The recent uproar over the “I want to touch a dog” event got me thinking. Is the knowledge of our young muslims about Islam today are so shallow that we need to have an event for them to learn? I said young muslims, because from the various images that i saw in the media depicted that most of the attendees were the young ones. I might be wrong there. Another point that perked my interest, why is the event so attractive so much so that about 1,000 people turned up?. And who brought the dogs? Are our youngster so interested in cuddly dogs, many had no inhibition at all in not only touching but cuddling, and even kissing them, probably just like what they saw in the movies. Of course the organiser had also brought along many knowledgeable people to give instruction to the muslims on how to cleanse themselves after touching a dog in a process called “sertu” or “samak”. But how many really come to learn? I had this gut feeling that many turned up to grab the chance to cuddle or pet the dogs.
One posting in the Facebook shown a black and white photo of a row of ulamak in the 40’s (i think) who were just finished their discussions on dogs from Islamic perspective. What is interesting, the photo has a dog on a leash, patiently sitting in the forefront. The impression that I got, the poster was trying to show, even an ulamak has a dog, it is no big deal for Muslims to rear dogs. Of course Muslims can rear dogs but for the right reasons – as guard dogs, hunting dogs,or as sheperd dogs to look after your herds. You’re not suppose to rear them as pets, let alone let them roam into the house. Back home in the sixties, we used to have a dog called Jabut. But of course our house was on stilts, no way Jabut can enter the house. Jabut was a stray dog who came to the house. Mum fed it and we never touch it and kept our distance. It stayed around as our guard dog and I don’t remember what happen to Jabut. It was so skinny and ugly anyway, unlike those cuddly poodle brought to Padang Utama that day.Funny that one of my distant uncle remarked that we might as well rear pigs as both pigs and dogs carry the same level of najis.At least he said one can sell pigs. He made the remark in anger at our Jabut. but Jabut was an innocent dog in a need of a help, so we help it.
Of course, Islam recognise the fact that dogs are Allah’s creation that deserve respect,love and care. The organiser may have a noble intention but they probably did not thoroughly discuss with the religious authority on how to handle the event. He had apologised but then is the event really necessary? Judging by the huge turnout, it probably is. Then again, do the participants came for the right reasons. God knows. I would have thought, it would be more beneficial if we can organise “I to touch a book” or something that would bring tangible benefits to Malaysia.