Dogs and pictures (reduce the angels of mercy from entering)

Q1: Having just recently reverted to Islam, there is much for me to learn. Recently I was told that since there is a dog living in my house that my prayers will not be answered. Also, since there are family photos (of my children, parents, etc) that my prayers will not be answered. Would you please comment on this? Thank you (comment box)

Q2: My question is being asked as Islam is new to me.  I was told that I should not pray in a home where pictures (family members etc) hang on the wall.  Also, was told that I should not pray in a home where a dog resides.  Would you expound upon this for me?  Thank you

Time: Wednesday May 11, 2011 at 8:31 am

A: May Allah (SWT) accept your reversion. We also understand that the matter of dogs and pictures remain sensitive to reverts and Muslims alike. These two matters were also part of Arab culture and remained sensitive back then as well. Muslims must never think that these two matters only relate to Muslims during modern times.  I am to give you the most lenient response. Kindly bear with me. This response applies only to you based on your situation and your being a revert.

Islam has a place for everything. The place for a dog (not the one used for blind people, hunting, security, etc.) is in a kennel or back yard or away from continual human touch. For if the dog has touched a person with its saliva (or moisture) then one must remove the tainted clothes as well as wash of the saliva portions from the physical self and thereafter pray. This is part of attaining cleanliness and purity as prescribed by religion. (I do understand that this answer may be offensive to many, however it functions as clarification to what you have possibly heard.)

As one can tell, ‘prayer will not be answered’ needs clarification as well. Prayer would only be rejected if the place of praying is impure and/or the one praying has impurity on the self. Knowing that having a dog cannot guarantee purity, it is best to gradually disassociate oneself from dogs and find a replacement that can ensure greater level of purity. (cats, horse, fish, sheep, etc.)

Pictures of animate objects are to be abstained from. In the case of prayer not being accepted, again one must make sure that they are not praying to any pictures. It is not that your prayers would not be accepted with pictures in the room;  the angels of mercy would be disturbed from entering your blessed home. Recommendation: If pictures must exist, merely have the pictures on your computer, wallet or in some place private.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

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