"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.
When you want to attend an event that requires particular etiquettes, you get prepared beforehand to represent yourself better and make the most of it. It is the same for entering the holy month of Ramadan during which the gates of heaven are said to be wide open, and the divine blessings are more than any other time . Let’s see how we can get prepared to make the most of Ramadan.
According to the Islamic teachings and the lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), spiritual preparation is crucial for having a fruitful Ramadan. In other words, the more one engages in spiritual and religious practices, such as prayer, reciting the Quran, etc. the more he/she will be able to benefit the unique chance of Ramadan. The practices below are helpful in this regard:
The two months leading to Ramadan are said to be the chances to get prepared for this great month of mercy and blessing for Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) used to fast most days of the month of Shaban  and recommended his followers to observe their religious duties more than ever. This way, one can benefit more from the spirit of Ramadan.
To make the most of Ramadan, one should purify the soul beforehand. Abstaining from sins is a step towards this . The two months before Ramadan, Rajab and Shaban, are excellent opportunities to refrain from every form of evil and prepare the soul for receiving the blessings of the Ramadan. Therefore, it is also advised to repent and to compensate for what we had done before .
One of the incidents that give importance to the month of Ramadan is the revelation of the Holy Quran on the nights of Qadr. Therefore, it is highly recommended to recite the Quran carefully and more than ever during the month of Ramadan. To have a better command of this holy book and also benefit from its many spiritual benefits, one can recite the Quran before the coming of Ramadan and contemplate on its teachings. This way, you will feel more prepared to recite more pages of the Quran during Ramadan.
Respecting the rights of others is advised repeatedly in Islamic teachings such that the supplication (Dua) of the one who is in debt to others, won’t be accepted . It means that without having paid the rights of others, all the prayers and the fasting during Ramadan will worth nothing. So, an important thing to do before Ramadan is to seek forgiveness from others.
Fasting before Ramadan (in Shaban) is an excellent way to adopt the eating habits of Ramadan. There are also spiritual benefits in fasting during Shaban, and it is highly recommended in Islamic teachings.
To get physically prepared for fasting during Ramadan, one can modify his\her eating habits as follows:
If you are coffee addicted, you might get a headache when being deprived of it for 15 hours, for example. It is good to start reducing the caffeine before Ramadan. It is a good practice to prevent any pain when you fast, and it is good for your health, too.
During Ramadan, especially in long days, you might not be able to eat like normal. Eat less before Ramadan to get used to it.
Doing so, you train your stomach for eating early in the morning before dawn.
Doing exercises and sports take a lot of energy and make you thirsty, which can be tough during Ramadan. It is better to start doing your workouts in the evening rather than in the morning to get the new rhythm for Ramadan.
During Ramadan, you drink less, which might increase the risk of kidney disease. So, drink more water and healthy drinks before Ramadan.
Constipation is a common problem when you fast during Ramadan. To prevent, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables high in fiber and keep this rhythm during Ramadan because it helps improve the digestion process.
All in all, Ramadan is a chance for every Muslim to evaluate his/her life and find the strength to change him/herself for the better. But without Allah’s help and guidance, we cannot even take a step. Therefore, before anything, we should direct our attention toward our Creator and ask Him to give us the ability and opportunity to make the most of the month of Ramadan.
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 93, p. 340.
- Muhammad al-Bukhari, "Sahih al-Bukhari", I. 1969.
- Ibn Babawayh, "Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha", vol. 2, p. 51.
- M. Milani, “Hikam wa Mawaedh Alanbiae”, vol. 1, p. 235.
When facing a question like this, you may find a group of people who try to justify that Islam is not a religion of peace. They usually refer to terrorist attacks by pseudo-Muslims and conclude that Islam is not a peaceful religion. Peace in Islam is a value and an ultimate goal of life; may it be personal, social or worldwide.
But let’s see what is Islam’s viewpoint about war and if it approves terrorism.
Before discussing the main topic of this article, we have to understand what peace in Islam means. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, “peace is a state of tranquility or quiet such as:
Freedom from Civil Disturbance
A state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom.
Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
Harmony in personal relations.” 
Therefore, there are two types of peace defined above; social and individual. Islam not only talks about individual peace, but also all of its rules are based on logic to shape a peaceful society. In this article, we would focus on social aspects of peace in Islam, either within one country or on what goes on between different countries.
Allah emphasizes in the Quran that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) is a mercy towards all human beings: “We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations” (21: 107). It can be understood from this verse that a worldwide mercy, peace, and tranquility is the goal of sending Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with the religion of Islam.
Imam Ali (AS) in his letter to Malik al-Ashtar (his appointed commander in another country) wrote: “Develop in your heart the feeling of love for your people and let it be the source of kindliness and blessing to them. Do not behave with them like a barbarian, and do not appropriate to yourself that which belongs to them. Remember that the citizens of the state are of two categories. They are either your brethren in religion or your brethren in kind. They are subject to infirmities and liable to commit mistakes.” 
He specifically notes that we should be tolerant of people who have no bad deeds against Muslims and the religion of Islam.
In social relations The Quran defines Muslims as moderate people; “Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the faithless and merciful amongst themselves. “ (48:29)
By referring to the above verse and by going through its interpretations we find out that “Muslims should be harsh on infidels. Who are these infidels? Muslims should not be harsh on anyone who does not believe in Islam. They should behave kindly towards those who are not opposed to them, who do not plot against them, and who do not seek to wipe out their nations - even if they follow other faiths.” While at the same time “Muslims should be harsh on those who fight against Islam and their identity, nationality, country, independence, honor, dignity, traditions, culture, and values.”  Therefore, it is completely rational for Muslims to defend themselves while their values are being attacked, and it has no contradiction with their peaceful nature.
In recent years we have seen different terrorist groups such as Taliban, Al-Qaida or ISIS, who under the name of Islam, have committed terrorist attacks in different countries. They refer to verses of the Quran that are about the holy struggle (Jihad) and use those verses as a permission for their terrorist acts.
However, their interpretations of the verses of the holy struggle (Jihad) are not correct. The fact is that war is prohibited in Islam, and Muslims are not allowed to start a war against other countries for the sake of conquest or even for spreading the religion of Islam. Jihad is allowed for Muslims only if:
They are attacked by other countries, and their lives and properties are at risk.
If other Muslim territories are under attack by oppressive governments.
If other powers attack Muslim territories to annihilate Muslims or their religion.
“In the holy struggle (Jihad), violating or infringing on others' rights is not allowed. Killing other people under baseless pretexts is not part of the holy struggle (jihad). Neither is killing those who are not Muslims. Such acts are not allowed in the holy struggle (Jihad). Not all those who believe in religions other than Islam should be treated with harshness. Rather, only those who are opposed to Islam, your independence and territorial integrity, and Islamic culture, identity, and values should be treated with harshness. If carried out under these conditions, the holy struggle (Jihad) is considered as a divine order and will bring about glory to nations.” 
It is only under these conditions that Muslims are allowed to fight against the oppressors. And even when they are allowed to defend themselves and enter the war, they have to make sure to follow the rules of war. They are not allowed to kill the children or elderly of the infidels, or to poison the cities of the infidels. 
They have to tolerate the refugees, and if they betray them, they will face punishment . Also, they should observe the rights of the captives of war :
“Allah does not forbid you from dealing with kindness and justice with those [polytheists] who did not make war against you on account of religion and did not expel you from your homes. Indeed Allah loves the just. Allah forbids you only regarding those who made war against you on account of religion and expelled you from your homes and supported [the polytheists of Makkah] in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them—it is they who are the wrongdoers.” (60: 8-9)
In conclusion, Islam is a religion of peace for Muslim people and peaceful people. It is not a passive religion to sit and watch all the cruel things that are happening in the world and smile at it. Islam is the life map for those who wish to reach human perfection which is only achieved by obeying all of its rulings. No matter you call it Islam or something else, but every sane human being, by studying The Quran and searching about Islam, will understand that Islamic rules have been designed to make the society a safe place for human growth.