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How to Deal with a Possible Impure Leather in Car Interiors?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My question is about leather on the steering wheel and interior of my car. First of all I don’t know whether it is real leather or not and if so, if it is pigskin or not. In rainy days or snowy wheather, it gets wet and could transfer on to my clothes and so on. What should I do?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. I pray you’re well insha’Allah.

Most car interiors are made from cow hides, which after tanning become pure. If you are unsure about the source of leather, then the default ruling is that it is pure.

Pig Skin Car Interiors

Some companies do occasionally use leather made from pig skin, sometimes for full seating upholstery or in areas where embossment is desired (of logos or writing). Examples are Cinghalin and Prageplatte leather used by BMW, and the pig skin leather used in cars such as GMC’s NFL Sierra truck.

Pig skin leather can often be detected by its ‘dimples’ (sometimes indented and sometimes slightly raised like a basketball), ‘holes’ or visible pores, making the texture appear less smooth than cow hide. However, pig skin leather can also appear very smooth, especially if suede, and when used for embossing.

You can search the internet by the names of the examples given above to get an idea of what pig-skin commonly looks like.

Cautionary Measures and Solution

If you want to err on the side of caution, then you could always contact your car’s manufacturer and enquire about the source of the leather interior of your specific car model. If it does turn out to be pig skin leather, then simply buy some car seat covers which can be purchased for reasonable prices and still look presentable.

Related Posts:

Why Is It Permissible to Wear Leather Regardless of How the Animal Has Been Slaughtered?

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Would You Clarify What Is Impure Regarding Leather and Alcohol in the Hanafi School?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

1. Is wearing pig leather haram in the hanafi school?

2. Could you expand on the four conditions of the permissibility of using alcohol derived from sources other than Raisins, grapes or dates?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Pig Leather

1. Yes, it is impermissible to wear leather sourced from pigs because the Qur’an states that they are intrinsically filthy [6:45]. Hence, the pig cannot be consumed, nor can we derive benefit from any part of it.

Alcohol

2. With respect to the permitting conditions for non-wine alcohol, the first point refers to the alcohol in question actually being used as an intoxicant. The second refers to its being drunk in a manner in which alcohol is drunk, as this is an impermissible form of imitation. The third point is plain. And the fourth means to use it as corrupt people do, or for sinful purposes.

Please also see: Can We Use Deodorants, Creams, and Perfumes That Contain Alcohol?

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Why Is It Permissible to Wear Leather Regardless of How the Animal Has Been Slaughtered? [Shafi’i]

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

A non-muslim work colleague has asked me this question: Why is it permissible to wear leather regardless of how the animal has been slaughtered, but when it comes to eating it’s meat it must only be slaughtered in a halal manner?”

Answer: In the Name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate

Thank you for your question. May Allah grant you the best of states and guide you to what is pleasing to Him.

GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES & CONSUMING MEAT

As a general principle, the original ruling of all matters is permissibility until there is proof that they are prohibited.

Proof either comes explicitly from the Lawgiver through revelation and hadith, or through other factors, such as scholarly consensus or through qualified independent legal reasoning (ijtihad).

There are exceptions to this rule, which take on the opposite ruling. One of these is the consumption of meat. Here, the original ruling is prohibition and this is not lifted until there is proof that it becomes permissible to eat.

The permissibility to consume meat is achieved through ritual slaughter and hunting etc., with the conditions laid down by the Lawgiver. Only through this legislated method and its conditions does the meat become lawful for consumption. Otherwise, it remains prohibited.

ANIMAL HIDE

Not all animal hides are lawful to use straight away. Any part of an animal that has been not been ritually slaughtered is considered filth (najas), while every part of an animal which has been ritually slaughtered (and which the law accepts as permissible to eat) is considered pure (tahir).

Substances which are considered filth, remain as filth, unless there is proof from the Lawgiver that it is pure.

In regards the hide of an unslaughtered animal, which we stated is filth, the proof that it can be purified is found in the rigorously authenticated hadith, ‘If the hide is tanned then it has become pure’ [Muslim].

Therefore, if the hide of an unslaughtered animal is tanned, and the necessary conditions met, the skin of the animal becomes pure and available for use. Without this tanning process, it remains as filth and prohibitive to use.

This ruling excludes the hide of swine and dogs, which can never be purified, even through tanning. This is because, in contrast to other animals whose skins are pure when alive but only become filth through death (non-ritual), swine and dog hides are filth before and after death.

In conclusion, both consuming meat and wearing unslaughtered animal hide. e.g. leather, become permissible only after certain conditions are met. Otherwise they remain unlawful or impure.

I hope this clarifies the matter for your friend.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.