By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu*The opinions expressed in this post are strictly the author’s personal opinions
“You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.”
― Paul McCartney
Recently Malaysian Youth (who I assured that is mostly a moderate Muslims) has been stricken by a dogma of ‘Haram’ to touch a dog. I am nowhere close to be an “ustazah”, let me tell you that but seeing those who attended event ‘I want to touch a dog’ have been insulted and even discriminated by our own society , something inside me just died.
I am at lost. I was sad. I was shocked. I was taken aback.
Wait a minute, Let us rewind back. Just because they touched a dog, they are being insulted and even called a disgrace, ‘kafir’ and so many more that is not very nice at all. Wow, so much for defending the so called Islamic teaching, they then turned their back on their Muslim brothers and sisters? Dear sister and brother, isn’t that forgiveness is one of the Islamic value? Isn’t that compassion is one of the Islamic value? If both are the Islamic values that we learned from primary school, Islamic school in the evening, and even until you graduated university, why the hell you didn’t practice it? (Pardon my language, I am just here trying to make a point). The ‘Keyboard Warrior’ culture in face book, whatsapp and twitter somehow dominating the ‘I want to touch a dog’ event and suddenly, everybody claimed that they are saints than those who attend it. Oh wait, no! Let me tell you this, you’re not right after doing such things. By humiliating them? uh-uh (shame on you)..
The Prophet (Pbuh) Said: The One Who Has Humiliated a Follower of Mine Is As If He Intends To Declare War on Me. (Imam Ja’far Al-Saadiq quoting the Prophet (pbuh), book of Al-Usool from Al-Kaafi, Vol. 2, Page 351)
Yes, according to our mazhab that it is ‘Haram’ to touch a dog. I am not arguing on that angle. Yes, some narrow minded people might call me infidel/non believer or asking me to repent for posting this post. However, let’s just stop for a minute and wondering the purpose of the event. The organizer has already told that the purpose of the event is for the sake of education. It is not wrong to attend and even touch a dog for sake of education. We, Muslims, are being educated to be afraid of the dogs because we cannot touch it. This situation led to our mindset to believe that they are fierce and violent. Let’s just say that you have a phobia with dog and one day, you are in a bit of situation where you had to help them? What then? Is it still Haram? Isn’t that permissible to help the poor dog? Unfortunately, you are afraid to even touch them and due to that, the dog died because we are too afraid to touch it and let alone to help it. For me, attending the event for the sake of education is no harm in it. It was okay to touch it to learn it and when the time may come for you to use the knowledge, you are prepared mentally and physically. It also helps to encourage people to be more empathetic towards animal and educating that animal cruelty is not acceptable.
The fact that people said the event has good intention but they are against it because commemorating the picture with dog seems overboard. Is it? For the event itself to take a lot of pictures of those who attend it, can you use a little brain of yours that they might use for a purpose for future marketing and some sort of promotion? For those who take the picture using their own camera, they may want to keep it as memory or recollection of being a first timer to ever touch dog. Honestly speaking, I see no harm in it. It is their freedom to do so. Are they invoking anything that religion prohibited? Before you answer it, ask yourself again what is the purpose of the event ‘I want to touch a dog’? It was beyond belief seeing the organizer has to apologize for the event that they organized after there is possible death threat upon them. What happened to my country? My country that I am so proud of for being a moderately Muslim country up to the point that I even bragged to my foreigner friends. Now, I can’t say the same. We are letting our country is driven by those extremists to the brink of fundamentalism and authoritarianism.
I lived in the culture when parents said it’s okay to throw stone to dog ( Mind you, it’s not my parents and for that, I am grateful but I’ve seen so many people says it’s okay to do it because they are ‘Haram’). Excuse me, sir, and madam; are you out of your mind? This happened when people focus too much what is forbidden in the Islam and ignored what’s the basic goodness in Islam. As a peaceful religion, this is not the right values to instill in the followers. Let’s go back to basic, isn’t that dog is Allah’s creation? Isn’t that our religion asks us to be merciful towards animal? So why the hell did you teach your child is okay to stone the dog just because we cannot touch it, just because they are ‘Najis’? (Again, pardon my language). It is not okay. Animal cruelty is not okay. Islam prohibited the teaching that cause injury to others, people or animal.
I am a cat person. People might call me a crazy cat lady but if I happen to meet a person who abuse dog or other animals, be prepared to see my wrath. I can even scold baby if he/she happens to hurting them (pulling tails, hairs and etc). I’ve seen it before and their parents seem okay with it because they are babies. Yes, babies don’t know anything but parents, do your job. Education started at the early age and just because he/she doesn’t know anything doesn’t mean he/she cannot be taught. Be respectful to each other regardless of human or animal is the basic value of human being but sadly, we are so lacking of it.
While our society still battling the lack of concern towards animal, I was surprised to see such event is not welcomed in the society. To worsen the situation, the clerics in Malaysia all ganged up to denounce that event is Haram and forbidden while they took so much times to condemn and declare that fighting in the ISIS is not jihad and those who died fighting in the battle is not ‘syahid’. However, I am thankful to some prominent clerics that dare to differ. They argued their point sensibly and rather than strongly detested it, they asked that next time should be done in different way, more pragmatic I should say. Before I am being taunted for voicing my own opinion, I should stop here. I should put an end to my voice. Call me infidel or ‘Kafir’; I stand by my own opinion.