Received: Apr 01, 2022, Manuscript No. jisr-22-57964; Editor assigned: Apr 04, 2022, Pre QC No. jisr-22-57964 (PQ); Reviewed: Apr 18, 2022, QC No. jisr-22-57964; Revised: Apr 22, 2022, Manuscript No. jisr-22-57964 (R); Published: Apr 29, 2022, DOI: 10.17719/jisr.2022.57964
Based on individual interviews and observations in the Northwest of England, this article examines how Turkish Speaking (TS) migrants experience pet practices. Building on approaches to space making practices, as well as studies on everyday lived religion, this article explores how TS migrants constitute pet practices within their understanding of Islam and the context in where they live. Although largely overlooked by scholars of religion, pet practices reflect religious identity of TS migrants.
This article shifts the emphasis from the study of texts to the study of lived practices. This study explores how texts are employed in distinctive ways by individuals in everyday life. Additionally, it has been discussed that Muslims’ lives cannot be reduced to text only. Instead, the text and the context mutually reconstitute individual’s everyday lives. TS migrants established a way of life by taking seriously into account the mutual relationships between the text and the context. They lived in a certain context without excluding the text. This study explored that their everyday lives are inspired by the text. Particularly, pet practices are chosen to demonstrate the negotiation between the text and the context.
Despite the increase of pet practices among Muslims in Europe, including Britain, it is less researched. Examining the stories of six men in the UK who are mixed married, this article pushes further the discussions of Islamic view on dogs, by exploring the challenges that male migrants face theologically and socially, and strategically adapt to deal with unique situations and their everyday experiences. It reveals that mixed married TS migrants come across two main strategies to deal with this practice: convincing kids to avoid dog adoption or creating religious spaces in the home sphere by not allowing dogs to enter certain rooms
Everyday religion, Islam in the UK, Pet practices, Turkish speaking migrants.
İngiltere'nin kuzeybatısındaki mulakat ve gözlemlerden toplanan materyallere dayanan bu makale, Türkçe konuşan (TK) göçmenlerin evcil hayvan sahiblenmenin nasıl deneyimlediğini incelemektedir. Bu makale, mekan yapma teorisi yanı sıra gündelik din üzerine yapılan çalışmaları temel alarak, TK göçmenlerinin İslam anlayışları ve yaşadıkları bağlam içinde evcil hayvan uygulamalarını nasıl oluşturduklarını araştırıyor. Arastirmacilar tarafından büyük ölçüde göz ardı edilip incelemeye alinmamasina rağmen, evcil hayvan deneyimleri TK göçmenlerinin dini kimliğini yansıtıyor.
Bu makale, odagini, metinlerin incelenmesinden yaşanmış pratiklerin (metinsel pratiklerin) incelenmesine kaydırmaktadır. Bu çalışma, metinlerin günlük yaşamda bireyler tarafından farklı şekillerde nasıl uygulamaya konuldugunu araştırmaktadır. Ayrıca bu makalede, Müslümanların hayatlarının sadece metne indirgenemeyeceğini derinden tartıştım. Metin ve bağlam karşılıklı olarak bireyin günlük yaşamını yeniden oluşturur. TK göçmenleri, metin ve bağlam arasındaki karşılıklı ilişkileri (metni dışlamadan) ciddiye alarak bir yaşam biçimi oluşturmuşlardır. Günlük yaşamlarının metinden nasil ilham aldığı araştırildı. Özellikle evcil hayvan uygulamaları, metin ve bağlam arasındaki uzlaşmayı göstermek için seçilmiştir.
İngiltere de dahil olmak üzere Avrupa'daki Müslümanlar arasında evcil hayvan sahiblenmenin artmasına rağmen, gunumuz dunyasinda bu konu arastirmacilar tarafindan yeterince arastirilmiyor. Bu çalışma Birleşik Krallık'ta karma evli olan altı erkeğin hikayelerini araştırdı. Bu makale, erkek göçmenlerin teolojik ve sosyal olarak karşı karşıya kaldıkları zorlukları keşfederek onların günlük deneyimleriyle başa çıkmak için hangi tur strateji gelistirdiklerini incelemistir. Bu calisma, karma evli TK göçmenlerinin iki ana stratejiyi ortaya koymustur: çocukları köpek edinmekten vazgecirmek veya köpeklerin belirli odalara girmesine izin vermeyerek ev alanında dini mekan yaratmak.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Gündelik din, Birleşik krallık'ta islam, Evcil hayvan uygulamaları, Türkçe konuşan göçmenler.
The purpose of this article is to explore the negotiation of dog presence in houses among mixed-married Turkish speaking (hereinafter referred to as TS) migrants in the context of everyday religious practices. Correspondingly, this article also investigates how religion is constructed in different settings. Mixed-married TS male migrants were challenged by the demand of a dog (or a cat) at home by kids and spouses. Under the pressure of this demand, TS male migrants strategically created different everyday solutions especially in the families those are keeping a dog at home.
In studying Muslim writings on dogs, a contradictory approach appeared. While majority scholars on Islam have presented dogs as unclean animals due to the saliva, modern academicians tended to present dogs in highest level (Berglund, 2014, p. 545). However, the general attitude towards dog is that Muslims do not admit dogs indoors. Keeping them as pets inside homes are not accepted in the understanding of Muslims on Islam. Despite what the text says about dogs’ (un) cleanliness, there is a negative attitude toward dogs among Muslim communities. The reasons for this attitude are attributed to the common perception. It has been believed that if a dog wanders by a praying Muslim, the prayer will be invalidated due to the dog’s saliva (Serahsi, 2008, I, p. 94, 213).
Although this study’s interest is not historical or textual based, I have felt obliged to explain why Muslims are biased against dogs. It is not intended, therefore, to give a critical comment on the status of dogs in Islam. This article’s position is not to be judged based on the text. Instead, individual’s everyday experiences and their perception about dogs are prioritised in this article.
Despite the fact that pet practices among Muslims, particularly among mixed-married or interfaith married families are on the increase. Probably, it would be more common in the following years not only in European countries among Muslims, but also in all other countries. The increase of dog adoption among Muslim families is becoming a major challenge to Muslim communities. However, scholars of Islam have largely overlooked animal practices from the lens of social perspective. In this sense, articles and some other sources written on dogs within Islam context in English and Turkish languages are used in this study. Analysing Turkish and English articles enables me to see the gap in the literature. Therefore, initially, I provided the focus of the written sources to show the lack of individual perspective. Then, I attempted to fill the gap with this study.
Therefore, this article aims to fill the gap in the literature that assesses the social perspective of pet practices from individual experiences. I place the individuals’ pet practices within their social context by revealing their negotiations with families. Moreover, this article offers perhaps the first attempt in examination of how Muslims narrate and perform their relationships with animals at home.
