Hadith: Vicious And Rabies Infected Dogs Were Killed In Madinah?

Kaleef K. Karim

1. Introduction
2. Hadith On Dogs Killed
3. The Understanding From Scholars On The Hadith
4. Prohibition Of killing Animals Who Are Harmless
5. Harming animals Forbidden (Haram)
6. The Command To Be Good To Animals
7. Conclusion

1. Introduction

Prophet Muhammed and dogs have been an ongoing topic among Muslim scholars for centuries. The dogs at the time of Prophet Muhammed (p) was very different to the ones we have in the Western World, fluffy and friendly like. The dogs in Arabia at the time of the Prophet (p) were very vicious and even at times would attack humans in packs. The disease among dogs was very wide spread, the people 1400 years ago did not have the medicine to cure the deadly diseases some of the dogs may have carried.

In this articles we seek to explain and give a better understanding of few reports which have been mispresented or at times those who read it may get an unintentional, and misinformed view of the narrations.

Whenever the Prophet Muhammed (p) made statements, ordered things and are reported in authentic Hadith books, they should not be seen separately but rather holistically to get a better historical understanding. On the issue of dogs being killed in Madinah, we need to analyse the reports in regards to this incident in their context to get a better understanding.

2. Hadith On Dogs Killed

In recent times I have come across claims made in relation to dogs being killed in Madinah, in the life time of Prophet Muhammed. One of the assertions made is that Muhammed was not a mercy to mankind for ordering the killing of dogs in Madinah. The reports that are used by critics are the following:

“Maimuna reported that one morning Allah’s Messenger was silent with grief. Maimuna said: Allah’s Messenger, I find a change in your mood today. Allah’s Messenger said: Gabriel had promised me that he would meet me tonight, but he did not meet me. By Allah, he never broke his promises, and Allah’s Messenger spent the day in this sad (mood). Then it occurred to him that there had been a puppy under their cot. He commanded and it was turned out. He then took some water in his hand and sprinkled it at that place. When it was evening Gabriel met him and he said to him: you promised me that you would meet me the previous night. He said: Yes, but we do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture. Then on that very morning he commanded the killing of the dogs until he announced that the dog kept for the orchards should also be killed, but he spared the dog meant for the protection of extensive fields (or big gardens).” (Sahih Muslim, Book 024, Number 5248 (The Book Pertaining to Clothes and Decoration (Kitab Al-Libas wal-Zinah)) http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=024&translator=2&start=0&number=5248)

And:

“Abu Zubair heard Jabir b. Abdullah saying: Allah’s messenger ordered us to kill dogs, and we carried out this order so much that we also killed the dog coming with a woman from the desert. Then Allah’s Apostle forbade their killing. He (the Holy Prophet) further said: It is your duty to kill the jet black (dog) having two spots (on the eyes), for it is a devil.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3813)

From the above reports, it is deduced by some that Muhammed was “anything but compassionate” to the dogs he ordered to be killed. It is further asserted that the dogs were merely killed as a result of the angel not entering his house because there was a dog and a picture.

The second report on “black dog” is referred too metaphorically. They are not literally the devil. Rather they were the most vicious dogs in the lifetime of Muhammed (p). They used to harm and attack people all the time. The scholars further down will elaborate further on this matter.

Here lies the confusion at the critics’ doorstep, this Hadith was never understood the way it is portraited by some critics. This is why we have scholars to explain things to us. One cannot take a single Hadith report and make a whole judgment without reading other historical reports to get a better understanding, especially someone who is not learned nor qualified to write on these matters that one has no knowledge on.

We are told by some of our earliest scholars all the way to the present century that one of the reasons these dogs were killed was as a result of them having a disease. Rabies and some wild dogs (called “devil” metaphorically) caused a lot of problems in Madinah. As such they were dealt with. Those days there weren’t any vaccinations, where such diseases could be cured. Wild dogs in the desert could literally rip human beings apart, they used to roam around in packs. Anybody who is familiar with Arabian wild dogs would know you would not come near them. In some western countries, legislators have tried to pass laws to kill dogs which are deemed very dangerous. This law is targeted at dogs which most likely attack and bite people. The Staffordshire Bull terrier in Britain has been banned, this dog has killed many babies and grown adults. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Coming back to the subject at hand in relation to the report(s). If the claim of the critics are true, that Muhammed (p) killed dogs because he hated them, why did his grandsons, Hasan and Hussein have dogs in the Prophet’s house?

“Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Messenger of Allah said: Gabriel came to me and said: I came to you last night and was prevented from entering simply because there were images at the door, for there was a decorated curtain with images on it in the house, and there was a dog in the house. So order the head of the image which is in the house to be cut off so that it resembles the form of a tree; order the curtain to be cut up and made into two cushions spread out on which people may tread; and order the dog to be turned out.
The Messenger of Allah then did so. THE DOG BELONGED TO AL-HASAN OR AL-HUSAYN and was under their couch. So he ordered it to be turned out (taken outside). …” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 33, Hadith 4146, Sahih Albani https://sunnah.com/abudawud/34/139

This is also reported in Jami at-Tirmidhi:

“Narrated Abu Hurairah: that the Messenger of Allah said: “Jibra’il came to me and said: “Indeed I had come to you last night, and nothing prevented me from entering upon you at the house you were in, except that there were images of men at the door of the house, and there was a curtain screen with imagines on it, and there was a dog in the house. So go and sever the head of the image that is at the door so that it will become like a tree stump, and go and cut the screen and make two throw-cushions to be sat upon, and go and expel the dog.” So the Messenger of Allah did so, and the dog was A PUPPY BELONGING TO AL-HUSAIN OR AL-HASAN which was under his belongings, so he ordered him to expel it.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi volume 5, Book 41, Hadith 2806, Sahih Darussalam https://sunnah.com/urn/630300)

It is inconceivable for him to hate dogs. Why would he say to take the dogs outside and did not deal with them? If he hated dogs as it is claimed, wouldn’t he have commanded his grandsons’ dogs be killed first? The above report shows that the Prophet (p) did not have an issue with his grandsons having a dog, except that it had to be catered for outside of the house. This shows that the dogs that were killed the next day were as a result of them having diseases which could have killed human beings if it was not dealt with immediately. Cruelty to animals is Haram (forbidden), as we will show in a number of Hadith reports shortly.

3. The Understanding From Scholars On The Hadith

The classical and contemporary scholars say the reason the dogs were killed was as a result of wild rabies spreading. There was also among them were wild black dogs which attacked people.

Dr. Gehan S. A. Ibrahim states that only harmful dogs were killed that spread disease. He also gives many Hadith reports where the Prophet (p) commanded to be kind to all animals:

“’Narrated Hafsa: Allah’s Messenger said: It is not sinful (on a non-Muhrim or a Muhrim)) to kill five kinds of animals namely: a crow, a kite, a mouse, a scorpion and a rabid dog.’

Based on this concept, Muslim literature has further given a clear explanation to this particular case of getting rid of HARMFUL ANIMALS. Muslim scholar, like Ali Ibn Abbas al-Majusi (384 A.H. /994 AD), Ibn Sina (428 A.H. / 1036 A.D.), Ibn Al-Nafis (687 A.H. / 1288 A.D.), and Al-Damiri (808 A.H. / 1405 A.D.), who wrote about animals in the Muslim era, recognized a DISEASE CAUSED BY RABID STRAY DOGS. According to what these physicians wrote in regard to this disease, there was a great awareness of the contagious aspects of this DISEASE that transfers to human through their contacts with INFECTED DOGS. This led to raise a consciousness to avoid the danger of the stray RABID dogs and their harmful impact on the environment. …

ISLAM DOES NOT TOLERATE CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. It has condemned all forms and methods of unkindness towards animals since they contradicts with the virtues of Islam. On the outset, as many Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad urged Muslims to generally treat animals with kindness and care, a particular stress was given on preventing the striking of animals or cauterizing them on the face, as acts to be considered highly banned. As these practices cause pain to the animal, Islam prohibits all sorts of pain and specifically on the sensitive parts of the animal’s body, like the face. Furthermore, the Hadiths of the Prophet had clearly stated the punishment given to the one who commits such malpractices to animals by being cursed by Allah:

‘Jabir told that the Prophet Muhammad forbade the face or branding on the face of animals. The same companion of the Holy Prophet reported him as saying, when an ass which had been branded in its face passed him by: ‘God curse the one who branded it.’

‘Jabir reported that a donkey that had been branded on the face passed by the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and he said: ‘May Allah curse the one who branded him.’

