About seven years ago, I was elevated to the position of ‘ustaz’ by members of the Malaysian public. All because of a short film I had made at that time called ‘Samak’ (which was invited to a few film festivals! Wahh!)
It was a simple documentary about dogs and how it is okay for Muslims to keep them as pets. But what made it so appealing to people, I think, was the explanation on ‘samak’.
So what is ‘samak’? It’s just the method of cleansing for a Muslim after he or she has touched a wet dog. And it’s only when the dog is wet. When it’s dry, it’s totally clean.
I literally got phone calls from people I didn’t know calling me ‘ustaz’ and asking me for advice on how to samak themselves, and even their homes (paranoia?).
I am a Muslim and a dog lover. And I have also had the pleasure of caring for two pet dogs in my lifetime so far – a Rottweiler named Martian and a Cavalier King Charles named Keropok.
Now, in response to all the hoo-haa about dogs and Hari Raya, I feel totally at ease and not the least bit insulted by the video of Chetz Togom and her dogs. [Click to read the full article and to view the short film at English.AstroAwani.Com]