Muhammad said: “Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal).”
However, he also said, “A woman was tortured and was put in Hell because of a cat which she had kept locked till it died of hunger.” He said to this woman, “You neither fed it nor watered when you locked it up, nor did you set it free to eat the insects of the earth.”
So the pet dog ban I can see, but I wonder if the cat ban is veering toward bid’a –the cardinal sin of innovation.
“Saudi religious police ban pet cats and dogs,” from AFP, July 30 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Saudi Arabia’s religious police have announced a ban on selling cats and dogs as pets, or walking them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men using them as a means of making passes at women, an official said on Wednesday.
Othman al-Othman, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh, known as the Muttawa, told the Saudi edition of al-Hayat daily that the commission has started enforcing an old religious edict.
He said the commission was implementing a decision taken a month ago by the acting governor of the capital, Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, adding that it follows an old edict issued by the supreme council of Saudi scholars.
The reason behind reinforcing the edict now was a rising fashion among some men using pets in public “to make passes on women and disturb families,” he said, without giving more details….
Ah. Well, can’t have that.
Update from Marisol: There is this hadith that prohibits the sale of cats and dogs; of course, prohibiting the sale will cut down opportunities for ownership and accomplish the religious police’ stated aims:
Abu Zubair said: I asked Jabir about the price of a dog and a cat; he said: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) disapproved of that. – Sahih Muslim 10.3808