Can Muslims Keep Dogs? Is Keeping A Dog Halal or Haram?

Can Muslims Keep Dogs? Is Keeping A Dog Halal or Haram?

While some Muslims believe that dogs are haram, some keep them for security reasons in the modern society. However, Muslims can keep dogs as long as they play an important role in their lives.

Muslims are allowed to keep dogs only for farming, hunting, and guiding but not as pets. Dogs inside the house are believed to reduce the reward a Muslim gets from worship. Prophet Mohamed commanded that if a dog uses a dish, it should be purfied. This confirms that dogs are unclean.

Basically, dogs are not allowed inside the house in Islam. Myths about keeping dogs in Islam make it difficult to know if dogs are haram or not. This can be very confusing especially for the new converts. This article will help you understand the hadith about dogs.

Can Muslims Keep Dogs In The House?

No, Muslims cannot keep dogs as house pets because the Prophet declared that they are unclean. He said that this would reduce the good deeds of an individual every day in a serious way.

One of the reasons was mentioned in the hadith of “Gibreel” where he had an appointment with the Prophet and the Angel was late.

The Prophet went out of the house and found “Gibreel” the angel waiting outside. Then he asked, “why didn’t you come in”. The angel then answered by saying that angels do not enter a house where there is a statue, a dog, or a portrait picture.

At this point, the Prophet is ordered the puppy which belonged to Hussein out of the house.  

For the statue, the angel said that he should chop off the head so it would be like a tree. As for the picture or the portrait, just simply cover the face or color it.

Allah knows best and this is one of the reasons why Muslims are not allowed to keep dogs as pets in the house. As Muslims, we do not have to ask for the reason for everything that Allah tells us to do or the Prophet PBUH tells us to do.

What The Quran Says About Dogs

Recently I was talking to someone about dogs in Islam and the common idea is that they are not allowed except for hunting, farming, and a few other exceptions that are mentioned above.

They are apparently dirty animals and from our research, just reading the Quran, I have never come across a verse saying that you’re not allowed to keep dogs, that dogs are dirty or anything indicating negative story about them.

I began doing my research and I will give you every instance that the dog is mentioned in the Quran. It is about five times. Then I’ll go on to say why I believe it is not forbidden in Islam from a Quran-based perspective.

so to begin with, let us look at surah 7 verse 176 in which a dog is mentioned. He says:

“and had we willed, we would have raised him by then. But He clung to the earth and followed his vain desire. His example is like the example of a dog. If they’ll win him over, he pants, or if they leave him he pants. this is the example of the people who repudiate our proofs. But narrate thou to them the narratives that they might reflect.”

The Holy Quran

This was simply just using a dog as a metaphor. He was saying he pants like a dog and so there we can see it was nothing negative nor positive about the dog.

Let’s again move to surah 18 verse 18, in which the Quran says

“and now thinkest them awake when they were asleep and we caused them to turn to the right and the left and their dog was stretching out its two paws on the threshold.”

The holy Quran

Again nothing negative about the dog. Very simply just stating a dog present in this verse referring to the fair believers in the cave and I’m moving on to the final verse in which dogs are mentioned.

We are moving on to surah 18 just verse 22,

“and so it says they will say three, the fourth of them their dog, and they will say five the six of them their dog, guessing at the unseen. And they will say seven and the eighth of them their dog. Say thou; my lord knows best their number. None knows them save a few, so argue thou not concerning them save with a patent argument, and ask them not an opinion concerning them from any of them.”

The Holy Quran about Dogs

The common approach from a Quran-only perspective is that the Quran mentioned dogs in reference to the believers in the cave and it said nothing negative about them if they were dirty or forbidden.

When Can Muslims Keep Dogs?

Muslims can only keep dogs outside the house and when they really need them. The most common practice among Muslims is that they keep dogs for security reasons.

There are some hadiths that mentioned the Prophet ordered dogs to be killed. Then He made an exception for the sheepdog that is used for watching a flock, a guard dog, or a hunting dog.

Well, the Quran actually doesn’t say anything negative about dogs in terms of making them haram. In fact, there is something positive because there is a story of youths who hid in a cave. They had a companion, which was a dog. Many commentators say that this dog will also be in paradise.

We know that nothing impure or unclean will be in paradise but this dog will be there. This is also proof that Muslims should expect to see dogs in the afterlife.

Allah will make this dog pure and it shall be in paradise. Nevertheless, the Quran does not show anything negative about the dog and doesn’t show that the dog is impure.

Can Muslims Eat Food Hunted By Dogs?

Yes, Muslims are allowed to keep dogs for hunting and this means that they can eat anything that has been hunted by a dog. It is actually mentioned in the Quran that food got from dog hunting is permissible to eat. This is specifically mentioned in the fourth verse of the fifth chapter of the Quran.

Among the hunting animals, there were dogs at the time. It is well known that the dog would go hunt the animal, bring it back to the owner. After hunting with arrows and spears, dogs would go retrieve the remains and bring them.

Definitely, the dog comes with the animal in its mouth. In this case and let us be realistic about it. Saying that the saliva of the dog is impure is not right because obviously the saliva of the dog gets mingles with the meat which it brings to its master.

Based on this, we can say that the Quranic perspective doesn’t seem to find anything wrong with dogs and dogs may be good hunting animals. If the meat that they bring in their mouths is good for Muslims to eat obviously there is nothing against dogs in this case.

Wherever this idea come from that dogs somehow are impure can only be linked to the rabbis’ outbreak. Definitely, in the past, people did not know how to treat such kind and the only way of dealing with infected dogs was to kill them so that the people could remain safe.

So some may be linking this traditional aspect of killing infected dogs and confusing them to with the question of dogs being haram in Islam. People remember the tradition of dogs being killed without remembering the reason behind it.

It’s not mentioned that the dogs were haram and personally I believe there’d be no good reason to have anything fundamentally wrong with dogs in Islam that’s why obviously an exception was made for the hunting dog and the guard dog.

To add on top of it, even in Muslim societies, dogs perform some useful purposes nowadays. We know that dogs perform many more valuable services.

There are blind people with guide dogs that walk them around. If those people were to tend a Muslim service with their dog, I think people should not run away from them.

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