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976: Najaasah (impurity) of dogs and the ruling on keeping a dog


Dear sirs,

I am confused as to the position of the dog in Islam. I thought that what is najis is the nose (saliva) and that no other part of the dog is najis, except when it is wet. I also understood that keeping a dog as guard dog etc...is not haram. however, in Malaysia, there is a very strong aversion to the dog amongst Muslim communities to the extent that even in educational religious books produced from this country condemns the dog as najis (throughout) and haram to keep.

I hope you can clarify this.

Thank you.

assalamu'alaikum.

Praise be to Allaah.
The fuqahaa’ are agreed that it is not permitted to keep a dog unless it is for a purpose, like hunting or guarding property or other uses that are not contrary to the Sharee’ah. The Prophet (peace and blessing of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever keeps a dog, except a dog for herding, hunting or farming, his reward will decrease by one qiraat every day." (Reported by Muslim, 2948)

As far as keeping a dog to guard the house is concerned, Ibn Qudaamah said: "It is not permitted, according to the most sound opinion." (al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 35/124)

For more information on this matter, please see question #377.

As regards the najaasah (impurity) of the dog, the Shaafi’i and Hanbali ‘ulamaa’ say that the whole dog is essentially naajis (impure). Some scholars say that any liquid excreted by the dog is naajis (not the dog itself). The saliva of the dog is extremely naajis, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "If a dog licks the vessel of any one of you, let him throw away whatever was in it and wash it seven times." (Reported by Muslim, no. 418).

Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The way to purify the vessel of any one of you if a dog has licked it is to wash it seven times, the first time with earth." (Reported by Muslim, no. 420).

We must ensure that Muslims continue to be averse to dogs, even in the midst of what the kuffaar are used to do and what some Muslims have adopted of their habits.

May Allaah bestow good on you and on us. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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