Idiosyncrasy at its extreme
Some years back I started to begin my journey of renouncing my faith and love of god. This happened while a good Muslim friend of mine started to relate to me how great Islam is and how I would be rewarded into heaven of being the ashraful maqluqat. This all started when he visited my house for dinner and when he is being greeted at our doorsteps by my dog –roady, he started to say ass-traffullahs… This led to his ranting about how I am not being blessed by angels and that my house is haram for him. He left after a short while and did not take dinner with me… The following when I enquired about his sudden change of attitudes towards me, I was given a big rude Islamic lecture about keeping dogs as pets and what is forbidden in Islam. By now, I was so shocked to find him to be so naïve…? That’s when I started to search for answers on the internet and came upon this website called http://www.answering-islam.org
I wanted to share this with you so here is that wonderful article by Silas…
MUHAMMAD AND THE DOGS
Muhammad made strange and harsh statements about dogs and these edicts affect dogs in a tragic way until this very day…! His teachings may have come from cultural bias, Pagan concepts, or his own imagination, but wherever they came from they led to the cruel treatment of dogs.
None of the statements regarding dogs are found in the Qur’an but they abound in the various collections of Islamic traditions (hadith). These traditions are a primary foundation of Islamic theology and are the basis of many Islamic laws. They render dogs as “impure” and worse. As per Muhammad’s orders, most dogs were to be killed and all dogs of a specific color (black) had to be killed.
Muhammad claimed to be a prophet of God and as such, his word as to be dearly obeyed. With the teeth of Islam, biting worldwide it is vital that Muhammad’s teachings to be scrutinized to determine if he were a nut or a prophet…???
STATEMENTS FROM THE HADITHS
Below are a number of Hadiths on various aspects involving dogs. All Hadiths are from the Sahih collections of Bukhari and Muslim, or the Sunan of Abu Dawud. After the Qur’an, Bukhari’s set of Hadiths are regarded to be the second most important books in Islam, followed closely by the Hadiths of Sahih Muslim. I quote from these sources to prove that these Hadiths are not just a few isolated or unsupported cases. I have sorted Muhammad’s statements concerning dogs into 5 (five) categories. All of these illustrate different facets of his beliefs regarding dogs.
1) KILL THE DOGS
From Bukhari Vol. 4, #540; Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle ordered that the dogs should be killed.
From 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.
The Hadith’s note for #2839 says, “The prophet did not order the killing of all the dogs, for some are to be retained for hunting and watching. He ordered to kill the jet-black ones. They might be more mischievous among them”.
From Muslim #3814; “Ibn Mughaffal reported: Allah’s messenger ordered the killing of dogs and then said, “What is the trouble with them (the people of
From Muslim #Number 055; “Ibn Mughaffal reported: The Messenger of Allah ordered killing of the dogs, and then said: What about them, i. e. about other dogs? And then granted concession (to keep) the dog for hunting and the dog for (the security) of the herd, and said: When the dog licks the utensil, wash it seven times, and rub it with earth the eighth time”.
From Muslim #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”.
The note for #3814 says, “The Hadiths gives us an idea why the prophet commanded to kill dogs. There must have been an excess of stray dogs and thus the danger of rabies in the city of
HOWEVER, THE REASONING WITHIN THE NOTE ABOVE IS INCORRECT –READ BELOW.
From Muslim #5248; “Maimuna reported that one morning Allah’s Messenger was silent with grief. Maimuna said: Allah’s Messenger, I find a change in your mood today. Allah’s Messenger said: Gabriel had promised me that he would meet me tonight, but he did not meet me. By Allah, he never broke his promises, and Allah’s Messenger spent the day in this sad mood. Then it occurred to him that there had been a puppy under their cot. He commanded and it was turned out. He then took some water in his hand and sprinkled it at that place. When it was evening, Gabriel met him and he said to him: You promised me that you would meet me the previous night. He said: Yes, but we do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture. Then on that very morning he commanded the killing of the dogs until he announced that the dog kept for the orchards should also be killed, but he spared the dog meant for the protection of extensive fields or big gardens”.