I analyse pet practices under four main sections, excluding the introduction and the conclusion sections: theoretical framework, methodological approach, dog status in Islam, and pet’s practices in mixed-married TS families. In the first section, I determined the theoretical framework of this article. Everyday religion was chosen the starting theory for this study. Spatial theory and dwelling and crossing theory are employed as underpinning theories. The second section is on methodological approach. Here, I have shown the two important methods to collect data on pet practices. The compatibility of the two methods has been emphasised. The third section examines the status of dog practices in Islam. This section plays a crucial role for this article. This is because all existing studies lack individual perspective. Instead, textual lens has been employed in other studies unlike this article. Therefore, the originality of this article has been demonstrated in this section. More importantly, I will discuss the reasons for the negative view of dogs in Muslim society, including the majority of TS male migrant participants who are considered themselves as practising Muslims. It is important to note that I am not intended to go for an in-depth discussion on validity or misunderstanding of the Islamic sources regarding dogs (Subasi, 2011; Tlili, 2018, p. 43; El Fadl, 2004; Foltz, 2006; Waldau, 2013, p. 174; Rahman, 2017, p. 3; Bardakoglu, n.d. p. 252). Instead, I directly focus on the general thoughts of Muslims, including TS migrants, towards dogs.
In the fourth section, which is the main body of this article, I explored the dog practices and experiences in relation to daily prayers. I explored that there are two TS family types in terms of pet culture. On the one hand, some TS male migrants did not allow dogs at home due to the individual or religious reasons. In these families, I deeply discussed how the Muslim male migrants convinced their wives and kids not to be having a dog inside homes. On the other hand, I will explore the dog as pets inside homes in the mixed-married TS families. In here, I will examine the accommodation for ex-habits (not having a dog at homes) of TS male migrants into the new home lifestyle (having a dog as pets). I will analyse how these Muslim male migrants accommodate their beliefs and prayers at home where the dog is present and their attitudes towards dogs. As we shall see, I discuss how different individuals deployed different strategies, and how religion influenced these strategies, as religion is not separated from other aspects of everyday life. Instead, religion is lived in social life. TS migrants maintained their religious identities in the dog present homes. This section is deeply examining the inflection of social life on the religious practices. At the end, in the conclusion of this article, I provide a general overview of pet practices in TS migrants.
Inspired by the works of everyday religion scholars (Ammerman, 2007; 2014; 2020; McGuire, 2008; Knibbe & Kupari, 2020), Tweed (2006) crossing and dwelling, and Knott (2005; 2007; 2008; 2016) on spatial theory, I determined to consider how Islam was reconstituted in TS migrants’ homes, in where pets are present.
As the lived religion approach abandons text studies, it explores how religion is experienced and came into practice in different environments by individuals. The abandoning of textual lens as a starting point of research in favour of an emphasis on the individuals’ practices promoted to explore religious practices from individual’s perspective. Here, I moved the lens from text-based to individual-based. Through the everyday religion lens, without excluding the text from the scope of the study, I explored the inflection of the context to the application of the text. Text and the context both are in mutual relation. To capture the whole picture of the religious field, I look at both text and its relation with the context. In other words, individuals negotiate different aspects of life while applying the text. I am prioritising the experiences of people by privileging the everyday. In this study, I am looking at the actual lived experiences of TS migrants. As I demonstrated in elsewhere (2021), however, the reworked everyday religion theory reaches beyond his three empirical cases, inviting application to other transnational religious practices, which are not studied from the individuals’ lens. Instead of analysing recognisably religious practices (for instance, daily prayers) or a self-contained religious field as the focus of this study, through the everyday religion lens, I examined practices which are important on the lives of individuals in social places. The study of lived religion gives more weight on ordinary people as religious subjects. In this sense, everyday religion theory enables this study to explore individual’s pet’s practices by prioritising everyday side instead of textual perspective. It is also important to emphasize that text (Quran or Sunnah) also shape the world that we live in and provide descriptive models for the construction of religious spaces (Blackburn, 2012, p. 151). While some TS migrants take seriously the influential religious text in their religious practices, others found variety of tactics to overcome the demand of their kids by not allowing dogs inside homes.
Employing everyday religion theory provides important insights and brings its taken-for-granted aspects to attention. By utilising modified everyday religion theory (Costu, 2021), I directly focus on how TS migrants narrate and perform their relationships with animals at home. In this logic, I am not excluding text or Quran from the scope of everyday religion because Islam interconnects with the context. My argument is that interpretations of Islam are embedded in different aspects of their lives which are not explicitly religious. Through this study, I aim to show the engagement of Islam with these aspects and to bring to life the complex decision making involved in adopting a pet. As pet practices are closely associated with religious and cultural values, religion plays a vital role in many aspects of our everyday life. For example, religious and ethnic identity can dwell in a practice and can be displayed through it (Jeldtoft, 2011). How some TS migrants mark or hide their religious beliefs through pet practices is the focus of my analysis in this study. Briefly, this scholarship examines dog practices in a migration context and everyday mixed-married family lives through religious space making practices.
More importantly, by prioritising individuals over text, I look at religion through individuals’ lens. Therefore, through an individual’s perspective, I reassess the already known and studied aspects of religion. For example, the status of dogs in Islam have been studied and well examined by scholars (Kosum, 2015; Keskin, 2019; Sulaiman, 2020; Demirel, 2014; Baysa, 2021; Tlili, 2018, p. 43; El Fadl, 2004; Foltz, 2006; Waldau, 2013, p. 174; Rahman, 2017, p. 3; Bardakoglu, n.d. p. 252). In this study, I re-evaluate pet practices within the migration context through individuals’ perspective. This approach to pet’s practices paves the way for original findings. Pet practices emerged because these practices play an important role in TS migrants’ everyday lives.
However, at the same time, these aspects of Islamic practices have been ignored and have not been studied the way this article does. Particularly, a pet practice in Islam among migration context has never been studied through an individual’s lens.
Along with this primary theory of everyday religion, in this article dwelling and crossing theory was also employed to explore the migration context of it. For Tweed (2006, p. 105), religious dwelling means finding a place for its continuity. Religion dwells in something and lives through that thing. It can be people, body, religious practices, food, idea, etc. Therefore, dwelling is not a one-time action (Costu, 2021). Instead, it is continuous. Religion dwells in pet practices and crosses the time from generation to generations. As Tweed (2006, p. 75) states, religion(s) helps individuals find a place of their own. This study explored how individuals created their religious spaces through pet practices.
