‘Beware of dogs’ is a common phrase used as a warning to indicate that there is a dangerous dog within. But, there is another problem that may be called the ‘dog culture’. Dog as an animal is not a problem, but the dog culture may prove to be very fatal for a human being. This phenomenon is mentioned in the Qur’an in the chapter Al-A‘raf (The Heights). Using this phenomenon as a parable the Qur’an mentions a human character in these words: He was like a dog that pants whether you load it up or leave it alone. (7:176)
Panting is a unique habit in dogs. Dogs pant because this is their way of cooling down. The phenomenon of panting is a part of a dog’s natural body system. The Qur’an uses it in the ethical sense for those people who know nothing except the following of their desires. These people are a case of continuous dissatisfaction, which is mentioned in the Qur’an thus: Greed for more and more distracted you till you reached the grave. (102:1-2)
It is a law of nature that if ninety-nine percent of your need is fulfilled, there will always be one percent of your need that will remain unfulfilled. Those who have not developed the right way of thinking, focus on the 1% they do not have and forget the 99% they still have. Such people are always ungrateful. But, those who have developed the right-thinking are grateful to the Creator for the 99% they have and ignore the 1% that they do not have. This habit of theirs helps them live in gratefulness all the time in every situation. The people of the second category have positive thinking, while those of the first category always live in negative thinking. It is people of the first category who are referred to in the above parable of the panting of dogs. This habit is not just a habit, it has very serious implications, mentioned in this Qur’anic verse: Such are those who reject Our signs. Tell them this story so that they may reflect. (7:176)
People of the first category take the serious risk of halting the thinking process of their minds. While people of the second category save themselves from taking this risk because the thinking process continues unhindered in their minds. The greatest faculty of man is his mind. The mind is like a thinking machine. According to the law of nature, the thinking process of the mind functions smoothly only when the mind is free and without obsessions. But, when the mind becomes a victim of obsession or develops negativity, the thinking process gets halted. This results in the greatest loss for a person.
The right person is one who concentrates on the 99% he has and ignores the 1% he does not have. The present age is a quite different age. One characteristic of the present age is the decentralization of the economy. Due to this phenomenon, every person has got the opportunity to earn money and lead a comfortable life. There are no deprived persons in the real sense in this age. In earlier times deprivation was common, but in the modern age affluence is common, the only difference is that some people live in more luxury while others are less. This phenomenon is a great blessing of God, as it gives the opportunity to everyone to live in gratefulness. But, due to the above dog culture, people are still living in ungratefulness.