These Hadiths tell the story of Muhammad’s order to kill dogs. Muhammad said he would like to have all dogs killed. He wanted them killed, NOT because packs of dogs were tormenting the citizens of Medina, but rather, because a puppy stopped the mighty angel Gabriel. Muhammad’s solution was to kill the dogs. He first said he wanted all dogs killed but then made exceptions for dogs that are used for farming, hunting, or watching (outside). Further, he ordered that all black dogs be killed and called them “a Satan”.
2) COMMERCE IN DOGS
From Bukhari 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 picture-makers.”
From Bukhari 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.”
From Muslim #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.
Muhammad believed 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. Something about dogs disturbed Muhammad deeply.
3) LOSS OF REWARD OF GOOD WORKS FOR OWNING DOGS
From Bukhari 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.”"
From Muslim Number 3815: Ibn Umar reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: He who keeps a dog other than that meant for watching the herd or for hunting loses every day out of his deeds equal to two qirat.
From Muslim Number 2062: Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: He who attends the funeral till the prayer is offered for (the dead), for him is the reward of one qirat, and he who attends (and stays) till he is buried, for him is the reward of two qirats. It was said: What are the qirats? He said: They are equivalent to two huge mountains. Two other narrators added: Ibn ‘Umar used to pray and then depart (without waiting for the burial of the dead). When the tradition of Abu Huraira reached him, he said:” We have lost many qirats.”
Having a dog as a pet is prohibited in Islam. In fact, if a Muslim keeps a dog as a pet God will take away some heavenly reward for his good deeds! Notice that the amount taken away changed from one to two qirats.
4) DOGS ANNULLING PRAYER
From Bukhari 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.”"
From Muslim Number 1032; Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of ‘Allah said: When any one of you stands for prayer and there is a thing before him equal to the back of the saddle that covers him and in case there is not before him (a thing) equal to the back of the saddle, his prayer would be cut off by (passing of an) ass, woman, and black Dog. I said: O Abu Dharr, what feature is there in a black dog which distinguish it from the red dog and the yellow dog? He said: O, son of my brother, I asked the Messenger of Allah as you are asking me, and he said: The black dog is a devil.
From Abu Dawud Number 0704: Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: Ikrimah reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas, saying: I think the Apostle of Allah said: When one of you prays without a sutrah, a dog, an ass, a pig, a Jew, a Magian, and a woman cut off his prayer, but it will suffice if they pass in front of him at a distance of over a stone’s throw.
These hadiths state that if a dog passes in front of people praying it annuls their prayer. Annul means, “to reduce to nothing”, or “to make ineffective or inoperative”. If a group of people are praying and a dog walks in-between them and the Kaba (in
5) DOGS STOP THE ANGELS
From Bukhari 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).”"
From Bukhari 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.”"
From Muslim, #5276: Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: Angels do not accompany the travelers who have with them a dog and a bell.
From Muslim, #5279: Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: “The bell is the musical instrument of Satan.”
The story behind these hadiths was mentioned earlier. A little puppy stopped an angel from entering the house because it was “unclean”. Note that angels do not enter a place with a dog, or accompany people who travel with a dog.
The tomes also details the same aspects found in the traditions. We’ll start with the Reliance of the Traveler which is a compendium of Shafi’i law.
On filth, page 95; e14.0 FILTH (NAJASA); e.14.1 Filth means: (8) dogs and pigs, or their offspring
On purification, page 98; e14.7 Something that becomes impure by contact (def: below) with something from dogs or swine does not become pure except by being washed seven times, one of which (recommended not to be the last) must be with purifying earth (def: e12.1 (b)) mixed with purifying water, and it must read all of the affected area. One may not substitute something else like soap or glasswort in place of earth.