Additionally, existing studies indicate that migration has a significant impact on a person’s social, religious, and cultural everyday lives (Levitt, 2007; Knott, 2016; Tweed, 2006). According to Knott (2016), migrating from one place to another and dwelling in the new place influence individuals’ religious lives. Knott (2016) notes that migrants develop effective methods to fit into a new land through religion, therefore, religious practices help migrants to settle. Similarly, Levitt (2007) also suggests that individuals encounter change in their lives through migration by adapting to a new land. For Knott, living religious practices are shaped by the new context by negotiating and cope with the limitations of their context (2016, p. 17). The context (the UK) can limit migrants to practice religion familiarly. For example, the dilemma of praying in a dog present house triggered TS migrants to make religious spaces at home. Therefore, migration facilitates and triggers changes in religious practices (Knott, 2016, p. 6). For Tweed (2006), religion is always becoming as well as on the move and in the status of constantly changing based on the context. According to Tweed (2006, p. 58, 61), this is due to the implementation of religion’s dynamic and relational nature. Correspondingly, in this article, I am looking at the dynamism of the operation of religion. For me, religion is fixed (dog’s saliva is not clean) but the implementation of religion can change from context to context or person to person (Reinhart, 2020, p. 5, 6). For example, while a person adopt a cat to prevent dog adoption, others adopt a dog but limit its access to other rooms in the house for religious purposes. In this sense, the new context limits migrant’s everyday home lives.
Similarly, according to Knott (2016, p. 1), migrants rethink their perspectives on practices and previously taken-for-granted things. For them, pet adoption was not a concern until they encounter this demand from kids. With migration, this pet practice has entered at the agenda. Migration inflected TS migrants’ everyday religious practices. This article shows this influence of migration on migrants. This study explores the negotiation between the different aspects of everyday life and religious practices.
Broadly speaking, religion helps TS migrants to settle and physically reposition themselves in the new land (Tweed, 2006; Knott, 2016). As Knott (2016) notes, religious practices provide powerful guidance, protection, and a mediating force for migrants away from their homeland during adaptation process to the new land. At the same time, religion enables migrants to sustain participation in homeland matters (Levitt, 2008, p. 769). In this sense, religion promotes and sustains a homeland connection. So, religion in the migration context goes beyond a spiritual purpose. It becomes a tool for migrants to attach to the past and to the homeland as they look to practise religion in a pre-migration manner to whatever extent possible.
Above all, the people I examine and engage with are migrants. Therefore, migrants and their migratory experiences are the context in which they practice Islam. Religion helps migrants settle in the new land; simultaneously, migration influences religious practices. While for some individuals, the impact of migration on religion can be explicitly seen. For others, the impact of religion on their migrant status in terms of religious transformation to the next generations is profound and is explored in the pet practices (Jerolmack, 2007). This study examines how religious practices undergo changes in the context of migration and how these alterations are both an effect of migration and a way of settling and ‘dwelling’ in the country of immigration. In this sense, migration and religion are in a mutual relationship. Both play a vital role in TS migrants’ life. This is because kids’ dog demand is due to the society where they live currently. TS migrants’ everyday lives are inflected by the context and inspired by religion. The negotiation between the context and religion is under examination throughout this study.
The society and the Islam to some extend impacted their everyday lives. Therefore, migration affects migrant’s home atmosphere. Ostensibly, then, this also affects religious spaces in the household of migrants.
While migration affects individual’s lives, religious practices are also restrict the migrants life while dwelling in the new land.
Qualitative research method was chosen to examine pet practices of mixed-married TS migrants in the UK. This methodological approach allows for the exploration of individuals’ experiences, challenges, and dilemmas. The ethnographic research for this study was conducted during six months between March 2019 and August 2019 in the Northwest of England among TS migrants. As a resident in this region, I was able to participate more fully in the TS community, for example, through attending community gatherings and social activities. With this close personal connection to the community, I was able to notice pet practices among TS migrants. Quotes in this article are those from six semi-structured interviews which were conducted with individuals, who are mixed-married families (Rapley, 2007). From the many mixed married TS migrant participants, only six of them were chosen for this study as they experienced pet adoption demand from their children. In this sense, this article examines a specific group of people.
The main purpose of using the interview as a material collection method is to obtain insiders’ views (Marshall & Rossman, 2011). Sands et al. (2007, p. 354) define interviews as purposeful social (usually face-to-face) interactions and conversations. Drawing upon this understanding, the interviews I conducted with TS migrants in the Northwest of England provide an insight into their everyday religious experiences. They were asked basic questions pertaining to their migration experiences, religious lives in the UK, family, and social interactions with other TS migrants in the surrounding cities. Normally, I did not initiate questions pertaining to pet practices. However, in time, thanks to my methodological approach, I came across this everyday practice among TS migrants. At least, to some extent, they experienced the demand of a pet at home from their kids. Due to the pet practices, I probed for more information on whatever they emphasized within the everyday religion framework. Therefore, the topic of pet practices was unanticipated. The more passionately they talked about their pet adoption experiences, the more I realised the centrality of this issue to their lives as migrants. Therefore, the focus of the study was informed and driven by issues and themes that the participants in the interviews emphasised (Jawad & Elmali-Karakaya, 2020).
As I noticed pet practices through my observations, I then asked them to describe their pets practices in relation with religious practices at homes. It is plausible to argue that the insights gained through an interview cannot be captured with other methods. For example, through the ethnographic observation method, I observed the pet practices. However, the challenges they encountered are learned through the interview method. Therefore, interviews helped me explore further (such as the reasons for adopting a cat instead of a dog) for the collected materials (pet practices) through the observation method. In this sense, participant observation was one of the two main methods in the collection of material in this study. While observation method allowed me to notice pet practices among mixed-married families, interviews enabled me to explore further about this experience. Therefore, these two methods enabled to capture more holistic picture of the everyday religious practices of TS migrants.
All interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. All interviews were held in Turkish. As a Turkish male researcher, I was able to carry out the interviews in Turkish. Due to the confidentiality reason, quotes from interviews are my translation. I tried to minimise the loss of meaning in translation by closely reading and cross-referencing the Turkish and the English versions of my transcriptions several times. To protect the interviewees’ identities, I used pseudonyms instead of their actual names, including the people that participants are referring to, for example, their wives and children (Costu, 2016).
Now, I will begin with the general view of a dog as pets at homes in the Muslim world.
Many of the existing studies have discussed the experiences of pet practices without taking the negotiations between religion and pet adoption into account. TS migrants’ everyday pet experiences are not as a static or fixed object. However, this article evaluates pet practices as contextual. The inflection of the context on the understanding of the text will be broadly explored throughout this article.
