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What Allah says about the dog man!

Allah says: “Recite to them [O Muhammad] the story of the man to whom We gave Our signs and who turned away from them. Then, ultimately, Satan caught up with him, and he was led astray.” Now, had We so willed, We could indeed have exalted him through those signs, but he clung to earthly life, and followed his carnal desires. Thus, his parable is that of the dog who lolls out his tongue, whether you attack him, or leave him alone. Such is the parable of those who reject Our signs as false. Narrate to them these parables that they may reflect.” [7 Al-Araf:175-176]


The words of the text seem to indicate that the person mentioned must indeed be a specific rather than an imaginary figure, mentioned for the sake of a parable (moral story). It may be borne in mind, that God and His Messenger (PBUH) usually mention evil without specific references to any particular individual. This is obviously in keeping with their dignity. Only examples of evil are mentioned, since those examples are meant for educational purposes, and this is done without smearing anyone's reputation. Some commentators on the Qur'an, however, have applied the statement made here to some persons who lived in the time of the Prophet (PBUH), as well as, before him. Nonetheless, in the absence of any authentic information about the identity of the persons under discussion, we might as well consider the description made here, to fit a certain type of person.


Since the statement here, embodies a very significant point, it needs to be carefully examined. The person mentioned in the verse, as the representative of the evil type, possessed knowledge of God's signs, and hence of the truth. This should have helped him to give up an attitude, which he knew to be wrong, and to act in a manner, which he knew to be right. Had he followed the truth, and acted righteously, Allah would have enabled him to rise to higher levels of humanity. He, however, overly occupied himself with the advantages, pleasures, and embellishments of the worldly life.


Instead of resisting worldly temptations, he totally, succumbed to them. So much so, that he abandoned, altogether, his lofty, spiritual ambitions, and became indifferent to the possibilities of intellectual and moral growth. Brazenly, he even violated all those limits which, according to his knowledge, should have been observed. Hence, when he deliberately turned away from the truth, merely because of his moral weakness, he was misled by Satan. Who is ever ready to deceive and mislead man. Satan continually led him from one act of depravity to another, until he landed him in the company of those who are totally under Satan's control, and who have lost all capacity for rational judgement.

This is followed by a statement in which Allah likens the person in question to a dog. A dog's protruding tongue, and the unceasing flow of saliva from his mouth symbolize unquenchable, extreme greed. The reason for likening the human character, described above, to a dog is because of his excessive worldliness. It is known, that in several languages of the world it is common to call people, overly devoted to worldliness, 'dogs of the world'. For what, after all, is the characteristic of a dog? It is nothing else, but extreme greed.


Just look at the dog! As he moves around, he continuously sniffs the earth. Even if a rock is hurled at him he runs at it in the hope, that it might be a piece of bone, or bread. Before he discovers it to be a rock, he hastens to seize it in his mouth. Even a person's indifference does not deter a dog from waiting expectantly for food - panting for breath, his tongue spread out and drooping, and he sees the whole world from one perspective alone - that of his belly! Even if he discovers a large carcass, he would not be content with his portion of it, but would try to make it exclusively his, and would not let any other dog even come close. It seems that if any urge other than appetite tickles him, it is the sexual urge. This metaphor of the dog, highlights the fate of the worldly man who breaks loose from his faith and knowledge. Who entrusts his reins to blind lust, and who ends up, as one, wholly devoted to gratifying his own appetite.


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