Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dogs and Muslim

"The "Qur'an strongly enjoins Muslims to treat animals with compassion and not to abuse them" - Wikipedia

"The Qur'an applies the word "Muslim" not only to humans but also to animals and the inanimate world".

"In verse 6:38, the Qur'an applies the term ummah, generally used to mean "a human religious community", for genera of animals."

"There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end." Qur'an 6:38

However that said, "The majority of both Sunni and Shi'a Muslim jurists consider dogs to be ritually unclean. It is uncommon for practicing Muslims to have dogs as pets. " Wikipedia

However, "dog is not an unclean animal based on the inclusion of a dog among the seven Sleeprs as recorded in the 18th verse of the 18th chapter of the Qur'an."

Myths (as stated by Dr. Ayoub M. Banderker
"It is not haraam to own a dog, though it is not hygienic to keep a dog in the house."
"It is not harram to touch a dog or any other animal."
However, If the saliva of a dog touches you it is necessary to wash the part of the body touched or the clothing touched by the dog's saliva.

"No Animal has been cursed in any way... In Surah Kahf mention is made of the companions of the Cave and their dog (S18:18:22)
-Dr. AyouB. M. Banderker (Veterinary Surgeon) writing on Animal Abuse and Welfare in Islam

Dogs and Islam: The Devil and the Seeing-Eye Dog
Stanley Coren PHD FRSC
- quoting a University Muslim expert "Muslim beliefs about dogs are sometimes confusing and contradictory. The majority of both Sunni and Shi'a Muslim Jurists consider dogs to be ritually unclean but these beliefs are not unanimous. The jurists of the Sunni Malik Schoo disagree with the idea that dogs are unclean, and those of the Sunni Hanafi School are ambiguous, allowing trade and care of dogs without religions consequences. However all these opinions are based, not on the Koran itself, but on the Hadith, which are commentaires, analyses, and interpretations of the Koran. It is these Hadith that suggest that to be touched by a dog is to be defiled and requires an act of purification.....If we look directly at the Koran it turns out that dogs are mentioned five times and are never described as being unclean. In fact the longest group of passages including a dog is quite positive and it relates to the story of the Seven Sleepers.....According to Moslem tradition, the dog Kitmir was admitted to paradise upon his death."

"Certainly an unclean animal would not be admitted to paradise," the professor commented. "

Mohammed ordered "kill all dogs' however "On reflection, however, he mitigated his decree, for two major reasons...The first was religiousL canines constituted a race of Allah's creatures....the second, more prgamatic was that some categoris of dogs, particularly guard dogs, hunting dogs and shepherd dogs, were useful to humans and hence had earned their right to exist.

"Some legends say the prophet himself actually owned one or more salukis that he used for hunting....In fact one passage in the Koran quite specifically says that any prey that is caught by dogs during a hunt can be eaten. No purification other than the mention of Allah's name is required of it."

Mohammed apparently accepted dogs therefore but not 'black dogs because the believed that the Devil often appears masquerading as a black dog."

Politically there is further the Middle East conflict between ancient Zoroastrianism religion which stood in the way of new islam and the Zoroastrians revered the dog. Historically it is common that 'gods of the old religion are converted into the devils of the new religion."

I was interested in this as none of my Muslim patients has objected to my pet therapist, Gilbert. He's also an amazing hunting dog and a guard dog in addition so I'm sure that Mohammed would not want him dead especially if he saw how he caused an old withdrawn man who was suicidal come out of himself, give up his suicidal ideation and return successfully to community. Even as important if anyone saw Gilbert flush and find partridge they'd see his heavenly destination guaranteed. All we have to do is get him to bring the birds back rather than just leading me to them. But he's a young dog and even then his bark is ferocious when he wakes me from sleep because of some stranger coming innappropriately near whereever his master and he are sleeping.

I'm afraid we're both cave dwellers in a sense so he is an 'indoor dog' and no doubt he'd benefit from more grooming. He doesn't shed and personally I do believe his lack of hygiene is no worse than children. I also believe that the whole 'sterile movement' is cause for the decrease in the immunologically protection of so many. Our forefathers immunologically were a tougher group partly because of their exposure to 'dirt'. Thanks to Gilbert there is some 'dirt' in my life no different from that brought in the soles of shoes. Our butts are affected too by sitting on floors and for me by the activities of prayer, meditation and roughhousing. Gilbert is a happy part of all my activities.

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