What is the authenticity of the following narrations:
1) Imam Nasa’i reports from Jabir (radiyallahu ‘anhu),that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) forbade the price of dogs and cats, except for hunting dogs.
2) Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered a man to pay forty dirhams for killing a hunting dog.
3) Rasulullah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered a person to pay a ram for having killed a watchdog.
How do we reconcile between the above Hadiths and the Hadith in Bukhari wherein the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that the price of a dog is impure (khabith)?
The first narration you have quoted has been classified as unauthentic (munkar) by Imam Nasa’i (rahimahullah) himself.
(Al Mujtaba, Hadith: 4668)
The next two Hadiths are recorded by Imam Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) as the judgement of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radiyallahu ‘anhuma)
(Sunanul Kubra vol.6 pg. 8)
Imam Tahawi (rahimahullah) has resolved the outward contradiction. He says, at first Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) commanded that all types of dogs be killed. At this stage the laws regarding keeping of dogs were stringent, taking the price of dogs was also regarded as impure (khabith) irrespective of the purpose for which the dog was kept.
Gradually Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) relaxed the laws and permitted keeping dogs for farming or security reasons. This relaxation is understood from the Hadith in Bukhari reported by Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) that Rasulullah (sallalahu ‘alayhi was sallam) said ‘whoever keeps a dog, every day one portion (qirat) of his good deeds is decreased, except if he keeps a dog for farming purposes, for his livestock or for hunting (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 2322)
The above narration shows that since we are permitted to keep dogs for farming, hunting etc. the proceeds of their sale will not be impure. One who kills such a dog will be responsible, as in the narration of Bayhaqi.
(Sharhu Mushkilil Athar vol. 12 pgs. 70- 98, ‘Umdatul Qari, Hadith: 2237)
And Allah Ta’ala knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
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