Answered by Shaykh Sohail Hanif, SunniPath Academy Teacher
It is highly praiseworthy to be concerned about purity as Allah has said, ‘Indeed Allah loves those who purify themselves’. At the same time going too far in this regard is blameworthy, makes the religion difficult, results in religious compromise if matters get too difficult and in this case can cause unnecessary friction in the family.
Moist substances from dogs are impure. This includes saliva, mucus and of course urine and feces. As for the skin, fur and anything on the body of the dog, it is pure. One could quite comfortably stroke a dog and pray without having to wash one’s hands. One cannot assume that the furniture in the lady’s house is najas (impure), unless one actually saw the dog licking or urinating on a particular part of it, and even then there is no blame in sitting on it unless it is still wet as the impurity will only transfer to one’s clothes if still wet. Likewise one can in no way assume that her clothes are impure and even if they were impure no impurity will reach the furniture in one’s own house as her clothes will be dry.
If the lady is still a non-Muslim, such matters are not very encouraging and do not give a good impression of Islam and Muslims. Rather, one should receive and visit her with love and gifts, with the hope that she might follow her brother’s footsteps and accept Islam.
The precautions that you should take are that when you visit, make it clear that you are not fond of dogs so that you do not have to put up with the dog coming up and licking you. Likewise, when you pray you should pray on a clean cloth or prayer mat and not just on the carpet, if the dog wanders around that part of the house. Other than this you should relax and enjoy yourself.
And Allah knows best.
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