I wasn't a dog person. Once, in Madrid, I shifted house the very first day I arrived because the landlord has got a yorkshire terrier. I did not know about it initially because I was communicating with her via email while I was in Greece and it never occurred to me to ask if she has got a canine friend.
Anyway, I remember that my parents were there with me and the moment that lady opened the door, the dog (Ricky) came jumping on me. My mom and dad wasn't happy about it and they've asked me to talk nicely to the lady and asked if it would be OK to not live there. Thank god she was cool about it, and the best part was that, I've got a friend who volunteered to stay there to replace me, so, problem solved!
There's a bunch of yorkshire terrier in Madrid. It's like the most common household pet. I was not fond of them because the thought of having to samak (the act of cleaning 7 times, one with earth) really turned me off. I usually try to avoid having any contact with them, though I tried my best to not look as if I was running away from them. Don't want people to start thinking that Muslims are dog haters. My mom, whenever encountered with a dog, would happily take a detour sampai badan senget2 haha.
I never really studied them or put any interest because as far as I know, Islam forbids us to touch dogs. There's lots of different opinions. Some say you can't touch them at all, some say you can touch them when they're dry, some say you can touch them when they're wet (but you have to be wet as well), while some say you only have to samak if you touch their saliva. There were so many opinions from different ulama's and I just thought hey, I better take the safest way by avoiding them at all cost.
I remember one time when I was in Helkidiki, Greece travelling with Bou and Mike. We saw a tiny baby yorkshire terrier by the road. She was probably lost or were left there by her owner, which was really a sad thing because she was the size of my palm. I remember I had this really strong urge to touch her to comfort her but of course I did not do so, fearing that I had to samak. Come to think of it, what's so difficult about that? I wish I had done so because she was so happy rolling about when Bou touched her. I wish I had studied more about Islam and dogs when I was there but unfortunately out of my ignorance and I guess stubbornness (thinking that I had sufficient knowledge about the hukum already) , I did not.
I remember being in awe when I see people with their dogs. Ricky, for example, has got his photos all over the house. One time, the owner travelled to New York and brought Ricky with her all the way. His ticket was the same price with hers (or probably more, can't remember). What a person would do for a dog!
My perception about dogs changed after I got married. Hubby loves all animals, including dogs. Whenever we encountered dogs, he would pat them on the head and rub their body. He always talks about how intelligent dogs are, and how they are truly men's best friend. He often talks about the benefits of having dogs as pets - how they enrich our lives due to their loyalty and increase our health. Do you guys know that very few dog owners ever had heart attacks? Dogs are so therapeutic that some hospitals are using them in their wards to ease patients, while some schools are using them to help kids learn how to read. Not to mention, guide dogs that are used to help the blinds. Pretty amazing, don't you think?
I was at first quite skeptical about my husband touching dogs, and I questioned him a lot about this. He told me it's OK, dogs are not dirty, they are one of god's wonderful creatures that are brought forward on earth to assist us humans. But I was in doubt because my husband, being a person that he is, has his own mind about a whole lot of stuff. For example, he thinks it's all right to jamak our prayers if we do not have time due to work commitment for example, and it is OK for him to touch me after he takes his wudhu', as long as it does not involve sexual desires. Those were pretty hard to sink in because as far as I'm concerned, we are only allowed to jamak if we are a musafir, that is, if we are travelling more than 90 kilometers. As far as touching me after taking his wudhu', it doesn't make any sense at all because it contradicts what I have been taught since I was a little girl. He keeps telling me to think more logically and to use my brain instead of taking whatever it is that is being taught by my ustazs/ustazahs. He told me to put things in contexts and not restrain myself with what is being said by the ulama' because being human, they might be wrong after all. Ho told me to try to picture the prophet and imagine what he would do or say being in the same situation. He told me to read not just the Quran, but the Bible to understand things thoroughly instead of listening and following what other people were saying.
Funny that after some research, I found out that yes, what he said was all true. You may jamak if you have time constraint which has been agreed by all ulama' worldwide, and yes, Malaysian's ulama' has recently agreed (last year if I am not mistaken) that if you touch your husband/wife after you've taken your wudhu', your wudhu' would still be intact.
One thing I learned when I was in Spain was that history is what people want you to believe. History may or may not be true, it all depends on the person who told the story. Why do I say that? Long story, all boils down to my interest back then of finding out about Franco, the ruler who shaped Spain's history. Senang cite macam ni la, contohnya, if you support BN, you'd say all good things about them and you'd trash PAS, DAP and PKR right? But, if you support the so-called people's coalition, it'd be the other way round, betul tak? But which one is the villain? BN or Pakatan Rakyat? Well, it would very much depend on which sides you are on, right? Get what I mean?
Now, what has that got to do with my story? Punya panjang lebar bercerita hehe. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've learned something valuable here too, after I got married. That is, to never easily judge people and think bad of them just because they don't do things similar to how you do it or how the rest of the world do it. Who knows, that person may have more intelligence and sense than the rest of us, combined.
To be continued...
After A While
2 years ago