Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dogs in Islam part 2

I've been wanting to write about dogs in Islam for so long but failed to do so for many occasions.

Well, in case you guys are wondering - yes, I did study the Quran and Hadith for many months before I adopted Chloe.

My stake on it?

Well, to be honest, the more I studied, the more convinced I am that most Hadith that talked negatively about dogs were fabricated.

Why do I say that?

Firstly, the Quran mentioned dogs many times, and all were in good lights. Al-Ma'idah spoke about using trained dogs for hunting:

"Lawful unto you are things good and pure, and what you have taught your trained hunting animals to catch in the manner directed to you by God. Eat what they catch for you, but pronounce the name of God over it"

Al-Kahf spoke about a dog who accompanied the people of the cave who were true believers:

"...And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance..."

"(Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth, guessing at the unseen; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eigth"

Secondly, most Hadiths that spoke negatively about dogs are not in line with the teachings of our great prophet, Muhammad s.a.w. Muhammad was very affectionate towards animals, and was against animal cruelty be it physically, or mentally. Once upon a time, one of his companion took two baby chicks away from the mother. When Muhammad s.a.w saw the mother bird hovering on top of them with grief, he straightaway ordered his companion to return the chicks to the mother for it has hurt her feelings. Would the same person ordered the killings of dogs, as stated in some Hadiths?

Thirdly, in my opinion, the most convincing Hadith about the cleansing ritual of dogs is the one narrated by Imam Muslim:

"When a dog has licked a bowl of yours, clean it seven times, first time with earth, the other six with water"

Why do I say this is the most convincing? Well, a scientific research done by a PhD student who studied dogs' saliva found out that harmful virus(es) can only be found when dogs are eating/drinking. At other times, a dog's saliva is free of virus(es). In my opinion, this clearly explains the reason why Muslims are allowed to eat what trained dogs hunt/bite for their master, but are required to wash the container that has been licked by a dog if we were to use it for our own.

Islam is science.

So, how do you keep it simple and hygienic? Easy-peasy, just separate your container from your dog's container!

It is worth mentioning that the first Hadith collections were written 250 years after the death of our great prophet. Stories were circulated by word of mouth for 8 generations before it was written down. Would it be possible that some of the information received were delivered incorrectly? Furthermore, is there a possibility that some Hadiths were biased towards some cultures and beliefs?

Allah knows best.

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