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Will You Lose Good Deeds If You Keep Dogs in Islam?

22 October, 2023
Q Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. Would I lose good deeds for keeping dogs? Jazakum Allahu Khayran.


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:

Islam forbids keeping dogs. The punishment for that is the loss of one or two qirats from one’s good deeds each day. An exception is made for keeping dogs for hunting or guarding and that does not take away any good deeds.

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Responding to your question, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shinqiti, Professor of Political Ethics and Religions History at Qatar University, states:

If the dog is taken for Islamically acceptable purposes such as guarding and hunting or protecting one’s soul and property, there is nothing wrong with doing so and it does not take away any good deeds.

Allah has praised the people of the cave and among what has been mentioned about them is “their dog stretching forth his two forelegs on the threshold” (Al-Kahf 18:18). The Quran mentions the dog three times in Surat Al-Kahf.

Also, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) allowed keeping dogs for protecting cattle and for hunting.

Prophet Muhammad said, “Whoever keeps a dog, except a dog for herding livestock or a dog that is trained for hunting, will have two qirats (the equivalent of a piece of land) deducted from his reward each day.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Almighty Allah knows best.

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