I once heard an ustaz said in a lecture that there are scholars who said that what is prohibited is the flesh of swine only. Its skin is permitted to be used. And he said that Imam al-Shafie’s opinion on this issue is the odd one because he prohibits all parts of swine. May I hear the opinion of Sahibus Samahah Mufti upon this issue?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Allah SWT says in al-Quran:
إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّـهِ ۖ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Surah al-Baqarah (173)
Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyuti said in his tafsir book on the prohibition of swine. “Shara’ mentions flesh in specific because it is the biggest subject and more apparent while the ruling of other parts is in accordance with the ruling of the flesh.”
Refer Tafsir al-Jalalayn (pg. 35)
Imam al-Nawawi also cited the ijma’ of prohibition of eating any part of the swine: “The Muslim scholars have reached the consensus on the prohibition of fats, blood and all parts of the swine”.
Refer al-Majmu` Syarh al-Muhadzdzab (9/5)
This indicates the prohibition of eating swine is not limited to its flesh only, but also its bones, fats and skin.
Is it permissible to make use of its skin? The following we state the scholars’ opinion on this matter:
- Madhhab Maliki: Pig skin is najis when it is dead and it cannot be purified through tanning according to the famous While the opposing opinion like the opinion of Imam Abd al-Mun’im bin al-Faras stated that swine’s skin is the same as other skin which is permitted to be used after being tanned. Refer Hasyiah al-Dusuki(1/54).
- Madhhab Hanafi: Pig skin is najis and cannot be tanned according to the zahir narration. There is a narration from Imam Abu Yusuf that pig skin can be tanned and becomes purified. Refer al-Mabsut(1/202) by Imam al-Sarakhsi.
- Madhhab Shafie: Pig skin is najis when it is alive, while a greater najis when it is dead because it becomes a corpse. Hence, it cannot be made as cloth except when in exigent (darurat) situations. Refer al-Majmu`(1/221) by Imam al-Nawawi.
- Madhhab Hanbali: All types of dead animals are najis and cannot be purified including pig skin. A narration from Imam Ahmad states that dead animals’ skin can be purified if it is an animal halal to be eaten while in living state. Refer al-Mughni(1/49) by Imam Ibn al-Qudamah.
Based on the above statement, we know that the four accredited madhhabs are of the opinion that pig skin is najis and cannot be benefited from, unless there are needs and necessity, not on normal occasion. Refer al-Mausu`ah al-Fiqhiyah al-Kuwaitiyyah (20/34). So, the opinion cannot be said as odd opinion as it is a decision of all four madhhabs.
We would like to state here that such statement needs detail explanation. This is because it gives possibility that the Muslims are allowed to breed pigs or be directly and indirectly involved in trade related to pigs in order to get its skin to be made clothes. Refer al-Mausu`ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah (6/43). Products made of pig skin is based on a specific industry in breeding and processing swine and not due to hunting and encountering with swine at the sideways. Allah SWT says:
وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ
And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.
Surah al-Maidah (2)
This is based on the saying of the Prophet PBUH narrated from Abu Mas’ud al-Ansori RA:
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اَللَّهِ - صلى الله عليه وسلم -نَهَى عَنْ ثَمَنِ اَلْكَلْبِ, وَمَهْرِ الْبَغِيِّ, وَحُلْوَانِ اَلْكَاهِنِ
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) prohibited the money paid for a dog, the payment of a prostitute, and the payment given to a soothsayer.
Sahih al-Bukhari (2237)
Imam al-Shafie in al-Hawi al-Kabir (13/390) cited by Imam al-Mawardi: “Allah SWT does not prohibit something unless after He equipts them (man) with the replacement from among the permitted. So, indeed, He prohibits adultery, but permits marriage, prohibits eating swine, but permits eating camel, prohibits silk (for men), but permits sheep wool and cotton.”
Our advice to the speaker and all individuals to respect the accredited scholars by acknowledging their opinions especially the jumhur. This is in line with the Rules 26 in Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) (Tauliah to Teach the Religion of Islam) Rules 2006 which states:
Every person awarded with tauliah to teach under Rules 25 should, in fulfilling his duty, is subjected to the following conditions: (c) shall not offense the khilafiah matters which are found in the four accredited madhhab and shall not offense of which is align with the teachings of Ahl Sunnah wal Jamaah;
Failure to follow this ethic, Rules 25 states that the Committee of Observing Islamic Teaching of Federal Territories under the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council may revoke tauliah to teach if there are any breech of conditions set under Rule 26.