"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.
Whatever we look at or even see, enters our mind and soul, and sticks to them. Imam Ali (AS) said: “The eye is the reporter of heart and the messenger of mind.” . It means that every act of looking profoundly affects our heart and soul. The prophet (PBUH&HP) said: “Avoid unnecessary excess looks as they grow lust in your hearts and make you heedless.” .
In another saying from Imam Ali (AS), we read that: “The eyes are the snares of Satan” . That is why Islam has special guidelines and rules about at what or whom, one is allowed or not to look. And, this is more pressing in case of Muslims living in a non-Muslim society, where they are constantly exposed to both men and women freely and improperly dressed in the streets, TV, magazines, web pages, etc. Islam has regulated looking at the opposite gender according to the two categories: Mahrams and non-Mahrams .
A man is permitted to look at the body of a woman who is his Mahram, except her private parts (Awrah). And he must not look at her body from the navel down to the knee. This means that a woman should dress decently even in the presence of her Mahrams. One’s wife is an exception to this rule; married couples are allowed to look at the entire body of each other.
It is forbidden for a man to look at the body of any non-Mahram woman but he can look at her hands and face as long as they do not have any decoration. If the woman is Muslim, then he is not allowed to look at her hair. But if she is not Muslim, looking at her hair is not forbidden as long as it is not for pleasure.
Generally, there is no sin on a man for the first involuntary look at any non-Mahram woman, but the second look should be avoided . In any case, men should remember that: “Tell the faithful men to cast down their looks and to guard their private parts. That is more decent for them.” (24:30).
This rule also extends to adolescent boys and even younger ones, who understand women’s physical attributes and might be attracted to them. They should be taught to lower their gaze, too. Since children’s minds and souls are clear lands ready to be cultivated with several types of thoughts and ideas mostly captured by eyes, we need to teach them which seeds they should plant in their lands to attain Allah’s eternal satisfaction.
A man is not allowed to look at another man’s private parts, nor a woman at those of another woman; whether Muslim or not. Besides, looking at any parts of the body of another man, even the face and arms, will be forbidden for a man if done with the intention of having pleasure. The same ruling applies to a woman towards another woman. This also means that one should always cover his/her private parts in the presence of others, even of the same gender.
A woman is allowed to look at the body of a man who is her Mahram, except his private parts, if it is not for having pleasure. One’s husband is an exception to this rule as mentioned earlier.
A woman is not permitted to look at the body of a non-Mahram man, except for the face, hands, and that amount which men usually [i] do not cover and if it is not for pleasure.
One is permitted to look at the entire body of a child until he/she reaches the age when the child’s consciousness of sex has developed, or when evidence of sexual urge is noticed on him/her; even if it is before reaching puberty. However, it is better to accustom the child to always dress properly.
As a general rule, it is forbidden (Haram) to look at anyone (even at one’s own body) or anything (including people’s photos and films, statues, etc.) with the intention of having pleasure (with the exception of one’s spouse), even if one is looking at a Mahram.
In cases of “necessity” such as in administering first aid, medical treatment [ii] or during a trial testimony where the judge requests the witness to look at a non-Mahram to identify him/her , all the rules of the prohibition of looking become void. As an instance, if a doctor is compelled to look at a part of the body of a non-Mahram woman, he must only look at that part necessary for the treatment, but not more than that. Also, if possible, the examination or testing must be performed over the clothing. Other exceptions are looking at one’s spouse as explained above.
[i] This, although following a definite limit indicated in Islamic ruling that should be respected, is based on the normal condition of each society to some extent.
[ii] In the case that a doctor of the same skill and with the same gender is not available.
- M. B. Majlesi, “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 104, p. 41, T. 52.
- M. B. Majlesi, “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 72, p. 199.
- M. B. Majlesi, “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 77, p. 294.
- Ibn Babawayh, “Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih”, vol.3, p.474, T. 4658.
- looking to others
There is no doubt among us that after our dear Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP), our twelve Imams (AS) are the most important figures of our religion. On that account, today we want to get to know more about our first imam and the first male convert of the religion birth matter and conditions.
