How to purify a house where a dog lived
Fatwa No: 228397

Question

Assalaam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh. If a non-muslim who has kept a dog for a long time inside his house and the dog has licked, urinated and defecated at many places inside the house over the time, decides to convert to Islam, what he should do with the house? Should he wash the whole house with sand and water? Can he live in the house anymore? And another question about the dog. What if a non-muslim who has let his dog lick him all over him, kissed the dog etc decides to convert to Islam, should he wash his entire body and mouth with sand and water? I hope you would have time to answer on these if you know the answer because they may be common problems in many societies nowadays. Jazakumullahu khayran.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The first thing that this person is obliged to do is to take the dog out of the house as it is not permissible to keep dogs as pets. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever keeps a dog as a pet, except for the purpose of guarding or hunting, will lose daily two Qiraats (a mountain size of reward) from his good deeds.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

As for what to do with the house and whether it is an obligation to purify it: in principle, all things are pure, and the hair and body of the dog are pure while its saliva is impure according to the correct view of the jurists. Some jurists are of the opinion that even its saliva is pure but its urine is impure, a view held in the Maaliki school. But the utensil from which the dog had eaten or drunk should be washed - according to them - as an act of worship, and not as a way of purifying it. According to them it is only the utensils that should be washed if a dog drinks from them. Even though this view is not the strongest opinion according to us in Islamweb, it is permissible to act according to it when necessary.

Therefore, according to the view of the majority of scholars, the entire house is not considered impure just because there was a dog in it, and it is not an obligation to purify anything in this house unless it is known that it is impure. This is based on the fact that dogs used to pass inside the mosque at the time of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and they did not sprinkle anything over it (i.e. the companions did not sprinkle water where they passed) as reported by Al-Bukhari and narrated by Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him.

But if it is known that a dog urinated on some articles of clothing, a part of the body or bed or any other place, then it is to be purified by washing it seven times - one of those times with soil. Soap and other cleaning products are sufficient as a substitute for the soil. The Fiqh Encyclopedia reads: “The Hanbali school of jurisprudence is of the view that Ashnaan (a kind of grass used to clean clothes), soap and other cleaning agents can serve instead of earth even if the latter is present and does not ruin the place it is applied to.”  [End of quote]

Moreover, the Permanent Committee of Iftaa' was asked: “What is the ruling of the saliva of a dog if it comes into contact with someone's body or clothes? Also, what is the ruling of other clothes that are washed with those clothes in one washing machine and with the same water?” The Permanent Committee of Iftaa' answered as follows: “The saliva of a dog is impure, and it is an obligation to wash a utensil or clothes that come into contact with it, as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: To purify one of your receptacles in which a dog licked, wash it seven times, one time with soil. If the clothes are put in pure water and they are washed until the qualities of the impure substance are gone, then all of it becomes pure from the impurity of the dog or any other impurities on condition that it is washed from the impurity of the dog seven times, the first time with soil, or what can serve instead, like soap and Ashnaan.”  [End of quote]

The same thing applies to furniture and the like that is known to have come into contact with the impurity of the dog - it should be washed seven times. As regards the impurity of the dog on the ground or the walls, it is purified by pouring water over them until the impurity is removed, and it is not an obligation to use soil.

The author of Al-Mubdi’ said: “All impurities, whether urine, wine, or the impurity of dogs or pigs, if it is on the ground and on what is attached to the ground like walls and basins, then it is an obligation to pour much water on it...” [End of quote]

Moreover, Al-Mardaawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Al-Insaaf: “The correct opinion of our (Hanbali) school of jurisprudence is that if the impurity is on the ground, then it is purified by pouring a large amount of water on it, whether the impurity is from a dog, pig or otherwise...

Allaah Knows best.

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