After Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH & HP) death, Abu-Bakr and Umar ibn Khattab took over the caliphate (the kingdom of the Muslims). One of their most important yet harmful decisions was that they ordered all the Muslims to stop narrating or writing hadiths of the Prophet (PBUH & HP). They argued that if people narrate the hadiths of the Prophet (PBUH & HP), they may confuse verses of the Quran with them or they may forget about memorizing and learning the verses of the Quran. Once Abu-Bakr gathered all people and told them,
[Today] you narrate hadiths from the Prophet while you narrate different and paradoxical hadiths and indeed people after you will do worse. Therefore, do not narrate hadiths from the Prophet anymore and if someone wanted you to narrate, tell them that “we have the Holy Quran. So, follow its rules.” (1)
Qurzah ibn Ka’b (one of the companions of the Prophet) said,
When we were going to Iraq, Umar accompanied us [until we left the city]. He said, “do you know why did I accompany you?” we said, “because you wanted to respect us”. He said, “in addition to that, I wanted to tell you that you are going to a place where its people recite the Quran like the bee buzz; hence do not occupy their minds with hadiths. Teach them the Quran and tell them a few hadiths of the Prophet (not too many) and I will do just like you. (2)
What they said is actually against the verses of the Holy Quran,
[We sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought. (16:44)
As you see, Allah almighty says that the Holy Quran needs to be interpreted by the Prophet (PBUH & HP), and without his hadiths, the Holy Quran cannot be completely useful. Writing the hadiths of the Prophet was forbidden for 100 years because of Abu-Bakr and Umar’s orders. Due to their decision, many hypocrites seized this opportunity to make fake hadiths and many people forgot about the Prophet’s (PBUH & HP) lessons.
Imam Baqer (AS) is the fifth Shiite Imam and Imam Sajjad’s (AS) son. His given name was Muhammad, but he was called Baqir al-Olum (shortened to Baqir), because he was a knowledgeable person. The word “baqir” means “splitter” and it means that Imam Baqir (AS) had split the knowledge and started a knowledge revolution as he was a very knowledgeable person. It is said that the Prophet (PBUH & HP) named him Baqir so many years before his birth. (3)
Imam Baqir (AS) lived when the Umayyad dynasty had gotten so weak due to the wars they had, and because of this, Imam Baqir (AS) had the chance to tell people about the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH & HP) after they were forgotten or distorted. He said,
Watch these people who are like the scribes and the monks who hide the teachings of the Quran and distort it… watch them they saved the words of the Quran but distorted its meaning and they are always with the kings and royalties. When the greedy kings and leaders are overthrown, they are with the ones who have more wealth and power and this is the only thing they know. (4)
Due to the political circumstances, Imam Baqir (AS) was able to have classes and teach people what he had learned from his ancestors in various fields including laws, doctrine, tawhid (monotheism), imamate, interpretation of the Quran, ethics and the like. Accordingly, most Shiite hadiths belong to Imam Baqir (AS) and his son, Imam Sadiq (AS).
About his father, Imam Sadiq (AS) says,
Before Imam Baqir (AS) Shias didn’t completely know how to perform hajj, what is halal, and what is haram until the time Imam Baqir (AS) performed hajj for them, taught them how to do it, and what is halal and what is haram. Then the Shias didn’t need the Sunnis anymore and the Sunnis started to learn from them instead. (5)
As we said before, during the first three caliphates, the laws of Islam and the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH & HP) were mostly distorted or forgotten by people, and due to this fact, Imam Baqir (AS) had to repeat the lessons for people, especially the Shias.
The Sunni scholars all respect Imam Baqir (AS) and believe that he was among the most knowledgeable scholars in Islamic history. They have narrated the hadiths of the Prophet (PBUH & HP) from him and some of their scholars were his pupils.
Abdullah ibn Ata’, one of the Sunni scholars who lived during the same time as Imam Baqir (AS) says,
I haven’t seen anyone like Abu-Jafar (Imam Baqir) whose knowledge of the Sunni scholars seemed so little compared to him. Indeed, I saw Hakam ibn Utaibah (one of the greatest Sunni scholars of those times) with him and Hakam was like a pupil to him. (6)
- Tadhkirah al-Huffaz, az-Zahabi, vol.1, pg.9
- Tadhkirah al-Huffaz, az-Zahabi, vol.1, pg.12
- Al-Kafi, Sheikh Koleini, vol.1, pg.469
- Al-Kafi, Sheikh Koleini, vol.8, pg.54
- Tafsir, al-Ayyashi, vol.1, pg.252 & 253
- Tarikh Damashq, ibn Asakir, vol.54, pg.278
"Although most modern dogs are kept as pets, there are still a tremendous number of ways in which dogs can and do assist humans, and more uses are found for them every year" . This animal is used in many activities such as rescuing, herding, sledding, hunting, guarding, tracking, and Human Remains Detection.There are also war and police dogs, which all indicate the versatility of this animal. But in Islam, there are some restrictions regarding the relationship with this useful creature.The term "impure" (Najis) in Islamic jurisprudence refers to things that are avoided because of the intensity of filth in them, one of which is dogs. The religion of Islam has warned Muslims to keep dogs “as pets” since they are deemed dirty. Now, let’s see why:
Unless properly trained, dogs will defecate and urinate where ever they please; they also slobber everywhere, which doctors say is the cause of many diseases and infections.