If in previous remark the Quran declared the supremacy of humans over animals, why would then humans have to treat animals with kindness and respect? The answer to this question lies in the fact that even though the Quran has in many instances announces the supremacy of humans over animals it certainly contains many verses that call for equality between animals and human beings before Allah. As the Quran in a previous remark mentioned that animals are equal to humans in their worship to Allah and reward for their deeds, the Hadiths were not less emphatic on the same notion. In a similar way, the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad show that Muslims were even required to perform equality tasks as virtues in dealing with animals comparable to their dealings with each other. Thereupon, the ethics of doing good to animals, and avoiding cruelty to them were looked upon in Islam as equal in reward to treating humans likewise. These are, thus, among the virtues the Muslims should acknowledge in handling animals. Evidence to this is illustrated in some Haiths that reflect the close link between treating animals with equality to humans and devoting a charitable work of Allah:

“Doing good to beasts is like the doing of good to human beings, a deed of charity, whilst cruelty to animals is FORBIDDEN, just like cruelty to human beings.’

A story and event from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions establishes the virtue of equality between humans and animals. It shows how Islam forbids an animal to be separated from its offspring or to be frightened. While the Prophet Muhammad was on his way on a journey, he passed with a bird nest and an ant village. In this story, the Prophet Muhammad was an exemplar to teach the Muslims to respect the feelings of a mother bird and her anxiety over her little ones, which were taken by the Prophet’s companions. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have told his companions to return the little ones to the nest upon seeing the concern of the mother bird. Accordingly, the bird has the right to be looked at as a human whose motherhood instinct towards her children should be respected. Hence, the Hadith instructed the Muslims the moral value of being king to birds and respect their feelings. Furthermore, on seeing the ant village burnt, the Prophet Muhammad disapproved this act and considered it UNLAWFUL IN ISLAM sine it is deprived of any mercy towards little animals:

‘Narrated Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud: We were with the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) during a journey. He went to ease himself. We saw a bird with her two young ones and we captured her young ones. The bird came and began to spread its wings. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) came and said: ‘Who grieved this for its young ones? Return its young ones to it. He also saw an ant village that we had burnt. He asked: ‘Who has burnt this?’ We replied: ‘We’. He said: ‘It is not proper to punish with fire except the Lord of fire.’

In another story, the Prophet Muhammad related to the Muslims an example in treating helpless creatures, like ants with mercy and respect. This is particularly true in the case of considering stories of previous Prophets in the Quran and their attitude towards animals. Working from this perspective, the Prophets were not to ignore the moral imperatives towards animals. The story exhibited by the Prophet Muhammad was narrated to the Muslims with these meanings in which he described a Prophet underneath a tree who got bit by an ant. The Prophet’s reaction towards the ant herd was merciful since he had realized that he must have infringed over the ants properties by mistake and destroyed their settlement by his luggage. Therefore, the Prophet felt guilty for the loss he had caused the ants and ordered his luggage to be removed to save and spare the lives of the rest of the ant’s herd:

‘Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Once, while a Prophet amongst the Prophets was taking a rest underneath a tree, an ant bit him, he therefore ordered that his luggage be taken away from underneath that tree.’

The Prophet Muhammad further explained one of the noteworthy and fascinating examples to illustrate the punishment of ill-treating animals in Islam. According to this statement, the Prophet Muhammad made clear that TREATING ANIMALS WITH KINDNESS IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE MUSLIM FAITH AND CONSTITUTES AN ACT OF WORSHIP. The Muslim will be rewarded if he observes this and will be severely punished if he fails to acknowledge this fact. …” (Virtues in Muslim Culture: An Interpretation from Islamic Literature, Art and Architecture [First edition, Published by New Generation, 2014], by Dr. Gehan S. A. Ibrahim page 151 – 152)

The scholar and translator of Sahih Muslim, Abdul Hamid Siddiqui, states that there were stray dogs which had rabies,

