"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.
For modern people who live in this era and feel that their smart devices can solve all of their problems, it may be a question that why they should follow a religion like Islam, while they are pros.
It is true that the power of human intellect and thought is useful in different dimensions of his life such as: choosing friends, finding a spouse, selecting a job, or making decisions for going on a trip, or more importantly standing against unrighteousness and oppression. In all of these minor decisions, human beings, using their intellect, make plans and take it into action.
Some people believe that the human being is capable of managing his life, solely by using his intellect. But the fact is that human being is still an unknown creature, and the more we become acquainted with him, the more undiscovered talents and capabilities we find within him. Now, could a creature that is still unknown to himself and his kind, be able to dominate all aspects of his creation, and manage his life into reaching the happiness? Can human, who is still unknown to himself, realize what is good or bad for him and find his way towards happiness or misery?
Putting the individual aspects aside, the human is a social creature, with social needs, and in his social life, he would face lots of problems and issues. And because he is a human, his happiness, misery, ambitions, his criteria of good and evil, and his path is mixed up with other people’s happiness, misery, ambitions, criteria of good and evil, and other people’s paths. Therefore, he is not able to choose an individual path towards happiness and let others alone. But he should find his salvation and happiness in a path through which all people can reach eternal happiness.
And when it comes to the afterlife and eternal life of the soul, it becomes even more complicated as human intellect has no experience of the unseen. Therefore, the need for a life structure or an ideology comes up; a coherent, comprehensive plan that aims to guide human into perfection; a framework that shows the right and wrong, good and evil, goals and tools, pains and cures, responsibilities and duties.
All the guidelines mentioned above are delivered to human beings by God’s messengers in a framework called religion (Shari’ah).
Some people think that in the modern era that human beings have reached high levels of technology, religion is no more efficient for them. But the fact is that modern technology cannot supersede human’s need for religion for a better life. Humankind needs religion in both social and individual life. Religion is also required to make a bond between man and the creator.
It is not easy to point out all the benefits that religion can have for human beings. Some people can point out the disadvantage of religion that in some areas limits their freedom. But it is important to keep in mind that religion, like any other system of law, is not there to give complete freedom to people.
In all societies, laws are there to make the life safer and easier for all the people in the society. This safety may not be reachable but to limit the freedom of those who wish to break the social norms. Therefore, the rulings of religion will sometimes limit the freedom of individuals for the benefit of the whole society.
Most of the people who do not believe in religion, and as a result do not believe in the afterlife will at some point feel absurd and void; even those who are very successful in their worldly life. The main reason for that is the contradiction that non-religious people feel inside them. It is the contradiction between their great and unlimited talents and desires with the limited and mortal life of this world.
But when people have faith in the afterlife, and that nothing in this world has been created vain and pointless, they will try their best for the unlimited success, part of which they may gain in this world, and the whole in real life: “The life of this world is nothing but diversion and play, but the abode of the Hereafter is indeed Life (itself), had they known!” (29: 64)
When people follow a religion and believe that their religious lifestyle, and following the rules and frameworks of their religion will lead them toward eternal bliss, their reactions towards problems and challenges of this life will be different. Of course, everyone in this world will go through hardship and sorrows. But they are only to strengthen them for the higher levels of life.
Therefore, those who believe in God and the afterlife, when facing a problem, instead of fearing and mourning on it, will choose a more logical way to tackle their problems. Because they know it is a test for them to improve their spiritual and even their worldly position.
People who keep denying religion and its power to make human successful and powerful in every aspect will spend a whole life in bewilderment. They may reach great positions in this life, but because they do not have an eternal goal, they will feel absurd at some point. Living life with the no belief in eternal life will lead people to absurdity, depression, meaningless life and finally it may lead them to suicide.
However, you should keep in mind that only saying that “we are religious” is not going to make us successful. Maybe that is why followers of many religions do not reach the great success and peace. Achieving the eternal bliss and success through religion is only possible by obeying and following every single rule that religion has prescribed for us. Otherwise, it will be like going to the GP and getting a prescription without using it. Would we ever gain our health back?
Therefore, as narrated from our prophet (PBUH&HP) To be a religious person is to believe in that religion by heart, and to manifest the belief by tongue and to practice the rules of religion in full. 
