Assalamualaikum wrm. wbt. What is the ruling of taking selfie using dog filters?
Waalaikumussalam wrm. wbt.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The ruling of taking selfie using dog filters is makruh because it is considered as resembling the behaviour of the dog without any need. However, if it may lead to the mocking of Allah’s creation due to changing the original form, thus, become haram.
Basically, shari’a prohibits us from behaving like the animals. This prohibition is to elevate humans’ position compared to other creation which is lower in position. Allah SWT says:
لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ
We have certainly created man in the best of stature;
Surah al-Tin (4)
Imam Ibn Jarir al-Tabari said when commenting on the verse, it is most likely that Allah means:
لقد خلقنا الإنسان في أحسن صورة وأعدلها
“We have certainly created man in the best and perfect form”
(Refer Abu Jaafar Al-Tabari, Muhammad Bin Jarir, Jami’ Al-Bayan ‘An Ta’wil Ayyi Al-Quran, 24/508)
It is narrated from Anas bin Malik RA that the Prophet PBUH says:
اعْتَدِلُوا فِي السُّجُودِ، وَلاَ يَبْسُطْ ذِرَاعَيْهِ كَالْكَلْبِ
Do the prostration properly and do not put your forearms flat with elbows touching the ground like a dog
Sahih Al-Bukhari (822) and Sahih Muslim (493)
Imam al-Munawi said in his book Faidh al-Qadir:
وفيه إيماء إلى النهي عن التشبه بالحيوانات الخسيسة في الأخلاق والصفات وهيئة القعود ونحو ذلك
“In this hadith, there is an inclination towards prohibition of resembling the animals which are lower in position in terms of behaviour and character, in the ways of sitting and the like.”
(Refer Al-Munawi, Muhammad Abdul Rauf, Faidh Al-Qadir Syarh Al-Jami’ Al-Saghir (1/553)
Hence, the ruling of spreading or putting the forearm flat to the floor during sujud is makruh even if done due to being tired of prostrating for too long for people who prays individually. Sheikh Zakaria al-Ansari said:
وَيُكْرَه بَسْطُهُمَا لِخَبَرِ الصَّحِيحَيْنِ وَلَا يَبْسُطُ أحدكم ذِرَاعَيْهِ انْبِسَاطَ الْكَلْبِ وَالتَّصْرِيحُ بِالْكَرَاهَةِ من زِيَادَتِهِ وَلَوْ طَوَّلَ الْمُنْفَرِدُ السُّجُودَ فَلَحِقَهُ مَشَقَّةٌ بِالِاعْتِمَادِ على كَفَّيْهِ وَضَعَ سَاعِدَيْهِ على رُكْبَتَيْهِ
“It is makruh (the ruling) to spread both hands (while prostrating) based on the hadith mentioned in al-sahihain ‘do not put your forearms flat with elbows touching the ground like a dog’. It clearly states that it is makruh even if one prolongs his prostration which makes him feel tired that he lifts himself by his both hands while laying his forearms towards the knee”
(Refer Al-Ansari, Syeikh Zakaria Bin Muhammad, Asna Al-Matalib Syarh Raudh Al-Talib (1/162)
The ruling mentioned above is among the examples of variety of rulings that resembling animals is a reprehensible act by the shara’. Even if it is included in makruh. Therefore, the scholars set a maxim:
التشبه بالحيوانات منهي عنه
“Resembling the animals is prohibited to be done”
(Refer Ma’lamah Zayed (no 1150)
At the same time, if the resemblance is done due to having shari’e need, then it is permissible. For example, to play with children. We cite from the book Hayah al-Sahabah written by Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf Al-Kandahlawi that the Prophet PBUH once played with his grandchildren and the youngsters among the Companions by resembling himself like an animal carriage. Among them is the story where Saidina Umar bin al-Khattab saw Saidina Hassan and Husin rode the Prophet PBUH on his back. Then he said: “The best of horse is what beneath you both. Then the Prophet PBUH answered:
ونعم الفارسان هما
“And the best of horsemen are them both”
The narrators are trustworthy (thiqah). Al-Bazzar narrated it with a weak sanad.
According to Imam Ibn Asakir, there is a narration of Ibn ‘Abbas that a man saw Saidina Hassan rode the Prophet PBUH on his back then he said: O children, the best of mount is the one you are riding.
Then the Prophet PBUH replied:
ونعم الراكب هو
“The best of chivalries is him (Saidina Hassan)”
Imam al-Tirmidhi said in a narration from al-Barra’ bin ‘Azin that he once saw Saidina Hassan ride on the Prophet PBUH’s back while he is praying then he said:
نعم المطية مطيتكما
“The best of mount is your ‘animal mount’”
Narrated by al-Tabrani in Al-Mu’jam Al-Awsat (no 3987). Al-Haithami evaluated this hadith as hassan. He stated in his book Al-Majma’ Al-Zawaid (no 15079).
In a narration from Jabir bin Abdullah RA, the Prophet PBUH once crawled while having Saidina Hasan and Husin on his back then he said:
نعم الجمل جملكما ونعم العدلان أنتما
“The best of camels is your ‘camel’ and the best of loads is you two.”
Narrated by al-Tabrani in Al-Awsat (no 2661)
As a comparison, this exception also takes place in the issue of taking dolls as toys. Even though the ruling of owning dolls is haram originally, but due to being a toy for the children, then it becomes permissible. The following articles may be used as reference:
- Bayan Linnas Series 86: Child Sexual Abuse Act: An Islamic Perspective.
- Al-Kafi #1331: The Ruling of Keeping Toys
- Bayan Linnas Series 123: The Ruling of Wearing Costume or Cosplay
Based on the above facts and conclusion, we are of the opinion that the ruling of selfie using dog filter is makruh due to the fact that it is considered as resembling animals without need. While if there is need like to play, then it is permissible.