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Are Dogs Unclean in Islam?

21 May, 2024
Q As-slamu `alaykum. I heard a lot about a dog being unclean and that I should wash my body seven times if I touch a dog. Is this correct?


Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

1- As for the dog’s impurity, there is a controversy among scholars. While some of them see that it is wholly impure, others are for the opinion that the impurity is only in its salvia.

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2- However, a good practicing Muslim should avoid keeping  dogs in his house as long as there is no real necessity for that such as guarding or catching.

Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

There is an authentic hadith from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stating, “If a dog licks a pot or utensil, wash it seven times, the first time with mud.” (Al- Bukhari, Muslim)

Many scholars have concluded from this that a dog is impure. Others, however, say it is only the saliva of a dog that is impure. While a third group says it is because of the fear of contagion of rabies, while a dog by itself is not wholly impure.

The fact that we are allowed to train dogs to catch games, and we are allowed to eat the game they catch has been cited by Imam Malik to counter the notion of total impurity of dogs.

Read also:

Are Dogs Impure?

Is Breeding Dogs Haram?

Can You Sell Dogs in Islam?

Is It Haram to Raise Dogs for Hunting or Guarding?

Training Dogs for Herding: Permissible?

Is the Killing of Predatory Dogs Allowed?

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note:This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.