Previous academic discussions of keeping dogs as pets inside homes fall short of accounting for the social aspects of life. Instead, all Islamic written sources on dogs endeavour to reconstitute the place of dogs in Islam (Subasi, 2011; Tlili, 2018, p. 43; El Fadl, 2004; Foltz, 2006; Waldau, 2013, p. 174; Rahman, 2017, p. 3; Bardakoglu, n.d. p. 252; Kosum, 2015; Keskin, 2019; Sulaiman, 2020; Demirel, 2014; Baysa, 2021). While some evaluated this matter from merely Islamic law perspective, others seek to falsify the Muslim bias against dogs.
The impurity of dogs and keeping them as pets are not discussed from the social perspective. Therefore, this study is an original contribution to the literature, by reconstituting the negotiations of keeping dogs at home from individuals lens and therefore, from social perspective. All existing sources endeavoured to look at this social issue from the textual lens. On the contrary, without conveying negative or positive connotations, this study stays away from textual lens. However, text is not fully separated from the discussion of this article. Rather, the impurity of dogs is motivated by the religious understanding of individuals. Therefore, text is still the major influential factor. However, the point that this articles looks at this debate is still from social perspective without excluding the importance of text from the scope. This study does not build a binary between textual versus non textual lens (Costu, 2021). Rather, everyday experiences are motivated and inflected by the text. This study gives more wight on the individual’s everyday experiences (Ammerman, 2020; Knibbe & Kupari, 2020). Above all, this study is the first attempt to fill the gap in the literature by looking at this everyday negotiation by prioritising social perspective over textual lens.
For example, as Tlili (2018, p. 46) deeply discussed in her work, the presence of the dog in the Ashab al-Kahf narrative proves longstanding human-canine bond. Tlili (2018, p. 43) rediscuss the place of dogs in Islam from the perspective of Ashab al-Kahf. In other words, she also looked at this pet practices from the textual perspective. The common assumption is that Islam is biased against dogs. However, according to Tlili (2018, p. 57), this prevalent view is an unjustified cultural prejudice instead of a scriptural mandate. By bringing scriptural evidences, for Tlili (2018), the presence of dogs among humans is not a negative attitude. Even al-Jahiz, who is an important figure in Islamic studies, an author of Mutazili theology died in 869, dogs is mentioned in the Quran with a group of pious people. For him, dog was the fourth member of the group. Here, from the many animals, dog was chosen the companion of these pious people. As Tlili states, some scholars (Mufassir al- Zamakhshari, d.1143; al-Jahiz, d. 869)) reinforces their views on dog status in Islam through the Quranic position from Ashab al-Kahf narrative. In brief, Tlili (2018) provided a positive attitude toward dogs.
Another scholar Khaled Abou El Fadl questioned the authenticity of hadith or other textual secondary sources that discourage Muslims from admitting dogs indoors. He attempted to justify dogs as pure animal. El Fadl like other Islamic pro-dog scholars also approach to this matter from textual perspective. All in all, despite the common perception on the place of dogs in Islam, increasing number of practising Muslims are keeping dogs as companion animals.
Additionally, Kosum (2015) analysed the reasons for Prophet Muhammad’s command to kill dogs. He stated that this command was not a permanent order and cannot be applied everywhere. He emphasised that the order of killing dogs is context-based. For him, the reasons could be health or safety of the public, not to annihilate the dogs from the city. Similarly, Demirel (2014, p. 78) analysed the killing dogs from hadith perspective. His general view on the status of dogs in Islam is that as Prophet Muhammad did not visit houses where dogs are present, Prophet Muhammad does not lean towards dog owning for pleasure reasons. Demirel (2014, p. 101) stated that killing dogs in Prophet Muhammad time is for the mad dogs. As he stated that dogs in Prophet Muhammad time used to enter masjids and houses and eat people’s foods. This is because the house conditions were not like today’s houses. For example, the concept of a door is not as same as today’s doors. Therefore, due to the context, killing dogs rulings may be valid in its context but not acceptable in everywhere and every time (Demirel, 2014, p. 80). According to Demirel (2014), verdicts can change from time to time and place to place.
Keskin (2019) also reviewed the dog’s status in Islam from textual perspective. Keskin stated that apart from guarding and hunting reasons, owning dogs are welcomed in Islam. For him, Prophet Muhammad ordered Muslims to look after dogs in the cities. Dogs lived in the cities as part of the everyday life (Keskin, 2019, p. 111). However, Keskin (2019, p. 109) has not discussed the presence of dogs inside homes. For him, in certain times, dogs are ordered to be killed due to the reasons of security and health of the public (Keskin, 2019, p. 112).
Moreover, Sulaiman (2020) discussed the Islamic rulings on touching dogs after ablution, dog trades, killing dogs, the relation between the praying place and dogs, and purification of saliva via soap instead of soil. He comparatively analysed the two opposing views of the anti-dogs and pro-dogs on the owning a dog. He concluded that it is permissible to own a dog for the purpose of security, hunting, or farming as long as dog does not share the house with the owner due to the dog’s saliva, which is accepted as impure and nullify the prayers. For him, as long as a person does not come into contact with the dog’s saliva, it is not forbidden to own a dog in Islam. Therefore, in his work, he tried to answer the common question of ‘is it permissible to keep a dog as practicing Muslims?’. He concluded that owning a dog is not haram, though keeping a dog in the house is not hygienic. Sulaiman (2020) like other scholars also provided suggestion on how to manage a dog’s saliva. His suggestions are directly based on the text. For example, according to Sulaiman (2020, p. 46), in the view of Malik, dogs are pure, including their saliva. However, for Shaafi’, dog (even its hair) and its saliva are impure. Moreover, in the view of Hanifah, dogs’ hairs are pure but not saliva. Therefore, the common accepted view among Muslims is that the saliva of a dog is unclean. Sulaiman (2020) does not accept Shaafi’s view on this matter. This is because Prophet granted Muslims to own a dog for hunting, herding, and farming. Therefore, avoiding the touching is not possible while keeping a dog for useful reasons. For example, when the dog catches the prey with his mouth, the saliva is touched to the prey as well. As long as the saliva is cleaned from the prey, it can be eaten. Probably, due to the germs and other hygienic reasons, Prophet asked Muslims to wash several times when the saliva is touched. In other words, the impurity is not in the dog, instead, it is in its saliva.
The reason for the negative attitude toward dogs is that there are many hadith that warn Muslims about touching dogs. Ironically, while pro-dog scholars brought to the fore the narratives from Prophet’s companions about the habits of keeping animals for farming or fun purposes and famous hadith on the forgiven prostitute [‘a prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and trying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it so, Allah forgave her because of that’ (Buhari, Volume: 4, Book 54, Hadith, 538)], anti-dogs scholars mainly focused on hadiths on the impurity of dogs and the angel narrative (Jibril: we do not enter a place in which there is a picture or a dog.). This narrative establishes an understanding of angels those who do not visit a dog present place.