“The Hadith gives us an idea why the Holy Prophet commanded to kill dogs. There must have been an excess of STRAY DOGS AND THUS THE DANGER OF RABIES IN THE CITY OF MEDINA and its suburbs. The Holy Prophet, therefore, ordered to kill them. Later on when it was found that his companions were killing them indiscriminately, he forbade them to do so and told them that only FEROCIOUS BEASTS WHICH WERE A SOURCE OF DANGER TO LIFE SHOULD BE KILLED. The word ‘devil’ clarifies this point. Here DEVIL STANDS FOR FEROCIOUS…” (Sahih Muslim by Imam Muslim, rendered into English by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui [Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 11th Reprint 1995], volume III & IV, Book X (10). Kitab Al-Buyu (Pertaining To Business Transactions), page 825 (footnote 2012))

Another commentary states:

“Regarding the command to kill dogs, the As-hab opined that it is permissible to kill a RABID DOG; yet, a harmless dog, irrespective of its color, MAY NOT BE KILLED. Imam al-Haramayn stated that the command to kill dogs was abrogated. It was related that the Prophet Muhammad ordered the killing of dogs. Then, that was abrogated, except for pure black dogs. And thereafter, KILLING ANY HARMLESS DOG WAS PROHIBITED. Thus, it is only permissible to kill a dog that MAY CAUSE HARM, like one with RABIES.” (Sharh Sahih Muslim volume 3, page 536 and volume 10, page 1931)

 

The above commentary shows that the dogs that were killed used to cause harm to human beings, be that through disease or attacking humans. Such measures were in place to protect the community from harm. Another scholar comments on this incident, specifically in the “black dog”:

“Some of the narrations mention “the dog that bites indiscriminately” (al-kalb al-`aqur). Others: “The jet-black dog” (al-kalb al-aswad al-bahim). The gist of the reference seems to be that a WILD-LOOKING DOG, OR ONE KNOWN TO BE DANGEROUS, has the greatest potential for distracting attention. The black dog is a devil either literally, i.e. a favored form for a devil to take among animals, or figuratively with respect to its negative aspects whatever these may be; and Allah knows best.” (Problematic hadiths and various questions, by Mufti Ebrahim Desai FATWA DEPT., online source http://www.livingislam.org/fiqhi/fiqha_e54.html)

Imam and scholar John (Yahya) Ederer states that preserving human life and health on this occasion outweighed the sanctity of this infected, dangerous dogs:

“I agree with the scholars that have rightly logically understood this whole matter as being a past OUTBREAK OF RABIES, where the Islamic value of PRESERVING LIFE AND HEALTH HAD TO OUTWEIGH THE SANCTITY OF THE LIFE OF DOGS, and obliged us to wash all potentially ingestible dog saliva. Therefore I hold that dogs are not in any way impure, and that there is nothing impure with petting and even getting licked by a dog. It makes perfect sense to me that the reason for killing the black dog was that there was a particular type of black dog which was RABID OR VIOLENT in some way, and that is why the Prophet called it a devil. (Man’s Best Friend? The Islamic View on Dogs, by John (Yahya) Ederer, online source http://www.virtualmosque.com/islam-studies/faqs-and-fatwas/mans-best-friend-the-islamic-view-on-dogs/)

And finally, two non-Muslim scholars who also recognised that the dogs on that incident were killed as a result of a rabies outbreak.

Merritt Clifton:

“The Prophet Mohammed is widely believed to have fought a rabies outbreak in the walled city of Medina by closing the city gates to prevent the outbreak from spreading, and then exterminating dogs. This is according to the order recounted by his disciple Bukhari in Hadith 4:540-a Hadith that perplexes Islamic scholars because Bukhari in particular was known to be fond of animals, and narrated several other sayings of Mohammed that URGED KIND TREATMENT OF DOGS [21].” (How to eradicate canine rabies: a perspective of historical efforts, [Asian Biomedicine, August 2011] by Merritt Clifton volume 5, page 561 – 562 (No. 4))

Barnaby Rogerson:

“…that action of the Prophet, when he ordered the disposal of the RABID DOGS OF MEDINA. …
The Prophet’s actions in attempting to RID MEDINA OF RABIES in the seventh century also gave legal protection to dogs. He had spared the working dogs – those who guarded, those who herded and those who hunted – and this is not forgotten. In my experience a traditional Muslim family, especially one living in the countryside, will have no problem in keeping such dogs. But these dogs exist to work, and can never be treated as a household pet, or allowed into a house, tent or courtyard in a manner freely given to sheep, cats, horses, camels and cows. (Critical Muslim 06: Reclaiming Al-Andalus [C. Hurst & Co (Publishers) Ltd., 2013] by Barnaby Rogerson, page 196)

