Answered by Shaykh Muhammed Bholat
There are many benefits to keeping dogs, so why is keeping a dog as a pet prohibited In Islam? Similarly, why does keeping a dog prevent the entry of angels, and why do the good deeds of a person decrease by keeping a dog? Finally, in what circumstances can a person keep a dog?
Without a doubt there are many excellent qualities possessed by dogs. In fact, some of the qualities of a dog are not found in most other animals. On the other hand, some vile qualities are also found in dogs, which are ultimately the reason for the prohibition of keeping them as pets. However, if there is a need, one can possess a dog and use them according to his needs without exposing himself to the punishments mentioned in the Ahadith.
Scholars have written entire books explicitly on the merits of dogs. Some of those merits are mentioned below.
Dogs can survive on very little food, sleep a very small portion of the night, and rest anywhere and be satisfied. They display unparalleled loyalty to their masters, help with hunting, protect their masters' possessions, and will even give their lives for their masters. Dogs are easily trained whatever they are taught and have many other virtues, which when found in humans are considered qualities of piety, such as reliability, submission, trustworthiness, and asceticism.
On the other hand, one of the base qualities deeply instilled in dogs is intense greediness, to such an extent that it can't stand another dog sharing its food, even if an entire carcass. In addition to greediness, dogs eat and lie in impurities. Also, dogs are detested by angels and associate with devils. Hence, magicians use the hairs of black dogs to carry out wicked rituals, and that is why a black dog has been likened to the devil in a hadith.
“The black dog is a devil." (Saheeh Muslim)
Aside from these vile characteristics, it is also very possible that the prohibition is linked to the saliva of dogs, which contains poisonous elements, as has been proven by modern German research. It is a well-known fact that dogs have a habit of constantly licking their masters.
In short, the ruling for dogs is generally prohibition, but it is permissible to possess a dog if the need arises. Need entails, for example, security, hunting, grazing animals, sniffing for criminals, drugs and explosives, or guiding blind people. Also, in some northern countries, Husky dogs are used a means of transport. So in these and other such circumstances there would be no harm in keeping a dog.
"Angels (of mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (animate object)." (Saheeh Bukhari)
"Whoever keeps a dog, one Qirat of the reward of his good deeds is deducted daily, unless the dog is used for guarding a farm or cattle." Abu Huraira (in another narration) said from the Prophet, "unless it is used for guarding sheep or farms, or for hunting." (Saheeh Bukhari)
And Allah Knows Best