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Islam and The Killing of Dogs

Bassam Zawadi




Note from me, Osama Abdallah:

I wrote a rebuttal in the past regarding this subject, and proved that the Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered the killing of the African Wild Dogs and the Hyenas.

He called them the "Black Devils", which is exactly what we address these animals today!  I strongly believe that those are the dogs that the Prophet ordered to be killed, because they were obviously dangerous wild animals.


The article will be divided into the following sections:-

- Hadith Regarding The Killing of Dogs

- Hadith Showing Dogs Not Being Killed

- Should We Go Around Killing Dogs Today?

- Conclusion


Hadith Regarding The Killing of Dogs


You have general statements that show the Prophet ordering the killing of dogs in general. (Saheeh Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 54, Number 540; Saheeh Muslim: Book 010, Number 3809; Book 010, Number 3810; Book 010, Number 3811)

The order was to kill biting rabid and voracious dogs (Saheeh Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 29, Number 54; Volume 3, Book 29, Number 55; Volume 4, Book 54, Number 531; Saheeh Muslim: Book 007, Number 2717, Book 007; Number 2718; Book 007, Number 2719; Abu Dawud: Book 10, Number 1844) The killing of the rabid dogs also applied to other creatures and animals that were dangerous as well. e.g. wolves (Source: http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?hnum=1698&doc=0

You have hadith saying to kill all dogs except the ones used for hunting or guarding sheep. (Saheeh Muslim: Book 010, Number 3812; Book 010, Number 3814)

Other hadith stating that the killing of dogs have been abrogated except for the killing of black dogs (Saheeh Muslim: Book 010, Number 3813: Abu Dawud: Book 16, Number 2839; Book 16, Number 2840)

Ordered killing of dogs except for protection of fields (Saheeh Muslim: Book 024, Number 5248)


Hadith Showing Dogs Not Being Killed

They used to see dogs urinating on the floor of the mosque and they just sprinkled water on the spot, they didn't go and kill the dog. (Saheeh Bukhari: Volume 001, Book 004, Hadith Number 174)

There are hadith which show people quenched the thirst of a thirsty dog and they got rewarded for it. The Prophet even stressed that there was a reward for one who serves any living being, including animals. (Saheeh Bukhari: Volume 001, Book 004, Hadith Number 174; Volume 3, Book 40, Number 551; Volume 3, Book 43, Number 646; Volume 4, Book 54, Number 538; Volume 4, Book 56, Number 673; Saheeh Muslim: Book 026, Number 5577; Book 026, Number 5578; Book 026, Number 5579; Malik Muwatta: Book 49, Number 49.10.23)

Ordering a dog to be kicked out and not killed. (Abu Dawud: Book 32, Number 4146)


Should We Go Around Killing Dogs Today?

As for the hadith of  (Saheeh Muslim: Book 024, Number 5248) the order to kill the dogs were only within that precinct and not a general command. The command to kill dogs has been abrogated. (Source: http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?hnum=3928&doc=1)  

It is said that the killing of dogs in general was abrogated to killing only the black dogs and then it was abrogated to not killing any dogs whether it is black or not. Dogs could not be killed for no reason. (Source: http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=1&Rec=3746&Tags=&Index=&Search=0&desc=-1&SID=-1&pos=&CurRecPos=&dsd=&ST=&Tag=&SP=  and http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=4&Rec=3542 and http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=4&Rec=5236



The killing of dogs is not something to be implemented today. It was only there for a particular point in time. The Prophet ordered the killing of these rabid dogs, there were no rabbi shots back then. However, the question still remains. Why did the Prophet order the killing of dogs for a particular point in time? The wisdom for it is unknown. This is just a matter of faith and belief. 

One Muslim tries to answer this question....

Taken from http://www.livingislam.org/fiqhi/fiqha_e54.html

Muslim vol. I, no. 552; vol.II,nos.3803,3829 concerning dogs and in particular black dogs

The command to kill dogs was abrogated and its reason in the first place is given further below.

In Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Number 1032:

Abd Allah ibn al-Samit said: Abu Dharr said: The Messenger of Allah said: "When one of you stands in prayer, what definitely constitutes a barrier for him is an object placed in front of him of the same height as the back of a camel-saddle. If it is not in front of him and of the same height as the back of a camel-saddle, then some [stray] donkey, or some woman passing, or some black dog will cut off his prayer." I said: "O Abu Dharr! What is it that makes a black dog different from a red or yellow dog?" He replied: "O dear cousin! I asked the Messenger of Allah the exact same question. He said that the black dog is a devil."

Notes on the legal rulings based on this hadith and its meaning:

The passing of the above-mentioned in front of the person at prayer does not invalidate his prayer according to the vast majority of the Imams of Law, Salaf and Khalaf (early and late authorities) who concur that the meaning of "will cut off his prayer" is not literal but means: "will make his prayer imperfect" due to the distraction they will cause in people's hearts, while Imam Ahmad considered that only the passing of a black dog actually invalidates it. This was mentioned by Imam al-Nawawi in Sharh Sahih Muslim and al-Mubarakfuri in Tuhfa al-Ahwadhi.

Some of the narrations mention "the dog that bites indiscriminately" (al-kalb al-`aqur). Others: "The jet-black dog" (al-kalb al-aswad al-bahim). The gist of the reference seems to be that a wild-looking dog, or one known to be dangerous, has the greatest potential for distracting attention. The black dog is a devil either literally, i.e. a favored form for a devil to take among animals, or figuratively with respect to its negative aspects whatever these may be; and Allah knows best.

Here is another answer concerning dogs in general:

"Regarding killing dogs, the Hadith is authentic and quoted in numerous books of Ahaadith. In the pre-Islamic era, dogs were an inseparable part of the Arabs. The negative instincts of dogs have crept into their lives. Rasulullah came to reform them and in order to achieve that, he had to separate them from the inseparable, that is, dogs. He had to create a resentment of dogs in their hearts by emphasising in strongest terms like killing. He also ordered to wash the utensils seven times from which a dog drank.

"After the Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu ?nhu) understood the order and resented dogs, separated them from their daily activities, he said [= he made it understood], 'I have no problem with dogs'. He granted leniency in washing the utensils from 7 times to 3 times. After all, using hunting dogs is permissible and [dogs are] mentioned in the Qurân.

And Allah Taâla Knows Best.






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