Do Guard Dogs Repel Angels of Mercy?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shaista Maqbool

Question: Is it permissible in the Hanafi school to have a dog for the purposes of protection, and for warding off possible robbers/threats. Would this qualify as a valid reason to have a dog in the house, without warding off angels that ask for mercy?

Answer: Wa’aalikum assalaam warahmatu Allah,

Yes, it is allowed for one to keep a guard dog for protection, e.g. when one fears an attack or thieves, then it would be permissible to keep a dog.

There are differences of opinion with regards to whether the Angels of mercy will come to a house in which there are dogs that are allowed to keep. Imam Nawawi, in his commentary on Sahih Muslim, quotes an opinion that says the Angels of mercy do enter a house in which there is a dog that is permissible to keep, e.g. a guard dog,as opposed to when there is no reason for keeping the dog.

The second opinion is that the Angels of mercy would keep away because they do not enter anywhere there is any type of dog (or picture), regardless of whether keeping the dog is permissible or not. Imam Nawawi chose the latter opinion and Imam al-‘Ayni (of the Hanafi school), agreed with him in his own commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari: Umdatu al-Qari.

And Allah knows best.

Shaista Maqbool

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