Dogs Aren’t Impure. Muslims Are Allowed to Have Pet Dogs.

Many Muslims believe that dogs are impure and cannot be taken as pets. However, there is no such law in the Quran. On the contrary, there is actually much evidence to indicate that dogs can be had.

The cave sleepers and the dog

In chapter 18 (surah kahf) of the Quran, there is a story of the cave sleepers who had a dog with them. They were not out hunting but rather fleeing religious persecution (18:20). They all slept for hundreds of years. Not only did God keep the sleepers safe, He also kept the dog safe allowing it to stretch its paws over that long period of time (18:18). These sleepers were righteous and guided people (18:13). If dogs were forbidden and impure, why did God tell this story of righteous people who had a dog sleep with them?

Hunting dog

In verse 5:4, God says that we can eat what our hunting dogs catch.

يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ ۖ قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ۙ وَمَا عَلَّمْتُم مِّنَ الْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ تُعَلِّمُونَهُنَّ مِمَّا عَلَّمَكُمُ اللَّهُ ۖ فَكُلُوا مِمَّا أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
They ask you, [O Muhammad], what has been made lawful for them. Say, “Lawful for you are [all] good foods and [game caught by] what you have trained of hunting dogs which you train as Allah has taught you. So eat of what they catch for you, and mention the name of Allah upon it, and fear Allah.” Indeed, Allah is swift in account. (5:4)

The word “hunting dog” in Arabic is “mukallibiin”. Unfortunately, many translators of the Quran translate this word as one of hunting animals, beasts, birds of prey, hunting creatures, falcons, and predatory animals. The word “mukallibiin” clearly comes from the word “kalb” which Arabic speakers all know to mean “dog”. According to the Edward Lanes Lexicon, the word “mukallibiin” means “a dog trained and accustomed to hunting”.

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