From what I understand, people are allowed to have dogs if there's a specific purpose, like it's a guard dog or a seeing eye dog for someone blind or for hunting.
What is Najis (impure) from a dog is it's saliva (for Hanafis). So avoid that and you should be fine iA.
Is it permissible to own a dog and keep inside a house? What is permissible and what is not, and why? Is there scientific research to back up the Islamic position?
It is permissible to own a dog for a purpose such as guarding houses and properties, hunting for food, shepherding cattle & sheep, guiding a blind person and/or performing police duties (1 & 2).
It is forbidden (haram) to keep a dog inside the house merely as a pet without any necessity, need, and/or benefit. The Prophet (PBUH) is reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim to have said: “Whoever keeps a dog save for hunting or for guarding corps or cattle will loose one large measure (qirat) of his reward everyday.” (1 )
Some scholars have attributed the reason for the prohibition is that dogs are impure, and therefore, it is not hygienic to keep dogs in the house. Al-Qaradawi (1 & 3) discussed the scientific research related to this subject. See Scientific research - Dogs inside homes?
Other scholars believe that our priorities in spending time and money should be focused on our relatives, neighbors, the orphans, the poor and the needy, and not on unnecessary pets (1).
As for the purity of dogs, the great scholar Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned three views of jurists (4):
The Maliki school holds that a dog is pure even its saliva.
The Shafi’i & one of two narrations of Ibn Hanbal schools state that a dog is impure even its fur.
The Hanafi and the other narration of Ibn Hanbal schools maintain that a dog’s saliva is impure while its fur is pure.
According to Ibn Taymiyyah the third view is believed to be the most correct.
Based on the Hanafi’s school, it is permissible for a person to touch a dog’s fur and even if the fur is wet, this does not render him/her impure (najis). But if a dog licks a pot or container, what it touches must be thrown away and the container must be washed off thoroughly. Also, if one touches the dog’s fur after making abolition (Wudu’), it does not break the wudu’. However, if one gets touched by the dog’s saliva, then he/she has got tainted with impurity (najasa) which must be removed by washing the body part touched and the item of clothing touched by the dog’s mouth or snout (5 & 6).
A place where dog walks or roams around is not necessarily regarded as unclean and, therefore unfit for prayer. Since Muslims are allowed to pray in the open spaces such as parks, where dogs are known to roam, therefore it is considered clean and fit for pray (7). Moreover, there are traditions reported in Al-Bukhari & Muslim on the authority of Ibn Umar, who was a close Companion of the prophet that “Dogs used to enter the mosque of the Prophet (PBUH),”(8) and yet the Companion never performed any ritual cleansing of the sacred premises on account of that. It is reasonable to assume that s dog’s entry into a car or vehicle cannot pose any problem with regards to its ritual purity or impurity.
It is sin to keep a dog or any animal on a short leash for long periods without food, water and shelter. The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have stated that a woman is doomed to enter Hell because of a cat “which she neither fed nor let it eat from the vermin of earth.” (6)
In two separate hadiths narrated by Abu Hurayrah (the cat loving Companion), the Prophet (PBUH) told his Companions of the virtue of saving the life of a dog by giving it water and quenching its thirst: one referred to was a man who was blessed by Allah for giving water to a thirsty dog. The other was a prostitute who filled her shoe with water and gave it to a dog that was lolling its tongue in thirst. For this deed she was granted the ultimate reward: eternal paradise (9).
It is forbidden to participate in dog fighting games. Ibn Abbas narrated that “the Prophet (PBUH) forbade that animals be made to fight each other, thus denouncing people’s habit of goading animals into fighting each other until one of them was pecked or gored to death or close to it.” ( 6 & 10 )References
1. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, “The Lawful and The Prohibited in Islam” (Al-Halal wal Haram fil Islam”, Translated by Kamal El-Helbawy et al, Published by Islamic Book Trust, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, edition 1995, Reprint 2001.
2. Ahmad Kutty, “Muslims Owning Dogs: Permissible?”, www.islamonline.net
, Q&A, 07/26/2003.
3. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, “Keeping Dogs: Science Supports Shari’ah”, www.islamonline.net
, Q&A, 12/10/2006
4. A Group of Islamic Researchers, “A Dog Touched My Clothes: How to Cleanse Them?” , www.islamonline.net
, Q&A, 09/14/2003
5. Ahmad Kutty, “Are Guide-Dogs Impure?”, www.islamonline.net
, Q&A, 02/17/2008.
6. Ayoub M. Banderker, “Animal Abuse and Welfare in Islam”, www.islamicconcern.com/dogs.asp
7. Ahmad Kutty, “My Cousin Keeps a Dog: Can I Pray in Her House?”, www.islamonline.net
, Q&A, 08/26/2002.
8. Abdul-Majeed Subh, “Can Guide-Dogs Enter the Mosque?”, www.islamonline.net
, Q&A, 12/25/2007.
9. Hediyah Al-Amin, “The Love of Animals”, www.islamonline.net/english/introducingislam/Environment/article04.shtml
10. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, “Does Islam Encourage Kindness to Animal?”, www.islamonline.net
, Q&A, 07/06/2002.