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Lesson 007 [Animal Skin/Leather] 10 February 2011

Posted by istislaam in ii. Utensils.
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Alhamdulillaah, wa`s-salaatu wa`s-salaamu ‘alaa rasoolillaah, wa ba’ad:

Lesson 007


[Animal Skin/Leather]


  • Utensils of Gold and Silver

The Dhaahireeyyah, Ibn ‘Abdu`l-Barr, an-Nawaawee, ibn Qudaamah, rahimahumAllaah, they all said that the opinion that the utensils of gold and silver may not be used for anything (including doing wudoo’ etc.) was the majority opinion, and some of them (such as Ibn ‘Abdu`l-Barr) said it is based on Ijmaa’ before another scholar came and differed with them (Dawood – ?).

Thus, perhaps it is safer to follow the opinion that it is not permissible to use utensils of gold and silver for anything. Allaah knows best.

If the utensils are plated with gold and silver, then they take the same ruling as that of utensils made of gold and silver, unless they are soldered due to a need.

  • Wool and Hair of Dead Animals

وصوف الميتة وشعرها طاهر 26

Imaam ibn Qudaamah wrote, “The wool of (naturally) dead animals and their hair is taahir.”

The reason he mentioned the wool and the hair of dead animals specifically is due to the fact that an animal that is slaughtered in the Islaamic manner, then all of it is halaal to use, but if the animal dies in a way other than that (i.e. naturally) then the ruling is different.

So the wool and hair of animals that died naturally are permissible to use since there is no life inside this part of the animal. The flesh (which does have life in it) of the (naturally) dead animal is not permissible to use at all.

  • Dead Animal’s Skin

وكل جلد ميتة دبغ أو لم يدبغ فهو نجس 27

Imaam ibn Qudaamah wrote, “Every skin of a (naturally) dead animal whether it is tanned or not is naajis (impure).”

Tanned skin would be traditionally used for water-skins to contain water, and also for garments, shoes, socks, belts, tents etc.

Narrated ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Ukaym: The letter of the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was read out to us in the territory of Juhaynah when I was a young boy: Do not make use of the skin or sinew (nerves/muscle) of an animal which died a natural death.”
[Sunaan Abee Dawood]

Some versions of the hadeeth state, “I used to allow you to use the skin, now I prohibit you from using these skins (of naturally dead animal) at all.”

This hadeeth seems to be a case of abrogation of a previous ruling. There is a difference of opinion regarding the authenticity of the hadeeth. This hadeeth is said to be Mursal (link between tabi’ee and the Prophet is missing) and some graded it as Mudtarib (uncertainity about isnaad or text).

Different opinions of scholars regarding the use of the skin of animals (there are more opinions):

  1. One may benefit from any dead animal (i.e. the Dhaahireeyyah)
  2. The skin of any dead animal may be used with the exception of the pig’s (i.e. the Ahnaaf)
  3. One may use any animal skin with the exception of pig and dog (i.e. the Shaafi’eeyyah)
  4. The skin of any dead animal may be used whether it’s tanned or not. This is the weakest of all the opinions.
  5. One may make use of the skin of any dead animal if the animal was taahir when it was alive. The Maalikeeyyah and some of the Hanaabilaah held this opinion. (An animal that is taahir is not necessarily halaal to eat, such as a cat, domestic donkey or a human being)
  6. It is permissible to use the skin of any dead animal after tanning, if it was permissible to eat that animal when it was alive. Some of the Hanaabilah held this opinion. This seems to be the strongest opinion.

One should have an open mind regarding the opinions a person follows even if it is contrary to their own opinions.

All of these scholars of these different madh-haib were aware of the hadeeths regarding tanning, since it was mentioned in their books, but their understanding of these ahaadeeth were different.

Narrated ibn ‘Abbaas radiAllaahu ‘anhuma: Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “When the animal hide is tanned it becomes purified.”
[Saheeh Muslim]

Another wording in Muslim is, “Any skin that has been tanned is pure”.

The wording of this hadeeth is very general.

The wording of the hadeeth “any skin” is one of the phrases from which generality can be derived and used by those scholars who say that any skin may be used.

The Ahnaaf made the exception of pig and swine due to the statement of Allaah in the Qur’aan.

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 Allâh (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allâh’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But whosoever is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, (for him) certainly, your Lord is Oft¬-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
[Soorat al-An’aam (006:145)]

The Shaafi’eeyyah made Qiyaas on this and said that the dog skin is also impure to use.

The Hanaabilah said that the hadeeth in Muslim were revealed in the early stage of Islaam but then later on it was abrogated.

Narrated Maimoonah radiAllaahu ‘anha: The Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed by a (dead) sheep which some people were dragging. He told them, “If you had taken its hide (it would be better).” They said, “It is dead”. He said, “Water and the leaves of the Acacia tree will purify it.”
[Aboo Dawood and an-Nasaa’ee]

In another wording, the Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was reported to have said, “What has been prohibited is eating its flesh”.

The Hanaabilah say that all of these ahaadeeth are abrogated and they refer to the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Ukaym as the one that abrogated those hadeeths.

Firstly, the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Ukaym is not strong in its isnaad, and furthermore, the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim are stronger than that hadeeth in isnaad.

One of the conditions for reconciliation by abrogation is that two contradictory reports be equal in strength.

Secondly, the other scholars say that even if the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Ukaym is authentic, then the answer is that in the ‘Arabic language, the word `Eehaab refers to a skin before the process of tanning, and after it has been tanned it’s called Shann or Qalk. The Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used the word `Eehaab (i.e. skin before it was tanned) and the other hadeeth mention the skin that has been tanned.