4. Prohibition Of killing Animals Who Are Harmless

Furthermore, the following Hadith demonstrate that the Prophet Muhammed (p) only commanded those animals (dogs) be killed who caused harm to human beings. And he prohibited the killing of animals (dogs) that were harmless (Muwatta Imam Malik):

“Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab that Umar ibn al- Khattab told people to kill snakes in the Haram.
Malik said, about the “wild dogs” which people were told to kill in the Haram, that any animals that WOUNDED, ATTACKED, OR TERRORISED MEN, such as lions, leopards, Iynxes and wolves, were counted as “WILD DOGS.” However, someone who was in ihram SHOULD NOT KILL BEASTS OF PREY THAT DID NOT ATTACK (PEOPLE), such as hyenas, foxes, cats and anything else like them, and if he did then he had to pay a forfeit for it. Similarly, someone in ihram should not kill any predatory birds except the kinds that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, specified, namely crows and kites. If someone in ihram killed any other kind of bird he had to pay a forfeit for it.” (Muwatta Malik Book 20, Hadith 92, https://sunnah.com/urn/408080)

And:

“3314. Narrated Aishah: The Prophet said, ‘Five kinds of animals are FUWAISIQ (HARMFUL) and can be killed even Al-Haram (Sanctuary). They are: a mouse, a scorpion, a kite, a crow, and a RABID DOG.” (Sahih al-Bukhari volume 4, page 319)

And:

“A’ishah (RAA) narrated ‘The Messenger of Allah said: “FIVE KINDS OF ANIMALS ARE VICIOUS AND HARMFUL, AND THEY MAY BE KILLED outside or inside the sacred area of Ihram (Sanctuary). These are: the scorpion, the kite, the crow, the mouse, and THE RABID DOG.” Agreed upon.” (Bulugh al-Maram Book 6, Hadith 755, Eng. Tran., https://sunnah.com/bulugh/6/29)

The five harmful animals mentioned here refers to those which spread disease or cause physical harm to humans.

5. Harming animals Forbidden (Haram)

The prophet had forbidden malpractices or harming animals. One day a donkey (ass) was passing by and his face had been branded, the Prophet cursed the one who had done this to the animal:

“Jabir reported the Prophet as saying when an ass which had been branded on its face passed him. Did it not reach you that I CURSED HIM WHO BRANDED THE ANIMALS ON THEIR FACES OR STRUCK THEM ON THEIR FACES. SO HE PROHIBITED IT.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 14, Hadith 2558, Sahih Al Albani, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/15/88)

This incident is also reported elsewhere:

“Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: An ASS with a brand on the face happened to pass before the Prophet. Thereupon he said, “MAY ALLAH CURSE THE ONE WHO HAS BRANDED IT (on the face).”
[Muslim].

Another narration in Muslim is: “The Messenger of Allah prohibited us from hitting across the face and branding on the face (of an animal).” (Riyad as-Salihin Book 18, Hadith 1608 https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/18/98)

The physical harm which is forbidden in Islam equally is also abstaining from mental cruelty to animals. The following Hadith reported by one of Muhammed’s companions relates a story:

“Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: We were with the Messenger of Allah in a journey when he drew apart (to relieve nature). In his absence, we saw a red bird which had two young ones with it. We caught them and the red mother bird came, beating the earth with its wings. In the meantime the Prophet returned and said, “WHO HAS PUT THIS BIRD TO DISTRESS ON ACCOUNT OF ITS YOUNG? RETURN THEM TO HER.” He also noticed a mound of ants which we had burnt up. He asked, “Who has set fire to this?” We replied: “We have done so.” He said, “None can chastise with fire except the Rubb of the fire.” (Riyad as-Salihin Book 18, Hadith 1610 https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/18/100)

And:

“Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas’ud: We were with the Messenger of Allah during a journey. He went to ease himself. We saw a bird with her two young ones and we captured her young ones. The bird came and began to spread its wings. The Messenger of Allah came and said: WHO GRIEVED THIS FOR ITS YOUNG ONES? RETURN ITS YOUNG ONES TO IT. He also saw an ant village that we had burnt. He asked: Who has burnt this? We replied: We. He said: It is not proper to punish with fire except the Lord of fire.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 2675 Book 14, Hadith 2669, Eng. Tran. Sahih, Al-Albani, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/15/199)

6. The Command To Be Good To Animals

There are countless Hadith reports where the Prophet urged and commanded Muslims to be kind to all animals.

