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Muslims are not permitted to keep dogs as pets.
If a dog licks a Muslim's hand, he/she must wash his/her hand 9, (
maybe 7), times.
I wonder, if a Muslim loses track of the number of hand-washings, do
they have to start over, or can they estimate the number of
hand-washings? What if they get up to 6 and forget how many times they
washed their hands, could they go back to 3 times and add extra, or do
they have to start at the beginning?
What if they think they did it properly, but didn't?
Will Allah kill them? Will Allah send them to a lower level of
Paradise? Will Allah send them to Hell?
I am an infidel, I don't understand the finer points of Islam.
Will I be killed for not knowing?
What if a Muslim gives me the answer, but I just don't believe it?
Must I be killed, or could I continue living without Islam?
Fido the angel-stopper: *(A) little dog is able to stop an angel from
entering a house! Think about it. Muhammad was implying that the Taco Bell
Chihuahua can stop Gabriel and Michael the arch-angels in their paths? What
was it about a dog, what power or qualities did it possess that it would
stop the angels of God? Why would it only be a dog that stops an angel?*
MUHAMMAD AND THE DOGS
Muhammad was a superstitious man and his superstitions became
part of the Islamic religion. One aspect in which this is seen is in
his attitude toward dogs. He said several negative and irrational
things about dogs. His beliefs may have come from various sources
such as cultural bias', pagan concepts, demonic influences, or
perhaps his own rationale. In any case they portray a man ascribing
to superstition. His perspective concerning dogs was bizarre, and
deserves a close examination.
NOTE: There are many statements found in the Traditions ascribed
to Muhammad or a spirit (assumed to be Gabriel), that concern
dogs. I cannot list them all but I will provide a thorough selection.
PRESENTATION OF HADITH
I present a number of Hadith followed by my comment. All Hadith
are from Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, or the Hadith of the
Sunan of Abu Dawud. After the Quran, Bukhari's set of Hadith are
regarded to be the second most important book in Islam, followed
closely by the Hadith of Muslim. I quote from these three sources to
prove that these Hadith are not just a few isolated or unsupported
I have broken Muhammad's statements concerning dogs into 5 categories. All
of these illustrate different facets of his superstitious & irrational
beliefs toward dogs.
1) DOG KILLING
Vol 4, #540 - Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: Allah's Apostle
ordered that the dogs should be killed.
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From the Hadith of Abu Dawud -
#2839 - Abd Allah B. Mughaffal reported the apostle of Allah as
saying: Were dogs not a species of creature I should command that
they all be killed; but kill every pure black one.
#3814 - Ibn Mughaffal reported: Allah's messenger ordered the
killing of dogs and then said, "what is the trouble with them (the
people of Medina? How dogs are nuisance to them (the citizens of
Medina)? He then permitted keeping of dogs for hunting and (the
protection of) herds. ...[and for] for the protection of cultivated
#3813 - Abu Zubair heard Jabir Abdullah saying: Allah's
messenger ordered us to kill dogs and we carried out this order so
much so that we also killed the dog roaming with a women from the
desert. Then Allah's apostle forbade their killing. He said: "It is
your duty to kill the jet-black (dog) having two spots (on the eyes)
for it is a devil.
These Hadith tell the story of Muhammad's order to kill dogs.
Muhammad said he would like to have all dogs killed. It is
believable that there were packs of wild dogs tormenting the people
of Medina; having them killed is desirable. I have no problem with
that. But looking closer, we see Muhammad's superstitions come
out. He first said he wanted all dogs killed, but then he made
exceptions for dogs that are used for farming, hunting, or watching.
But why did he order that all black dogs be killed? Why did he
think that they were more evil? He even called them "a Satan". This
is a superstitious belief. "Black" dogs are not inherently more evil
than other colored dogs.
2) COMMERCE IN DOGS
Vol 3, #299 - Narrated 'Aun bin Abu Juhaifa: "My father bought a
slave who practiced the profession of cupping. (My father broke the
slave's instruments of cupping). I asked my father why he had done
so. He replied, "The Prophet forbade the acceptance of the price of
a dog or blood, and also forbade the profession of tattooing, getting
tattooed and receiving or giving Riba, (usury), and cursed the
Vol 3, #482 - Narrated Abu Mas'ud Al-Ansari: "Allah's Apostle
regarded illegal the price of a dog, the earnings of a prostitute, and
the charges taken by a soothsayer."
#3803 - Abu Masud reported that Allah's messenger forbade the
charging of price of the dog and earning of a prostitute and sweets
offered to a kahin.
Here we see that money made from the sale of a dog (for other than
already mentioned purposes) was considered as evil as the money
made from prostitution, witchcraft, or usury. Why does the sale of a
dog belong on the same moral level as prostitution and witchcraft?
Certainly this is an irrational belief, and needs no further comment.
