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Dog´s Saliva

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu Alaykum, Is the wetness on the nose of a dog considered filthy in the Hanafi school?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, both the mucus which is present on a dog’s nose and its saliva is considered to be ritually filthy (najis). The reason for this is that the meat of predatory animals is impermissible to consume, and their saliva and nose mucus takes the same ruling, by extension, because of how such secretions are formed.

A dog is considered to be a predatory, carnivorous animal in its essential nature even if it has been domesticated and no longer actually hunts. This is because animals are generally dealt with on the basis of their biological taxonomy. Interestingly, a cat is a predatory animal, but it has an exceptional ruling according to the law.

Purifying the Affected Clothing

If you are affected by a dog’s mucus or saliva, you should wash the area thrice, or place it under a tap until the obvious traces of moisture disappear.

The Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “If a dog laps from the container of any one of you, let him wash it seven times, the first of them being with soil.” (Muslim) Accordingly, it’s good to use soil or the like mixed into the water for one of the washings, if reasonably able.

(Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah)

Please also see: Dog’s Saliva [ Shafi’i ] and: Can I Get a Dog to Help My Son With Disabilities? [Video] and: Dog Saliva, Dog Hair, and How to Purify Impurities

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based on his family.

Purity and Dogs

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Can you please explain the ruling of purifying things that got touched
by dogs or pigs in sufficient detail?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Dog and pig filth

In the Shafi’i school, dogs and pigs and any moisture that comes from them is filthy. This is because of the hadith ‘The cleansing of a container in which a dog has lapped is to wash it seven times the first of which is with earth.’

If you touch a dog or a pig with wet hands, or a wet dog brushes passed you, or you touch moist pork or bacon, in order to purify your hands for prayer, you must wash it under the tap seven times, one of which has earth mixed into the water.

Practical tips

For those in frequent exposure to such things, one trick is to have a little cup of earthy water next to the sink you are usually use and just pour it over your hands, or the affected area, once and then wash under six times under the tap. I doesn’t take much. (I know because I used to wash up in a cafe and I would see the utensils that had been used for bacon/pork go into the sink, so I’d just do that when I went to pray.)

If you are walking next to a river and dog licks your foot, for example, you can just stick you foot in the merky water and shake it around seven times, and you’re good to go.

For people living with non-Muslims keep dogs or who eat pork, they can just use soap or any other detergent instead of earth. [Rawdat al-Talibin, al-Nawawi, as a weaker but followable position] There is no need to cover their house in mud and claim that you are just keeping things clean!

For the use of dogs for the disabled, please see this answer.

Spreading filthy water

Water that comes off from the cleaned area takes the same ruling as the clean area. So, for example, if you wash you hand three times with water alone, there remains four washes, one of which with earth. In this scenario, the water that comes off you hand and, by happenstance, falls onto the ground makes the ground just a filthy: it too now needs four washes, one of which with earth.

To avoid this, make sure the first wash is done with earthy water, and do so over a basin. This way everything will be washed together.

If you follow the weaker position above, putting clothes in the washing machine with any detergent would be fine.

A man’s best friend

Dogs aren’t evil and many scholars of this ummah have held that they and their saliva are not filthy. The issue that everyone agrees on is that you cannot have a dog merely as pet, let alone a pet pig! Besides that, we should be too strict or impractical. At the end of the day, all scholars agree that you can use them for hunting and killing prey.

For more detail, please see this answer.

I pray this helps,

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed. 

Praying in Clothes with Dog’s Saliva on Them

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked if it is permissible to disregard dog saliva if the dog serves a useful function.

I read in one of your answers that if you work in a place where a dog may lick your clothes quite often it is allowed for a Hanafi person to follow the Maliki opinion on the matter and be able to pray.

I was wondering, if the dog licks a person on Monday and the person wears the same clothes to work on Tuesday but doesn’t get any saliva on his clothes on Tuesday, can he still pray in those clothes or is it essential that he should have worn clean clothes to begin with on Tuesday when coming to work for that rukhsa to be valid?

Insha Allah you get a chance to answer.

