What Does the Ascription of al-Kalbi Refer to?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: There are several scholars in our tradition (raxiimahum Allah) who were named الكلبي. Like the son of alkalbi (Abu al-Mundhir Hisham bin Muhammed bin al-Sa’ib bin Bishr al-Kalbi). Since a dog now has a low position and is looked on with disgust most of the time now, I am just wondering why they were named like that.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

al-Kalbi is the ascription to one of the tribes of the Arabs. Ibn Hajar indicates in his Isaba that it is Kalb ibn Wabra [Zabidi, Taj al-`Arus]

It is important to note that dogs are not looked upon with disgust in Islam. Rather, they are deserving of mercy and respect, and have rights, like all creation, that must be respected. The rulings related to dogs affect human actions, and don’t entail a “low position” for dogs.

Interestingly, Ibn Khalaf al-Marzaban has a book called The Virtue of Dogs over many of those who wear Clothes (Fadl al-Kilab `ala Kathir min man Labisa al-Thiyab).

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani