Muslims only allowed to keep dogs for security and hunting

Scholar Dr Fathul Bari said that Islam allows people to keep dogs but only for security and hunting purposes, not for pleasure or as for pets.

Dr Fathul, who is CEO of Pertubuhan Ilmuan Malaysia said this was because dogs could not be eaten and Muslims had to perform the samak ritual (washing with mud and water) every time they came into contact with a dog’s saliva.

“This shows that dogs cannot be kept as pets. According to the Al-Quran and Hadith, we can keep dogs for only security and hunting. A dog can be used in the area of detecting drugs for example,” he said.

He added that if the history of the Prophet and his comrades was studied, none of them kept dogs as pets. He said there were those who kept cats as pets though.

Dr Fathul however said the religion did not allow anyone to kill or abuse dogs as they were God’s creatures. He gave the example of the story of an old prostitute who was given a place in heaven after giving water to a dog.

“This is proof that everyone including Muslims should be kind to dogs,” he told the Star Online.  

Dr Fathul however took issue with a controversial video of Maznah Mohd Yusof celebrating Hari Raya with her dogs that has been at the centre of a social media storm, culminating in her being remanded in Segamat earlier today.

“The video contains elements that provoke Muslims. What is her motive of creating the video?,” said Dr Fathul referring to the ablutions and the Takbir Raya playing in the background.

He added that Maznah would have to explain her reasons for keeping the dogs.

However, Chairman of the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) Dr Farouk Ahmad Musa said that Muslims could keep dogs as pets as there was no specific evidence or valid reason in the Quran or Hadith that prevented them from doing so.

“Anybody who treats God’s creatures with kindness should be given credit, rather than hauled up for questioning. There is nothing insulting about being kind to God’s creatures including dogs,” he said.
The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) have yet to comment directly on dog ownership saying they would release a press statement on the issue soon.

However JAKIM has stated today that it finds that the YouTube clip of Maznah and her three dogs is insulting to Muslims.


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