Question # 542: I was going to order my favorite shoe But read the last paragraph (“…built with a pigskin…”) Never checked this during last 30+ Years I was using it. Now what I do. Shall I stop wearing it. I walk in Masjid [parking lot] with it.
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: Muslim scholars differed regarding the matter of wearing apparel made from the skin of a pig; most of them are of the opinion that pig skin is not pure, even if it is tanned. Based on that, wearing anything made of pig skin is not permissible. However, the opinion that all kinds of skin become pure after tanning is the preponderant one, which is based on the following hadith that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Every tanned skin is pure” (At-Tirmidhi). Nevertheless, even these scholars suggest it is better to avoid it to be on the safer side.
Long Answer: As for the skins of animals whose meat we cannot eat, such as dogs, wolves, lions, elephants, and the like, it is impure (naajis), whether it is slaughtered or dies or is killed, because even if it is slaughtered it does not become halal and cannot be good, so it is naajis, whether it is tanned or not tanned. This is according to the most correct opinion because the most correct opinion is that impure skins cannot be made pure through tanning if they come from animals that we are not permitted to slaughter for food.
Animal skins may be divided into three types:
- those which are pure, whether they are tanned or not, which are the skins of animals that may be eaten if they are slaughtered correctly.
- skins that cannot be pure either before or after tanning because they are impure. These are the skins of animals whose meat we cannot eat, like pigs.
- skins that become pure after tanning but are not pure before tanning. These are the skins of animals whose meat may be eaten if they are slaughtered properly but not if they die otherwise.
[However, some] Muslim scholars differed regarding the matter of dead animals’ skin as well as the skin of a dog and pig, about whether they become pure after tanning or not. [Although,] most of them are of the opinion that pig skin is not pure even if it is tanned… the opinion that all kinds of skins become pure after tanning is the preponderant one. Among the evidence for this opinion is the hadith narrated by Imam Muslim that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “If the animal’s skin is tanned, it is purified” The same hadith is narrated in four books of Sunan with the words: “Every tanned skin is pure” Based on this hadith, [some of the scholars say] …that the pig’s skin after tanning is pure. So, one may use it. However, if one avoids using it only to take the safe side, no doubt, it is better.
Therefore, shoes that are made from pig skin are impure, and it is not permissible to wear them according to this view. [Even if it is believed that] the skin of pig becomes pure after tanning it …, it is more appropriate to avoid it and not benefit from it, especially during the prayer as a way of being on the safe side and avoiding the difference of opinion.
Secondly, if a person prays wearing a coat or shoes… made from pig skin or any other type of skin that is impure and cannot be purified by tanning, his prayer is not valid unless he is unaware of the ruling or forgot, in which case his prayer is valid, and he is not to be instructed to repeat it, according to the more correct scholarly view.
(The above reply is based on various answers on similar topics provided by:
- Islamqa.info; and
- Islamweb.net, a website belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.