(n: The contact referred to is restricted, in the Shafi’i school, to contamination by traces of moisture from dogs or swing, whether saliva, urine, anything moist from them, or any of their dry parts that have become moist…)
On trade, page 382: k2.2 It is invalid to transact something that is impure in itself (najasa, def: e141) such as a dog or something affected with filth that cannot be purified (O: by washing), like milk or shortening, though if it can be, like a garment, then it may be transacted.
The Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam entry on dogs (Kalb).
Page 215: Kalb (the dog), is also in Islam one of the “unclean beasts” (hence kalb as an abusive word, specially to unbelievers), primarily because its flesh may not be eaten (al-Nawawi ..) and further because, according to the Hadiths, there are several special regulation regarding it. For example dogs render food which they lick impure and render unavailable water intended for ritual purifications…) Vessels, likewise, which have been licked by dogs, require to be cleaned several times including once with sand. In a certain way they render impure the whole room in which they are; for angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog and Muhammad had first to sprinkle the place on which a young dog had lain concealed with purificatory water before Djibril would appear to him….)
Dogs “cut off the salat”, i.e. they make the salat worthless when they come into the immediate vicinity of the man at prayer (Ibn Madja, Ikama, bab 30), and one is all the more inclined to attribute this rule to the impurity of the dog as it also holds for menstruating women. The Arab commentators, however, explain it by saying that the dog frightens the worshipper and distracts him from his devotions (al-Sindi commentary on Ibn Madja as cited above). This is especially true of the black dog, for “he is Satan”). This saying is either to be interpreted literally as meaning that Satan occasionally appears in the form a black dog (cf. Faust) or it only means that black dogs in general are considered particularly dangerous. Dogs in general are considered noxious and should therefore be exterminated (al-Nasa’i, Said wa’l-dhaba’ih, bab 9-14_, but as “Allah does not create anything in which there is not a trace of His wisdom” (al-Sindi, commentary on this passage), this rule is applied only to black dogs.
It is only permitted to keep dogs for hunting, for herding and for watching (al-Nasa’i, op. cit.); whoever keeps a forbidden dog has to forfeit a portion of his possession daily (cf. Babylon. Talmud Shabbath, fol 63: “whoever possesses a dangerous dog keeps good fortune away from his house”). Dealing in dogs on the other hand is strictly forbidden (al-Bukhari, Buyu’ bab 25).
But in spite of its impurity and dangerousness the Arabs are able to appreciate the good qualities and services of the dog. Muhammad himself promises a woman a divine reward for a kindness which she had done a thirsty dog (al-Bukhari, Wudi, bab 33), and al-Kazwini (p. 403) characterizes the dog as “a particularly intelligent, very useful animal, patient in hunger an on the watch, whose cleverness and fidelity are shown in many ways”. …
The tomes echo the hadiths statements. That’s’ because the hadiths statements are theological bedrock for Islam’s denigration of dogs, hence the scholars detail the rulings in their books of jurisprudence or theology. Islam has a formal, establish, legal position that dogs are unclean and it rejects dogs as pets.
There are many Muslim sites that discuss dog ownership. Real Muslims believe in obeying the Islamic law – the Sharia’h, which states that keeping dogs as pets is not permitted. Below are a few samples.
The Muslim Q&A site Albalgh answers a young Muslim’s question regarding keeping a dog as a pet:
Q.) I am a 15 year old Muslim American and my mother is buying a dog. I heard that if I touch the dog, I cannot pray. Is this true? What should I do?
Similarly Allah Taãla created the dog from among His creation. This does not mean that we should love the dog. It is perhaps the indoctrination of the Western culture that ‘The dog is Man’s best Friend’. The theory that ‘dogs are very dependent on Human affection’ is a myth – again culture and custom has helped to develop this unnatural behavior.
