Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi
When I was not at the age of puberty, I got a dog. After reaching puberty, I learned that having a dog decreases your good deeds. After learning that, I cried a lot and decided to tell my mom, but she refused to get rid of it. As a teenager (15 years old), I can not leave my home. My house is small, having two rooms and a hall; hence, the dog goes everywhere sniffing, and after taking a bath, she makes everything impure, and my parents are careless about impurity. Taking a bath takes a long time, and my mom is angry and very sad; if I tell her, she will probably not be happy. Before going to school, I have to take a bath, which takes a lot of time. Now, what should I do? Are my prayers accepted?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
I pray this finds you in the best of states.
Your prayers are valid because you have performed all its obligatory actions and fulfilled all its conditions, including making sure that your body, your clothes, and the place of prayer are pure. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]
The mere presence of a dog won’t render your prayers invalid, especially since this dog is there against your will.
The Messenger of Allah (Blessings and Peace be upon him) has said: “Whoever of you sees wrong being committed, let him change it with his hand. If he is unable to do that, then with his tongue, and if he is unable to do that, then with his heart.” [Muslim]
It is clear that, in your circumstances, you have done your best to rectify this wrong.
Please remember that only the saliva of a dog is filthy, not its skin or hair. As such, the mere ‘brushing’ of a dog against one’s clothes does not render them filthy.
Please apply the principles related to doubts and certainty to their full extent. Without them, your life as a believer can become extremely difficult.
Please see: Key Principles Relating to Certainty, Doubt, and Baseless Misgivings (waswasa) for the details.
Ruling for Keeping a Dog as a Pet
Please see: Are Muslims Allowed to Have Pet Dogs?
Negotiating with Your Parents
Try to convince your parents to get rid of this dog with tact, courtesy, and respect. Don’t hesitate to use arguments outside of your religious concerns, such as hygiene, health, the financial cost of taking care of this dog, and so on. Don’t allow this frustrating situation to make you lose sight of your duty to fulfill your parents’ rights and being good to them.
The Messenger of Allah (Blessings and Peace be upon him) said: “If any Muslim obeys Allah regarding his parents, Allah will open two gates of the Garden for him. If there is only one parent, then one gate will be opened. If one of them is angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until that parent is pleased with him.” He was asked, ‘Even if they wrong him?’ ‘Even if they wrong him,’ he replied.” [Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad]
And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found. Then, he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others. He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.