Aiman Azlan





Thursday, August 01, 2013

Ramadan Reflection Day 23: I Love Dogs

In 2011, I went to Turkey for about a day. It was my layover before my flight to Malaysia. Since I have about a day of free time, I thought it's best to take the opportunity and visit one of Turkey's finest - the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (the Blue Mosque). Praying in the mosque was an absolute treat. I am grateful to Allah for giving me that opportunity.

Other than the mosque, I walked around its vicinity in Sultan Ahmet Square to check out the place. Whilst walking around, a stray dog started following me. Freaked out at first, I calmed down after I figured out that it wasn't going to chase me. Maybe it was just curious. So I just walked around normally, and it was trailing behind me. A very nice dog. I even snapped a photo with it.

Istanbul, Turkey (2011)
If you ask me which animal is most loyal to humans, I would have to say dogs.

I distinctly remember being in a grocery store in Toronto when a dog walked in and started wandering around in the store. At first, I thought the dog was hungry and was about to grab some food and run away. But no, it was trying to find its owner. It was going from aisle to aisle, peering through each one, and completely ignoring all the food around it.

Wallahi, the look on its face is one that I will never ever forget. It looked genuinely worried and lost, like a child trying to find his mom in the supermarket. It didn't bother me or anyone else. It was totally focused on finding its owner.

I love cats, but I don't think cats are going to do that if they lost their owner. If I'm drowning and I see a dog and a cat, I would shout for the dog. No doubt.

Dogs are a wonderful creation of Allah.

They were mentioned in Surah al-Maidah as hunting dogs and they were also mentioned in Surah al-Kahf as a companion for the youth in the cave. The Prophet advocated for the care of dogs (and of course, other animals too). The Prophet mentioned a story of a person who, upon seeing a dog that's thirsty, filled a sandal with water from a well and gave it to the dog. Because of that noble act, Allah granted the person Paradise.

So my heart is filled with joy when I see people like Pak Mie who took it upon himself to take care of about 600 stray dogs and created a shelter for them. He and his wife practically revolve their life around taking care of these dogs. Subhanallah.

May the dogs be Pak Mie's and his wife's ticket to Jannah. Ameen.

Dogs (or any animal for that matter) will treat you how you treat them. They are animals, so they are driven by instincts. Unlike us. So if we treat them like crap, then they're going to see us as enemies. It's not surprising that some dogs do chase people (unless they're guard dogs in which case, that's their job).

Kindness and compassion transcend the species barrier. The Prophet was not sent as mercy to human beings exclusively, but he was (and still is) mercy to the worlds; that includes everything and everyone.

So I love dogs not just because I think they're great, but also because I think it's Islamic. To say that one is a Muslim and hates dogs is...oxymoronic.

My name is Aiman Azlan. I have rich experience in youth engagement, both online and offline. I am passionate about social issues involving the local youth community. In 2015, I founded Aiman Azlan Academy to empower the youth with sustainable self-confidence through effective communication skill.

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