Allah Taãla the Creator of this Universe – having created the dog would surely have known that the dog requires Human affection and love to exist in this world. Rasulullah (Sallallaaahu Álayhi Wasallam) would have advised us to keep dogs as pets. On the contrary, we are instructed not to keep dogs as pets and ‘love’ them as exemplified by the non-Muslims. Remember our life is structured and bound by the Shariah i.e. The Noble Qurãn and the beautiful example of Rasulullah (Sallallaaahu Álayhi Wasallam). Consider these Ahaadith:
… Salaam) said that we, the group of Angels do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or pictures. (Sahih Muslim Hadith no.3928)
In the light of these Ahadiths and other narrations, it is not permissible to keep dogs as pets. The household is deprived of the Mercy of Allah Taãla.
The website Islam-qa addresses a person’s question regarding owning dogs:
Question: What is the ruling on raising dogs in the house?
Answer…It is not permissible for a Muslim to keep a dog, unless he needs this dog for hunting, guarding livestock or guarding crops.
Al-Bukhaari (2145) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever keeps a dog, a qiraat from his good deeds will be deducted every day, except a dog for farming or herding livestock.”
Muslim (2978) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever keeps a dog that is not a dog for hunting, herding livestock or farming, two qiraats will be deducted from his reward each day.”
With regard to keeping dogs, this is haraam and is in fact a major sin, because the one who keeps a dog, except those for which an exception has been made, will have two qiraats deducted from his reward every day.
It is by the wisdom of Allah that like calls to like and evil calls to evil. It is said that the kaafirs, Jews, Christians and communists in the east and the west all keep dogs, Allaah forbid. Each one takes his dog with him and cleans it every day with soap and other cleansing agents. But even if he were to clean it with the water of all the seas in the world and all the soap in the world, it would never become pure! Because its impurity is inherent, and inherent impurity cannot be cleansed except by destroying it and erasing it altogether.
But this is by the wisdom of Allah, and the wisdom of Allah is that like calls to like and evil calls to Shaytaan because this kufr of theirs is by the inspiration of the Shaytaan and the command of the Shaytaan, for the Shaytaan enjoins evil, immorality, kufr and misguidance. So they are slaves to the Shaytaan and to their whims and desires, and they are also evil and love vile things. We ask Allah to guide us and them.
These Muslim sites are only stating what the Sharia’h teaches: You can’t own dogs. The site above says that not only is it not permissible for Muslims to own dogs, but that the dogs must be destroyed. And note that it ends with a denunciation of non-Muslims (kufr) and states that owning dogs comes from the inspiration of Satan and dog owners are slaves to Satan.
TO OBEY OR NOT OBEY MUHAMMAD? –THAT IS THE QUESTION.
Islam has branded the dog as unclean, speaks against owning dogs as pets, and ordered that they be killed. However, some Muslims know the joy of pet ownership and are caught in dichotomies: To kill or not to kill? Unclean or not unclean? To obey Muhammad or disobey Muhammad? That is the question. The Muslims that are honest and rational know that the commands in the hadiths are nonsense. That leaves them with two options: 1) deny the validity of the “authentic traditions” (Sahih Hadiths), or, 2) tailor the anti-dog commands to make them more palatable. We’ll sample a few of their arguments and provide brief responses.
ARGUMENT 1: THE HADITHS ARE FALSE –Variation 1.
One way to deal with the problem is to claim that the anti-dog Hadiths are false. Here is a quote from the Qur’an-Islam blog. The editor wrote:
It is traditional among Muslims all over the world to regard the dog as a dirty animal that when touched would void your wudu (ablution) and give you nagasah (dirty impurity!)
Sadly, this concept comes from fabricated hadiths which claims that the prophet ordered the killing of dogs and gave numerous hadiths that prohibit the keeping of dogs except for hunting and guarding, due to their dirty status!
However, by studying the Qur’an we find no such claims. Nowhere in the Qur’an are dogs prohibited. Consequently, we must dismiss all these hadiths that fabricate lies against the prophet.
