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Islamic Culture ( 22 Nov 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Quran Does Not Declare the Dog Totally Unclean and Permits Its Domestication for Restricted Purposes

Dogs Can Be Used For Herding Goats and Hunting Animals

Main Points:

1.    The Quran permits domestication of hunting animals including dogs.

2.    Dogs are not totally unclean according to the Quran.

3.    Hadiths permit domesticating dogs for herding and hunting.


By New Age Islam Staff Writer

22 November 2021


(Photo courtesy/


The Quran gives details of what is halal (permissible) and what is haram (non-permissible) for Muslims. It mentions the names of animals that can be used for consumption and that cannot be consumed. The dog is considered Najas (unclean) by the Muslims. It is not domesticated for that reason. But the Quran does not restrict the domestication of dogs totally by the Muslims. It permits domesticating dogs for some purposes.  There are hadiths that permit domesticating dogs for two purposes: Herding goats and hunting animals. There is a verse in the Quran that permits the domestication of ‘hunting animals’ for hunting.

 “They ask you, ‘O Prophet, what is permissible for them to eat, Say, ‘What is good and lawful. Also what is caught by your hunting animals and birds of prey which you have trained as instructed by Allah. So eat what they catch for you but mention the name of Allah over it first. And be mindful of Allah. Surely Allah is swift in reckoning. (Al Madinah: 4)

There are some hadiths that also permit domesticating of dogs for herding goats and hunting animals.

Adi bin Hatim narrated, “I said to the holy prophet pbuh, “We hunt animals with the help of dogs. Are such hunted animals (hunted by domesticated dogs) permissible for us?” The holy prophet pbuh replied, “When you set your trained dogs upon animals uttering Allah’s name (on them) then you can eat from the animal caught or hunted by the dog, even if they kill the animal. However, when the dog eats a portion of the hunted animal (then do not eat) because it is then supposed that the dog caught the animal for itself. Similarly, if other dogs joined your dog in hunting then also do not eat the hunted animal. (Hadith 446, Vol 3, Kitabuz Zahayeb, Sahih Bukhari).

The rule for using dogs for hunting is that the owner of the dog should utter Allah’s name on his dog before setting it upon an animal. The owner cannot eat the meat of the hunted animal which is caught by a dog on which Allah’s name is not uttered.

Adi bin Hatim narrated that the holy prophet pbuh said, “When you set upon your dog on the animal after uttering Allah’s name and if the dog catches and kills the animal, then you can eat from the animal, but if the dog eats from the animal, then do not eat it because it caught the animal for itself not for you. Similarly, if your dog catches and kills an animal together with other dogs on which Allah’s name was not uttered, then also do not eat it because you never know which animal killed the hunted animal. (Hadith 447; Kitabuz Zabayeh, Sahih Bukhari)

Moreover, the Quran keeps the need of the hunting animal (dog) in consideration and so forbids the owner of the dog from eating from the hunted animal if his dog eats from the animal after catching and killing it as it will be considered then that the animal was hungry and it killed the animal for itself and not for its owner.

However, the Quran does not permit domesticating the dog for any other purpose that herding goats and hunting animals. There are a couple of hadiths on that issue.

Abdullah bin Umar narrated that the holy prophet pbuh said that if a person does not domesticate a dog which is for herding the goats nor for hunting, his rewards for deeds would be reduced by two carats daily. Hadith 443, Kitabuz Zabayeh, Vol 3 Sahih Bukhari)

Ibn Umar narrated that the holy prophet pbuh said whoever domesticates a dog for other purpose then herding (goats) or hunting his rewards for good deeds will be reduced by two carats every day. (Hadith 445, Kitabuz Zabayeh Vol 3 Sahih Bukhari).


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