Even though the level of awareness about the hazards of having a dog has increased among dog owners and necessary precautions about keeping it as a pet have been taken by them, dog bites continue to be a public health problem in the USA .
Doctors always warn about diseases we may catch from dogs: “Hookworms and roundworms (Ancylostoma and Ascaris) are common nematodes of dogs. When a human accidentally eats something contaminated with worm eggs from a pet’s stool, the eggs hatch in the intestines and begin migrating throughout that person’s body” .
From the viewpoint of Islam, when we speak about the impurity of the dog, we mean its "outward" filth and all its organs including skin, flesh, and hair. So, everything is considered as "impure" in contact with a wet dog or vice versa (a wet thing in contact with a dog). Almost all Muslim scholars do not doubt that dogs are impure animals. There are many narrations (Hadiths) about the impurity of dogs in authentic narration books, including:
“Allah has not created a creature more impure than dogs” .
“If your clothes get dampened by a dog, then you must wash them” .
Perhaps, one of the reasons for Islam to prohibit Muslims from keeping dogs as pets  is due to the high fidelity of these animals. The bond between dogs and their owners has an important impact on family relationships in a way that the dog owner may forget his family members and relatives, adore his/her pet, and neglect God’s worship as well.
It has been reported that “More and more US women are forgoing motherhood and getting their maternal kicks by owning handbag-size canines” .
There are possibly two reasons for a person to have a dog: affection for the animal or security.
In the first case, the dog will most probably live with you in your house, which is prohibited according to Islamic law.
And in the second one, the case of security, the dog is mostly kept on the periphery of your house or property; like the dogs that are held for hunting, guarding livestock, crops, and for guarding houses, etc. These dogs are called trained dogs (Kalb-e-Moallam) in Islam and the rules regarding them are different from the ones for the other kinds of dogs.
There are exceptions to them, and they are not considered “impure” because of their skills. This fact has been mentioned in the Holy Quran directly: “As for what you have taught hunting dogs [to catch], teaching them out of what Allah has taught you, eat of what they catch for you and mention Allah’s Name over it …” (5:4)
But do Muslims consider dogs as filthy and useless creatures? No. because these animals are also creatures of God. Similarly, despite its many benefits and its importance for human life, human blood is also regarded as impure in Islamic teachings.
In other words, dogs’ impurity does not deny the existence of their good features such as loyalty or innocence, just as the impurity of human urine, feces, and blood has nothing to do with his/her humanity.
On the other hand, Islam has proposed very detailed rights for all kinds of animals including dogs, which a Muslim must respect and observe. For example, one day when Imam Hussain (AS) saw his servant sharing his food with Imam’s garden guard dog, he highly admired the servant for his kind behavior, rewarded him with 1000 Dinars and even donated the garden to him just for observing the right of a dog .
The words mentioned above reveal the Islamic view of dogs. But is that all? Have we successfully and thoroughly looked into it to reach firm ideas about dogs?
To tell you the truth, we are not always able to understand the essence of Islamic rules and guidelines. More importantly, Muslims have learned to fully observe the practices ordained by God because they believe these practices are best for them, just like following the instructions that come with the electronic devices without questioning them.
If God, the Prophet (PBUH&HP), and infallible Imams (AS) prohibit specific practices, it is definitely because they have certain harmful effects on us that may or may not be immediate or measurable.
“…while He has already elaborated for you whatever He has forbidden you, excepting what you may be compelled to [eat in an emergency]? Indeed many mislead [others] by their fancies, without any knowledge. Indeed your Lord knows best the transgressors.” (6:119)
It is permissible to keep dogs for security purposes in Islam, but you cannot let them inside your house. However, this does not mean we can harm dogs or hate them, Not at all; on the contrary, we should always be compassionate with dogs as much as we should be with any other living kind.
Although all social systems try to conceal poverty from their society, poverty has always been an important challenge in different societies. Poor people have always existed in the world throughout history.