3) LOSS OF REWARD OF GOOD WORKS FOR OWNING DOGS
Vol 3, #515 - Narrated Abu Huraira: "Allah's Apostle said,
"Whoever keeps a dog, one Qirat of the reward of his good deeds is
deducted daily, unless the dog is used for guarding a farm or cattle."
Abu Huraira (in another narration) said from the Prophet, "unless it
is used for guarding sheep or farms, or for hunting." Narrated Abu
Hazim from Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "A dog for guarding
cattle or for hunting.""
Vol 7, #390 - Narrated 'Abdullah bin Umar: "I heard the Prophet
saying, "If someone keeps a dog neither for hunting, nor for guarding
livestock, the reward (for his good deeds) will be reduced by two
Qirats per day.""
Here we see that having a dog as a pet is prohibited in Islam. In
fact, if a Muslim keeps a dog as a pet, or for any other reason
besides farming, hunting, or watching, God will take away some
reward for his good deeds! Notice that the amount taken away is
different. Perhaps at one stage it was only 1 Qirat, and later the
price / punishment for owning a dog got higher in God's eyes?!
Again, another irrational belief on Muhammad's part.
I further want to comment on this issue. Many studies have been
done that prove the value of owning a dog simply as a pet. Even in
the World Book Encyclopedia, mention is made of their benefit as
mere pets. I quote, "The companionship of a dog can contribute to a
person's general well-being. Scientific studies have shown that
petting a dog slows the heart rate and lowers the blood pressure of
the person who is doing the petting. Dogs assist disabled people in
many ways. For example, they guide the blind and serve as ears for
the deaf. In addition, dogs lift the spirits of patients in hospitals
nursing homes." - Page 262, under "Dogs".
Surely dogs benefit mankind in more ways than hunting, watching,
and herding. Why would Muhammad forbid their ownership?
4) DOGS ANNULING PRAYER
Vol 1, #490 - Narrated 'Aisha: "The things which annul the prayers
were mentioned before me. They said, "Prayer is annulled by a dog,
a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people)."
I said, "You have made us (i.e. women) dogs. I saw the Prophet
praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla.
Whenever I was in need of something, I would slip away, for I
disliked to face him.""
This Hadith focuses on whether or not women, when passing in
front of people praying, annul their prayer. However, that is not the
focus of this paper. What is noted in this Hadith is that if a dog
passes in front of a group of Muslims while they are praying their
prayer is annulled. Annul means, "to reduce to nothing", or "to make
ineffective or inoperative" (Webster's). In effect, if a group of
people are praying and a dog walks in-between them and the Kaba
(in Mecca), then their prayer is made null and void. I guess they
have to start again.
This again is more superstition on Muhammad's part. Why should a
dog nullify prayer? Why should God care about the position of a
dog? Doesn't God judge the heart? What if the dog cannot be seen?
It could be in a ravine. Are the prayers made null and void? What if
the dog is over the horizon? What kind of a "god" does this really
5) DOGS STOP THE ANGELS
Vol 4, #448 - Narrated Abu Talha: "I heard Allah's Apostle saying;
"Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a
picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal).""
Vol 7, #843 - Narrated Salim's father: "Once Gabriel promised to
visit the Prophet but he delayed and the Prophet got worried about
that. At last he came out and found Gabriel and complained to him
of his grief (for his delay). Gabriel said to him, "We do not enter a
place in which there is a picture or a dog.""
Here we see that a little dog is able to stop an angel from entering a
house! Think about it. Muhammad was implying that the Taco Bell
Chihuahua can stop Gabriel and Michael the arch-angels in their
paths? What was it about a dog, what power or qualities did it
possess that it would stop the angels of God? Why would it only be
a dog that stops an angel? Why not a cat, snake, rat, bird, etc.?
We see that Muhammad had irrational - superstitious beliefs
concerning dogs. Beliefs that make no sense; they go against
common logic and practical experience. Here is a quick account of
the five points brought up:
1) Muhammad wanted all dogs to be killed, but he allowed dogs to
live that served useful, physical purposes to their owners. But,
regardless, all black dogs were to be killed because they were a
2) Money made from the sale of "non-useful" dogs was a dirty as a
3) God takes away reward in heaven for Muslims who own dogs as
4) If a dog passes in front of a group of praying people, their
prayers are null and void.
5) Angels will not enter a house if it contains a dog, (or a picture of
a living creature).
One of the interesting things I heard about this issue, from an Arab
man was that the Drupe in Lebanon have a tradition that says that
when Muhammad was a child, he was bitten by a watchdog -
because the dog had caught Muhammad stealing eggs!
This may or may not be true, but it would help to explain
Muhammad's attitude toward dogs. Unfortunately, his absurd beliefs
about dogs are not part of Islamic "dogma". No pun intended. :-O
Muhammad had superstitious beliefs about dogs, and how they fit
into God's world. Muhammad made them akin to evil creatures.
This irrationality is now fundamental to Islam. To this day, Muslims
harass other Muslims who own dogs as pets.