And then an article written by Linda Kelly follows the above which supports the wholesomeness of dogs. Kelly refers to the “Seven Sleepers” story in the Qur’an, (that was taken from New Testament Apocrypha), and says that because there was a dog with them, God approved of dogs as companions. She wrote:
Hadiths tells us that angels won’t enter a room where there is a dog. That means that for 309 years that the sleepers were in the cave, no angel ever entered. Yet God says “We turned them….” The use of “we” clearly indicates the participation of angels. There is absolutely no reason to mention the dog as part of this story, except to make it clear to future generation that dogs are permitted to live among people, right “in their midst.” And 18:22 clearly shows that the dog was counted right along with the believers.
ARGUMENT 1: THE HADITH ARE FALSE –Variation 2.
The argument below is similar to the one above. It comes from the website “islamicconcern”. This argument also acknowledges the wholesomeness in dog ownership and the irrationality of the hadiths statements on dogs. This argument quotes from a Muslim professor living and teaching in
After a lengthy process of textual research and prayer for divine guidance, he concluded that reports against dogs were passed on through questionable chains of transmissions or contradicted by more favorable reports – for instance, one story of Muhammad praying with his dogs playing nearby.
“Dogs represent my rebellion against ignorance about the basis of actual historical law,” Abou El Fadl says. “They are a symbol of the irrationality of our tradition, the privileging of law over humaneness.”
How, he asks, pointing to Honey, who constantly follows him and nestles at his side, does God “create animals with these natural tendencies and then condemn them as thoroughly reprehensible?”
From Newsweek, April 15, 2002: Take that matter of dogs, for instance. To the literalists, the prohibition against dogs as pets is clearly delineated in one of the hadiths, the traditional accounts of the life and sayings of the prophet Mohammed. In their view, the hadiths and the Koran unambiguously set forth the laws of sharia’h. But, as Abou El Fadl points out, determining which of the tens of thousands of hadiths are authoritative requires both knowledge and critical analysis. One must evaluate the reliability of the sources and assess how consistent the hadiths are with the moral vision of the God who speaks in and through the Koran. In the case of the dog hadiths, Abou El Fadl found it hard to believe that the same God who created such companionable creatures would have his prophet declare them “unclean.”
Investigating the sources, he discovered that the hadiths in question not only derived from an unreliable chain of sources but reflected views far more consistent with pre-Islamic Arab customs and attitudes. What’s more, he says, he found that a hadiths from one of the most trustworthy sources tells how the Prophet himself had prayed in the presence of his playfully cavorting dogs.
Linda Kelly and Fadl attack the validity of the Sahih Hadiths. Yet in the theology of the Sunni Muslim world, these hadiths classified as completely reliable. They have stood in the hallowed halls of Islamic theology for a thousand years plus. They are foundational to Islam for they command and explain many of Islam’s facets that are omitted or missed by the Qur’an. Devout Muslims would say that Kelly and Fadl have been seduced or deceived away from Islam’s true teaching on dogs and that they are sinning.
Kelly claims that these hadiths contradict the Qur’an. But her argument is based on the assumption that “We” includes angels. God could have turned the sleepers himself. If God can create the world, he can turn sleeping men and angels need not be in the cave.
Fadl points out correctly that the hadiths is often “irrational”. But Fadl hides deceitfully behind a smoke screen. He says, “Determining which of the tens of thousands of hadiths are authoritative requires both knowledge and critical analysis.” In the context of the discussion that’s a laughable statement because the critical analysis has already been done. And the results of this analysis are now, and have been, deeply rooted and well established in Islamic theology. This “critical analysis” has produced the “sahih” collections of hadiths, i.e. Bukhari and Muslim. The other four authentic collections of hadiths are Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and an-Nasi. Five of these collections are available in English and much of them is available on the internet for free. You’ll find that they all agree about the status of dogs. Nobody needs to sift through “tens of thousands of hadiths”. It’s already been done and established for over 1000 years. Fadl is deceptive and misleads a naive and trusting Western audience.
