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5 reasons keeping dogs as pets is forbidden in Islam

Islam is a comprehensive way of life, guiding its followers not only in matters of faith and worship but also in their daily actions and choices.

Islam advises to focus on other pets [iStock]
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This article explores five reasons why keeping dogs as pets is forbidden in Islam. They include;

One of the primary reasons dogs are discouraged as pets in Islam is the issue of ritual impurity. According to Islamic jurisprudence, dogs are considered "najis" or impure. This impurity is associated with their saliva, which can transfer to humans when licked by a dog.

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In Islam, ritual purity is important, especially before acts of worship like prayer or handling the Quran. The presence of a dog as a pet can complicate these purification rituals.

The Hadith (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad) provides further insight into the prohibition of keeping dogs as pets. Several Hadith narrations discourage unnecessary interaction with dogs, indicating that angels do not enter a house with a dog.

The Quran encourages the presence of angels in the home, but dogs, due to their impurity, are believed to deter these noble beings.

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Islamic teachings prioritise cleanliness and hygiene. While keeping dogs is not entirely forbidden, their presence in the house can raise concerns about cleanliness and safety. Dogs may carry diseases or parasites that can pose health risks to humans.

Moreover, their behaviour, like licking utensils or wandering around the house, can compromise hygiene standards.

Responsible pet ownership requires providing animals with appropriate living conditions and care. Dogs, as pets, need ample space, exercise, and social interaction. In many cases, keeping dogs in confined spaces may not meet their welfare needs, which goes against the principles of kindness to animals emphasised in Islam. Neglecting a pet's welfare can lead to moral and ethical dilemmas in Islamic ethics.

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Islam encourages Muslims to consider other animals as potential pets. Cats, for example, are generally considered permissible as pets in Islam and have a history of companionship with the Prophet Muhammad. This focus on alternative pets reinforces the idea that dogs are not the only source of companionship or protection available to Muslims.

The prohibition of keeping dogs as pets in Islam is based on a combination of factors, including ritual impurity, hygiene, safety, and the welfare of animals.

These teachings are rooted in the religious texts and traditions of Islam, which aim to guide Muslims in living a life that aligns with their faith and values.

While these reasons discourage keeping dogs as pets, it's essential to understand that these guidelines may not apply universally, as cultural and regional differences can influence practices within the Islamic world.

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