Chuck Shepherd comes through for me again. He’s not posting on his old site anymore, now he’s at http://www.weirduniverse.net/, if you want to check it out.
That’s where I found this story:
RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Arabia’s religious police have announced a ban on selling cats and dogs as pets, or walking them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men using them as a means of making passes at women, an official said on Wednesday.
[Othman al-Othman, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh, known as the Muttawa] said the commission was implementing a decision taken a month ago by the acting governor of the capital, Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, adding that it follows an old edict issued by the supreme council of Saudi scholars.
The reason behind reinforcing the edict now was a rising fashion among some men using pets in public “to make passes on women and disturb families,” he said, without giving more details.
Othman said that the commission has instructed its offices in the capital to tell pet shops “to stop selling cats and dogs”.
Arab News also has a story, with more detail.
The commission made the request after receiving several complaints that many Saudi youths, influenced by the Western culture, brought their pets into public places and caused distress to families with young children.
“The ban was based on the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) saying that it’s forbidden to give or accept any money related to the selling or buying of dogs,” said Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, head of the commission in Makkah province.
Muslims are discouraged from keeping dogs inside their homes because they are not considered clean animals. However, in two separate Hadiths narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), which means the cat-loving companion, the Prophet (pbuh) told his companions of the virtue of saving the life of a dog by quenching its thirst.
He referred to a man whom Allah blessed for giving water to a thirsty dog. And the other was a prostitute who filled her shoe with water and gave it to a thirsty dog. For this deed she was granted the eternal paradise.
Nuha, a 34-year-old pet owner, said that the Qur’an while narrating the story of the People of the Cave mentions that they owned a dog.
“The Qur’an narrates in Surah Al-Kahf (The Cave) the story of some pious youths who took refuge in a cave. These people had a dog with them, and the fact that Allah mentions the dog and counts the dog among them, indicates that dogs are permitted to live among people,” said Nuha, who owns four cats and two hamsters.
Nuha was referring to the verse: “And you would have thought them awake, whereas they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance (of the cave as a guard).” (Holy Qur’an 18.18)
I’m eagerly awaiting the day when I can fit dog ownership into my lifestyle. I won’t be using the dog for nefarious purposes.