The basis is that it is acceptable to take a dispensatory ruling from another legal school (madhhab) if there is a hardship (haraj/mashaqqa), or a need (haja) or benefit (fa’ida) in doing so. This is on condition that you avoid impermissible talfiq, namely, joining between the positions of the legal schools in a manner which none would deem valid.

Thereafter, if there is actual difficulty in upholding the Hanafi position of the ritually filthy nature of the saliva of dogs, it would be permitted to follow another legal school on the issue, the details of which may be sought from its scholars. As for the applicability of the dispensation, it doesn’t have a time restriction as we are talking about a type of saliva affecting your clothing.

Please also see Dog Saliva, Dog Hair, and How to Purify Impurities, Can I Pray in Clothes that Were Licked by a Dog? and Why Is Mixing Between Madhabs (Talfiq) Impermissible When The Earlier Generations Seem To Have Done It?

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam
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Is Killing of Dogs an Islamic Command?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

As muslims we believe that the Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) is the standard of moral excellence. I am finding it very hard to believe that the holy Prophet would order that all dogs be killed, just because the angel Jibril(AS) never entered his home because of a dog. Theres also no evidence that these general commands to kill dogs were only for harmful dogs. Theres also the following hadiths that suggest that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) hated dogs:

“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.”

Can you please clarify this matter as it is making me very uncertain about my faith?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahamtullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well. Thank you for your question.

The Pinnacle of Moral Excellence

You are correct in saying that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the standard of moral excellent. In fact, he is its pinnacle. Just like a functioning compasses always points north, if morality, perfect conduct, and character were a compass, it would invariable post to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). Time and time again we see that when he was faced with moral decisions which would have made great men buckle, he showed such great resolve and conduct that it overshadowed the greatest of deeds performed by others.

Allah is the source of morality and what is considered right or wrong. His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the very embodiment of revelation from Allah. ʿĀʾisha said that ‘His conduct had always been the Qurʾan’ (Bukhari). Many people come across narrations about the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) which they are uncomfortable with. What has been observed time and time again is that either these narrations are not authentic, or, that they have been decontextualised, misunderstood or both.

If it does happen that there is a narration one feels uncomfortable with, then one should remain calm and not feel that their faith is on the line. After seeing many such scenarios, I can say that once a proper understanding is reached, people feel comfortable with what was chafing at them earlier.

Dogs

Before progressing, it is important to clarify which kind of dogs are referred to in the hadith. Most people, when reading these narrations, imagine cute puppies with big eyes, and then feel sorry for them. The dogs referred to here are not of that kind.

In most Western countries packs of wild dogs do not wonder around towns and cities unchecked. This is the case though in many places. I lived in a village on the outskirts of Damascus called Saqba, and there was a pack of dogs which wondered around the town after dark, and rummaged around in rubbish bins. Dogs such as there are a nuisance to a community and a health risk.

They carry and spread illnesses, just like rats do, and cause a lot of inconvenience to people. The killing of dangerous animals, or disease spreading animals – or Animal Euthanasia, as we refer to it in the West – is common and accepted throughout the world.

Some of these wild dogs can be taken in as puppies and trained for tasks such as hunting, guarding, and used as sheep-dogs. Others are vicious, dangerous and a nuisance to people.

I also think it is important to address the statement that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) hated dogs. This is incorrect. As we shall see there are a number of narrations in which He mentioned that people who had shown kindness to dogs were forgiven and rewarded by Allah.

In fact, whilst on a military expedition to Mecca, he passed by a bitch laying in their path with her pups suckling from her. To prevent her from being harmed he ordered Juʿayl b. Suraqa to guard her lest any of the oncoming army disturb or harm them (Imtāʿ al-Asmāʿ, al-Muqrizi). Is this the action of someone who hated dogs? What’s more is that his grandson Hasan had a puppy, which he left under a bed in the house of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), which caused the angel Jibril to not enter (Abu Dawud).

Killing Dogs in Medina

To add to the reasons mentioned earlier, the saliva of dogs in impure according to the majority of scholars, as in their fur according to some. One of the most prominent teachings of Islam is purity on all levels, so this was a consideration, as was the fact that angels do not frequent a place where there are dogs. Medina was a hub for revelation at that time, and the knowledge the angel Jibril brought was very important to the developing religion and community.

