Dogs and Islam and Prayer

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 13 Jamad-u-Thani 1423, 22 August 2002

Q.) I am a 15 year old Muslim American and my mother is buying a dog. I heard that if I touch the dog, I cannot pray. Is this true? What should I do?

A.) All creatures are the creation of Allah Taăla and do deserve the recognition of being a creation of the Almighty. As much as Muslims detest even the sight of pigs - it is the creation of Allah Taăla - and because Allah has placed life into it, we cannot inflict pain nor torture the pig.

Similarly Allah Taăla created the dog from among His creation. This does not mean that we should love the dog. It is perhaps the indoctrination of the Western culture that 'The dog is Man's best Friend'. The theory that 'dogs are very dependent on Human affection' is a myth - again culture and custom has helped to develop this unnatural behavior.

Allah Taăla the Creator of this Universe - having created the dog would surely have known that the dog requires Human affection and love to exist in this world. Rasulullah (Sallallaaahu Álayhi Wasallam) would have advised us to keep dogs as pets. On the contrary, we are instructed not to keep dogs as pets and 'love' them as exemplified by the non-Muslims. Remember our life is structured and bound by the Shariah i.e. The Noble Qurăn and the beautiful example of Rasulullah (Sallallaaahu Álayhi Wasallam). Consider these Ahaadith:

Sayyidna Abu Talha (Radhiyallaahu Ánhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "Angels do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or an animate picture. (Sahih Bukhari Hadith no. 2986)

Sayyidna Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallaahu Ánhuma) reports from Sayyidna Maimoona (Radhiyallaahu Ánha) that once Rasulullah (Sallallaaahu Álayhi Wasallam) became sad; and said that Jibra'eel (Álayhis Salaam) promised to meet him at night but did not turn up. "By Allah what has kept him back," said the Prophet (Sallallaaahu Álayhi Wasallam). Then he realised a puppy was under his bed. He ordered that the puppy be removed and the area be sprinkled with water. In the afternoon when Jibra'eel (Álayhi Salaam) came, Rasulullah (Sallallaaahu Álayhi Wasallam) enquired as to the delay. Jibra'eel (Álayhi

Salaam) said that we, the group of Angels do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or pictures. (Sahih Muslim Hadith no.3928)

In the light of these Ahaadith and other narrations it is not permissible to keep dogs as pets. The household is deprived of the Mercy of Allah Taăla.

However, Jurists have stated that it is permissible to keep a dog for security purposes, farming and hunting.

The saliva of a dog is Najis (impure). If it touches the clothes or body, that portion also becomes impure and must be washed. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Albalagh Note: You can share this answer with your mother, since it is she who has to make the decision. You must be very polite in talking to her about this issue and let your love and concern persuade her to the right action. If she still insists you may have to live with it. In that case make sure you understand the issue of purity and take necessary precautions.