It may now be said that the skin of animals that has been tanned may be used. There still remains the issue whether the skin of certain animals is permissible to use or not.

Some of the scholars who say that only the skin of animals that are pure when alive may be used say that when the Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that tanning makes the skin pure, he was alluding to the fact that the animal was pure before it died, then it became impure (due to natural death) and then it became pure again after tanning.

According to the Hanaabilah anything is the size of a cat or smaller than it is taahir. So using this principle the cat skin that has been tanned is taahir (according to the Hanaabilah).

As stated in his text, Imaam ibn Qudaamah is of the opinion that no skin is permissible for use.

With regards to using the tanned skin of the animal that was permissible to eat (when alive) we may refer to the following hadeeth.

Salamah bin al Muhbiq narrated, that the Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during the Battle of Tabook, asked a woman for some water and she replied that the only water that she had was in a water-skin made from the hide of an animal that was not properly slaughtered. To this the Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Didn’t you tan it?” When she replied that she had, he said: “Tanning it is as slaughtering it.”
[Musnaad Imaam Ahmed]

What makes the meat of an animal halaal is its slaughtering; likewise what makes skin of that dead animal halaal is its tanning.

If one were to slaughter a dog etc., its flesh would not be halaal, likewise tanning its skin does not make it permissible to use.

This is the position of Shaikh al-Islaam ibn Taymeeyyah, ibn ‘Uthaymeen and others, rahimahumAllaah and this seems to be the strongest opinion.

Narrated Aboo Hurairah radiAllaahu ‘anhu that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every animal that has fangs is haraam.”

Abu Tha’labah al-Khashani (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade the eating of every carnivorous animal that has fangs.”
[Agreed upon]

The Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was referring to the predatory animals (including the birds with the exception of that which lives in water). Other animals that are generally detestable such as rats are not allowed. Cats are not permissible to eat either.

The Hanaabilah who hold the opinion that it is not permissible to use skin at all, even their opinion is only restricted to holding fluids, as for dry solids, they allowed it, since they held the belief that impurity does not travel in solids. So skin may be used as a bag or a saddle etc. Then again they would prohibit wearing it as an item of clothing.

وكذلك عظامها 28

Imaam ibn Qudaamah wrote, “Likewise their (every dead animal’s) bones (are impure).”

Some of the scholars made a distinction between the bones of animals that are permissible to eat and the bones of animals that are not permissible to eat, and gave the respective rulings.

Referring back to the hadeeth of Maymoonah radiAllaahu ‘anhaa, the Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that what has been prohibited is the eating of the flesh of the dead animal. So perhaps the usage of bones etc. are allowed. Although there are nerves around the bones, but there is no life in the actual bones.

Bones would be used for combs etc.

  • Purity/Impurity of the Dead Creatures

وكل ميتة نجسة لقوله سبحانه:(حرمت عليكم الميتة) إلا الآدمي29

وحيوان الماء الذي لا يعيش إلا فيه

Imaam ibn Qudaamah wrote, “And every dead animal is impure as Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’ala said, “Prohibited for you is al-Maytah (dead animals)” with the exception of human beings, and the sea creatures that do not live except in it (in the sea).”

The dead human is not naajis but the human form itself is sacred. As Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’ala said,

And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with At-Taiyibât (lawful good things), and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preference.
[Soorat al-`Israa (017:070)]

Are the organs of a dead human permitted to use? Is organ donation permissible?

A large number of scholars permitted the donation of organs of a person who is alive with the permission of the person. The issue is whether the organs of a dead person may be taken.

Narrated ‘Aaishah radiAllaahu ‘anha: Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Breaking a dead person’s bone is like breaking it when he is alive.”
[Aboo Dawood]

In these cases, the overall benefit may be greater than the harm that may be incurred.

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, rahimahullaah, was from the scholars who permitted the donation of organs even from a dead person.

With regards to the sea creatures, if the creature lives on both land and in the sea, then the ruling does not apply to it (i.e. this animal is impure).

Narrated Aboo Hurairah radiAllaahu ‘anhu: Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said regarding the sea, “It’s water is Tahoor (pure and purifying) and it’s dead (animals) are lawful (to eat).”
[“The Four”, Ibn Aboo Shaybah, Maalik, Shaafi’ee and Ahmed – Graded Saheeh by Ibn Khuzaymah, at-Tirmidhee and Al-Albaanee]

وما لا نفس له سائله إذا لم يكن متولداً من النجاسات 30

Imaam ibn Qudaamah wrote, “And (every animal is impure except) those insects that do not have blood that flows, as long as they are not found around najaasaat (filth) (or nourished from najaasaat) (such as flies in toilets etc.).”

Narrated Aboo Hurairah radiAllaahu ‘anhu: Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “If a fly falls in the drink of one of you, he should fully immerse it and then throw it away because there is a disease (poison) in one of its wings and cure in the other.”
[Saheeh Bukhaaree]

The Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would not command something that is impermissible, so the fly cannot be impure since it did not make the drink impure.

So if someone kills such an insect with their hand etc. then they do not have to wash their hands etc. to get rid of it (since it is not an impurity but it may be considered ‘dirty’).

  • Jallaalah Animals

If a halaal animal is known to have eaten impurities then this animal becomes impermissible to eat, unless one waits a certain period of time after which the animal becomes permissible to eat again. The animal is called ‘Jallaalah’ after it feeds on impurity.

Jallaalah chickens should be detained for three days and fed with pure food and water.



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