I would like to address this letter to Farah AR and correct several misconceptions on the usage of pork/porcine apparel products.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
To Farah AR who wrote about pig skin, she had shared about her experiences and her Islamic understanding in pork/porcine products. May Allah increase Farah’s knowledge and grant her insight to understand Islamic rulings.
I recall a long time ago when I emailed MUIS about the same query regarding usage of pork/porcine products such as handbags and shoes. This is fairly common among Muslims who may have accidentally purchased these products. unfortunately, many realized the truth only much later.
Responding to my query, MUIS stated the following:
The majority of scholars consider pig and all derivatives from it as heavy najis (filth), which entails the necessary purification of seven washings, one of them with a mixture of sand and water, for surfaces that come into contact with pig and its organs. However, the condition is that the surface contact is wet or moist.
If it is dry, then no purification is necessary.
Hence, wearing shoes or using things that are made from pig’s organs are not advisable since it runs into possibility of being wet or moist and hence necessitates purification. Without such purification, Prayer (salah) is not valid.
MUIS also recommended a good book titled ‘The Reliance of the Traveller by Nuh Ha Mim Keller’. This book can be easily purchased from online bookstores such as Amazon.
In my opinion, Muslims should strive hard to keep their bodies and clothes clean and pure; hence it is better for Muslims to wear leather that is originally permissible or derived from an animal that is lawful.
But, whatever it is – the most important is : CHECK IT OUT FIRST. It’s all about subjectivity, so you have to take the preventive steps to confirm whether it is pigskin or not. Some Gucci and Fendi might use pigskin, you’ll never know (actually Gucci did use pigskin for some of their ladies’ bags in previous seasons, which they did mention in the press).
In case of syubhah, don’t buy it. It’s up to you. But as a Muslim, I won’t be using anything pigskin.
To avoid future misconceptions, MUIS should make sure that Islamic advisories or fatwas are clear and easily accessible so that Muslims can easily refer to it whenever there is doubt. Also, MUIS should employ dedicated officers to manage public queries. Singapore Muslims should not have to wait 5-10 days for a simple reply that possibly require only 10 minutes to write.
Authored by Julia Abdul Salim
READ RELATED ARTICLES ON PIG/PORK/PORCINE PRODUCTS
Thank you Julia for the contribution.
We agree that Muslims need clarification from MUIS, and hope the Islamic organisation can be more forthcoming to address matters concerning the Muslim community.
When it comes to situation like this, clarity is key to avoid unnecessary misconception and anxiety.
Have you encountered a similar experience whereby you purchased a porcine product unknowingly?
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