Are Muslims Allowed To Have Dogs As Pets?

For a long while, there has been a great debate within Islam as to the cleanliness of animals and, more specifically, dogs as house pets and companions for humans. But what is it that sparks such debate within the Islamic community while many other communities the world over enjoy the company of dogs as intimate members of their families? Controversy has existed due to varying historical points of view toward these animals. Some historical sources appear to claim that the Prophet Mohammed himself completed daily prayers directly in the presence of dogs. Similar sources also claim that his followers habitually raised puppies and that the holy city was frequently populated by dogs. However, there are also beliefs that contradict these claims. One of the hadiths – spoken and practiced lessons by the Prophet Mohammed – claims that Mohammed himself believed dogs to be “unclean,” and it is therefore considered haram (an act forbidden by the Qur’an) even to touch a dog, let alone own one. This claim, as it turns out, however, is only partially true.

According to an article written by Dr. Ayoub Banderker, there are several considerations regarding dogs and haram in Islamic law that have quite possibly been misconstrued. For one, it is not considered haram to own a dog (although Dr. Banderker goes on to specify that it is also not considered hygienic to keep a dog in the house, thereby making it not permissible). He also emphasizes that it is not haram to touch a dog. However, if a dog’s saliva comes in contact with clothes or skin, the person is then responsible for washing that part of their body as well as any clothing that was affected in this way. At this point, we can already see a pattern developing that while the pure ownership of a dog does not appear to be forbidden or even necessarily discouraged (as Banderker makes the argument that dogs are part of Allah’s creation and therefore should not be considered cursed or misaligned in any malicious form), hygiene is still an explicit concern regarding dogs and direct contact with them.

Like many other advocates for animals, Banderker stresses the need for Muslim dog owners to treat their dogs without cruelty. This includes food, water, and shelter – the basic amenities for all living creatures. He goes on to include providing adequate veterinary care so as to avoid allowing the dog to suffer until they are beyond help. This particular point of interest appears to be a known problem among many who seem to interpret the ownership or treatment of dogs as haram.

Dr. Banderker makes note of pets (specifically, many of which are dogs) who seem to be relatively animals as a whole, being brought in to shelters around Cape Town for euthanasia procedures. He has made similar notes toward animals that had reached terminally ill states being brought in for similar procedures. When questioned, many Muslims appear to have cited their religion, stating that it was impossible to touch their pets (thereby refusing them treatment). This “apathy” as Dr. Banderker calls it, has led to numerous unwanted litters that are eventually left abandoned to die. Beyond the obvious cruelty to the animals, however, there is also the point of a stigma on Islam as a religion that effectively supports this cruelty, both propagated by the views of those committing these acts and believing them to be the will of their religion and by those looking in from the outside without understanding what is happening or why.

Another scholar, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, seemed to take a more proactive approach, directly going against the supposed dogma of his own religion by adopting dogs. He noted through extensive research that traditional religious practices generally forbade the act of dogs passing in front of a person while they were conducting prayers. In fact, the only exception for owning dogs in traditional society was for utilitarian purposes such as guarding a person or a household, and ownership of dogs as companions was generally frowned upon. Dr. Abou El Fadl noted also the general link between dogs and a conflict of interests with a person’s own hygienic needs. However, the need to submit to God in all things generally supersedes all else. Thus, the propaganda regarding dogs and their uncleanliness, Dr. Abou El Fadl believes, perpetuated the belief that owning dogs should be looked upon with such disdain. However, Dr. Abou El Fadl, like Dr. Banderker, makes note of Allah’s creations all being of relevant value. As an owner of three different dogs, all for their companionship, he mentions that, “dogs represent my rebellion against ignorance about the basis of actual historical law.” On his dogs’ general affinity for companionship, he continues and questions how God could, “create animals with these natural tendencies and then condemn them as thoroughly reprehensible?”