For the above reasons a command to kill the dogs of Medina was initially given, but it was never intended as a permanent ruling, nor as something to be applied everywhere. It seems, however, that some of the companions may have got a bit carried away with this, and the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not want an entire species to be killed so he forbade the killing of dogs with the exception of black dogs.

The proof that the ruling was not meant to the ubiquitous, nor permanent, is the verse which allows hunting with dogs and other animals (5:4). How could hunting with dogs be possible if all dogs had been killed?

The hadith of ʿAbdullah b. Mughaffal states that ‘The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) ordered that the dogs be killed. Later, he said, ‘What is the matter with them (the Companions) and the dogs?’ This was at the point when they even killed the dog of a bedouin lady who came to Medina with it. He then ordered that only the black dogs should be killed, and later the command was restricted to harmful dogs (al-Nawawī, Sharh Sahih Muslim).

Once again, the context of the hadith should be borne in mind when trying to understand it. The black dogs referred to were a specific set of dogs, and in the Arabic language the ‘shayṭān’, devil, can be used to refer to anything which is rebellious and unruly. This must have been a quality of that particular breed which made them dangerous. Later, the ruling was changed to only those who were actually like that.

All of the above contextualises the other narration of Abdullah b. Mughaffal ‘Had dogs not been a species amongst the other species I would have commanded that they all be killed, so just kill the jet black ones from them.’ (Muslim). The hadith maste,r Abu Sulaymān al-Khaṭṭābī, said that that this narration means that he did want to kill all dogs because they were just like any other species in that they were created with a wisdom and purpose.

Every species searches for food, drink, and the means to preserve itself, and so, he disliked killing all of them. (Mawsūʿa bayān al-Islam).In this is a recognition of the value of life, but also of the potential harms they could cause.

Washing Utensils

The majority of jurists took the position that a utensil licked by a dog should be washed seven times, once with rubbing soil on it. In recent times, a university in Lebanon found that there are certain types of bacteria found the in saliva of some dogs which is only completely removed with soil. In this is a sign for people who reflect. (Yusuf al-Hāj Ahmad, Mawsū’a al-iʿjāz al-Ilmī),
The Hanafi’s maintain that the usual rules of purification in the shariʿa apply here too, and that the seven washes are a recommendation. Abu Hurayra told people to wash such utensils seven times on occasion, and thrice on occasion, which indicates that the number is a recommendation. (ʿItr, Iʿlam al-Anam).

Conclusion

It is clear from the above the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not hate dogs, nor were any of his command contrary to the high standard of moral excellence that he was the pinnacle of. There are many hadith praising the actions praising the actions of people who helped animals, just like there are those which threaten those who harm animals.

‘A man, walking with extreme thirst, descended into a well, drank from it, and came out. He saw a dog eating a the soil due to extreme thirst, and said, ‘This dog is experiencing what I was just going through.’ He then filled his shoe with water, held it with his teeth, climbed out, and let the dog drink from it. Allah thanked him and forgave him.’ The companions asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, are we rewarded for animals?’ He said, ‘In every living being there is a reward.’ (Bukharī).

In another narration the same reward was given to a prostitute who found herself in the same situation. Conversely, there a narrations which state that w woman will enter hell because she tied up a cat; not feeding it herself, not allowing it to forage for its own food.(Bukhari). He even cursed people who branded the faces of animals. The jurists are very clear on the fact that one must save the lives of certain animals – dogs being amongst them – even if it means spending one’s money on it,

I hope that your concerns are alleviated after this explanation. Everything from Allah and His Messenger is perfect. Sometimes we do not see it due to not having the full details, or because of the cultural baggage we have. May Allah show us the trust as the truth and allow us to follow it assiduously, and me He show us what it wrong as wrong as allow us to shun it.

May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Comments on the Recent ‘Dogs Are Not Impure’ Article – Mufti Musa Furber

I have been asked several times about the recent article titled ‘Dogs are not impure,’ says prominent Islamic scholar. I have not seen the television show or the fatwa mentioned in the article so I can comment only on the article itself.

