Essays by the halaal foundation pakistan

Leather Products

When we talk about Halaal or Haraam, it is not just confined to meat or food; rather, the scope of Halaal and Haraam, permissible and impermissible, extends to many fields. Nowadays, Halaal has become a huge industry which includes food items, pharmaceuticals,

nutritional products, toiletries, cosmetics, clothing, etc.
In the same way, some services like packaging and distribution of food items, interest-free banking, Media, and travelling free from non-Shariah-compliant stuff are considered part of Halaal industry. But Shariah has its own terminology. For example, the term Halaal and Haraam are used for internally used stuff like food and other edible or oral materials while things used externally like cosmetics and garments are said to be pure or impure, and the above mentioned services are called permissible or impermissible.

One of the Shariah principles regarding clothing is that a Muslim should use pure (Taahir) clothes. For the implementation of this rule, it is necessary that whatever touches the human body should be free from any kind of impurity like pig leather or products coloured or polished with impure materials. From this point of view, leather products are worth considering. In this article, an analysis of the same products is being presented.

Use of Leather in Our Daily Life:

Different kinds of several products are made of leather which we use in our daily life such as shoes, belt, wallet, handbag, jacket, clothes, sofa, cover of the seats of vehicles and chairs, etc.
If a prayer is performed using impure leather products or clothes, it will not be valid. Apart from prayer, a Muslim is not allowed to use impure leather any time and in anyway.
Before describing the Shariah ruling on leather products in detail, some figures of leather production are being presented so that we may know which countries are dealing in hide and to what extent pig skin may be used for leather products.
In this article, for the purpose of brevity, statistics are confined only to the top ten countries which export leather or leather products.

Top 10 Exporters of Hide

Sr. No Country Hide exported in 2010 (In USD)
1 Australia 332,513,979$
2 Spain 137,494,673$
3 America 116,584,381$
4 England 104,161,036$
5 New Zealand 90,104,938$
6 South Africa 70,632,676$
7 Japan 68,644,916$
8 France 52,424,602$
9 Italy 48,031,185$
10 Hong Kong 32,423,174$


Top 10 Exporters of leather Products

Sr. No Country

Leather products exported in 2010

(In USD)
1 China 20,845,584,585$
2 Hong Kong 6,015,987,400$
3 Italy 4,993,086,588$
4 France 4,867,508,047$
5 Germany 1,653,739,994$
6 India 1,446,995,913$
7 America 1,209,976,523$
8 Belgium 1,139,325,686
9 Vietnam 856,880,056$
10 Netherlands 731,007,278$


Top 10 Producers of Pig

Sr. No Country

Production of pig in 2010

(Thousand ton)

Production of pig in 2011

(Thousand ton)
  China 51070  49500
  America 10186  10332
  Germany 5443  5598
  Spain 3369  3479
  Brazil 3195  3227
  France 2010  1998
  Russia 1920  1995
  Vietnam 1930  1960
  Poland 1741  1811
  Canada 1772  1770


Islamic Rulings on Leather Products in Detail:

  • Using skin of the pig and that of the human being are Haraam.

  • Products made of the leather of Islamically slaughtered Halaal animal are no doubt pure (Taahir).

  • If the hide of Haraam or dead animal is tanned, it becomes pure and its products are allowed for external use. Tanning here means to remove the impurity, odour and wetness from the hide by salt, chemical or other substances. However, pig hide can never be rendered pure by tanning.

  • If any Haraam animal is slaughtered according to Shariah, it is permissible to utilize its hide for external use because Islamic slaughtering renders its hide permissible for external use. However, pig hide can never be rendered pure by slaughtering. But it should be kept in mind that Haraam animals are not practically slaughtered for hide because whenever products are made of leather, it gets tanned during processing after which leather becomes pure. Therefore products made of the hide of Haraam animals except pig can be used even though they were not slaughtered because it is impossible to make products from hide without tanning it.

  • The skin to which tanning is not applicable will not be rendered pure by tanning such as the skin of blooded snake or mouse. However, scales of snakes and skin of non-blooded snakes are clean and can be used for external purpose.

Pure does not Mean Halaal Too

At the end it should be considered that if anything is pure and allowed for external use by Shariah, it does not mean that it is Halaal for oral use too. For example, soil is clean but not Halaal.
For clothes and leather products, it is enough to be clean. This cleanliness will render the product permissible for external use only and not for oral use. For oral or internal use, some more conditions are to be fulfilled such as if the hide is of Halaal animal and it is slaughtered according to Shariah, it will be Halaal too apart from being pure and can be used orally. On the contrary, the hide not from Halaal slaughtered animal, which after getting tanned or manufactured is pure and allowed by Shariah for external use, but it is not Halaal, which means it is not edible in view of Shariah.