Q. What is the meaning of the hadeeth that no angels come into the house with pictures and dogs?
A.The shaykh (hafidahullaah) said that this is an authentic narration and what is meant by pictures is that anything that a human being draws or sculpts with their hands. This should not be done. The shaykh (hafidahullaah) said that it is different when it comes to picture taking with a device. However, anything that a person draws with their hands or sculpts should not be done, it is a sin and the angels will not enter a house where those things are present. Also, when it comes to dogs there are only three situations where it is permissible to have a dog. One is if the dog is being used for farming. The second situation where it’s permissible to keep a dog is if it’s being used to herd livestock. The third situation is if the dog is being used for hunting. The hadeeth states that if anyone acquires a dog for other than one of these three reasons, then each day he will have a great amount of his rewards taken away. The shaykh mentioned the hadeeth states each day the reward the size of a qiraat will be taken away. Qiraat meaning the size of a mountain, so each day the reward the size of a mountain will be taken away from him. The shaykh (hafidahullaah) mentioned when it comes to livestock he said the same might be permissible, if a family for example were camping outside of the city and they were afraid thieves or someone might attack them. They could have dogs in this case to bark and let them know if anyone was trying to attack them.
Shaykh Saalih Muhammad al-Luhaydaan (May Allaah preserve him) (Kitaab-ut-Tawheed Class, Q&A Session 08-08-2012, Riyadh)