Can I Use Hog Bristle Brushes?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


Can I have a dispensation to use hog bristle brushes? I love doing this particular painting style since it enables people who are not artists to make beautiful paintings. Making these paintings helps me to feel joy in my life.

I have tried this unique painting technique (Bob Ross technique) with brushes not made of hog bristles. However, I’m not getting satisfactory results with my finished paintings. The ones I had made with the hog hair turned out beautiful; this was before I knew the Islamic ruling.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

As a general fiqh rule, it would not be permissible to use hog bristle brushes, as they are made of hog filaments. However, I understand painting is your hobby, and the best outcome will be using these types of brushes; some scholars have given dispensation if one considers a few things:

  • One does not find a suitable alternative, like brushes made of hair other than a pig (See link. 1 below)
  • Ensure the filth of the brush, i.e., filaments, is not touched by yourself, anyone, or any part of the house, in which case, you will have to wash the affected or touched area.

Below are some alternatives; you must continue finding a halal option, although dispensation might allow you.

The hair of the pig is also impure. If it is wet or if the hair is damp and the hair is combed, then the impurity would be passed over. This would require the hair to be washed to remove the impurity.  [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Animal Free Paintbrushes

Animal Friendly Artists Brushes (
The Best Alternatives To Bob Ross Brand Painting Supplies |

Check the other related link as well:
Is It Permissible to Use Brushes that Are Made of Animal Hair Other than Pig? – SeekersGuidance

The gist is that one should avoid this in Taqwa; one may allow God’s consciousness and dispensation with some considerations mentioned above.

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 within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching 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 UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.