Are dogs allowed in Islam

Dogs in Islam

Subasi, Vera (2011) Dogs in Islam.
Diploma thesis, University of Vienna. Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies
Supervisor: Procházka, Stephan

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Keywords in English

dog / Islam

Abstract in German

It is a well-known stereotype that Muslims usually have a negative attitude towards dogs. Traditionally, the dogs were considered unclean and there are many references to them in the Sunnah literature and in Islamic legal tradition. Because of this negative attitude, dogs received little esteem in Muslim countries and it is extremely uncommon for dogs to be kept as pets. Furthermore, these religious perceptions are occasionally used today to justify the abuse and neglect of dogs in Muslim countries. The basic aim of this thesis is to present a historical and conceptual framework for the relationship between Islam and the dogs. As such, the primary focus of my work is analyzing and understanding the extent to which dogs are declared unclean in Islam. I have analyzed the historical circumstances and precedents that led to this negative view. I have presented a historical overview of basic texts about dogs in Islamic literature. It cannot be said that there is a uniform and monolithic understanding of dogs in the history of Islamic literature. I have tried to show that it would be an unjustified position to specify the negative view as the exclusively authoritative and normative in Islam. Because my study is based on Islamic literature, I have concentrated on the positive texts rather than the negative ones. The negative mentions of dogs are mostly hadiths attributed to the prophet and the legal discourse that is based on these hadiths. My study shows that in the complex literature of hadith and fiqh, other views of dogs can also be discovered. In addition, the study has focused on the Koran, Adab and Ṣῡfī literature, which have felt much more compassion and compassion for the dog. As for the modern arguments, it is above all the disputations of the dog lovers who base their argument on the authenticity of the hadith literature. Many cited the positive references in the Koran as a strong indication of a general misunderstanding about dogs in Islam. There were legal disputes between the different schools of law about various rules for dogs, but the Ṣῡfī literature mostly addressed this marginalized creature of God. These pro-dog arguments are examined in detail in my work. Both the content and the basic motivation of this study are actually closely related to the rise of animal rights and welfare movements in the modern world. With animals being treated in a more respectful manner and with their rights protected by law, the Muslim world has been under increasing pressure from Western critics because of the situation of animals in their respective countries. Most of the contemporary discussions on the subject began in response to Muslim thinkers' criticism from animal rights activists influenced by recent Western discourse on the subject. In the same sense, I was personally motivated based on my experience during my 5-year stay in Turkey.

Keywords in German

Dog / islam

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