God allows believing men and women to enjoy the meat of wild animals caught by their dogs. This means a Muslim can keep dogs. The history of some young believers who took refuge in a cave in surah 18:18 says there was a dog as their friend in the cave:
‘We turned them to the right side and the left side, while their dog stretched his arms in their midst‘. In the Arab religion it is forbidden to keep dogs. The author did not realise the benefits of having a dog until he got a German shepherd a few years ago.
Yas-alunaka ma-zaa uhil-la lahum. Qul uhil-la lakumul thor-ibatu wama ‘al-lamtum minal jawarihi mukalibina tu’al-limu-nahun-na mim-ma ‘al-lamakumul-lah fa-kulu-mim-ma am-sakna alaikum waz-kurus mal-lah alai-hi. Wat-taqul-lah in-nal-lah sari-ul hisab (5:4)
They ask you what is permitted for them. Tell them, “Permitted for you are all the good things that the dogs you trained catch for you according to what was taught by God to you.” You may eat what they catch for you. And mention God’s name over it. You shall observe God, God is most strict in reckoning. (5:4)
Not many translators were willing to translate the word mukalibin as dogs1 because the majority of the so-called Muslims believe it is forbidden (Haram) to keep a dog. The Arabic word for dog is kalb and this word also appears in 18:22 where it states that there was a dog accompanying the believing youth in the cave. The Reading compares people who receive God’s revelations – but who disregard them – to dogs.
Walau shik-na la-rofaknahu biha wala-kin-nahu aq-lada ilal-ardhi wat-taba’a-huwa- hu kama-salil kalbi ain-tahmil alai-hi yal-hash ay-tat-rukhu yal-hash. Zalika masalul qaumil lazi kaz-zabu bi-ayaatina. Fa qu-su-sil qoru-sorsa la-al-lahum yad-tafakarun (7:176)
Had We willed, We could have elevated him with the Scripture, but he insisted on sticking to the ground and following his own opinions. His example is that of a dog (kalbi). If you give him attention he pants, and when you ignore him he pants. Such is the example of those who reject our revelations. You shall narrate these so that they may think carefully. (7:176)
Al-yauma uhil-la-lakumud thoi-iba-tu wa-thor-‘a-mul-lazi utul-kitab hil-lul lakum wa-tho-‘a-mukum hil-lun lahum. Wah-musornatu minal-mukminati wal-muh-sornatu minal-lazi utul-kitab min qob-likum (5:5)
Today, all good things are permitted for you and the food of those who were given the previous Scripture is permitted for you. And your food is also permitted for them. (5:5)
NOTE: In each verse, the subject is always related. Unrelated subjects do not jump out in the same verse.
In 2:62 and 5:69, the food of the true believers of the previous Scriptures is also endorsed. Then in 5:5, we are told the food served by either of these parties is permitted for the other. Thereupon, He adds another point about the people of the former revelation. Such addition is done at the end of a verse about a particular subject but never in the middle of the subject matter.
The invented pilgrimage and pilgrim’s garb (ihram) is sandwiched haphazardly by the religionists within a verse where it simply does not belong thematically. The clumsiness of this attempt to violate the perfect composition of the Reading is enough to alert the suspicions of the careful reader.
1 This will strike someone without a ‘Muslim’ background as mad and weird thing. ‘Muslims’ have convinced themselves that dogs are unclean. It is believed that should a dog’s spittle touch a man he becomes spiritually unclean.