This Niqabi Muslim Shelters Stray Dogs in Her House | About Islam
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This Niqabi Muslim Shelters Stray Dogs in Her House

BANTEN – Hesti Sutrisno, a Muslim Indonesian woman, wearing niqab, has a hobby of picking up stray dogs off the streets of her city Pamulang, southwest Indonesia, and taking care of them in her small house, which she has turned into a dog shelter.

“The first stray dog I rescued was scrounging for food in a rubbish tip in 2015. Subhanallah, I was afraid of them then, thus my neighbor had to come with me to the tip,” the 37-year-old woman told Jakarta Globe.

“A few days later, the same dog came to my house. So, I asked my family if I could keep it in the house until its health gets better.”

The mother of twin girls, Ayunda and Adinda, 11, now keeps 11 dogs and 30 cats in her tiny house.

“I didn’t really want to keep them in the house, since my house is too small, and I don’t have much money. But I can’t stand seeing them suffering on the streets,” Sutrisno explained.

According to some Islamic scholars, a dog’s saliva is believed to be ‘najis’ or impure, thus Muslims are advised by some Islamic scholars to clean themselves if they contact it.

At the same time, the Islamic Shari`ah orders its believers to be kind to all living organisms including dogs. Moreover, owning dogs is not forbidden in Shari`ah in several cases.

The Muslim woman said “I know dogs are najis according to Islam. Thus, I always follow Shari`ah by purifying myself after touching their saliva, either by wudu ablution or ghusl [ritual shower washing].”

“I once took in seven puppies whose parents had been killed,” the seller of kerupuk crackers for a living said.

She also made clear that she sold her motorcycle and some other belongings to be able to keep her cats and dogs. However, donations have lately come from people who saw her posts on Facebook.

Sutrisno’s dream is to move to her parents’ village near Bogor, West Java, where she will have more space for the dogs.

“Our villagers there are a lot friendlier to dogs. My neighbors here in Pamulang often complain about the noises they make,” she said.

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