A sinner was forgiven by God on the act of giving a thirsty dog some water:

“3321. Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger said, ‘A prostitute passed by a panting dog near a well and SAW THAT THE DOG WAS ABOUT TO DIE OF THIRST, she took off her khuff (leather sock or shoe) and tied it with her head-cover and DREW OUT SOME WATER FOR IT. So, ALLAH FORGAVE HER BECAUSE OF THAT.” (The Translation Of the Meanings Of Sahih Al-Bukhari, Arabic English, Translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Formerly Director, University Hospital, Islamic University, Al-Madina Al-Munawwara) [Darussalam Publishers and Distributors, Riyadh – Saudi Arabia, Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 1997], volume 4, page 322)

There is also a similar story but with a man who done similar act:

“Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah said, “While a MAN WAS WALKING ON HIS WAY HE BECAME EXTREMELY THIRSTY. He found a well, he went down into it to drink water. Upon leaving it, he SAW A DOG WHICH WAS PANTING out of thirst. His tongue was lolling out and he was eating moist earth from extreme thirst. The man thought to himself: ‘This dog is extremely thirsty as I was.’ So he descended into the well, filled up his leather sock with water, and holding it in his teeth, climbed up and QUENCHED THE THIRST OF THE DOG. ALLAH APPRECIATED HIS ACTION AND FORGAVE HIS SINS“. The Companions asked: “Shall we be rewarded for showing kindness to the animals also?” He said, “A REWARD IS GIVEN IN CONNECTION WITH EVERY LIVING CREATURE“.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

In the narration of Al-Bukhari, the Prophet is reported to have said: “Allah forgave him in appreciation of this act and admitted him to Jannah”. (Riyad as-Salihin Book 1, Hadith 126 https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/1/126)

The Prophet further emphasized in another report that humans should be good to each other, this act of goodness is also extended to all animals:

“Doing good to beasts is like the doing of good to human beings, a deed of charity, whilst cruelty to animals is FORBIDDEN, just like cruelty to human beings.’” ((Virtues in Muslim Culture: An Interpretation from Islamic Literature, Art and Architecture [First edition, Published by New Generation, 2014], by Dr. Gehan S. A. Ibrahim page 151)

When the context for the Hadith report is shown, it is inconceivable accuse Muhammed (p) of being the hater of dogs. The occasion of those dogs being killed was an exception because of the rabies disease and wild dogs attacking human beings. Hence, there was no alternative left but to deal with this danger.

7. conclusion

Reading other historical Hadith reports and the scholarly statements we see clear evidence as to why Muhammed (p) at that time ordered some dogs be killed in Madinah. The Rabies disease if not dealt with would have spread and may have killed 100s if not 1000s of people. This disease at the time of the Prophet (p) was very serious, so serious that he had to outweigh the sanctity of human life over the dogs.

The Prophet (p) did not order to kill any dog as a result of their appearance (Black dog), or else God Almighty would not have created such a creature in the first place. As the scholars explained the “black dog” were dealt with as a result of them being the most vicious and attacking people. The Prophet (p) commanded kindness to all animals, this incident was an exception.

The fact of the matter is when we have looked at the report in his historical context and the reason why he did what he did, Muhammed was a mercy to creation. He only dealt with those dogs as a wild disease was spreading. His teachings have indeed brought great good to the World.

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References:

[1] “EATEN ALIVE Woman, 65, ripped apart by a pack of up to ‘100 stray dogs’ terrorising a town in India” Last accessed 6th December 2016 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1647893/pack-of-100-strays-mauls-mother-and-partly-eats-her-on-beach-in-the-southern-indian-state-of-kerala/
[2] “Pack of 50 stray dogs attack, partly eat elderly woman at Indian beach” Last accessed 6th December 2016 https://www.rt.com/news/356604-dogs-woman-attack-india/
[3] “Do India’s stray dogs kill more people than terror attacks?” Last accessed 6th December 2016 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-36035456
[4] “Beware of dogs! Rabies on the prowl in Lagos” Last accessed 6th December 2016 http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/10/beware-of-dogs-rabies-on-the-prowl-in-lagos/

 

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