Linda Kelly and Fadl both believe that it is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous disobedience to Muhammad, denigrate the hadiths, and bear the whips and scorn of the fundamentalist Muslims, than it is to turn their backs upon man’s best friend. Obviously it’s a dog eat dog world in Islam and these more rational people recognize the value of dogs as pets, so they attack Muhammad’s bizarre statements.
ARGUMENT 2: THE HADITH ARE MISUNDERSTOOD
There are several variations of this argument and an example is below. It is from a site that wrote a response to my original “dog” article. His reasoning is that the dogs Muhammad referred to were hyenas:
Has it occurred to you that the “black dogs” that Prophet Muhammad talked about were what we call today “Hyenas”? Don’t we even call Hyenas “black devils” today as the Prophet peace be upon him called them 1500 years ago???
They’re also sometimes called “Desert Wolfs”. What Silas? I know you’re Middle Eastern! Have you forgotten your region already? Or are you just acting plain stupid to deceive your Western reader and to make Islam look like you?!
Now tell us Silas, why shouldn’t you kill a Hyena, or a Coyote or a Jackal, or even a Wild Dog when you encounter them?
I agree that dogs are helpful and beneficial to humans. That is why he didn’t completely prohibit owning dogs from all aspects. We can still use dogs to benefit us. But petting a dog in a house causes the house to be unclean. Dogs are unclean animals. Their saliva are unclean and disgusting.
Osama is attempting to modify the hadiths meaning. “Muhammad didn’t mean dogs, he meant hyenas.” The Arabic word for dog is “kalb” and the Arabic word for hyena is “dab” (roughly transliterated). If Muhammad wanted to distinguish between dogs and hyenas he would have used the correct word.
Lets re-visit 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.
The Hadith’s note for #2839 says, “The prophet did not order the killing of all the dogs, for some are to be retained for hunting and watching. He ordered to kill the jet black ones. They might be more mischievous among them”.
Obviously, Muhammad classified together all dogs that did or did not perform jobs and distinguished between them based on their color: black ones were more evil. Think about what Osama implies: Was that a baby hyena puppy in Muhammad’s home, or was it a dog? Were Muslims using hyenas to hunt and watch their flocks? Osama’s argument becomes idiotic once the contexts are taken into account.
Finally, who is right, Fadl or Osama? Is Fadl right in claiming that dog as pets ownership is permitted today? Or is Osama right in saying that dogs are unclean and as pets make the house unclean?
BENEFITS OF DOGS AS PETS
I ask the Muslim readers to view the articles linked below and determine whether or not Muhammad’s statements were rational. Don’t just read the snippets I provide, spend some time and read the entire articles (linked in the Reference section). If you are honest, like Fadl and Kelly, you’ll admit that Muhammad’s statements were superstitious, stupid, and just plain wrong. The studies mentioned below prove the value of owning a dog simply as a pet. They are a sampling of the many available articles stating that pet ownership is very beneficial to humans.
The Pet Therapy Program uses carefully screened dogs and cats as an integral part of physical, speech, recreational and occupational therapies to address treatment goals including improving range of motion, strength and endurance, balance, mobility, and sensation. In addition to the physical benefits of pet therapy, patients form a connection with the animal; reducing stress and building self-esteem through the animals’ unconditional acceptance.
From the BBC: Dog-owners ‘lead healthier lives’. If you want to live a healthier life get a dog, research suggests. The companionship offered by many pets is thought to be good for you, but the benefits of owning a dog outstrip those of cat owners, the study says.
A psychologist from Queen’s University,
Dr Deborah Wells reviewed dozens of earlier research papers, which looked at the health benefits of pet ownership. She confirmed that pet owners tended in general to be healthier than the average member of the population was. However, her research suggested that dog ownership produced more positive influence than cat ownership. As well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol, she said dog-owners suffered fewer minor ailments and serious medical problems. There was also the suggestion that dogs could aid recovery from serious illnesses such as heart attacks, and act as ‘early warning’ to detect an approaching epileptic seizure. 
