First guide dog allowed in Mosque
An 18-year-old blind Muslim student in England is the first to be allowed to take his guide dog into a UK mosque, the BBC reported this week.
Dogs are traditionally regarded as “unclean” in Islam and not allowed into mosques. The Muslim Law (Shari’ah) Council UK, however, in response to the request of the student, Mohammed Abraar Khatri, issued a fatwa which allows guide dogs inside mosques but not into prayer rooms.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and the Muslim Council of Britain worked together to reach the agreement.
Guide Dogs for the Blind said it was “a massive step forward for other blind and partially-sighted Muslims … It is also hoped that mosque leaders both in the UK and internationally will now make similar adjustments to enable Muslim guide dog owners to enter their mosque.”
A special rest area has been set up in the entrance of the Bilal Jamia Mosque for the dog, named Vargo, to stay in while his owner is praying.
“He does just lie down and relax there and sit here,” Khatri said. “Being a guide dog, their whole manner is to be calm and relaxed and just out of the way.”
For the BBC video, click here.