Why Are Dogs Haram? Can You Keep Dogs As Pets?

Why Are Dogs Haram? Can You Keep Dogs As Pets?

Dogs are the best companions one can have. They are loving, affectionate, and loyal, but Islam does not allow keeping dogs as pets. In Islam, dogs are considered haram. But why are dogs haram? 

The Quran mentions dogs several times. The first two verses say that you can eat what the dog has hunted for you. The other verse is about the story of a child who was protected by a dog. 

Even though these two verses do not sound like dogs are haram, most religious preachers are against keeping dogs as pets. Let’s dive deep and understand the reason behind this. 


Why Is Keeping Dogs As Pets Haram? 

Islam considers dogs as impure animals. Even the sight of dogs during prayers is considered impure, and Muslims believe that it has the power to nullify your prayers. Additionally, you’ll become impure if you touch a dog while performing Wudu (ablution). 


Islam clearly forbids keeping dogs; if anyone breachers this, they will have to bear punishments from Allah. Most Muslims believe that one who keeps dogs will have to lose one or two Qirats from their hasanat (good deeds). 


But does the Quran actually forbid keeping dogs as pets or touching dogs? Or are all the hadiths about dogs being impure animals the own interpretation of the religious preachers? 

In the Quran, there are several mentions of dogs- 

“They ask you, ˹O Prophet,˺ what is permissible for them ˹to eat˺. Say, “What is good and lawful. Also what is caught by your hunting animals and birds of prey that you have trained as instructed by Allah? So eat what they catch for you, but mention the Name of Allah over it ˹first˺.” And be mindful of Allah. Surely Allah is swift in reckoning”. 

يَسْـَٔلُونَكَ مَاذَآ أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ ۖ قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتُ ۙ وَمَا عَلَّمْتُم مِّنَ ٱلْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ تُعَلِّمُونَهُنَّ مِمَّا عَلَّمَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ ۖ فَكُلُوا۟ مِمَّآ أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱسْمَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ ۖ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَرِيعُ ٱلْحِسَاب


These Quranic verses simply mean Allah permits you to eat what the dog has hunted for you. Therefore, it’s ok to keep dogs as hunters. 

Another verse on the Quran about dogs goes as follows- 

“On seeing them, you would fancy them to be awake though they were asleep, and We caused them to turn their sides to their right and to their left, and their dog sat stretching out its forelegs on the threshold of the Cave. Had you looked upon them, you would have certainly fled away from them, their sight filling you with terror”.

وَ تَحۡسَبُهُمۡ اَيۡقَاظًا وَّهُمۡ رُقُوۡدٌ ​​ۖ وَنُـقَلِّبُهُمۡ ذَاتَ الۡيَمِيۡنِ وَ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ​​ ۖ وَكَلۡبُهُمۡ بَاسِطٌ ذِرَاعَيۡهِ بِالۡوَصِيۡدِ​ ؕ لَوِ اطَّلَعۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ لَوَلَّيۡتَ مِنۡهُمۡ فِرَارًا وَّلَمُلِئۡتَ مِنۡهُمۡ رُعۡبًا


This verse refers to the story of a child who was protected by a dog at the entrance of a cave. Therefore, it means that Allah permits you to keep dogs as guards. Apart from these two verses, there are other mentions of dogs in the Quran, and none of them mentions dogs as filthy or impure animals. 


However, traditional Muslim scholars believe otherwise and do not permit keeping or petting dogs. Therefore, a large section of the Muslim community considers dogs haram, but some people still don’t agree with it. 

Concluding Words 

While most Islamic preachers consider dogs haram, the Quran does not clearly indicate it to be so. Hence, there are differences of opinion among Muslims regarding whether dogs are haram or halal. 

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