a bad rap in the Bible, with only the book of Tobit (thrown out by some Protestants) mentioning a dog in a positive way. Again, it is in association with an angel.

In general, I’ve been told that there is an aversion to dogs in semitic cultures. That would explain why neither the Old Testament nor many Islamic scholars paint a positive picture of dogs.

Short answer: It’s complicated.

Start a separate thread or PM me and I’ll discuss with you. I’d like to limit the convo here to just dogs. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ditto. I really think its an issue of strays. Dogs in eastern cities run wild. My family is from Pakistan and my mom would tell me stories of packs of feral dogs that wander the streets.

I think back in the day the lack of vaccination (true today), neutering and spread of rabies convinced people that dogs were just dirty animals.

The clearest example I can think of is my mom. When I first got my dog she could barely stand to look at it because she thought it was the equivalent of a rat. After she talked to my Imam and realized Islam didn’t forbid dogs she started giving him a chance.

Last night I saw her watching TV cuddling with my dog and my brothers cat on the couch. :slight_smile:

Will wonders never cease?

Whatever the reason, it’s unusual for Muslims to keep pets. Not dogs, though I knew one that had a cat but even that was considered unusual.

Yea. Muslims tend to live in poorer countries. Owning a pet is a luxary… if you can’t feed yourself how are you going to feed your pet?

I will say that wealthier Muslims DO tend to own a lot of pets. My brothers cat had kittens and they went like hot cakes and many Muslims in Pakistan own parakeets. I think it really is a question of disposable income when it comes to pets.

My point in this post wasn’t that it’s not culturally uncommon but that there is no religious injunction against ownership of dogs.

Thanks, Rashid…

I have traditionally had collies…

My collie died two years ago, having him for 10 years. Prior to him, I had a female collie before I had my children. She was never jealous when my babies were born. If I had stepped out and one was crying, she would come after me right away. She blocked my toddler from stepping away from me when getting into the car. She died at 12 years old. We moved to a different city and the kids here were mean. They threw rocks at her. One night I heard her bark then be silent, then cry…she was poisoned. After she died, I cried for 2 weeks coming home and not seeing her. It took me 9 years before I could get another one.

The male dog was very different, very smart and a prankster, and he loved my youngest son. I got a little sheltie who is a spit fire. And he is something else with a feral streak, result of old breeding. But he likes to be curled up at my feet and when I take him out on a leash, he is right by me and very vigilant…very protective. But he barks alot.

So we got this female collie, I always missing the one I had for my children. She is opposite of him, so mellow and kind. She put her nose in the fridge and I scolded her a little…and that little really hurt her feelings. She is very sensitive and wants to please and help. She and the sheltie play all the time, even in the house so I have to keep one in the kennel and the other lose so they don’t make a mess.

I love dogs.

It seems you are not a Sunni Muslim, go ask your Cleric/Imam first before saying it’s a cultural issue rather than an Islamic one !!!, also if you are truly a Sunni Muslim then you cannot mock “Abu Hurairah”!!!, however, you should look into those hadiths before owning your next dog: :wink:

**- Dogs nullify prayer.
**Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 9, Number 493:
*Narrated 'Aisha:
The things which annual prayer were mentioned before me (and those were): a dog, a donkey and a woman. I said, “You have compared us (women) to donkeys and dogs. By Allah! I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in (my) bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I disliked to sit and trouble the Prophet. So, I would slip away by the side of his feet.” *

** - Gabriel does not enter a house which has a dog.**
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 450:

  • Narrated Salim’s father:
    Once Gabriel promised the Prophet (that he would visit him, but Gabriel did not come) and later on he said, “We, angels, do not enter a house which contains a picture or a dog.” *

** - Angels do not enter a house which has a dog.**
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 448:

  • Narrated Abu Talha:
    I heard Allah’s Apostle saying; “Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal).” *

** - Two Qirat (aka Carat) daily deduction for keeping the dog.**
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 389:

  • Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
    The Prophet said, “Whoever keeps a (pet) dog which is neither a watch dog nor a hunting dog, will get a daily deduction of two Qirat from his good deeds.” *

- Washing the utensil 7 times.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Number 173:

  • Narrated Abu Huraira:
    Allah’s Apostle said, “If a dog drinks from the utensil of anyone of you it is essential to wash it seven times.” *

- Orders by Muhammed to kill dogs.
Sahih Bukhari,Sahih Muslim Book 010, Number 3809:

  • Ibn 'Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) giving command for killing dogs.*

Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3810:

  • Ibn 'Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) ordered to kill dogs, and he sent (men) to the corners of Medina that they should be killed.*

Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3811:

  • Abdullah (b. Umar) (Allah be pleased with them) reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) ordered the killing of dogs and we would send (men) in Medina and its corners and we did not spare any dog that we did not kill, so much so that we killed the dog that accompanied the wet she-camel belonging to the people of the desert.*

Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3812:

  • Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be, upon him) ordered the killing of dogs except the dog tamed for hunting, or watching of the herd of sheep or other domestic animals. It was said to Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them) that Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) talks of (exception) about the dog for watching the field, whereupon he said: Since Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) possessed land.*

Those sayings make dogs appear are more powerful than angels!

We use them for watch dogs…but there are those who would prefer to eat a snack and be your friend and let you into the house.

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Now that sounds like a lot of indogtrination to me. :smiley:

That is very interesting, but you have not addressed the OP’s main point. He achknowledges that there are hadith which speak badly of dogs - however he contends there are verses in the Quran which contradict them, and the Quran has final say.

Do you disagree that there is a contradiction between these hadith, and the QUran? If that contradiction does exist, how do you deal with it?

I think it is more a cultural thing in that part of the world. I have greek orthodox friends who don’t love their dogs at all, and never ever let them inside.

Even service dogs for ther blind are not allowed in the church, it is to them a “desecration”.

There is an ancient canon which prohibits bringing a bear into church (I would love to hear the story behind that one); I wonder if there is perhaps a similar canon for dogs.

Yes, the Old Testament was pretty hard on the dogs as well.

I was reading up on shelties and came to a passage that was written in the 1800’s in Scotland that a visitor to the home saw two shelties playing inside.

It would be interesting to see the development of pets being allowed into the house.

I only let my collie into the kitchen before the birth of my first child. When she was born, the dog was kept in the laundry room that is at the back entrance to the house. I let my babies play on the floors.

Reading the New Testament, you really don’t see any negative sayings towards animals…Christ’s resurrection made all things new.

It would be interesting to read what led to bears being kept out of churches!

There is no contradiction!, there is nothing in Quran about dogs! Quran is blank on that issue so we have to take it from hadith, similar to our 5 times prayers each day Quran is also blank on it, we take the quantity and the guidance on how to pray from hadith, similarly we take all other prohibitions which are not mentioned in Quran from hadith.

Do Muslims know about St. Francis of Assisi and his love for animals and all of God’s creation…he named the sun, moon, stars, earth, etc., brother and sister?..

Just wondering.

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