The bulk of my reading over the past two months has been about dogs,1 so I am familiar with the issues mentioned in the article. I find the article to be poorly researched and written. Almost every paragraph contains statements that are either misleading or false. I advise readers to ignore the article and to seek their information from a reliable source.
Given the overall unreliability of the article, I would like to provide a very brief summary of the basic rulings related to the purity of dogs, keeping dogs, and keeping dogs inside the house.
[Rulings related to the purity of dogs]
There is disagreement concerning the purity of dogs and their saliva. Numerous hadiths mention that if a dog licks from one’s bowl, its contents need to be thrown out and the bowl must be washed seven times with water – using soil in one of the washings. Scholars differ in their understanding of these ḥadīths and other evidence related to this issue, leading to disagreement over whether dogs or their saliva are pure, and whether things touched by dogs need to be cleaned in a particular way. Ḥanafīs consider dogs to be pure, but their slobber filthy. Mālikīs consider dogs and their slobber to be pure. Shāfiʿīs and Ḥanbalīs consider dogs and their slobber to be filthy.3
[Keeping dogs]
There is general agreement amongst the scholars that we are discouraged from keeping dogs, and that we should not keep dogs without need to do so. This is due to the many hadiths that mention that anyone who keeps a dog will lose rewards for each day he keeps it, unless the dog is for hunting, protecting livestock, or protecting crops. While the scholars agree that it is permissible to acquire dogs for the purposes mentioned in the ḥadīths (hunting, guarding livestock, and guarding crops), they disagree concerning other purposes. Ḥanafīs and Mālikīs tend to consider it offensive to obtain dogs for purposes other than the ones mentioned in the ḥadīths. Shāfiʿīs consider it unlawful to obtain dogs that do not fulfill a need similar to the ones mentioned in the ḥadīths (hunting and protecting). Ḥanbalīs consider it unlawful to obtain a dog unless it can carry out one of the tasks in the hadiths mentioned above.4
[Guard dogs]
There is also disagreement concerning the use of household guard dogs. In addition to the hadiths regarding purity and loss of rewards, there are also hadiths mentioning that angels will not enter houses if there is a dog inside. Commentators mention that the angels that are barred are the ones that bring blessings and mercy, and make forgiveness – not the angels assigned to individuals to record their deeds and to protect them. Ḥanafīs tend to say that one should not get a household guard dog unless out of fear for the safety of one’s life or property. Even then, the dog should not be inside the house. There is a fair amount of disagreement amongst the Mālikīs. The well-known opinion I keep finding is that it is offensive to have them inside the house. Shāfiʿīs tend to permit guard dogs for houses and alley ways – and even if the dog is permissible to keep, it should not be kept inside the house.5
What is clear when reading the various opinions within and across the schools is that no one considers it recommended or merely permissible to have a dog in the house. The most lenient ruling is that it is offensive. Some of the scholars who hold this latter position mention that one will still be subject to loss of rewards, and some angels will be barred from the house. So while there is a case for having a dog that serves a valid purpose – there does not seem to be any case for keeping a dog as a pet just for companionship or pleasure – or its appearance.6
Given all the ḥadīths related to dogs (that keeping one without justification reduces rewards, that their presence in a house bars some angels from entering, that there was an order to kill them that was later reduced out of fear of exterminating the entire species, that jet-black dogs are wicked, the extra provisions required to clean up after them – which suggests that they are filthy), one really needs to be very careful before getting a dog. Contrary to some pieces that have been written in English: those reports related to dogs were not related by a single companion (Allah be pleased with them)
Each of the rulings I mentioned above have additional conditions, constraints, and details. All of those things must be known before obtaining a dog.
And Allah knows best.
UPDATE I watched the part of the episode that was the source for the article. Sheikh Ali’s response differs significantly from what is presented in the article. Arabic speakers can check for themselves (The link should start you at the segment on dogs, 47 minutes in to the show.)