- The Quran, Chapter 29, verse 64
- Esfahani, R. Mu’jam-e Mufradaat-e Alfaaz-e Quran, p. 22
In the previous part of this topic, we emphasized that advertising peace and educating peaceful followers are of the main purposes of Islam. Here we review some more Islamic pieces of advice and lessons on having a balanced life and being in peace with other people of either the same religion or other.
Being equable and good-tempered, and avoiding irascibility and harsh words are continuously advised to in the Islamic teachings such that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is invited in the Quran to “argue with them (unbelievers) in a way that is best” (16:125). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Imams (AS), as role models for Muslims, have demonstrated these acts in a way that the Quran says about the Prophet (PBUH): “And indeed, you are of a great moral character” (68:4). That is why the Quran says about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “So by mercy from Allah, you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you” (3:159).
Imam Sadiq (AS) has described being good-tempered as: “using friendly words, nice behavior and receiving your brother happily” . Imam Ali (AS) said that the best and most important deed of a “believer” is behaving nicely with people . Even in the case of facing ignorant people, it is encouraged to treat kindly: “And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace” (25:63).
These examples and many other Islamic pieces of advice demonstrate how much Islam cares about one’s behavior towards others.
This is true that moderation can develop peace. Islam recognizes moderation as the most efficient and pleasant approach in life and interaction with others. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that: “the best of every affair is the middle of it” . The Quran describes Muslims as a moderate community and says that: “we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you” (2:143). This means that the nation and people who are educated based on the Islamic teachings and the Quranic guidelines will avoid extremes; neither they are radical, nor conservative .
However, whenever the truth (Haq) and falsehood (Batil) are clear and apparent, there is no place for moderation. An example is the holy struggle (Jihad); i.e., when land is attacked by others, there should be no moderation and defense becomes obligatory.
Islam has considered the rights for every being, from parts of the body to neighbors, parents, etc. Then, it is not surprising if Islam also considers some rights for non-Muslims over Muslims. Of the rights of non-Muslims are to believe in the promises they have given the Islamic state; not to bother them about what they want or on what they are obliged to; to judge among them just as God has ordered; not to oppress them since Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said that he would be against anyone who oppresses a non-Muslim1 . Imam Ali (AS) was sensitive to any harm or injustice to whether Muslims or non-Muslims. He (AS) said that: “if someone is not of your religion, he is still a human being like you.”, he (AS) was therefore against any harm or damage to non-Muslims .
After the rise of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) adopted the approach of moderation and fairness with the followers of the previous Abrahamic religions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) defended boldly Muslims and himself whenever needed. He (PBUH&HP) opposed any violence to Muslims, but he (PBUH&HP) still cared about the prisoners of the wars. He (PBUH&HP) had ordered to treat them with moderation, mercy, and humanity, to do good to them and to forgive them. Prisoners were usually kept in the mosques or proper and clean homes. The troops of Islam, following the manner of Prophet (PBUH&HP), preferred prisoners to themselves such that they provided prisoners with better foods and clothes. If a prisoner did not want to reveal the secrets of the enemies, he would not be beaten but whoever did so would be released .
Considering the points mentioned above about how Islam educates peaceful followers and how it considers rights for non-Muslims, the role of Islam in promoting peace can be fully grasped. However, this should not be confused that a Muslim must endure every situation or the violation of his\her rights or the rights of the Muslims in general. The key point is that a Muslim chooses the moderation and peace as the first solution to his social affairs as long as it does not require the violation of the rights of one or several people.
1 Here, the term “non-Muslim” refers only to a non-Muslim who is the citizen of an Islamic state or a non-Muslim who lives in a non-Muslim country which is in agreement with Muslims.
- Ibn Babawayh, "Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih," vol. 4, p. 412.
- Ibn Shu'ba al-Harrani, "Tuhaf al-'uqul," p. 200.
- Allama Majlisi, “Bihar al-Anwar,” vol. 74, p. 383.
- Reference to: “How and why did Islam spread very quickly throughout the world? – Part 4: Islam and its moderate views.”
- Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (AS), “Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq).”
- M. al-Kulayni, "Kitab al-Kafi."
- peace in islam