Islam Doesn't Hate Dogs
If there is only a dog
My Catholic friend asked me one day, "If in this planet there is only dog, don't Muslims eat it?"
I know him well. He is a good man. And, I do understand that what he need is not anger or critic, but he needs help to understand. I told him, "Not that way. All Muslims must believe that God is a great creator. No need to think about 'What if' etc. Islam is not the appearance, but the true Islam is in the heart of the believers. This rule is only for Muslims. It's private rule. No other believers can comment on it as they are not forced to accept it."
He also told me that he had ever met some Muslims who looked down on his religion, not only on his dog. I told him, that's not the teaching of Islam though in fact Muslims claim Islam is the best and right religion. Non-Muslim also claims their religions are the best ones. It's normal. Muslims keep cat, they keep dog. It is their own subjectivity. Each of them also want others to accept their religion and follow them. But, both must consider the way.
He loves dog, but I can't even just touch it. But, we keep the friendship.
"Not keeping or touching the dog is the teaching of discipline," I told him. "from God to all Muslims. It's not an order to hate dog. It is the same as you and I when we were at school. We should wear shoes and uniform. Are other dress worse than it? No. Both are good. But, because we were students, so we must follow the rule. We should love all creature, except those which are dangerous."
I often see people blurting out spreading hatred in the name of religion. They claim doing something good, something ordered by God. But, one thing they don't realize is that they haven't learn the way to do it. It is too early for them to do dakwah to teach Islam. Most of them are those who have just started learning Islam a few months or a few years ago and haven't really understood Islam yet, moreover, the way to spread it.
If I say, "This animal is unclean" to dog lovers, all mature educated men and women know that there is one heart will be hurt. Children can't understand it. In Islam, it is not allowed to hurt others' feeling. It's so easy to clean the dress which is touched or licked by the dog, but how hard it is to clean (heal) the broken feeling of others.
In my home town, nowadays, I often meet such man. Speaking without much consideration, "It's right, that's wrong. I am good, you're bad." What's the advantage? Most well educated Muslims do not appreciate it. Islam comes into the heart through understanding, through wisdom, not force. Something all must remember, even a man say "I am Muslim" every where and every time, he goes to the mosque regularly, he does everything ordered by God. There is no guarantee that he is a good Muslim. Is he really sincere doing it? No one knows, but Allah.
Muslims may keep dogs
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Whoever keeps a dog, his good deeds will decrease every day by one qeeraat (a unit of measurement), unless it is a dog for farming or herding." In another report, it is said: "... unless it is a dog for herding sheep, farming or hunting." (Reported by al-Bukhaari).
Based on the Hadith above, it is clear that we shouldn't hate any animal including dogs. Look at two Hadiths bellow.
Hadrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) as saying, "Forgiveness was granted to an unchaste woman who coming upon a dog panting and almost dead with thirst at the mouth of a well, took off her shoe, tied it with her head-covering, and drew some water for it. On that account she was forgiven." He was asked whether people received a reward for what they did to animals and replied, "A reward is given in connection with every living creature." (Bukhari and Muslim)
Hadrat Abdullah Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and Hadrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) as saying, "A woman was punished on account of a cat which she kept shut up till it died of hunger. She did not feed it of let it out so that it might eat things creeping on the earth." (Bukhari and Muslim).
Those Hadiths teach us that we should love all creatures.
After all, I conclude that based on Islamic teaching, human can't live without any rule. Therefore, God makes certain rules for goodness. Something my brothers and sisters should remember is that cleaning something licked by dog seven times and the last (or once) mixed with dust doesn't mean to look down on dogs or the dog lovers. Just follow the rule. Be kind to all people.