Muslims In The U.S. Military: An Overview

Religion has never been any kind of obstacle or prerequisite for service in the U.S. military. Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, Hindu – if you feel a calling to sacrifice for the freedoms the rest of us enjoy, you have that right and privilege as an American.

While religious faith plays a role in case a soldier, airman, marine or sailor is killed in combat (to know the right burial rituals to follow at Arlington National Cemetery), generally a person’s religious affiliation plays no role in a person’s assignment either on the front lines or in support of the combat forces. You serve where you are sent.

Because religion is never an issue in military service, it is often difficult to actually know much about the history of a particular religion within the military without people overtly stating or sharing their beliefs. It is believed, however, that Muslims have a long history of service in the armed forces, believed to go back as far as the Revolutionary War, fighting for the rebels.

Is it true? There is some reason to believe that it’s possible, but as we can often note, a person’s last name doesn’t always give away their religious affiliation, only their ethnic background. But the history of Muslims in the military has come to the forefront in recent months, due to comments made by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump about Muslim-American parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, comments which disparaged them after they were presented on stage during the 2016 Democrat national convention.

There is a book out now that discusses the history of Muslims in the military, and there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to the subject, as questions about the honor and sacrifice of Muslims have risen to the fore because of the comments made by Mr. Trump during the campaign. It wasn’t until Trump brought up the subject that anyone had even questioned the courage of sacrifice of Muslims in the military as any different than the sacrifice by Christian, Jewish and atheist servicemen and women.

And it is certainly not to say that any sacrifice should be questioned based on any religious or cultural grounds. Sacrifice is sacrifice for one’s country, regardless of background, talk about your workplace injuries.

It is believed, however, that one of the earliest Muslim soldiers in the U.S. military was Cpl. Bampett Muhamed, who served in Virginia back in 1775. The truth is we do not know unequivocally that Muhamed was a Muslim; he was certain to be of Arab descent. Much of the history is based on guesses – not necessarily informed hypotheses, but rather from some blind bigotry based on a name.

However, it is noted that an estimated 15,000 Muslims fought for the United States in World War II, focused in the North African theater, and at least a dozen known Muslims died in the Vietnam Conflict. Nearly 300 Muslims are confirmed to have served in the Civil War for one side or the other.

Perhaps the most noteworthy Muslim service member was Marine Col. Douglas Burpee, who was a 27-year veteran helicopter pilot who converted to Islam while a student at USC in the late 1970s. When he retired he was the highest-ranking Muslim to serve in the Marine Corps.

Thanks to Donald Trump, the role and value of Muslims in the military is being explored with more vigor and interest than perhaps at any other time, and those who did serve with distinction need to be honored not only by all Americans but also by the Muslim brethren who have unfailing loyalty to their brothers and sisters in arms as well as to their country.

Why Do Muslims Fast During the Month of Ramadan?

According to Chapter 2, Verse 185 of the Qur’an, the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed, it’s necessary to prove that you are a true believer in the faith. To show this devotion, believers are instructed to fast at the sight of the first new moon of the month. This is not meant to punish believers but meant as a way to show faith and praise Allah for guiding believers and to show gratitude for all that he has done.

Fasting, however, is more than simply not eating all day. Fasting includes not drinking, not eating, no sexual relations from sunrise to sunset. Once the sun has set, all of these activities can be resumed.

The goal of this is to achieve what Muslims call taqwa or purification in the heart and mind, rejecting all things evil and accepting all elements of righteousness. Fasting is considered to be one of the highest degrees of obedience because the human is fighting off his animal instincts such as hunger and thirst, greed and NYC lust. He himself becomes more divine and one with God.

Some Muslims believe that they reach a higher spiritual plane and learn how to improve themselves ultimately improving society, while others, as they start to feel hunger and thirst, understand the plight of the less fortunate and look to improve society in that way.