The Swedish Medical Center in America, Seattle, Washington, lists the benefits of pet ownership:
Why We Benefit From the Company of Animals
There are several benefits to having a pet:
• Companionship and pleasurable activity
• Facilitate exercise, play, and laughter
• Have something to care for and a source of consistency
• Allow feeling of security
• Are a comfort to touch and a pleasure to watch
• Provide a link with reality to enhance emotional stability
• Become a receptive partner in a relationship of mutual trust that promotes self-awareness
• Provide nonjudgmental acceptance and love
• Are an outlet for one’s ancient primate grooming urges
• Improved sense of well-being
Google’s Answers provides benefits to owning a dog as a pet. Below is a brief excerpt:
QUESTION: What are the top ten health benefits of dog ownership? I want measurable physical and mental health benefits such as decreased blood pressure. Not qualitative anecdotes about how they make you feel good.
- Pet owners have lower blood pressure
- Pet owners have lower blood cholesterol levels
- Pet owners have a higher survival rate after serious illness
- Pet owners have fewer doctors’ visits
- Pet ownership reduces loneliness
- Pet ownership fights depression
- Pet ownership helps us cope with stress
- Pet ownership aids childhood development
- Pet owners enhance family life
Please note that for each category above the doctor cites studies that determined those results.
The benefits of dogs as pets are well established and the evidence is irrefutable. Yet Muhammad, claiming to be a prophet of God, commanded that they be killed and not kept as pets. Either the research evidence is false, or Muhammad was wrong in depriving humanity of a friend and ordering that innocent animals be killed.
BENEFITS OF DOGS AS PETS CONTINUED
Take a look at this video below and tell me that this animal is “unclean” and should be killed. Tell me if this dog is a beneficial pet, an admirable animal, or just another target of Muhammad’s irrationality.
Does this animal deserve to be killed because Muhammad uttered a brutal command? Devout Muslims, true Muslims, must answer “Yes” to that question, because their “prophet” said so.
Do an internet search for real life stories of dogs saving or helping humans. There are many out there. Below are excerpts from a small sample of the benefit, the good, the blessing, that dogs have been to their owners or other people. Remember, if Muhammad’s words were obeyed, these dogs would be dead, or have never existed at all.
1) A story about a pet dog that saved his master’s life during a heart attack: Mark Hanrahan kneels next to his golden retriever, Murphy O’Dawg. The dog woke him up while he was having a heart attack.
2) Selma Hayek’s dog saved her life: Salma said she decided to take a nap at her home in California, not realising there was a gas leak in the house: “I had a headache and went to lie down when Diva woke me up by grabbing my sleeve in her mouth and trying to pull me out of the house. Then I realised the gas was on!”
3) A pet saves the lives of his two elderly owners: Eve and Norman Fertig, who are both 81 years old, were out treating injured birds in the Wildlife Sanctuary on their Alden property on the night of October 12th. They left as the storm intensified but, were soon trapped by falling trees and heavy snow as they tried to walk back to their home. Eve realized they could die in the bitter cold but, fortunately, Shana was with them.
As the cold and snow chilled them both without heavy coats and gloves, Shana started digging under the snow and trees. The dog actually dug a foot wide tunnel about
Shana barked but, the couple hesitated, so they say the dog came back and tugged on Eve’s jacket. She says the
Ok, if you are a Muslim, be honest with yourself. Didn’t these pets make an important difference in the lives of their owners? Is there any justification to kill them?
DISCUSSION: THE BIGGER PICTURE
Think about the bigger picture. If Islam had taken over the entire world, what would it have meant? How would that have affected our society, and you?
Muhammad said: “Kill all the dogs!” Kill Snoopy Kill Lassie Kill Rin Tin Tin!
Muhammad said: “Kill all the dogs!” Kill Scooby Doo Kill Pluto Kill the Taco Bell dog!
Muhammad said: “Kill all the dogs!” Kill Dogbert Kill Goofy Kill the 101 Dalmatians!
