Suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder and Wants to Keep a Dog
Fatwa No: 419983

Question

Hello Islamweb
I do have a question. I'm suffering from social anxiety. So I'm having a hard time being around people. But it's easier for me to be around people when I'm with someone that I know. But a hard time when I go by myself to buy groceries etc. And I know people that's suffering the same as me have a dog that have helped them a lot from there problems. So is it halal to have a dog under these circumstances ? Thanks :)

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.

It is impermissible for you, dear questioner, to keep a dog for the mentioned purpose. The Islamic Sharee‘ah deems it prohibited to keep a dog except in specific cases, and they do not include what you mentioned. Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Al-Mughni: “It is impermissible to keep a dog, except a dog for hunting, herding livestock, or guarding a farm, as evidenced by what was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him who related that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever keeps a dog, except a dog used for hunting, herding livestock, or guarding crops (farm) , one Qeeraat (mountain size rewards) will be deducted from his reward each day.” It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him , that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever keeps a dog, except a dog for hunting or herding livestock, two Qeeraats (mountain size rewards) will be deducted from his reward each day.” Saalim said: ‘Abu Hurayrah used to say, “or a farm dog.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].” [End of quote]

You may be suffering from social anxiety disorder, also known as (social) phobia, which is defined as: “an extreme deep-rooted fear of something or a particular situation. The most common kinds of phobias include: enochlophobia (fear of crowds), nyctophobia (fear of darkness), acrophobia (fear of heights), and fear of some animals.” [End of quote, excerpted with modifications from Al-Mawsoo‘ah Al-‘Arabiyyah Al-‘Aalamiyyah] Al-Mawsoo‘ah Al-‘Arabiyyah. Al-‘Aalamiyyah also reads: “Phobias are unjustified fears.” If you are suffering from this disorder, it is prescribed for you to seek treatment through lawful means and consult doctors rather than keeping dogs.

We ask Allah, The Exalted, to bless you with recovery.

Allah Knows best.

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