Dogs which are kept for a purpose, such as hunting, guarding cattle, property or crops and the like are exempted from the above ruling. The Prophet [s] said, “Whoever keeps a dog, except for hunting or for guarding crops or cattle, will lose one large measure (qirat) of his reward each day.” However, the prohibition of keeping dogs in the house does not mean that dogs may be treated cruelly or that they should be eradicated.
Allah states in the Holy Qur’an,
“There is not an animal on the earth, nor a bird flying upon two wings, but comprise nations like your selves.” (Surat Al-‘An`ām (The Cattle) 6:38 – سورة الأنعام)
Nabi Muhammad [s] also told his Companions a story concerning a man who found a dog in the desert, panting and licking the dust due to thirst. The man went to a well, filled his shoes with water, and relieved the dog’s thirst. The Messenger of Allah [s] then said, “Allah appreciated this and forgave him all his sins.”
العاشر: عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: ” بينما رجل يمشى بطريق اشتد عليه العطش، فوجد بئراً فنزل فيها فشرب، ثم خرج فإذا كلب يلهث يأكل الثرى من العطش، فقال الرجل: لقد بلغ هذا الكلب من العطش مثل الذي كان قد بلغ منى، فنزل البئر فملأ خفه ماء ثم أمسكه بفيه، حتى رقي فسقى الكلب، فشكر الله له فغفر له” قالوا : يارسول الله إن لنا في البهائم أجراً؟ فقال: في كل كبدٍ رطبة أجر” ((متفق عليه)).
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “While a man was walking on his way he became extremely thirsty. He found a well, he went down into it to drink water. Upon leaving it, he saw a dog which was panting out of thirst. His tongue was lolling out and he was eating moist earth from extreme thirst. The man thought to himself: ‘This dog is extremely thirsty as I was.’ So he descended into the well, filled up his leather sock with water, and holding it in his teeth, climbed up and quenched the thirst of the dog. Allah appreciated his action and forgave his sins”. The Companions asked: “Shall we be rewarded for showing kindness to the animals also?” He (ﷺ) said, “A reward is given in connection with every living creature”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
In the narration of Al-Bukhari, the Prophet (ﷺ) is reported to have said: “Allah forgave him in appreciation of this act and admitted him to Jannah”.
Another narration says: “Once a dog was going round the well and was about to die out of thirst. A prostitute of Banu Israel happened to see it. So she took off her leather sock and lowered it into the well. She drew out some water and gave the dog to drink. She was forgiven on account of her action”.
Arabic/English book reference
: Book 1, Hadith 126