Additionally, the negative image of dogs in modern Muslim lives is discussed in the work of Berglund (2014) on dog status in Islam. For example, in Pakistan culture, dogs have been used as a provocation material (Berglund, 2014, p. 555). For this reason, the former Pakistani president Parvez Musharraf revealed photos of holding dogs in his arms. He wanted to break Muslim taboos and show the influence of western values. By being photographed with companion dogs provoked his Muslim citizens. Being photographed with cats or other animals would not cause the same result as dogs. This is because dogs are considered as unclean and should not be kept as companion animals inside houses.
In the above-listed studies, only Baysa (2021) focused on the factors that motivate pet adoption. Therefore, his focus was in elsewhere, such as socio-economic conditions of pet owners or the effect of individuality on pet adoption etc. (Baysa, 2021, p. 244). According to him, the significant increase of vet hospitals in Muslim countries in recent years proves the increase of pet adoptions (Baysa, 2021, p. 236). Therefore, research on pet practices is going to be a tempting topic in the near future. Additionally, although Baysa invites researchers to focus on this topic, he still asks new researchers to examine it from textual perspective. Even his invitation shows that this present article is going to first in its field. This is because this article explores pet practices from social lens instead of textual perspective without building binary between texts versus social lens.
All in all, the general assumption is that Muslims have a negative view of dogs as home pets (Mikhail, 2017; Tlili, 2018). Muslims pray five times a day in clean places. The cleanliness of the prayer place is one of the requirements before starting the daily prayer. According to Serahsi (2008, I, p.94, 213), a prominent well-accepted Islamic scholars, it has been accepted that a dog’s body is considered as impure. It has been believed that saliva voids a Muslim’s prayer (El Fadl, 2004). In case the dog touches the prayer rug or the person with its saliva, there is the avowed that the person is required to clean the dog’s saliva due to the obligatory ritual purity (El Fadl, 2004). Moreover, because the dog is perceived as an impure animal, if a dog passes in front of prayers, it will nullify the prayer (El Fadl, 2004). Thereby, the presence of a dog in such places where Muslims pray is considered not clean enough due to the possibility of a dog’s saliva (El Fadl, 2004; Subasi, 2011). If a dog licks a container, the container must be washed three or seven times before using. This is because dogs’ saliva is a contaminant. Therefore, this approach makes the touching of a dog an abomination. In other word, it is perceived as haram or forbidden in the eyes of Muslims. Because of this understanding, physical contact with dogs is avoided by many practising Sunni Muslims. As a result, Muslims who pray at home usually refrained from having a dog inside homes.
More importantly, these above mentioned Muslims’ perception on dogs are not different in Turkish context. In the eyes of many TS migrants, dogs are perceived as unclean animals. Its presence at home makes the place unclean. The obligatory ritual purity for prayer caused a negative attitude towards keeping a dog inside homes. Nonetheless, the belief that dogs are impure animals has been encoded in many people’s religious consciousness in Turkey and in the TS migrants in the UK (Subasi, 2011, p. i, v). Therefore, the negative stereotype about dogs as pets influenced Turkish people to refrain from having them inside homes. In regard to this, Mehmet, a second-generation TS male who married a British, stated his concerns about religious prayers and impurity of the dog’s saliva as follows:
But, now, for example, I walk in the town with my kids. My kids are really afraid of dogs. When a dog passes by me, due to obsessions, I change my jeans when I arrive home…. If a dog touches me, I have to change my clothes. I learned that in Hanefi [school of thought] ilmihal, if a dog’s tongue touches, then I should renew my ablution [Wudu].
Like Mehmet, most of the TS male migrants to whom I interviewed had a similarly negative view towards dog’s saliva. Having a dog inside homes causes troubles for those who believe dog’s saliva nullifies prayer and cleanness of their clothes. Attributable to this notion of impurity of dog’s saliva paved the way for the TS migrants to strategically find a solution on not to have a dog inside their homes, regardless of what the family members think. As stated in Banderker’s (n.d) piece on Animal abuse and Welfare in Islam, Muslims still believe that it is not permissible to touch a dog. Accordingly, Mehmet’s statement about dogs confirmed Banderker’s claim. Banderker’s claim is to some extend credible in TS migrants context in which I conducted my interviews.
Apart from the physical impurity of the dog’s saliva, the negative attitude towards dogs as moral impurity relies on a hadith. According to the hadith, Allah’s mercy and angels do not enter a home where there is a dog in it (Tirmizi, 8:72-73; El Fadl, 2004). Relying on my fieldnotes, I heart many times this hadith narrative from my TS male participants. These negative attitudes towards dogs are usually referred to as Sunnah literature in Islam (El Fadl, 2004). However, drawing from El Fadl (2004), the study on dogs in the Islamic tradition, the Quran does not condemn dogs as impure or evil.
Additionally, the other cultural biases against dogs are the entrance of dogs into homes is perceived as the imitation of the Western culture in the Muslim world (Subasi, 2011, p. 15). All in all, this negative view of dogs which paves the way for not ‘wanting’ to allow any dogs to enter inside homes emerged in many mixed-married TS migrant’s family lives.
More importantly, some Western Muslim scholars, such as El Fadl, have shown signs of positive views on dog allowance inside homes. For example, Professor Khalid Abu El-Fadl, a prominent Western Islamic scholar in the field of Islamic law at the University of California, explicitly stated that dogs are welcomed inside houses. For him, the verdicts about dog adoption are not absolute rules in Islam. Instead, they are interpretations of hadiths. Therefore, the context played a crucial role in the interpretations of the rules. While Western Islamic scholars approach with a positive attitude towards dog allowance at homes, scholars from Muslim populated countries keep the negative attitude as the conventional way. In this sense, the impact of the time also can be seen in this example. Those who heavily rely on historical sources still believe in the same way as in the past, others due to the modern world and the diasporic context they live are obviously more open for alterations due to challenges they face everyday. The Western context triggers the new approaches for Muslims. These debates on home-dogs also show the strong impact of the context to the scholars view on this matter. Correspondingly, scholar Reinhart (2020) has demonstrated that the way Muslims interpret Islam is context-based. Obviously, the diasporic context pushes migrants to adopt new form of everyday life. These new everyday lives require updated fetwas. Therefore, it is possible to see such updated fetwas from western scholars than from scholars of Muslim countries.
Despite the two opposite approaches to this issue, dog adoption is dramatically increasing among Muslim families. Hence, the below part will discuss how men cope with their unique situations in the light of the challenges they face in their everyday lives. Now, I will discuss how TS male migrants managed to keep (or not) a dog inside homes.
