Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatul Allahi Wa Barakatuhu,
My question is about the issue of dogs that in the West are commonly kept as household pets. It is commonly believed that dogs are unclean and not pure but at the same time we have heard of narrations from the HADITH related to a woman who showed kindness and compassion to a dog and was blessed.
Can you please elaborate on this issue? Is it permissible to keep dogs as pets without any sound reason??Also, which animals are mentioned in the Quran with their specific attributes? Does Quran mention animals that boarded Prophet Noah (Peace be upon Him)’s Ark? Thank you so much for taking the time out to read this email and answering this issue. Your help and knowledge in this matter is greatly appreciated.
Wa Alaikum Assalaam,
Dogs are unclean and not pure. The mouth of dogs and its saliva etc. are all impure. It is for this reason the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘When the dog drinks from one of your utensil, then wash it seven times.’ In another tradition, the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘The purification of your utensil when the dog licks in it is that it should be washed 7 times, the first of which should be with clay/dirt.’ (Bukhari, Muslim).
Besides the issue of the impurity of the dog, there are authentic narrations in which the prohibition of keeping dogs as pets are established. In this regard, the Prophet (S.A.S) is reported to have said, ‘Whoever keeps a dog except for guarding/watching over the livestock or hunting, then everyday two qirat (of blessing) are decreased from his good deeds.’ (Bukhari, Muslim). In another tradition, the Prophet (S.A.S) is reported to have said, ‘Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or pictures.’ (Bukhari, Muslim).
From the above narrations, it is clearly understood that a dog can be kept for guarding purposes, and can be used for hunting. However, keeping them as pets is not permissible.
With respect to the woman who was blessed on account of showing kindness to the dog, this was on account of her kindness and not specifically what the animal was. As Muslims, we are ordered to show kindness to all animals, not only to those that are halaal for us to consume. As such, when the woman showed kindness to the dog, Allah rewarded her for the act of kindness.
Many animals have been mentioned in the Quran for varying reasons. These include, monkey, mule, sheep, wolf, camel, lion, horse, cow, calf, snake, python, donkey, pig, dog, frog, elephant. The Quran has also mentioned birds and insects. These include the quail, mosquito, fly, honeybee, spider, locust, hoopoe, crow, ant, moths, flea. Some of these have been mentioned with attributes while others have not been mentioned. It all depends upon the reason for mentioning a particular animal, bird or insect.
The Quran does not mention the animals that boarded the ark of Noah (A.S). Instead, in Sura Huud verse 40 (Huud 11:40), mention is made about the order which came to Noah (A.S) regarding animals. About this, the verse states, ‘(So it was) till Our command came and the oven gushed forth (water like fountains from the earth). We said, ‘Embark therein, of each kind, two (male and female), and your family except him against whom the Word has already gone forth and those who believe. And none believed with him except a few.’ (Surah Huud, verse 40).
Based on this, it is evident that Noah (A.S) carried animals and birds, (males and females) on the ark when the flood was sent by Allah. However, there is a difference of opinion regarding what was carried on board the ark. Some scholars hold the opinion that a pair of every type of animal species on earth were brought together and put on board. Some have stated that it is possible that only animals living in the region where Noah’s people resided were taken on board. This is based on the opinion of those scholars who state that the flood took place only in the region where Noah and his people lived.
Some scholars also hold the opinion that it is possible that Noah was asked to take on board such animals like cows, sheep, horses, poultry, camels and the like, since these were the primary animals that would have been needed for establishing a new life in a region which would have lost a great deal of its livestock due to the flood.
These are opinions which have been given by different Scholars. The Quran and traditions however, do not specify what types of animals were placed on the ark.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.