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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20, 2014:Touching dogs without an urgent reason isharam(forbidden) according to a fatwa (decree) by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).

When contacted byThe Rakyat Postto comment on a dog touching event yesterday, a Jakim official referred to a fatwa which was released during an incident where a Muslim had posted a video of them bathing their dogs.

Yesterday, an event called “I want to touch a dog” was organised by Syed Azmi Alhabshi at the Central Park, Bandar Utama aimed to help people overcome their fear of dogs and learn to be compassionate and loving towards the animal.

The fatwa states that the Prophet Muhammad had ordered that containers which had been used by dogs to drink from were to be washed, which showed that the tongue, saliva and mouth of dogs were unclean.

“If the tongue and mouth are categorised as unclean, then of course the rest of its body is also unclean.

“Furthermore, dog saliva is created from its own sweat, and if the sweat from its mouth is unclean, then the sweat from the entire body is also unclean,” read the fatwa.

“Touching dogs or pigs without pressing reasons is haram. This act is called“Al-Tadhammukh Bi Al-Najasah”and is defined as something which is forbidden to be done without need such as saving a hunting dog from a fire,” continued the fatwa.

It also stated that the Al-Syafi’ie and Hambali sects defined the dog fur as unclean though ritualistic washing known assamakwas not needed in certain situations.

“However, if the fur is dry, there is no need for a person tosamaktheir clothes or hands when it touches dry fur, it is enough to wash it with clean water.”

It also stated that keeping dogs without justifiable reasons was forbidden in Islam and as such, Muslims could not keep dogs as pets.

“However, Islam has given a few exemptions from this definition and allows dogs to be kept for hunting, herding of goats or in orchards or fields.

“But to make dogs into tame companions which live under the same roof as their masters, Islam does not allow it and it is not a necessary situation which is exempted.”

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