  1. Dogs today are used for a wide range of tasks not mentioned in our classical books. These tasks include: guide dogs for the blind, security dogs for the police and military, search dogs for humans trapped under rubble, detecting cancer, predicting and warning about seizures, as part of therapy for autism or PTSD, and many others. These tasks are beneficial to muslims. Many of them do not fit cleanly under hunting and guarding. Determining their legal status requires having a clear understanding of the textual evidence and rulings related to dogs, as well as a clear understanding of the contemporary task. And that’s why I have been reading so much about dogs.
  2. The links provided for this and the other hadiths enable even a semi-curious English reader to verify that the reports are each narrated from the Prophet (Peace be upon him) by three or more companions (Allah be pleased with them all), putting them within the category of well-known (mashhūr or mustafīḍ). All of them are considered rigorously authenticated (ṣaḥīḥ). These reports cannot be waved away with the claim that they are singular (aḥād) or spurious fabrications (mawḍūʿah). If you’re going to dismiss them, at least identify where the chain broke or which one of them lied – you can’t just affirm or deny a specific ḥadīth based on surmise or it being inconvenient. One of the characteristics of Islamic legal scholarship is to use all the evidence that is available, as captured in the maxim that application of an evidence is superior to its abandonment (al-iʿmāl afḍal min al-ihmāl).

  3. Al-Kashānī, Badāʾiʿ al-Ṣanāʾiʿ, 1:63; Ibn ʿĀbidīn, Ḥashiyat ʿalā Al-Durr al-Mukhtār, 1:208; Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, Al-Tamhīd, 18:296–270; al-Ṣāwī, Al-Sharḥ al-Ṣaghīr, 1:43–44; al-Anṣārī, Asnā al-Maṭālib, 1:10; al-Shirbīnī, Mughnī al-Muḥtāj, 1:226–7; al-Bahūtī, Kashshāf al-Qināʿ, 1:181; Ibn Daqīq al-ʿEid, Aḥkām al-Aḥkām, 1:75–76; al-ʿIrāqī, Ṭarḥ al-Tathrīb, 2:120–121.

  4. Kamāl ibn Humām, Fatḥ al-Qadīr, 7:118; Ṣāliḥ ʿAbd al-Samīʿ, Al-Thamr al-Dānī, 714; Al-Fawākih al-Dawānī ʿalā Risālah Ibn Abī Zayd al-Qīrwānī, 2:344; Sharḥ al-Talqīn, 2:429; al-Juwaynī, Nihāyat al-Maṭlab, 5:493; al-Nawawī, Sharḥ Ṣaḥīh Muslim, 3:186, 10:236; al-Anṣārī, Asnā al-Maṭālib, 2:9; al-Shirbīnī, Mughnī al-Muḥtāj, 3:284; Ibn Qudāmah, Al-Mughnī, 4:191–192; al-Bahūtī, Kashshāf al-Qināʿ, 3:154; Ibn Mufliḥ, Al-Ādāb al-Sharʿiyyah, 3:226.

  5. Kamāl ibn Humām, Fatḥ al-Qadīr, 7:118; Ṣāliḥ ʿAbd al-Samīʿ, Al-Thamr al-Dānī, 714; Al-Fawākih al-Dawānī ʿalā Risālah Ibn Abī Zayd al-Qīrwānī, 2:344; Sharḥ al-Talqīn, 2:429; al-Juwaynī, Nihāyat al-Maṭlab, 5:493; al-Nawawī, Sharḥ Ṣaḥīh Muslim, 3:186, 10:236; al-Anṣārī, Asnā al-Maṭālib, 2:9; al-Shirbīnī, Mughnī al-Muḥtāj, 3:284; Ibn Qudāmah, Al-Mughnī, 4:191–192; al-Bahūtī, Kashshāf al-Qināʿ, 3:154; Ibn Mufliḥ, Al-Ādāb al-Sharʿiyyah, 3:226.

  6. Al-Juwaynī, Nihāyat al-Maṭlab, 5:493; al-Nawawī, Sharḥ Ṣaḥīh Muslim, 3:186.

Originally taken from Mufti Musa Furber’s blog.

