Handling of Pigs

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked if any limitations are placed on veterinarians handling pigs and other impure animals in connection with research or treatment.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Respected Shaykh,

My question is regarding the handling of pigs and other impure animals by a veterinarian.

I would like to know if Islam places any limitations upon veterinarians to study or treat pigs and dogs. The work includes, but is not limited to

  • Handling
  • Treating
  • Surgically operating
  • Dissecting
  • Performing tests
  • Performing Post Mortems, and
  • Studying the animals in general.

As a veterinarian, at times I am asked if it is acceptable in Islam, and I barely have an adequate response. I am a Hanafi, but I request the rulings of other madhabs as well, if possible.

Jazakum Allah ahsan al jaza.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Undertaking important medical research on pigs would be acceptable if you cannot reasonably use another animal or doing so would not fulfill the intended purpose. But many contemporary scholars are wary of permitting the treatment of pigs unless there is a clear need or benefit therein.

Of course, keep in mind that pigs are legally deemed to be essentially filthy, so you would need to avoid getting anything of the pig, including any moisture or hairs, on your body as much as possible. If affected by such matter, you can simply wash it away thoroughly afterwards.

Please note that dogs are not akin to pigs.

Please read the following: Can I Use Pig Parts and Is It Permissible to Use Boar for Any Purpose?

And Allah Most High knows best.

Tabraze Azam.

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


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