I had the pleasure of having a Shaykh, as a guest, in my home but during the salat he always asked me to take my dog away from the room. I asked him why so and he told me that the angels don’t enter the house when there’s a dog inside. What should I do about it? I live in a small apartment and don’t want to send the dog away as I’m very attached to him. I am worried if as the dog is still there, the angels will never enter my house.
Could you give an advice on what should I do about the dog?
It is permitted to keep dogs for beneficial purposes such as hunting and guarding. The Holy Qur’an says we are allowed to eat the game they hold for us with their fangs (Surat al-Ma’ida 5:4) and mentions the dog of the pious Sleepers of the Cave guarding the entrance to their cave (Surat al-Kahf 18:18). Hence, because such animals have useful functions and praiseworthy attributes such as patience, gratitude, loyalty etc., the early Muslims said that “Keeping a dog is better than being with a bad friend” and “If he thanks you and keeps your secret then keep that excellent companion” and “a faithful dog is better than a treacherous companion.” This is related from major figures – Malik b. Dinar, `Abd Allah b. `Umar, and `Abd Allah b. `Abbas – by Ibn Khalaf al-Marzaban in his book Fadl al-Kilab `ala Kathir mimman Labisa al-Thiyab. However, as you probably already deduced from your guest’s words, the more spiritual our attachments, the more angelic our state; so it is up to you.
Hajj Gibril Haddad