Zekeriya has two kids and married to a British spouse. He believes that dog should not live in homes where Muslim families reside. Accordingly, regardless of what his wife or son wants, he strategically convinced his son not to have a dog inside the house. Zekeriya anticipated that his son would not get the responsibility of the dog if they own one. As Zekeriya did not want a dog at the very beginning due to religious, health, and cultural reasons, he conferred to his son the dog’s responsibility of taking it for a walk. To do this, before having a dog, he bought a dog leash and asked his son to take the leash for a walk for only one weak experience; then he is ready to adopt a dog for his son. Inevitably, Zekeriya knew that his son will refuse this responsibility. Therefore, Zekeriya strategically turned his son from his dog demand. Zekeriya did not insist on trying a religious explanation of why they cannot adopt a dog and live with it in the same house. Because of his son’s age, he would not understand a religious explanation. Instead of a verbal explanation, Zekeriya made his son to change his dog demand. Zekeriya stated his dog experience as follows:
When my son wanted to adopt a dog, I told him that according to our religion, we could not keep a dog inside our house. Later, when he increased the pressure on me, I gave him a dog leash. Every morning at 5 a.m I asked him to take this leash for a walk for half an hour. He said no, ‘I could not go’. Then I asked him ‘can you take the dog every day at five-ish (p.m.) for a walk in our neighbourhood, even in the winter’. He again refused. Thus, I turned him from his dog demand. Actually, I can have a dog if I will have a big backyard. However, as it is not (religiously) permissible to keep a dog inside homes, I can’t at this current (house) situation.
As seen in this narrative, Zekeriya likes dogs. However, for him keeping the dog inside his house is the problem. Zekeriya, like other Muslims (El Fadl, 2004) believe the dog is impure. So, it should not enter the house. Zekeriya also referred to the famous ‘angel or dog’ hadith. According to the hadith, as mentioned earlier, angels do not enter a dog present place. This religious understating shaped Zekeriya’s everyday religious house life. For him, if he had a big garden, he was ready to get a dog.
Zekeriya’s practical approach to this matter shows that he assigns significance to his son and religion. For him, negotiation is the best method. As shown in the interview quote, Zekeriya allowed his son to decide the last decision of a dog adoption. As long as his son takes the responsibility of the dog care, Zekeriya was ready to adopt.
Nurullah had similar experiences in regard to pet’s issue. However, he had a different solution for the demand of his kids. He stated that his kids love dogs. His mother in law (British family) has dogs in her house. The current popularity of dog ownership is very high in the UK. Therefore, his kids see having a dog inside the house as a very normal lifestyle. Thus, his kids also wanted the same. However, due to the religious reasons Nurullah could not accept this. This is because prayers play such a vital role in his everyday life, given that he identifies himself as a religious person. At the same time, he knew that he cannot take any longer the pressure of his kids. As Nurullah stated that he understood that he could not convince his family on their dog demand, he directly adopted a cat. The main reason for him to have the cat to get his kids busy with the cat and prevented any attempt of a dog demand. He strategically succeeds and kept his house away from a dog with the help of a cat. As Nurullah said we have certain rules in our house. A dog will not enter…. We do not have Christmas celebrations or keeping a dog at homes as pets.’ Cat is considered a clean animal in the Muslim world. So, for Nurullah, due to the common pet culture in British society, he preferred a cat over a dog due to his religious belief. He prays at home, and he wants to keep his home ritually pure by avoiding dog adoption.
Through having a cat instead of a dog, a person’s religious identity becomes visible. As Bender stated that ‘practice can signal interest in the things religious people do’ (2012, p. 273). For Nurullah, religion dwelled in the cat, displayed through it. Moreover, through this cat and reason for its adoption, Nurullah transferred his religion to the later generation. Therefore, the cat becomes a tool for Nurullah to transmit his religion to his kids. As Nurullah stated that cat adoption over a dog is for religious reasons.
The dog demand by children prove that lived religious practices are not only pertain to individuals, instead, as this demand comes from interaction with others in schools or other shared platforms, people all together construct the religious world. TS migrants do not live the religion as individuals in an untouched space. Instead, religious practices are always in mutual relations with the social context where the TS migrants live. The social contexts are restricting the migrant’s home life. Religion is inflected by the context and it also impacts the social context. While social context pushes the religious space into certain places within the house, religion also reconstitute its shape and space. Religion does not fade away. Instead, it reforms itself. Sometimes, it could be less visible, sometimes, it could be overtly visible but in different forms. However, it is always there. The important point is to ask the correct question while looking for religion in social spaces. Correspondingly, religion played a very important role in Nurullah’s household. Looking at this everyday life from outside perspective could avoid noticing this very interactive religious practice. Cat adoption in his life is strongly religiously motivated. The negotiation between religion and social aspects of life is in Nurullah’s everyday life. By asking the right question during the interview, the cat adoption can show the religious side of his life. Therefore, Nurullah’s religious life is saved thanks to this cat. With this cat, he made his kids happy and kept his house religiously clean. This is because cat is accepted a clean animal unlike dog.
Additionally, the religious visibility in Nurullah’s life can be seen for those who is aware of the place of dogs in Islam. Otherwise, cat in these houses can be seen merely a pet practice. However, through this practice, religion is an ongoing practice among TS migrants’ everyday lives.
On the other hand, another migrant, Cemal, convinced his wife to keep the dog away from his house. Cemal is married to British. He does not practice daily prayers. In this sense, the notion of the impurity of a dog in terms of religious perspective does not matter for him. However, Cemal never had a dog in his life until his marriage with a British. Regardless of what religion indicates, culturally and personally, Cemal could not get along with a dog in the same house. Cemal believes that having a dog at home in British culture is a common custom. Cemal told his story about his dog experience in his home as follows:
In this country, it is normal to see people who have a dog at home and abnormal to not have a dog. My wife had a dog [before the marriage]. The first day in her house, the dog really disturbed me. The dog wanted to play with me. So, he always was around me. When my wife noticed my unhappy situation that I do not like being around dogs, she took the dog out of the house in order to not lose me.
Cemal’s personal choice is to keep distance from dogs. He could not get along with the dog, regardless of the dog’s friendly approach to him. Thereby, even though religion does not play crucial role in Cemal’s everyday life, his personal choice led his wife to find for the dog another home. As shown in the above quote from Cemal, he did not talked about religious reasons.
Another example is about how Kamil, a taxi driver, find a practical solution in terms of dog and his daily prayers at home. In Kamil’s life, praying is important even though he does not pray five times a day, he prays when he wakes up before leaving the house. Kamil earned recognition and also recognised the demand of his family, despite the fact that dogs present in home are not allowed in his understanding of Islam.
