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Old 04-29-2015, 03:22 PM
 
646 posts, read 386,994 times
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I have a question regarding Islam's and its followers point of view on service and therapy dogs. I am talking the REAL deal here; trained dogs that alert deaf people when the phone rings, alert diabetics, accompany people in a wheelchair with all kinds of disabilities.

Also, dogs that visit the elderly, visit sick people in the hospital, are used to help children and teens emotionally in a classroom setting or in prison.

How do people, those with a very "secular" but also traditional outlook on Islam, see such dogs? Are they accepted? Do some Muslims even use such dogs?

I am mostly interested in the opinion of Muslims who live in the United States and Europe but would also be interested to know if such dogs are used at all in countries where Muslims are a majority.

Any information (links, personal stories etc.) is appreciated.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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My wife and Chase

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Old 04-29-2015, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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Non-Muslims seem to have a lot of misconceptions regarding us and dogs and pigs in regards to what is permissable and what is forbidden.
In simplest terms we are not to eat them.
If we have a valid non-food use for either they can be used, but must not be abused or mistreated.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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You may also want to look at the history of Afghan Hounds and Salukis
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:48 AM
 
646 posts, read 386,994 times
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Thanks, Woodrow.

I never said I had any idea about what is permissible for Muslims when it comes to dogs; the fact is though that I have lots of experience in the field and whenever I met Muslims they were either very fearful of dogs or outright hateful because "the Quran says dogs are dirty." I live in a region where Muslims are a minority but you meet them often enough to see that this is just how it is. I have had this problem with young men, children, women - it did not make a difference.

Now, I believe that many have probably no idea what the Quran or whatever the rules are based on REALLY says is permissable, but the fact is that the fear and disgust is there for many/most where I live. I was looking to get answers just how widespread this is (also worldwide) and if I was just unlucky with all the people I have met... (yet, I have seen the "dirty dogs" line also in a video by a Saudi Islam scholar or whatchamaycallhim), and for possible solutions to this problem.

I know Muslims who could benefit from a service or therapy dog but won't accept the help of one. So, I was trying to get arguments to maybe change their mind. That is all. Or, advice if there is a way to identify which Muslims are open to dogs... Does it depend on heritage, maybe, if they are immigrants b/c in their home country a specific form of Islam is practiced etc.. I know this probably sounds stupid but how am I supposed to know this? This is why I ask here in the first place; I belong to a different religion and have very little knowledge about Islam, also b/c there are so many "varieties" as it seems to me. I cannot work with people and help them if they refuse because "the Quran says so" or "it is against Islam" - but I would love to help them.

I am also very well aware of the Afghan Hounds etc. but those are not service/therapy dogs and they are a tradition and assist during hunting which s not the case for the work I do.

Last edited by Cliksder; 04-30-2015 at 02:17 AM..
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:29 AM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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I apologize for my rather short and somewhat curt reply I gave inmy first answer. I was rather pressed for time and only had a minute or 2 to write a reply.

Yes, like many thigs in Islam there is differing opinions among the Ulema (Scholars) it is not always a clear line that divides what is forbidden, what is discouraged and what is permitted. When my wife was first given a prescription for a servicce dog, I had to do considerable searching to find any actual straight answer.

There will be some difference in accordance with what Madhab a scholar adheres too the Hanbali Madhab which is predominate in Saudi and Qatar is considerably opposed to dogs for any purpose. As are some Pakistani and Egyptians that have some Salafi influence.

I try to adhere to the Hanafi Madhab, which is the largest Sunni Madhab,The Hanafi and Shafi'i scholars are predominately supportive of Service dogs with reasonable restrictions.

One of the strongest arguments that Justifies Service dogs is presented by some scholars from Malaysia.

Here is a link to him. But keep in mind he is of the Safi'i school of Islamic Jurisprudence and Hanbali scholars do disagree with him. Islam is all about accepting personal responsibility we each carry the burden of verifying ll things our self and not follow any scholar blindly

Guide Dogs Allowed in Islam: Malaysia Mufti - Asia-Pacific - News - OnIslam.net

Last edited by Woodrow LI; 04-30-2015 at 03:44 AM..
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:50 AM
 
116 posts, read 74,253 times
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Helping Hands Monkey Helpers

Alternatives to dog?
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamsiam View Post
Helping Hands Monkey Helpers

Alternatives to dog?
Not necessarily. Some things a Monkey would be better for such as getting items off of shelves the person can not reach.
A down side is Monkeys are extremely messy animas and can also be very destructive.

It comes down to be what are the specific tasks needed and which animal can do it.

In my wifes case she has PTSD and numerous physical disabilities some of her requirements are to have an animal that can keep strangers from approaching her. It also has to be large enough to hold her weight on it's harness so she can use if as support when walking.

also since we live in avery isolated area with no nearby police, ambulances, fire department etc it has to be an animal that can be very protective.
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Old 05-01-2015, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Candy Kingdom
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Wow, very informative Woodrow. Thanks for replying and providing links. I know when I searched five years ago, it was hard finding a straight answer about dogs. I didn't have to worry, as my family and I owned two cats (the rest of my family was non-Muslim), and cats are permissible. However, I dog sit for my aunt and wanted to see, and it was so confusing.

I am glad your wife has her service dog. They are a great help. I hope your wife is doing well otherwise.
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 14,541,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessxwrites89 View Post
Wow, very informative Woodrow. Thanks for replying and providing links. I know when I searched five years ago, it was hard finding a straight answer about dogs. I didn't have to worry, as my family and I owned two cats (the rest of my family was non-Muslim), and cats are permissible. However, I dog sit for my aunt and wanted to see, and it was so confusing.

I am glad your wife has her service dog. They are a great help. I hope your wife is doing well otherwise.

Chase has been a great blessing. Prior to getting him my wife was housebound and unable to even go into a store. Much of the time she was not even able to get out of bed.
Now she is living a reasonably normal life.
Chase is a very powerful animal and if need be, say in the event of a fire, he would drag my wife out of the house. He is also very intimidating, while not aggressive he will not allow anyone to get near to my wife, without her telling him to sit and stay.
He had considerable training and the people that trained him did a fantastic job he responds to both hand and voice commands and will only respond to commands given by my wife.
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