What is the Ruling on Modern Mass Market Inks?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


It is said that Modern mass-market inks are generally petroleum oil-based; they also contain glycerin from animal fat, bone chars, and gelatin to help bind the ink. Some inks even have beetle shellac (you guessed it, crushed beetles) to give it color. Does that mean you should avoid all ink products, such as packaging, food packaging, printed papers, books, etc. (basically hard to avoid altogether), as there is a possibility it can contain those ingredients derived from pigs or cows or others or would it be classed as a chemical change but I am unsure if it does change, the gelatin, animal fat, etc.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health.

It is permissible to use all kinds of ink, either because of chemical change (Istihala), usage of synthetic alcohol, which is not derived from dates and grapes, widespread predicament (‘Umum al-Balwa), or because we don’t consider their ingredients to be filthy. Rest assured; it would be fine to use and touch any type of ink available. [Taqi Usmani, Takmila al-Fath al-Mulhim]


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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.