I am trying to make a point by presenting Muhammad in the light of today. The dogs above are fictional, or they were real dogs representing fictional dogs in
Muhammad said: “Kill all the dogs!” Kill your pet!
People’s pets have made a positive difference in their lives. Did you own a pet dog? If not, did you know someone who did? If so, I’ll bet that your dog, or the dogs you saw were a blessing, not a curse, to their owners. Were they really the “unclean” animal that deserved to be killed because Muhammad said so?
Too bad Muhammad did not have a pet dog to share life with while he was growing up. If a dog was with him in the cave Hira, it would have helped him fend off the dark spirit that assaulted him. Following that visit Muhammad was often very depressed and attempted suicide many times during the next 3 years or so. (See the article Muhammad’s Suicide Attempts).
QUESTIONS AND TALKING POINTS
Below are some brief questions and thoughts on Muhammad’s statements.
1) Prayer is annulled by a dog. Why should a dog nullify prayer? What difference does it make if the dog is in front of you, or behind you? Jesus taught that God judges the heart, and the outward performance is irrelevant.
2) Angels do not enter a house wherein there is a dog. Why would an angel be stopped by a puppy if he were on a mission from God? What power does this “unclean” characteristic possess to stop an angel?
3) Whoever keeps a dog, one Qirat of the reward of his good deeds is deducted daily, Why would Allah double the punishment of dog ownership? And, how much exactly is 1 qirat in heavenly currency and what is it needed for? Is it a huge mountain of gold, silver, or diamonds? After all, if Allah is penalizing you for something, the thing he is taking away must have value to the owner.
The points above are some quick thoughts I’ve had about this topic. I’m sure that if you think it through you’ll be able to find additional flaws in Muhammad’s statements.
CHALLENGE TO THE MUSLIM
You have to take Muhammad at his word. Don’t deceive yourself like Fadl and Kelly and pretend that Muhammad didn’t say to kill the dogs. Take a stand. Either obey Muhammad, or admit that Muhammad was wrong and was a wacko. If he were false, then leave him. Don’t put your eternal fate in the hands of an abusive, deluded, false prophet.
Muhammad’s bizarre beliefs regarding dogs were irrational, superstitious, and very cruel. I am thankful that Western countries have laws that protect pets and animals and make killing dogs, as Muhammad commanded, a crime. I hope that Muslims will obey the law. Muhammad’s absurd beliefs are now part and parcel of established Islamic dogma. Muslims who intend to obey Muhammad and obey the Sharia’h must kill their dogs. Any rationalization for disobeying the Sharia and owning a pet dog is going to be punished by Allah. There are no intelligent or logical foundations supporting Muhammad’s beliefs, rather they go against modern medicine, modern science, and practical experience. Muhammad’s order is a blight, not a blessing. Muhammad’s superstitious belief, coupled with his brutality, bring out the worst in men. Muhammad is to be rejected for he is a curse upon humanity. Consider Jesus. He did not teach to kill animals because of their species or color. Christ’s teachings were based upon faith, love, and obedience to God. When Christ taught prayer, He taught that God judges the heart, not the form or outward appearance. When Christ taught about heaven, and its rewards, He did not state that owning an animal would cost you your good works. Christ’s message was simple: love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself…
Silas; Rev A: 8-3-98, Rev B: 9/3/01, Rev C: 25 Jan, 2007
Further reading: Muhammad and the Animals
This article first appeared here: http://www.answering-islam.org/Silas/dogs.htm#_Toc158088979
 Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan
 Muslim, Abu’l-Husain, “Sahih Muslim”, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1971, translated by A. Siddiqi
 Abu Dawud, Suliman, “Sunan”, al-Madina, New Delhi, 1985, translated by A. Hasan
 Misri, Ahmad, “Reliance of the Traveler”, Amana, Beltsville, MD, 1994
 Gibb, H.A.R., Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam, Brill, Netherlands