Is it Permissible to Keep a Watchdog Inside The House? (Maliki)

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: Is one allowed to have a watch dog inside the house in the Maliki school? What are the conditions for having such a dog, if any? Are there specific criteria that need to be met concerning the *need* of this type of dog besides one’s own subjective interpretation of needing a watch dog?
Answer: If there is a reasonable cause to own a watchdog, then it would be permissible to own one. If there is a reasonable need to have that dog inside the house, then it would be permissible to keep the dog in the house.
What is ‘reasonable’ would be defined by the people of a certain area and the experts in that field. So, a person should ask the opinion of local enforcement as well as pious Muslims in that area to determine what is reasonable.
The criteria for owning a dog would be that one feeds it food that is not impure (najasa). Therefore, one would have to buy vegetarian food or use meat that is from a properly slaughtered source.
Another reason for not purchasing conventional dog food would be that Muslims should not support the modern, mass meat processing industry that is inhumane. The torture of animals is prohibited, and the modern meat industry has extreme torture in the raising and processing of animals for meat.
Another criteria for owning a dog is to make sure that the impurities of the dog, do not affect the clothing and area of prayer. The bulb of the hair of animals that falls out or is plucked is impure.
[Mukhtasar Khalil]

Keeping Pets

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible to keep pets, such as fish in an aquarium or birds?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful

I pray that this finds you well, and in the best of health and spirits.

In terms of permissibility, it is permitted to keep pets if one is sure that one will give them their rights in terms of proper feeding, cleanliness, dignity, and care. The same thing would apply to keeping fish in an aquarium.

If there is any fear that proper care would not be taken, then it would be best not to keep a pet or aquarium, as it is sinful to be cruel or oppressive towards animals. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned that, “A woman entered Hell because of a cat which she tied up and neither fed nor let loose to feed on her own.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

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.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Are Muslims Allowed to Have Pet Dogs?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Are Muslims allowed to have pet dogs?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

In the Hanafi school, it is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) to keep a dog as a pet, yet one may keep a hunting dog or a guard dog to protect one’s property, harvest, sheep or cattle. [Nahlawi, Durar Mubaha; Birgivi, Tariqa Muhammadiyya; Ala’ uddin Abidin, Hadiyya Ala’iyya; Fatawa Hindiyya]

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever acquires a dog, aside from a dog for hunting or shepherding, his reward will decrease every day by huge amounts.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said, “Angels [i.e., of mercy] do not enter a house in which there is a dog or picture.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Please also see this related answer:

What is the Islamic Stance on Having a Dog?

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved Faraz Rabbani

What is the Islamic Stance on Having a Dog?

Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam

Question: Is it harmful to have a dog and is it true angels won’t enter your house? Also why are dogs seen so badly by islam?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
 
I pray you are well, insha’Allah.
 
According to the Hanafi school, it is permitted to have a sheep dog, a hunting dog or similar. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]
 
In our times, this would practically refer, more commonly, to guide dogs and the like which are specifically useful for people that require them. Such dogs would be permitted to have without dislike.
 
The Narration on Angels not Entering the Home of the One who has a Dog
 
Imam Muslim narrates in his Sahih Muslim, “The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture”.
 
Imam Nawawi (Allah be pleased with him) in his commentary on the Sahih of Imam Muslim commentates that this refers to the angels which go around seeking mercy, blessings and forgiveness for the person of the house and his household. As for the angels who write down one’s works, they always remain with one.
 
Moreover, he mentions that this narration does not apply to those dogs which are permitted to keep, such as dogs used for shepherding, hunting or the like.
 
Amongst the reasons they mention for the angels not entering the house is that dogs generally do not have a pleasant smell and the angels are put off by bad odours and smells.
 
A Note on Animals in Islam
 
Our religion is one of mercy, compassion and love. There are a number of narrations in our books of traditions which mention instances of how people gave water, specifically, to extremely thirsty dogs, despite being in need themselves, and it was a reason for their forgiveness.
 
Animals are also from the creation of Allah and we don’t look upon animals poorly; rather, we are duty-bound, as Muslims, to treat animals in a dignified, humane and merciful manner.
 
And Allah knows best.
 
Wassalaam,
 
Tabraze Azam
 
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani