"Islam Teaches Us To Be Loving" — Ustaz Shares Why It's Important To Care For Stray Dogs

Ustaz Mohammad Abdul Razak hopes that in the future, Malaysians will have a different outlook on the issue of touching dogs.

Cover image via @myforeverdoggo (Instagram)

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Ustaz Mohammad Abdul Razak is a local religious teacher who grew up in a conservative family and was taught to be scared of dogs

But he's now a self-confessed animal lover.

Hailing from Negeri Sembilan, he — as a vocal advocate of reforming Malaysia's laws regarding animal cruelty — feels responsible to educate the public against any form of animal abuse.

Ustaz Muhammad spoke to MyForeverDoggo, an online platform dedicated to finding homes for stray dogs, where he shared how ignorance has led people to be cruel to dogs.

According to him, he has been chased by dogs before, but still feels pity for them.

"I feel responsible. Especially as a religious person and an ustaz, I feel that I'm responsible to educate the public in providing a real perception of homeless animals, especially dogs," the ustaz said, adding, "as they are the victims of discrimination and the victims of cruelty by ignorant people."

"There are many cases of abuse towards stray dogs. They are poisoned, beaten, and burnt. And such things still happen despite our efforts to spread awareness and educate the people," he rued.

He emphasised that enforcement against dog abuse needs to be improved

He gave examples where perpetrators of dog abuse have gone scot-free and faced no legal repercussions, and how strong legal action will play a crucial role in stopping animal abuse in the country.

"This is the way to solve this issue," he said.

The ustaz also suggested that fatwas can be used to help solve the problem.

"Aside from advocacy, advice, education, etc., if there's something that we do call a problem, it will be the need for a fatwa to be changed," Ustaz Muhammad said.

For context, a fatwa is a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognised authority.

Ustaz Muhammad also shared that he hopes, in the future, Malaysians will have a different outlook on the issue of touching dogs

"[There is] a phenomenon whereby many of our Muslim and Malay friends are now involved in dog rescue and welfare. This is a phenomenon that to me is mankind returning to fitrah, where humans return to their innate nature in which Allah created them, which is compassionate, loving, and human," he expressed.

"Islam also teaches us to be loving," he said while asking people to love all beings.

Here are other Malaysians breaking the stigma to care for stray dogs:

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