Is Dog Haram to Touch? Explained Simply    

Many of us like animals like cats and dogs, and we love to play with them, however, we stop and ask ourselves whether it’s halal or Haram to touch a dog.

Most scholars agreed that keeping dogs for one of the reasons that the prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said is permitted. The Prophet (peace and blessing of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever keeps a dog, except a dog for herding, hunting or farming, his reward will decrease by one Qiraat every day.” (Reported by Muslim, 2948)

From the hadith, we conclude that it’s okay to keep a dog for protection, herding, hunting or farming. But is it haram to touch a dog? Let’s find out.

Is it haram to keep a dog?

It’s not haram to keep a dog as long as there’s a reason that doesn’t go against the Shariah and Sunnah. Otherwise, the person will good deeds will decrease by one or two Qirats every day. You can learn more about it by reading, is it haram to have a dog for protection?

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: ‘Whoever keeps a dog, except a dog that is trained for hunting or a dog for herding livestock, his reward will decrease each day by two Qirats.’” [Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5059].

Muslim narrated the hadith as follows:

“Whoever keeps a dog, except a dog for hunting or herding livestock, his reward will be decreased by two Qirats every day.”

The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about the meaning of Qirat and he said: “The Prophet was asked, ‘What are two Qirat?’ He replied, “Equal to two huge mountains.” [narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.]

Is it OK to touch dogs in Islam?

man touching dog's belly to answer is dog haram to touch

Yes, it’s okay to touch dogs in Islam, touching or kissing dogs is not haram and doesn’t require purification. The impurity of the dog is in its saliva not its hair, or itself.

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:  “With regard to dogs, there are three views among the scholars:

  • That they are tahir (pure), even their saliva. This is the view of Malik.
  • That they are najis (impure), even their hair. This is the view of al-Shafi’i and is one of the two views narrated by Ahmad.
  • Their hair is tahir but their saliva is najis. This is the view of Abu Haneefah and Ahmad in the other report narrated by him.

This is the most correct view. So if the wetness of the dog’s hair gets onto one’s garment or body, that does not make it najis.” [Majmu’ al-Fatawa, 21/530.]

So, Is dog haram to touch? No, dogs are not Haram to touch. However, if you touch the dog and your hand gets wet or if you come in contact with its saliva then you need to wash your hand seven times and one of them should be with soil or earth.

Does this mean that I can play with a dog? Yes, you can play with dogs and you can learn more about the matter by reading, is it haram to play with a dog?

What to do after touching a dog in Islam?

So, we have explained that the answer to the question of is a dog haram to touch is not, what should you do after touching it?

If your hands come in contact with its saliva then your hands need to be washed seven times and one of them should be with earth. That’s what most of the scholars agreed on. 

The problem with the dog is that its saliva is impure. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“If a dog licks the vessel of any one of you, let him wash it seven times, one of which should be with earth.”

Do Muslims hate dogs?

 No, Muslims don’t hate dogs. Muslims aren’t allowed to keep dogs as pets, but that doesn’t mean they hate them.

So, while you can keep certain dog guard dog breeds like German Shepherds and Cane Corsos, it’s not halal to keep toy pet breeds that can not be kept as guard dogs, like Bulldogs.

Actually, Islam instructs Muslims to be kind to all animals. And if we see animals needing help then we should help them.

Our beloved prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) taught that when he told us about the story of the woman who entered hell because she mistreated a cat.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A woman entered the (Hell) Fire because of a cat which she had tied. She neither gave it food nor set it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 3318, Book 59, Hadith 124, Vol. 4, Book 54, Hadith 535]

The man who was rewarded Paradise for kindness to a dog

Also, the prophet told us the story of the man who found a dog thirsty and helped him, so Allah rewarded him with paradise.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “A man saw a dog biting the dust because of thirst, so he took his shoe and started to scoop water up with it until the dog’s thirst was quenched. Allah appreciated his good deed and granted him entry to Paradise for it.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 174).

In another version of the hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whilst a man was walking, he became very thirsty, so he went down to a well and drank from it. When he came out, he saw a dog panting and biting the soil because of thirst. The man said, He is suffering the same as I suffered, so he filled his shoe (with water), came out and let the dog drink until his thirst was quenched. Allah appreciated his good deed and forgave him because of it.”

The people asked, “O Messenger of Allah, will we be rewarded for how we treat animals?” He said, “In every living thing there is a reward.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, no. 2363).

If you’re wondering why are dogs haram but not cats, then read this article to find out.

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What does the Quran say about dogs?

Allah mentioned dogs in the holy Quran twice, once in surah Al-Kahf and the other in surah Al-Ma’idah.

“They ask you, [O Muhammad], what has been made lawful for them. Say, “Lawful for you are [all] good foods and [game caught by] what you have trained of hunting animals which you train as Allah has taught you. So, eat of what they catch for you, and mention the name of Allah upon it, and fear Allah.” Indeed, Allah is swift in account.” (Quran 5:4)

From this verse, we understand that we are allowed to eat what the dogs hunt for us.

In the following verse, Allah is telling us the story of the people of the cave and the dog that was guarding the entrance of the cave.

 “And you would have seen the sun, as it rose, inclining away from their cave to the right, and as it set, declining away from them to the left, while they lay in its open space. That is one of the signs of Allah. Whoever Allah guides is truly guided. But whoever He leaves to stray, you will never find for them a guiding mentor.

And you would have thought they were awake, though they were asleep. We turned them over, to the right and left, while their dog stretched his forelegs at the entrance. Had you looked at them, you would have certainly fled away from them, filled with horror.” [Quran 18:18]

Since dogs are mentioned in the Quran, does that means they go to heaven? Read, do dogs go to heaven in Islam, to find out.

Can you touch dogs during Ramadan?

Yes, you can touch dogs during Ramadan, touching them won’t break your fast. Just remember if your hand came in contact with its saliva, you should wash it seven times, and one of them with soil. What about dog walking?  If you want to find out you can read, is dog walking haram?

Does a dog licking you break your wudu?

No, your wudu won’t break because a dog licked you. nothing can break the Wudu except the things that we know from the Shari`ah. Therefore, whether touching the dog or its saliva it doesn’t break your wudu or require you to perform it again.

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