Some people may not like to give charity to others. Since they think that giving charity to the poor will make them more useless and will make the view of the society unpleasant. At the time of the prophet (PBUH), the same way of thinking existed. Concerning that, this verse of the holy Quran was revealed: “When they are told, ‘Spend out of what Allah has provided you,’ the faithless say to the faithful, ‘Shall we feed [someone] whom Allah would feed if He wished? You are only in manifest error.” (36: 47)
Quran uses different words while it encourages people to give charity. Mostly used words are as follows: Infaq, Zakat, Sadaqa.
Infaq is the general word that is used for granting something to others. This is not necessarily money. Infaq includes any kind of help that we provide for those who do not have it. For example, teaching something to someone who does not have the knowledge. Or even spreading positive feelings in different gatherings that make others feel better is a kind of charity . But sadaqa refers to those kinds of donations that are material (not spiritual).
In the Quran, it is repeatedly recommended that believers should give charity to ascend the steps of spirituality; “You will never attain piety until you spend out of what you hold dear, and whatever you may spend on anything, Allah indeed knows it.” (3: 92)
Giving Alms-tax (zakat) and Infaq are always followed by the order to pray the obligatory prayers. This shows the importance of this social act; “And establish prayer and give zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do is Seeing.” (Quran 2:110)
It is so important that Allah says in the Quran “Spend in the way of Allah and do not cast yourselves with your own hands into destruction” (2: 195). The destruction that is mentioned here can be the social consequences of the capitalist system.
There are two major types of charity in Islam. These are obligatory charity and voluntary charity.
As its name shows voluntary charity is any kind of charity or almsgiving that are not obligatory for people, but they intend to pay it out to help the needy. Those who give voluntary charity are not necessarily wealthy people. But they share whatever they have, even if not that worthy, with those who may need them too.
Obligatory charities are known as Alms-tax (Zakat), khums and Kaffarah. They are not compulsory for all Muslims unless they meet the necessary criteria to pay them.
“A person will be obliged to pay Zakat if he is grown-up, of sound mind and in possession of something… The amount of money that should be paid depends on the kind of the material through which Zakat has become obligatory; these are two kinds of metal- gold, and silver-, four grains- barley, wheat, date, and raisin- as well as three kinds of animal - cow, sheep, and camel.”
“Khums becomes obligatory in seven cases, but the one which is inscribed to income is considered as the most salient kind. In this case, one has to pay one-fifth of what has remained from his income after subtracting his own expenses on the exact date that he has paid Khums in the previous year.”
Kaffarah or Fidya is the penalty imposed by Islamic law for those who commit a sin or make a mistake and wish to make it up. Kaffarah is used in the following cases:
If someone breaks his/her obligatory fast (Sawm)
If someone breaks an oath
If someone makes some specific mistakes in his/her pilgrimage (Hajj)
If someone kills a person
Allah orders Muslims to pay their penalty for their mistakes by donating to the needy. This shows the importance and the value of helping the poor.
Giving charity ‘saves the society from destruction’ (2: 195) and causes the ‘enhancement in one’s wealth’ (2: 261). Those who give charity in the way of God ‘will have no fear, nor will they grieve.’(2: 274)
Some people pay charity as a means of ‘nearness to Allah and the blessing of the prophet,’ and Allah assures them that “it shall indeed bring them nearness, and Allah will admit them into His mercy.” (9:99)
And Allah (SWT) emphasizes that “And neither do they incur any expense, big or small, nor do they cross any valley, but it is written to their account, so that Allah may reward them by the best of what they used to do.” (9: 121)
Allah (SWT) mentions in the Quran, that the reason for which He made some people wealthy and some poor, is to test His servants; “It is He who has made you successors on the earth, and raised some of you in rank above others so that He may test you in respect to what He has given you.” (6: 165) He would test His servants to see if the rich would help the poor and try to erase poverty from the society. This wealth does not necessarily refer to material properties, but it also includes social or political position.
The reason for which Muslims should give different types of charity is mentioned in the Quran; “… so that they do not circulate among the rich among you.” (59: 7). In other words, God orders you to give charity so that unlike capitalist systems, the wealth of the society does not become the property of some particular people.
Allah mentions in different verses of the Holy Quran that whatever we have is from Him, and He can take it back anytime. Quran describes the story of two men “for each of whom We had made two gardens of vines, and We had surrounded them with date palms and placed crops between them.” One of them becomes proud of what he has and says to his companion “I have more wealth than you and am stronger with respect to numbers… I do not think that this will ever perish”.
As a result of his pride and arrogance “ruin closed in on his produce, and he began to wring his hands for what he had spent on it, as it lay fallen on its trellises. He was saying, ‘I wish I had not ascribed any partner to my Lord.” (18: 32-43)
- Tafseer-e nemoone, Hadid, 7