The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!

19Aug/119

Islam: A Religion Against Dogs?

I love learning about various religions.  One of those I'm least familiar with is Islam, a religion which offers the lives of ~1.4 billion people meaning, ritual, joy, structure, and answers to their ultimate existential questions.  Despite owning a Qur'an I've always been discouraged from reading into it for two specific reasons.  The first reason is that the copy I have (at least) seems to begin with a bit of a grave warning, saying that if you read the Qur'an and choose not to accept and follow it, you're screwed (I forget if this meant death, misery, something akin to hell, or what).  Being of somewhat good conscience it didn't seem right for me to continue reading the Qur'an if I couldn't agree to its terms.  It felt a bit like a software EULA I was being asked to accept, when I knew there was a clause in it I had no intention of agreeing to.  I had to hit the decline button.  My learning about Islam has thus been somewhat indirect, in the form of summary and analysis by others who supposedly have read it.  Out of that comes the second reason I've not delved into much related to Islam.  I love dogs, and Islam is the only religion I've ever heard of that has teachings against dogs.  I found a site which list many of the specific hadiths prohibiting dogs and outlining how dogs annul prayers, decrease your heavenly reward, and prevent angels from visiting; and how all dogs except working dogs should be killed.  The site is certainly biased, written by a Christian trying to convert people from the Islamic faith, but it still presents citations of the relevant portions of the hadiths as well as variations in the teachings as they are interpreted by various Muslim scholars.  I tried to find a less biased source (hoping to find a site run by a Muslim) with a similar list, but found none as comprehensive in my searches.  I do understand that there are many faithful Muslims who own and love dogs, but they seem to be very much in the minority, and I'm somewhat unclear on how (given the very specific nature of the passages in the Qur'an) anyone could believe in the Qur'an and simultaneously own and love dogs; I'm somewhat of a literalist, if I'm going to bother believing a particular work has divine authorship I would struggle to literally believe some portions while figuratively disbelieving other portions.  Dogs have been good friends to the human race, arguably giving us the edge in our war of displacement with the Neanderthals, so I hope the Islamic faith does not continue to discount the value of our furrier friends.

Tagged as: , , , 9 Comments