Last year I made a decision. Once I have my own house, I will get myself a labrador! Being the sirene of information that I am, I told everybody about my decision. "Buatpa bela anjin? Kotoq! Malaikat tak masuk, tak berkat." hissed Tok as if addressing a taboo topic. Even my post-colonial father, with his orange comb tucked in his back pocket and his tendency to teach me new english words raised his eyebrows when I showed him the dog I wanted to get on Animal Planet.
Their reactions were not unexpected. I taunted them with many ridiculous plans like adopting babies from each continents ala Angelina Jolie and marrying late to a german supermodel. "Nauzubilah" Tok will whisper audibly. "Touch wood!" Bapak will find a wooden surface and touch it. I will let them think that those plans were purposely cooked up for trivial entertaiment value. Like my plan to keep a dog.
I told this to a good friend of mine, Megat Izzuddin and he thought I was joking. I then told him about dog's status in Islam and how malay muslims hatred towards dogs is strictly a cultural thing. He fervently disagreed and when I reminded him of a scene in Yasmin Ahmad's Gubra where the Bilal pats a dog while on his way to the Surau, he got wiled up and insisted that those images were planted by liberal muslim to dilute the true teaching of Islam. I insisted that the Prophet would do the same and he had known that his followers (points at Megat) will demonize dogs because of the inconvenient hygene procedure which is the sama' (or Samak). I know for a fact that Megat is not the only one who thinks that.
Whoever made the clip above should migrate to Afghanistan and have Taliban law enforced on them. It's not all shooting women with no burqa or stoning 15 year old girls you know... Some of the benefits of Talibanism is that it's a law that your wife surrender herself to sex every four days. I respect the opinion of people who agrees with the clip as they are entitled to their thoughts but this is exactly the backward thinking that caused the fall of Islamic civilizations.
Get it right folks. Dogs are not haram. Bribery and corruption is haram. Loving, touching and taking care of dogs is not haram. Pre marital sex is haram. So is eating pork but pigs are not haram. If you won't take my words for it, you can refer to the former Mufti of Perlis, Ustaz Asri:
The sama' (or samak) procedure haven't been updated for centuries. During the time of Rasulullah, to prevent rabies from infecting human beings, he instructed his followers to wash their hands once with clay and six more times with water because they didn't have Dettol or anti-bacterial soap those days. If you're thinking "Well, we should abide Rasulullah's every action to the latter" then the internet would be unfavourable because Rasulullah used massengers on horses to relay messages and information.
Dogs contribution to muslims and the Islamic world are undeniable and it's sad that we demonize them because of one story about the angel who refuse to come into a woman's house because of a stray dog hiding in it. Haven't you heard about Qitmir, the dog who took care of his God fearing master and his followers by guiding them into a cave called Kahf to escape the cruel Quraisy king, Dacius. Qitmir then guarded the cave for hundreds of years while its master slept.
After a while the king approached the cave and found the men and their dog asleep. The sight made him believe their story and he decided to build a mosque at the spot in respect of the miracle that had occurred at this place. The Holy Quran says: And they stayed in the Cave three hundred years and add nine (more). Surah Al-Kahf, 18 : 25
Until today, dogs are an intergral part of human life.
Dogs can even help autistic children to communicate.
Most importantly, they could give what we human need the most: love and attention.
In a nutshell, I'm getting a Labrador whether you like it or not! Even if it is against the wishes of my elders (because of their misconceptions), it's not against my religion!