Md Azmi Ismail, 55, also known as Pak Mie and his wife Halijah Idris, better known as Mak Intan, 65, are both animal lovers. But they are not an ordinary couple who collects healthy stray animals. Being animal lovers, they have in their care a few types of animals and the majority of it is dogs. These are not just your regular dogs but most of them have diseases such as mange and cataracts.
He has been doing this noble work for almost 20 years. But since 4 years ago, he has been planning to settle down by building a shelter on a vacant area near the river in Tanjung Bendahara, Alor Setar, Kedah, 450km away from Kuala Lumpur.
Now, here’s the dilemma, as a Muslim, it’s kind of a taboo and also, the religion forbids Muslims to keep dogs in their homes accept for hunting or guarding houses. But still, in a Muslim Malaysia, having a dog in a home is considered forbidden although it says otherwise. This is because Malaysian Muslims have been taught since childhood that touching or having a dog in their house is forbidden by religion and that idea has been imprinted in their mind until they become adults and are passed down from one generation to another.
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