As he stated that
I pray every day at home. My wife and my daughter (7 year old) see me when I pray. My daughter learns the Islamic rituals by imitating me…. To be honest, I like dogs, animals. However, I did not want the dog. My daughter insisted on dog adoption. Then, we got her a dog. First two weeks she enjoyed the dog. But now my daughter does not give flying fudge. My wife likes dogs as well. I put a gate at the stairs. I can show you the photo of the gate. When my dog goes upstairs, he can go up until the gate. But, he cannot pass from the gate. Because I pray in my house I pray. The dog cannot pass. I paid attention to this. We did a fight because of the prayer. The second day, my wife bought the gate. She bought it because she knew my situation. Because I pray in my bedroom before I leave home, yes, I do not pray five times a day, but, at least I pray before I leave my home. I have a prayer rug at home. The dog cannot enter my bedroom. It is not possible that the dog can go upstairs.
As seen in Kamil’ everyday life experience about having a dog at home, he also believes the presence of a dog at the place where he prays is not compatible. Simply because he believes that a dog will nullify his prayer. His saliva will disturb him. Moreover, let alone, he also does not allow the dog where he sleeps. For him, dog is an impure pet, but for the sake of his daughter and his wife he accommodates the dog’s place inside the home in certain conditions. The gate is the solution in Kamil everyday religious practice. As Kamil says before he goes downstairs where the dog is living, he wakes up and takes his shower and prays with his clean clothes. Because if he went to the entrance floor, the dog probably would touch his clothes. To prevent such incident, he took his precaution by buying a gate. So, dog cannot go upstairs. In doing so, the first floor room remains clean. Dog can hang out in the grad floor. Additionally, Kamil also accepts that he also likes dogs. He adjusts his life in the dog present house. Even though his child kept enjoying being with the dog first two week, later times, Kamil did not keep the dog away from his house. He kept the dog and made his own religious space in the house. Therefore, productions of religious space in TS migrants’ houses are important. Even though having a companion dog in the house may not mark them as Muslim, but religious space making practices do.
Correspondingly, Knott’s spatial theory is useful here in understanding the space making practices of TS migrants in diaspora (2016). Pet practices shape migrants everyday religious experiences. Their local understanding of Islam guides their everyday lives. It is not only the text (Quran and Sunnah) guides their everyday life, but also through the context. The local understanding of Islam is inspired by the context. Therefore, many other factors influence individual’s religious lives. This is because Islam is lived within a context. The local conditions inevitable plays its role while the text is applied. Even though some basic form remains stable (such as dog’s saliva is common accepted as unclean and nullifies the prayer), the daily worship is locally inflected. In the houses where dog is present, TS migrants are forced to make religious spaces. These forms of religious spaces are localised expression of Islamic identity. The solutions and practices that TS migrants created are due to the context of local circumstances, needs, and religious and social concerns. I can say that for TS migrants the content and application of the text are locally determined. Due to the pet practices, individuals built their own religious spaces.
Individuals did not just abandon the prayer or kids’ dog demands. Instead, they strategically built religious spaces within dog present house or did not allow a dog to enter the house. Therefore, individuals practise Islam within the context. Inevitably, the context impacted the practice. It impacted individual’s everyday life by restricting individual’s religious spaces. In other words, the new life style enabled migrants make their own religious spaces. More important, the way that individuals make their own religious spaces shows the negotiation between the text and the context. None of them are abandoned from everyday life. This is because text and the context are not two contracting entities. Religion is lived through the context even though the context may change from time to time or place to place. For example, due to the migration context, individuals accepted dog inside house even though they still believe that dog is not a clean animal. Religion also impacted on the context. Due to the religious understandings, individuals did not allow dogs in certain places in the house. Therefore, religion makes borders in the household by drawing boundaries between the prayer room and the dog. So, individuals accommodated daily prayers within the same house without excluding dog or the prayers. They situated their old habits with the new ones.
It is also important to mention that this article does not have the tendency to sperate the space of religion from so called non-religion. Instead, as it has been articulated throughout this article the space production is motivated and inflected by the religion. Instead of looking such everyday practices from the lens of religious versus non-religious space, I assert that I analysed the everyday religious practices by crossing the boundaries between religion and non-religion, while religion is lived through the context. The context (or so called secular or non religion is motivated by the religion. Therefore, through this pet practices, I have shown that homes are not secular or non-religious space. In other words, religious spaces are not only restricted to mosques. Rather, individuals can build their own private religious spaces wherever they want. In this sense, religion moves with individuals from space to space.
Moreover, as Smith stated ‘human beings are not placed, they bring place into being’ (cited in Knott 2007, p. 54). In here, the person, Kamil, is the producer of the space. Through the creative process, people can produce meaning places where they live. Religion attributes a new meaning that gives the space production its character (Knott, 2007, p. 52).
Similarly, Metin, the kebab house owner, had the same experience as Kamil. Metin has two daughters. Due to his daughters' desires, he could not resist their pressure. Although he had to accept the dog’s presence in his house, he still openly articulated his negative view of dogs. For metin likewise Kamil, the solution was ‘the gate’, which keeps the dog out of the room, where they perform their daily prayers.
No one can enter my house with shoes. However, we have a dirty dog at home but… the dog cannot enter my bedroom. Did you understand? I do not like. I have a gate in my room’s door. My children wanted the dog. I never want a dog. Homes are not for dogs… as long as the dog does not enter to my room, I acknowledged… the reason for having the dog is that they [British people] lived with dogs at home from childhood. The dog always was in their life. Actually, dogs are really loyal… we have a dog, it is adorable. As long as it does not come near to me whatever it does, it is free.
Metin strongly believes that dogs are not clean. Due to this belief, he had to restrict himself to pray only in his bedroom. He had to put the gate to prevent the dog’s entrance into his bedroom. As Knott (2016) noted that migrants develop effective techniques to fit into the new land, in Metin’s life the gate plays this role. Metin like other migrants, similarly, bought the gate and maintained his religious practices in the dog present house. However, dog pushed Metin’s prayer place in a certain room. Dog limited Metin’s religious spaces. The location of religion in his place is dwelled in non-dog places (Knott, 2016). Here, dog can be central in constituting religious space. In this sense, the limitations of the context shaped migrants’ living religious practices (Knott, 2016, p. 17). Space is enmeshed in everyday practice (Knott, 2008, p. 12). Metin created a dog free sphere where he can forge a connection with religion. He reproduced familiar structures, practices, and spaces in diaspora (Knott, 2016, p. 1). Moreover, Metin moved his religious place where dog is not present. For him, caring for prayers require a space.
