Canine Culls: Dogs’ Doomsday in Iran

by PAUL L. WILLIAMS, PHD August 26, 2010
Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance issued a ruling which upheld that all dogs are unclean and advertisements about keeping, buying, and selling dogs are forbidden.
The new fatwa also outlaws ads promoting dog food and shops that sell dog accessories.
The ruling is based on Islamic law which states that dogs are unclean.

Keeping dogs as pets, according to the Tehran Times, has become remarkably common among Iranians, particularly those living in metropolitan areas. Police have been assigned the task of confiscating dogs from people who walk them in public. The confiscated dogs are destroyed and burned in incinerators.

Months ago, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi was asked a question about the cleanliness of dogs in shariah. Such a question, called an istifta, is a request by someone for a fatwa, a ruling based on shariah.

The istifta inquired why is a dog considered unclean under shariah despite a lack of any references to dogs in the Holy Quran.

In his response to the istifta, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi emphasized that under shariah, dogs are, indeed, filthy creatures that no believing Muslim should touch, let alone keep as a pet.
The Ayatollah said the uncleanliness of dogs is based upon riwayahs, reliable narrations handed down from the Prophet Muhammad (S) and his household (AS).
Several of these riwayahs are as follows:
“Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: Allah's Apostle ordered that the dogs should be killed” (Bukhari, Volume 4, #540).
“Narrated Abu Huraira: ‘Allah's Apostle said, "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’” (Bukhari, Volume 3, #515)
Abu Huraira (in another narration) said from the Prophet, "unless it is used for guarding sheep or farms, or for hunting."
Narrated Abu Hazim from Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "A dog for guarding cattle or for hunting.""
The Ayatollah, in his ruling, described the current Iranian inclination toward dogs as “blindly imitating the West”; something that he believes will result in “evil outcomes.” Contributing Editor Paul L. Williams, Ph.D., is the author of The Day of Islam: The Annihilation of America and the Western World, The Al Qaeda Connection, and other best-selling books. He is a frequent guest on such national news networks as ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR. Visit his website at

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