Something interesting about the fact is that if people do not do it for the entire month, any days that they missed (for example, if they were pregnant or sick), can make them up by fasting before the next period of Ramadan. This is called qada’. As previously said, fasting is not about punishing the believers but a quest to achieve spiritual enlightenment and gratitude that Allah has provided this opportunity.

Why Images of Mohammed Are Forbidden

South Park creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker made the mistake of depicting Mohammed in an episode. The backlash was unprecedented.

Believe it or not, this tradition of not depicting Mohammed stems back all the way to the beginning of Judaism. Most of us are familiar with The 10 Commandments. In this case, we are discussing the first commandment “I am the Lord your God, thou shall no other gods before me.” In the Basic English version of the Bible this phrase is expanded to also include the following:

You are not to make image or picture of anything in heaven or on the earth or in the water under the earth.

There are many interpretations of this passage in the scriptures. In ancient times, pagans worshiped idols or icons. This commandment is what made Judaism stand out from the other religions of the world at the time. That their God was “invisible.” Very religious Jews do not have photographs or portraits because humans are made in God’s image and that might be breaking this commandment.

Christians have a much looser interpretation of this scripture. As some of you may know, Catholics consider Jesus Christ to be devine which goes against the first commandment. Have you ever wondered why Jehovah’s Witnesses are all doomsday and fire and brimstone? Because they feel that modern CHristians are actively breaking this commandment.

Which brings us make to Islam. The Islamic tradition of not depicting Mohammed is almost sort of a combination of Judaism and Christianity. In response to Christians who have turned Jesus into a divine figure, Islamic Scholars did not want the same thing to happen to Mohammed. They believe that there is ONE God and he alone should be worshiped. They also believe in the Jewish sensibility that man is in the same likeliness of God and therefore should not be depicted.

For the record, the Quran never explicitly states that drawing or depicting Mohammed is forbidden, but through interpretations of the first commandment and in response to the growth of Christianity, this tradition has been continued.

What Really Is Zakat?

Zakat is considered one of the five pillars Islam. It is an obligation for all the Muslims who have the necessary income and wealth. In fact, Zakat is a form of an alms-giving treat as a religious tax or obligation in Islam. It ranks next to prayer in importance as per the Quran. Zakat is not a charitable contribution but a type of obligatory alms. Disputes on Zakat played a major role throughout the history of Islam such as during the Ridda wars. This article provides information on what is Zakat.

Zakat is a religious practice started by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. The Caliph Abu Bakr – who is believed to be the successor to Prophet Muhammad by the Sunni Muslims – was considered the first to introduce a statutory Zakat system. He established a principle that Zakat needs to be paid to a representative of the Prophet’s authority. Here, in fact, the other Muslims disagreed and didn’t want to pay Zakat to him. This argument led to the Ridda wars later on. The successive Caliphs – Usman ibn Affan and Umar bin Al-Khattab – continued with Abu Bakr’s definition of Zakat.

Zakat is based on the income and of the possessions one has. Zakat is calculated at 2.5% of Nisaab. Nisaab is the amount of savings a Muslim has after deducting living costs, expenses, etc. By giving Zakat, a Muslim acknowledges that everything he has belongs to Allah, and he doesn’t really own it. The act also helps free the individual from excessive desire and greed. It teaches self-discipline and honesty too. Many Muslims prefer to give it during the Ramadan season. That’s because the rewards for good deeds performed during Ramadan are greater than in any other month.

Homosexuality and Islam

Islam is the religion practiced by Muslim individuals. it is regarded as the faith that was revealed through the prophet known as Muhammed, a prophet of Allah. Islam is an old and sacred religion, but one question that may arise is whether or not homosexuality is tolerated within this faith. In this article, we will answer this question.

The easiest way to answer whether or not homosexuality is tolerated within Islam is to look at Islam’s Holy Book, the Quran. The Quran is very clear about homosexuality and homosexual acts. One passage from this Holy Book mentions the Prophet Lut. As a prophet, Lut preached to his people. This people apparently had a problem with homosexuality, as the passage (Qur’an 7: 80,81) speaks about Lut commenting that the people had come to lust for men rather than women and that this fact made them a “people transgressing beyond bounds.”