In the above excerpt, for instance, the interviewee states his opinion that he adopted a dog for the sake of his daughters. He stated that the reason for his daughters’ dog demand is due to the society. Metin indicated that dog is British people’s custom. This external factor affected Metin’s home lifestyle, which he does not like. At the end, he had to accommodate his religious prayers and the dog’s present in the same house. In this sense, people migrate and settle in the new context. Moving to a new country alters individuals’ relationships with things and places. Migrants revise their perspective on things and places (Knott, 2016, p. 1). By building a place where Metin can pray in the house is a form of revision in migrant’s everyday lives.
Through these practices, Islam becomes a visible practice. Kids can learn Islam through the dog free zones inside houses. At least, the way that fathers organise the house also shows that something different is going on in the house. Fathers’ reactions towards dogs create an image about religion in kids minds. Religion is dwelled in home and in the dog free room. For migrants, this religious space enables them to claim a connection to their homeland. It is the space that TS migrants dwelled in and find a familiar place. In order to not to become out of place at homes, migrants reproduced their own familiar religious places. These religious practices clearly demonstrate that space makings are constantly negotiated rather than fixed. With new environments, religious spaces can move and alter.
All in all, the quotidian home making practices in homes informed by religious beliefs, norms, and values. Individuals cope with their condition in religious place making practices. Ostensibly, it is reflected and informed ‘by religious beliefs, norms, and values’ (Knott, 2016, p. 2). Religious ‘practices constitute and shape private and public spaces, as well as themselves being informed by the contexts and places in which they are enacted’ (Knott, 2016, p. 3). This shows the mutual relationship between practices and their places. Individuals have the agency to reshape the place in favour of religious practices.
The room is turned into a place of belonging. It is important to note the ways in which migrants narrate their dog free rooms as the place where they belong, where they feel clean and comfortable. Rather than creating binary oppositions such as a dog free house versus a dog companion house, TS migrants negotiate different aspects of everyday life. Practising religion and engagement with dogs in the same house are complementary rather than contradictory from the lens of individuals. Through this approach, TS migrants feel more comfortable being Muslim in the home. Engaging their religious practices with the places where they live enabled TS migrants to create a new place of belonging. Through religious space making practices, TS migrants are also ‘placing’ their identities by dwelling into the space (Ehrkamp, 2005, p. 346). This is because religion travels through migrants and dwell to them in their places of settlement (Knott, 2016, p. 6). TS migrants look for recognition and a space where they can express their religious identity. As Ehrkamp stated that, transnational practices facilitate new places of belonging that enable migrants to engage with the new complexity. The attachments are neither fixed nor static. Instead, it is very much dynamic and open for alteration through the new consequences.
Briefly, religious practices assist TS migrants to make sense of their resettlement, force them to create new and alternative spaces by challenging unfamiliar location, which is a dog friendly home. This religious space making practices show that TS migrants are capable of adapting to new contexts and conditions (Knott, 2016, p. 17). Despite the limitation of the context, TS migrants develop effective tactics by challenging the context.
This research has focused on pet practices among mixed-married Turkish speaking migrants in the Northwest of England. This present study has assessed the Islamic view on the pet practices. Despite the negative attitude toward dogs among Muslims, some mixed-married TS migrants adopted dogs. However, this dog adoption put them in a theological dilemma. In addition to the long theological debates and discussions, it is always important to look at this social everyday practice to understand their everyday lives, to examine the social and religious challenges they face at home, as well as the techniques migrants created to overcome the religious dilemma. Those who owned a dog in the same house where they live remained practising daily prayers. Thus, the negotiation between daily prayers and dog present in the same place among TS migrants is explored.
This study has revealed that pet practices is overlooked and has not been studied from the social lens. Rather, it has been widely studied from textual perspective. Therefore, the object of this article is taken for granted in the existing studies. Further, Muslims scholars should not act as if these practices are not happening. Instead, despite Muslims negative attitude about dog adoption, it is in practice even among Muslim families.
The present study also reveals that throughout these variety examples I found the influential connections between texts and religious practice in everyday life. Their understandings of dogs are always religiously mediated. Examining their relations with dogs provide a window into how people implement their Islamic understanding. Their attitude towards dogs is obviously religiously constituted. Another main conclusion of this article is also about the influence of hadith on TS migrant’s everyday lives. Despite being outside the Quran, practices relies on hadith are found in everyday lived Islam. While in the attempt to justify their everyday actions, TS migrants directly keep reference to hadith. From these interview quotes, I can say that TS migrants were instructed by reference to a second scriptural source of authority, namely hadith.
As a matter of fact, while these pet practices have generated rich data, the findings from the everyday lives of mixed-married TS males cannot be taken to be representative of the experience of all mixed-married Muslim or TS migrants. The core intention of this article was to document the pet experiences of the TS males in relation to dogs. Dogs are considered as an impure and dirty animal in Muslim societies. Specifically, the sight of a dog during the daily prayers is viewed as a nullifying the supplications. Therefore, the general understanding among Muslims is that the issues of the impurity of dogs and having them as pets inside homes are incompatible. This pre-existing bias against dogs is not a new phenomenon in the Muslim world, including TS migrants. This notion of impurity of dogs positioned TS migrants with prejudice standpoint towards dogs at home. Accordingly, while some TS male migrants strategically keep the dog away from their homes even though what their kids wanted, on the other hand, others had to own a dog for the sake of their kids but in certain conditions. The main condition is that they restricted dogs in certain places in the house. As long as, the dog does not enter where the male TS migrants perform the prayers, the dog can stay inside the home but in restricted rooms. To overcome the dilemma of having a dog and praying in the same house, they relocate their prayer places within the restriction. Therefore, in addition to making private spaces to acquire rituals, such dog free places in the mixed married TS migrants provided an opportunity to mark Islam and transmit embodied religion to later generations through such restrictions. Moreover, TS migrants employ tools (leash) to challenge the dog demands, or by building alternative options (cat adoption). Migrants negotiate spatial religious production in everyday life. Religious practices contribute the settlement process by overcoming some struggles that TS migrants came across. Through such demand of religious practices, TS migrants claim for recognition and create tactical approach by religious space making.
There is no doubt that when people migrate to new places, they bring their religious understandings, including animal practices, with them. Examining their animal practices and attitudes can thus be a window into how migrants reconstitute their practices. The examples of this article show that in the diaspora, TS migrants sustain and transmit practices of the homeland, involve the construction of religious spaces. Religion exists and expresses itself through religious space making practices. It generates, alters, and reproduces the space by converting it from a social place to religious space. Religion crosses borders and dwells itself into the new context. In the lives of TS migrants, prayer literally generates a new space production. Lived Islam is displayed to later generations through religious space-making practices. By banning dogs from certain places where TS migrants locate them as prayer room, a dog free room, transmit Islam to kids. Even though dogs are believed to be not belonged to homes, the way that TS migrants organise the house for dog and for the prayer place demonstrate the influence of Islam in the lives of TS migrants.