Owning a dog in Iran could result in 74 lashes under a new law passed by the Iranian government while in Malaysia, Muslims clerics have voiced their outrage after a dog patting event was held in a public park.
Both incidents have made it clear how some Muslims feel about man’s best friend. Simply put, many, including several scholars, believe dogs are impure.
Is touching a dog haram for Muslims?
According to World Of Buzz, Datuk Dr Wan Salim Mohd Nor, Penang’s Mufti says,
“In the Islam religion, it is not forbidden to touch dogs but instead encourages us to treat the animals well, and if you help a dog in need this is considered a charitable act.”
“In the hadith, there was a person who had committed many sins but the person saw a thirsty dog passing by and the person took some water to feed the dog, the person’s sins were forgiven because of the good deed they did to feed the animal that was suffering.”
Dr Wan Salim stated that, “It actually differs based on different sects of the Islam religion, for the Syafi sect, every part of the dog is considered unclean but for other sects, only the dog’s saliva and faeces are considered unclean.”
He clarifies his statement by saying,“In Islam, the priority is given to humans, you should always help a human in need but if this is not an issue, there is no problem if you want to offer help to animals who need it.”
Dr Wan Salim’s statement is supported by the Kelantan Mufti, Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad. Shukri says, “In fact, Muslims are allowed to keep dogs for safety and security purposes, to take care of the house or for hunting purposes, even for the Syafi sect. We just need to clean ourselves according to the purification rituals if we were to touch the dogs.”
But he advises that a Muslim shouldn’t keep a dog as a pet if its just for fun and if it causes one to spend a lot to rear a dog.