In response to this, Lut was thrown from the city. The Quran goes on to state that because of this act, Allah destroyed the city and the people. Because of what the Quran says about this, Muslim scholars do not support homosexuality.

The Quran describes what is acceptable for followers of Islam, however. It states that everything was created to be in a pair and complement each other. Thus, marriage should be a pairing of one male and one female. This is in agreement with the natural order of things. The marriage and family arrangement is celebrated in Islam, and Allah only blesses the husband/wife marriage with children.

In conclusion, the question of whether or not homosexuality is tolerated in Islam is a simple one. The answer, with the Holy Quran as the source, is no. On the contrary, the pairing of one man and one woman is blessed with children, and is truly the foundation of Islamic society.

What To Do When A Michigan Official Calls To Kill Muslims

It is extremely difficult to frame this debate in a way that doesn’t make it sound truly terrible–because it is literally terrible–but what’s worse is that the idiot government official who made the call to kill all Muslims brazenly stated that he owed no one an apology for wrongful death. Okay, we get it. You’re a racist, and you want everybody to know it. But usually, bullies who try to rally other bullies fold under public pressure and at least try to apologize after the damage has already been done. Is there just not enough public pressure to this kind of anti-Muslim rhetoric? What’s going on here?

This isn’t the first time that Jeff Sieting, the Michigan official who made the statement, has said crazily offensive things. Not only did he compare the whole of Islam to “flesh-eating bacteria,” cause, like, he’s certainly not that bad, but he also said that transgendered people are mentally ill and that we might want to “take out” a few individuals from Black Lives Matter, too.

How someone can be filled with so much irrational hate is a question for later. For now, it’s important to fight back against these calls for injustice. The first step is implementing actual justice. There are those who are already attempting to force Sieting to step down from his position as president of a small town, while others continue to request an apology.

Others are taking a more pragmatic approach to destroying the legacy Sieting is trying to create for himself. The man has been elected to office since 2010, but if someone runs against him, then 2018 could be his last year as president.

Sadly, this type of hateful speech is part of a growing trend: according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, hate crimes against Muslims have blown up by a whopping 67 percent since our angelic President Trump was elected to office. It probably isn’t a coincidence that Sieting has a Trump sign posted at his hotel. Maybe it’s love.

What else can we do to stop the hateful words of a handful of bigots and protect our minority neighbors from the continued discomfort and violence they’re subjected to every day?

Well, first and foremost, it’s important to show these classless U.S. citizens the distinction between freedom of speech and freedom of consequence. Rest assured, they don’t understand the difference between the two. You may have the right to say whatever you want without governmental intervention, but that doesn’t mean your world won’t crumble when you spout hateful nonsense for everyone to hear. All actions have consequences, and you’re not exempt just because you whine and cry about the Bill of Rights.

Potential employers–or in this case entire towns–should neglect to hire those who believe that this type of language and rhetoric is okay, and people should continue to call them out every time they discriminate against a minority. Friends and family who disagree with the hateful beliefs should do what they can to curb the behavior.

If they think they have the right to offend and hurt so many others, then the least we can do is make them uncomfortable–and perhaps throw them into abject poverty–as a consequence of their words.

What Islam Says About Facial Hair?

Islam is a sacred faith that unites many individuals from different backgrounds and races as they share one belief. However, one question that may arise is what Islam teaches regarding facial hair.

There are three aspects regarding facial hair (or the beard, more specifically) that followers of Islam believe. One is that the beard beautifies a man along as it is kept in good trim. The beard not only does this, but it gives him respectability.

Another aspect regarding the beard is that it naturally differentiates the male and female. And the third aspect states that in answer to a supplication made by Adam, Allah made the beard become a built-in feature of the male. Until the day of reckoning, it will continue to be so.