The faithless say, ‘You have not been sent [by Allah].’ Say, ‘Allah suffices as a witness between me and you, and he who possesses the knowledge of the Book’
The Holy Quran (13:43)
And among the people is he who sells his soul seeking the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is most kind to [His] servants
The Holy Quran (2:207)
If the two of you repent to Allah... for your hearts have certainly swerved, and if you back each other against him, then [know that] Allah is indeed his guardian, and his supporters are Gabriel, the righteous among the faithful and, thereafter, the angels...
The Holy Quran (66:4)
If we seek the true meaning of these three verses above of our holy book, they all seek Ali (AS) as their primary target and guide us to some aspects of his life. our dear imam has been implicitly described by The Quran many times that shows us His great importance in our religion.
No one can fully describe the contributions of Imam Ali (AS) to his religion and the people and if anyone dares to do so, he can merely show a drop of the sea. That said we are about to speak about the first question that may occur to our mind: how was our first Imam born?
Thirty years after the “year of the elephant” (*) occurrence, in the 13th of Rajab (March 8), when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) was 30 years old, 10 years before our dear The Prophet (PBUH&HP) received the first revelation from the angel Gabriel and 23 years before the great migration of Muslims from Mecca to Medina.
At this time, our dear imam's pregnant mother (Fatima Daughter of Asad) was praying at Kaaba. She felt an immense amount of delivery pain that she fled to Kaaba from that pain. Suddenly the wall of Kaaba has moved apart and given shelter to her for 3 whole days. After these days, she came out of Kaaba with her dear son, our first imam, Ali b. Abi Talib (AS). Imam’s delivery was a great honor that happened to no one And after yet; walls moving apart, mother’s presence in the holy site of Islam, and the unique birth in Kaaba were all the signs of the greatness of son of Kaaba.
Fatima Daughter of Asad was the second woman that converted to Islam (after Prophet’s wife, Khadija” SA”). She had the honor of taking care of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) from the age of eight until his youth in her (Abu-Talib) house. Their relation was as much close that Prophet (PBUH&HP) called she “mother” So we can see the early strings of Prophet (PBUH&HP) calling Imam Ali (AS) his brother.
1.Sheikh Mofid (died in 413th AH): our first imam, Ali b. Abi Talib (AS) was born on Friday the 13th of Rajab and thirty years after the year of the elephant in Mecca. No one ever has been born in Kaaba before and after him. His delivery was the great honor that God granted him to show his dignity over other men of his age.
2. Allamah Al-Hilli (died in 726th AH): Imam Ali (PBUH) was born on Friday the 13th of Rajab and thirty years after the occurrence of the year of the elephant. No one before and after him, was born in Kaaba at that time, The Prophet (PBUH&HP) was thirty years old.
Many of the Sunni scholars Believe that Imam’s birth routine was in Kaaba and some of them even think this matter exclusively was only for the Imam.
We will name some of them briefly and look at their point of view:
1. Al-Hakim al-Nishapuri (died in 658th lunar year): a lot of Consecutive narrations have pointed that Fatima bt. Asad have delivered Ali b. Abi Talib in the Kaaba.
2. Sibt ibn al-Jawzi Hanafi (died in 654th lunar year): It has been narrated that when Fatima bt. Asad was pregnant and doing tawaf around the Kaaba, she sensed an immense delivery pain that she fled to Kaaba from the pain; when suddenly Kaaba’s door got opened to her so she went into the Kaaba and gave birth to his child.
Syed Ismail Himayari (who died in 173th AH) was one of the greatest poets of Arabic literature. He wrote a poem about this unique birth:
His mother gave birth to him in God’s safe site; God’s house and masque was his birthplace
He was pure and noble; her mother, her child, and her birthplace too
In one of the darkest nights, he appeared with lunar purity
No child other than Amine’s child is honored like him
- Kitab al-Kafi (first Volume – page 452)
- Kitab al-Irshad (first Volume – page 5)
- I'lam al-Wara bi A'lam al-Huda (first Volume – page 306)
- Bihar al-Anwar (35th Volume – page 182)
- Description of Nahj al-Balagha (first Volume – page 6)
- Manaqib Ale Abi Talib (third Volume – page 307)
- Rawżat al-Vaeezin (page 81)
* In that year, Kaaba invaded by faithless king Abraha and his great elephant army and ironically saved by Allah himself with an army of birds carrying small stones by their pecks that penetrate the elephant's body and skull and all of them got killed, and Kaaba was saved.