‘Be kind to dogs, but no petting’

National 2 minutes, 39 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

IMAMS yesterday reiterated that Muslim followers of the Syafie school of thought are not allowed to touch dogs, but added that dogs should be shown love and not mistreated.

The Friday sermon said it is haram (forbidden) to intentionally touch najis (impure), while responding to the recent “I want to touch a dog” campaign that took place in a neighbouring country.

“This act clearly contradicts the teachings of the doctrine and religious practices of this country.

“In accordance with the mazhab Syafie’, Muslims are forbidden to touch dogs intentionally,” imams added.

Although there is a specific method of purifying if one is contaminated by najis mughallazah, imams said it should not be used as an excuse to deliberately touch najis mughallazah.

The imam equated this to someone consciously committing a sin with the intention to repent and ask for forgiveness from the almighty later.

Najis is not only haram to touch, but it is also forbidden to use any najis on the body, clothings or hair, imams said, especially if it is najis mughallazah such as a dog, even if it is dry.

Imams told congregants that according to mazhab Syafie’, Muslims are prohibited from keeping dogs as pets, such as cats which are held, caressed and kissed, because this is already a hukum or religious law.

However, the sermon stated that dogs should be shown love and compassion and their well-being looked after. “Islam does not look down in contempt upon dogs as one of Allah’s (SWT) creatures.”

Imams went on to say that the mistreatment, beating and killing of animals without an apparent reason violates the teachings of Islam.

The issue of cleanliness arises when keeping dogs as pets, especially the cleanliness of clothing and parts of the body.

They added that Islam stresses the importance of cleanliness as what Rasulullah SAW (pbuh) said in a hadith narrated by Imam Muslim that “cleanliness is part of iman (faith)”.

However, the sermon stated that there are times when it becomes permissible to touch najis, such as when there is a need for it or during situations that are beyond one’s control.

If there is a clear and definite need and use for najis then it is not compulsory to avoid touching it, the imam said. “Nevertheless, it is mandatory for them to purify themselves of the najis when they are going to perform their prayers.”

The congregants were reminded that Muslims in the country hold on to the teachings of Ahli Sunnah Waljama’ah and Mazhab Syafie’ that are included in the constitution. It is crucial to continue to adhere to and uphold our religious law in line with Mazhab Syafie’, added the imams.

“We would like to emphasise and advise the public of this country to refrain from copying or following any events or programmes that are in contradiction with religious laws,” imams said, citing Surah Al-Isra’ Verse 36: “Do not occupy yourself with what you have no knowledge of, indeed the sight and hearing and the heart, all these will be questioned”.

The imams called on the congregants to strengthen their faith and piety by increasing their ibadat (acts of worship).

The Brunei Times