There was a protest in the Nasarawa community of Kaduna State when a Muslim man was accused of slaughtering a dog and sharing the meat among his sect members in the state.
The incident, which occurred on Tuesday, led to a protest where residents, particularly youths, attacked the man’s house and Islamic school.
The residents were angry that what the man did was against the teachings of Islam.
But Ismail Abubakar Rijana who spoke on behalf of the sect, said eating dogs was not prohibited in the Quran.
“We are Muslims and followers of the Quran only. We believe in the Quran as a religious book. But the way we practice Islamic religion is different from how others practice it.
“Nigeria’s constitution gives us the right to practice our belief. So, based on our knowledge of the Quran, no verse prohibits the eating of dogs. But we are ready to change and seek God’s forgiveness if we are convinced with verses in the Quran that we are wrong,” he said.
Some of the residents confirmed that dog meat was used to prepare soup which was shared among the students of the school.
Adam Muhammad, counselor of the area, also confirmed the incident but said the community had become calm as security personnel were deployed to maintain law and order in the community.
Dog meat not allowed in Islam – Shariah Council
However, the Supreme Council for Shariah, Kaduna Chapter, has condemned the sect’s action, saying it was intended to challenge the Muslim Ummah.
According to the council, the sources of Islamic Law are three: The Qur’an, which is the word of Allah (SWT); The tradition of the Prophet (SAW), which includes his sayings, actions, and silence (on something done in his presence); and the Ijma’, which entails the consensus of Ullama, where rulings are not found in either of the aforementioned.
The secretary of the council in Kaduna, Abdulrahaman Hassan D, in a statement, emphasized that all Muslims must believe in and abide by these basic Islamic principles of jurisprudence.
He explained that for true Muslims who believe in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW), the following should be noted: Allah (SWT) said in Suratul Ma’idah Verse 1, “Oh you who believe! Fulfill your commitments. Livestock animals are permitted for you, except those specified to you…” (Qur’an,5:1).
“The verse clearly shows the animals allowed to be eaten in Islam, while the ‘exceptions’ mentioned in the verse can only be found in the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW).
“It was narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Every animal that has fangs is haram.’ (Muslim). Also, Abu Tha’labah Al-Khashni (RA) said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (SAW) forbade the eating of every carnivore that has fangs.’
“Considering these facts from the above sources, it is clear that eating dog meat is not allowed in Islam. Unfortunately, the people involved seem not to have much regard for the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW), forgetting the fact that Allah (SWT) has said: ‘It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger, He is indeed on a wrong Path.’ (Qur’an, Ahzaab:36).
“We call on all Muslims to shun away from controversial issues that may affect their Iman (faith). For those people who indulged in this act, they should fear Allah and know that whatever a person does, he will be held accountable,” the statement reads.
The council also called on youth to desist from taking the law into their own hands, adding that if there is any observed anomaly within the society, the same should be reported to the constituted authority.
Eating dog meat un-Islamic, provocative – Sheikh Gumi
Also, a Kaduna based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, said there are two rulings on the issue of eating dog meat because the prophet prohibited the eating of all animals that hunt or have canine teeth, which dogs have.
“So it is haram (prohibited), but in another madhab (school of thought) as practiced around the Iraq region, it’s makruh (disliked).
“But the ones we follow, the prophet forbade eating dogs, so literally, people don’t eat dogs here. So when you come and introduce such a different practice, it will create reactions, especially when associated with Islamic rites like naming ceremonies.
“This is because Islam only permits four animals for religious rites: camel, cattle, sheep, or goat. Any other animal, even if it’s halal, like a hen, or ostrich, is not allowed to be used for religious sacrifice.
“So their actions are un-Islamic and provocative. They provoke the general Ummah of Malik School of thought which says it is haram (forbidden) to eat dog meat.”
The cleric called on citizens to avoid taking the law into their hands, saying they can only preach to people to make them understand that those who believe whatever is in the hadith is not authentic are faulty because the Quran has said that the prophet is an example for Muslims to follow.
Sheikh Gumi said most half of Islamic law is from the hadith, and “if you remove the hadith from Islamic law, you will be left with only one-quarter of the law.”
He urged the authorities not to play with such issues, especially considering the background of such sect members.
We are investigating – Police
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, ASP Mansir Hassan, also confirmed the incident but said the command was investigating the matter.
He said the accused person denied slaughtering the dog for a naming ceremony.
He warned the residents from taking laws into their own hands, saying the command was doing a background check on the sect members.