In general, shaving of the beard is considered unlawful, according to an injury lawyer. In fact, growing a beard is considered a Wajib (mandatory) for all Muslim men who are capable of doing so. Shaving off the beard violates Islam. There are several lines of reasoning behind this statement. One is that shaving the beard is disobedient to Allah. Another is that removing facial hair deviates from the way of the believers. All of the Prophets, the Sahabah, the great Ulama’, and all of the righteous early Muslims grew their beards. In fact, there is no record of a single one of these men shaving their facial hair. In fact, to do so is considered imitating the disbelievers.

So what does Islam say about facial hair and the beard? A neatly trimmed beard beautifies a Muslim man and gives him respectability. On the contrary, it is a shameful thing to shave the beard. Keeping a neatly trimmed beard follows the example made by the believers, and following their example is what the Muslim man strives to do.

What Does Assalamualaikum Mean, And How Should Non-Muslims Respond?

Often, when non-Muslims are greeted by Muslims using the traditional Arabic form of greeting, “assalamualaikum,” they are unsure of its meaning, or what the appropriate way to respond is. Though the greeting simply means, “May peace be upon you,” there have been instances where this misunderstood greeting has even been censored from the media, driven largely by anti-Muslim sentiment.

There are essentially two ways to respond to the greeting. In Arabic, the proper response to the greeting by a non-Muslim is “Wasalamualaikum,” which is translated as, “Peace be also with you.” In Arabic nations that have large populations of Muslims, Christians, and people of other religious denominations, this would be the way that the non-Muslims would respond. There’s never any question about the appropriateness of this response because neither assalamualaikum or wasalamualaikum is an overtly religious expression.

When Muslims respond to the greeting, their response is one that acknowledges the name of Allah as the one true God: “Wasalamualaikum waratu’allah.” This response is both an acknowledgment of the greeting and a proclamation of faith, appropriate for anyone who professes the Muslim faith to use in response. The greeting, and this response, are the traditionally used between Muslims and are used whenever they interact, in both social and religious situations.

The greeting is used both when coming together and when parting. Abu Hurairah has been quoted as saying that “Peace” is the appropriate way to greet others, and to part from others, and that the latter is of equal value to the former.

It is unfortunate that such a warm greeting is so often misunderstood and has become a focal point of debate. There are even those to be found within the Muslim community that appears confused about whether or not the greeting is appropriate for use with those outside of the community. As it is simply a way of wishing peace and good fortune to one’s fellow man, it should be freely used to greet anyone.

Muslim Dating And Courtship

Dating as it is defined by most world cultures does not exist within the Muslim faith. Young Muslim women and men do not experience one-on-one relationships like many do. They will not spend time alone with a member of the opposite sex who is not family. They don’t go out together as they are getting to know one another. Dating is not allowed since any type of pre-marital relationship is forbidden between members of the opposite sex.

According to Islam, marriage is one of the most important of life’s decisions. It is not a decision made lightly nor is it left up to young people guided by their hormones. Marriage is contemplated and decided after much prayer, investigation and family involvement.

Since young Muslims cannot date, they find their spouse through a network of friends and family. Young Muslims create strong friendships with members of their own sex. As these friendships develop, they become part of the network that includes other families. When it is time for a young person to marry, several things usually happen.

First, the young person asks Allah for help and guidance to find the right person. This is called making a du’a.

Next, the family will suggest candidates from their own network. The family members will consult with each other as they begin narrowing down the list of prospects. The mother or father then approaches the other family and suggests a meeting as per the request of a personal injury lawyer.

If both families agree, the young couple will meet in a group environment where they will be chaperoned. Muslims believe a woman should always be accompanied by a relative when meeting a man.

If the couple is compatible, more investigation is done by family members. This is so they can learn about the potential spouse’s character. The couple will also pray for guidance.

Muslim young people can then decide if they want to pursue marriage or not. Islam does allow this freedom of choice for both young women and men.