There is a lot of talk about whether pigskin is allowed if you are a practicing Muslim, and how do you know if this is ok or not?
Here Is Why Wearing Pigskin Leather Is Forbidden If You Are A Muslim:
Pigskin leather comes from a pig and is considered filthy and impure. Prophet Muhammad (in the Hadith) prohibits his followers the use of pig in anyway or form (this includes wearing pigskin and eating it).
Below we will be discussing how Pigskin is forbidden for Muslims, and easy ways you can identify pigskin leather compared to cow leather, so you know what to look out for in the future.
- Here Is Why Wearing Pigskin Leather Is Forbidden If You Are A Muslim:
- When Is It Forbidden For Muslims To Wear Pigskin Leather?
- Is It Haram For Muslims To Wear Pigskin Leather?
- Ways For A Muslim To Identify Pigskin Leather From Other Leathers?
When Is It Forbidden For Muslims To Wear Pigskin Leather?
Salah is a ritualistic prayer that Muslims perform five times a day. It is one of their fundamental religious requirements, and Muslims must remove all objects that would prevent them from performing the salah before they pray.
Muslims are forbidden from wearing pig skin leather when praying because it is considered impure and filthy. That applies to any clothing made of animal skin, but pig skin takes precedence because it can never be cleaned to become pure again.
Animal skins, especially pig skins, are considered dirty or impure due to their diet as omnivores who eat anything to survive. The pig eats carrion, excrement, and whatever it finds to eat. Such a diet results in the pig having a destructive effect on the environment and being considered by some cultures as one of God’s creatures.
It is general knowledge among Muslims that the skin of a pig can never be purified because pigs are considered dirty animals. A Muslim would be required to clean their clothing before praying if it is made from any other animal skin instead of a pig or any other filthy animal.
The impurity from a cow, for example, can be removed by soaking it in a mixture containing water and the ashes of cow dung until the skin becomes pure again, which takes approximately two days. Impurities from a donkey, however, can only be removed with water which takes about one day to become pure again. For a dog, however, the impurity is impossible to remove and will remain impure forever.
Regarding the actual prayer, Muslims must be in contact with only pure things while praying. They also have to clean themselves before they pray, which is done by performing Aiwassalaam (meaning: I start with the words of Allah), which involves wiping their faces in a downward motion from a point just above their forehead and then wiping the same area in an upward motion right after.
The actual prayer begins with the face being clean. Therefore it cannot be impure. For this reason, wearing pig skin leather while praying will make your prayer unacceptable and affect you to the point that you cannot perform salah due to the impurity of your clothing. For your prayer to be accepted, you will have to perform Wudhu again and pray again, albeit you have sinned by wearing it.
Is It Haram For Muslims To Wear Pigskin Leather?
Yes. It is haram for Muslims to wear pigskin leather because:
It comes from pork eaten by humans, which is not permissible according to Islamic teachings. The Qur’an prohibits eating pork more than once in a lifetime, and this is because the meat that has come through a pig is ritually unclean, no matter how clean the pig was before slaughter.
Even if the pig was slaughtered spotless before the animal was killed by cutting its throat, the blood will mix with other parts of the pig and become ritually impure. Whether you eat pork or not, it is forbidden for you to wear things that come from pigs, and people who do this should never forget Allah.
It comes from an animal not slaughtered according to the haram (forbidden) Islamic method of slaughtering, i.e., by cutting the throat with a sharp knife (as done in the West). The Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad have strictly prohibited this type of slaughtering because a) it is painful even if the animal has been properly stunned, and b) it causes the animal to die in great pain, crying out loudly because of confusion and fear.
Such an animal is not fit to be eaten or worn. Some Muslims who do not know this fact think that wearing leather is ok because the animal is dead when they wear it on their body, but they are not aware of the real reason behind this prohibition. This slaughtering causes unnecessary pain to the animals involved, and Islam prohibits causing unnecessary harm and suffering to any living creature.
It comes from a source that Prophet Muhammad has prohibited as haram (forbidden) for his followers to use or deal with in any way as recorded in a Hadith, such as the meat or skin of a dead pig. Similarly, the dead body of a dog is also haram to Muslims, and they should not use things that come from it as they cannot confirm that the dog was properly killed before being slaughtered, as it is forbidden in Islam. Therefore, it would be an act of sheer disbelief to wear items made from pigskin if you know that it has been prohibited in Islam.
Like alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes, it harms people’s health, even if the leather is branded with logos referring to famous designers or fashion houses. The tanning process involves using harmful chemicals, which means that wearing such leathers on the skin can cause health problems, and this is why the Qur’an refers to those who wear harmful things as those who wear “vessels of fire” on their heads.
Ways For A Muslim To Identify Pigskin Leather From Other Leathers?
Check the Label
The first place to check for a pigskin leather is on the label. Always look for a label or sign that indicates what type of leather is used in the product you want to buy.
If you can’t find any indication of what type of leather is used, don’t buy it. It could be made from pigskin; even if it’s not, there are probably several other reasons why you shouldn’t purchase that product. You shouldn’t get it just because it’s cheap, for instance, because the quality may be so low that you won’t get your money’s worth.
If all you can see on the label is a small drawing of an animal with no indication of what type of leather it is, those are probably pigskin leather. They were most likely copied from a print found in a book or magazine, and nobody bothered to check what it was. It’s best to avoid these as well.
Look at the Pattern and Color
Another clue is the pattern of coloration in the skin of an animal. Certain animals have certain types of coloring specific to their breed or species, and alligators, for instance, will have a very distinctive coloration that distinguishes them from the other animals they’re often confused with, like caimans crocodiles, or even lizards.
Pigskin, however, will not have a pattern or specific coloration. In particular, the pig skin is much lighter in color than other types of leather, meaning it’s not as dark a brown as the standard cowhide tanning process. The pig skin will also have less natural grain polish compared to cowhide which has more rigid fibers and more oil (protective layer) on the surface.
Look for Variations in Shape
One area where alligators have the edge over pigskin as far as working with them is in the shape of the scales on their skin. Pigskin is almost universally flat and very uniform in its coloration.
On the other hand, alligator skin has a very distinctive pattern that makes it look more like a snake than a pig. If you are looking for the alligator skin type, you should know what that pattern looks like and what to look out for.
Check the thickness
Pig skin is much thinner and lighter in weight than cowhide, but it’s also slightly softer in feel. The human skin is so soft and smooth because of the silica that makes up the outer layer of the skin.
So when comparing pig skin vs. other leathers, you will see the same amount of natural grain polish as seen on the product human being skin (but not as much as a normal leather). That works out to be a good compromise for pig skins used for wallets because it’s not too thick and bulky but still more durable than other leathers.
While you can use normal cowhide to make wallets, many customers want something less bulky, so they resort to another type of leather: pig skin.
Pig skin doesn’t have as much elasticity since it’s under the top layer of human skin. But it has some elasticity, which means it can stretch a little bit and get back to its original size (depending on how thick it is). Since this leather is so thin, it can be significantly thinner than a cowhide product.
Sniff for a ‘chemical’ smell
Normally chrome is added to make pig skin less pliable and durable. Therefore, if you’re buying from a retailer or other person, this should be able to tell you whether it’s real or fake. Cheap chrome will have a very strong chemical smell, so there’s no mistaking that it’s not the real thing.
Real pig skin also has a faint, unpleasant odor – something like ammonia or bleach, which is why you shouldn’t be buying any product made using pig skin if it has that characteristic smell. But if you’re up close and personal with the product, such as holding it in your hand or sitting next to someone wearing it, for example, you may not notice this at all.