Is the Muslim dislike of dogs universal?
Do muslims hate dogs?
It is my understanding that calling somebody a dog in arabic languages is a heavy insult, but other than that I haven’t seen any other signs of dislike towards dogs.
The ones I’ve known (from Malaysia, if it matters) didn’t like dogs at all. More than one family, so it’s not like it was just a few people.
Dogs are traditionally seen as ritually unclean by most Muslims.
I knew plenty of Muslim families and West Africa that kept dogs.
The Koran or the Hadith, I don’t exactly remember which, advises against keeping dogs at home.
It seems to stem primarily from the Hadith;
There’s also a lot on the subject here:
In Arabic legend the Muslim prophet Mohammed traditionally had a beloved pet tabby cat, Muezza. Cats and dogs being natural enemies, you can see the cultural view.
My wife told me a while ago that she read that it’s more of a cultural thing than a religious one. That is, that it’s more of an Arab issue with dogs, rather than a Muslim issue per se. No idea how valid that is.
IANA Muslim, but I am a dog owner. How on earth is this possible? They are covered with hair, and often cover you in their moisture. Are you not allowed to touch them?
I have seen several human interest news stories lately about US soldiers in Iraq and/or Afghanistan bonding with a stray pup that they adopt in country, then sending them back home to the USA for rescue, so I have always wondered about this as well.
Clearly someone in those countries has some dogs.
I suppose I could just be the Christian minorities who have dogs in the Middle East, but I dont believe that is really the case.
Maybe only strictly observent Muslims dont have anything to do with dogs?
I believe the Saluki is not considered “unclean” by many Arab cultures. It’s a sighthound.
We must remember that Muslims cover over a billion people in this world and Islam is the dominant religion in areas ranging from Southeast Asia, through the Middle East and down into Africa. That’s a big area which covers a lot of cultures and ways of life. There are also several distinct branches of Islam with a wide range of practices. And, like adherents to all religions, people tend to have different depths of practice. Some follow more strictures and others less.
As for dogs, they tend to do their deeds without much concern to time or place. They tend to be dirty, noisy, and smelly creatures. I can see why certain cultures wouldn’t like them around as pets.
The Talmud talks about the prohibition of keeping pets that may scare people and then mentions barking dogs. It and the Old Testament are filled with not-so-nice references to dogs. Basically, it looks like the love of all things canine doesn’t seem to be a Middle Eastern tradition. Since Islam started there, it is very possible that Islamic tradition picked up on this distrust of dogs.
Not necessarily. Feral dogs have been living as on the outskirts of human settlements from time immemorial. Their last domesticated ancestors could have lived thousands of years ago, if at all.
Interestingly, the Arabic phrase “every dog has its day” has the exact opposite meaning than it does in English.
IANAM either, but it seems allowing a part of an unclean animal (hair, saliva) to remain on you renders you unclean (i.e., not Tahir) also, but not permanently so. For example, the Hadith says of utensils used by dogs;
“When the dog licks the utensil, wash it seven times, and rub it with earth the eighth time.”
I have lived in these Muslim countries:
Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Indonesia, and Afghanistan. In all these countries dogs are not liked by most people, but in all these countries I have met people who like dogs (usually they are the type of people who just like all animals). I have a dog with me in Afghanistan and there are a few Afghans who like to pet her, play with her. One of my guards has a pack of street dogs that he kind of has adopted.
This is weird to me, given the prevelance of sheep in those cultures, I’d have thought sheepdogs would be prevalent too. Guess not.
Also curious that this wasn’t the Egyptian or Mesopotamian attitude, given the prevalence of depictions of sighthounds in both cultures. Mmm, both those cultures were conquerors of the Middle East, and hunting dogs are usually associated with nobility (i.e. the foreign rulers) - maybe the prejudice against dogs is reactionary?
You are supposed to clean yourself after you have played with a dog. “Clean” in this case meaning you need to redo the ritual abolution, before you can pray.
Otherwise, well in Pakistan at least most people have no issue, you have dogs as a pet (I did at one time).
I am actually a muslim.
Since the OP has been answered, I don’t feel too bad about hijacking to ask you this: what is involved in your ritual ablutions before prayer? I only ask because, as a Baha’i, it simply means to wash your hands and face (and I kinda ‘cheat’ for my noon prayer if I’m wearing makeup, and only dab a little water on my face; my hands get washed thoroughly).
Just curious, hope you don’t mind!
That’s been my experience. Dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan (and probably elsewhere, but I have no experience with that) are dirty, feral, and considered dangerous. Our Army K9 units scare the crap out of those people.
As for here in the US, I did see a muslim woman freak out about a dog once. I assume she’s a middle eastern muslim because she was wearing a burka. We were walking out of the library (coincidentally) together and a man was taking his dog for a walk. She turned and bolted back inside, peering through the door’s window as the man passed.
It’s the equivalent of us seeing a person walking with a wolf or a tiger. “Oh, you promise he’s safe? OK, I believe you…just keep him over there.” As for the dirty aspect, it’s like most people are around snakes or rats. Mentally, you know you’re safe. In your gut, it’s just EWWWW.