Question # 314: Asalaam Alleykum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuh….What is the ruling if you touch a pig or any of its wastes as compared to other animals.

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).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Scholars of Islam (ulemah) state that touching impurities directly is unlawful except for a necessity. Hence, it is forbidden to touch pig; however, if someone touches it, he is obliged to wash his hands only (once) in order to remove the impurity, and is not obliged to perform ghusl (ritual bath) or wash all his body.

Long Answer: Scholars of Islam (ulemah) state that touching impurities directly is unlawful except for a necessity.  No doubt that pork is impure.  Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: Say (O Muhammad): “I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be Maytatah (a dead animal) or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of swine (pork, etc.) for that surely is impure, or impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But whosoever is forced by necessity without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, (for him) certainly, your Lord is Oft­Forgiving, Most Merciful.”(Soorah Al-Anam, 6:145)

So, it is forbidden to touch pork. If a person touches pork with his hands, he is obliged to wash his hands only in order to remove the impurity from then, but he is not obliged to perform ghusl (ritual bath) and wash all his body.

(The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs)

With regard to how to cleanse oneself of pig-related impurity, some scholars are of the view that it should be washed seven times, one of which should be with earth, by analogy with dogs.

But the correct view is that pig-related impurity should be washed only once. Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on Muslim (Sharh Muslim): “Most of the scholars were of the view that pig-related impurity does not have to be washed seven times. This is the view of al-Shafi’i, and it has the strongest evidence.”

This is what Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen thought most likely to be correct, as he said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’: “The fuqaha’ (may Allah have mercy on them) likened (pig-related) impurity to dog-related impurity, because pigs are dirtier than dogs, so the ruling should apply even more so.

This is a weak analogy, because pigs are mentioned in the Qur’an and they existed at the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and there is no report which likens them to dogs. So, the correct view is that pig-related impurity is like any other kind of impurity, and there is no need to wash seven times, one of which should be with dust or dirt.”

(The above reply is based on answer provided by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid on the topic)

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.

Wassalaam