Assalamualaikum Dato’ Seri Mufti. I’ve painted almost 100% of my house with a brush that I feared may have been made from pig’s hair. Although I try to pretend that it is not so, but deep in my heart I think that it is made from this prohibited material after doing a search on the internet. I became anxious and starts to think whether now all my walls are considered impure and does all my family’s and my worship are invalid for we have physical contact with the said walls?
Hope for an explanation from Mufti, thank you.
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Allah SWT prohibit the Muslim ummah from benefitting from anything taken from swine. Allah SWT state in the Quran:
حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّـهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلَّا مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُوا بِالْأَزْلَامِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ ۗ
“Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah, and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience.”
Surah al-Maidah (3)
Ibnu Kathir commented on the above verse saying that the meaning of the flesh of swine is a general statement (aghlabiyyah), in fact, it includes all parts of swine even its fat. (Refer Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 2:36)
Besides, it was once said by the Prophet PBUH in a hadith:
إِنَّ الله وَرَسُولَهُ حَرَّمَ بَيْعَ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْتَةِ وَالْخِنْزِيرِ وَالْأَصْنَامِ، فَقِيلَ: يَا رَسُولَ الله، أَرَأَيْتَ شُحُومَ الْمَيْتَةِ، فَإِنَّهَا يُطْلَى بِهَا السُّفُنُ، وَيُدْهَنُ بِهَا الْجُلُودُ، وَيَسْتَصْبِحُ بِهَا النَّاسُ، فَقَالَ: لَا هُوَ حَرَامٌ، ثُمَّ قَالَ رَسُولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ: قَاتَلَ الله الْيَهُودَ إِنَّ الله لَمَّا حَرَّمَ شُحُومَهَا، جَمَلُوهُ، ثُمَّ بَاعُوهُ، فَأَكَلُوا ثَمَنَهُ
"Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, and His Messenger have forbidden the sale of alcohol, dead meat, pigs and idols." It was said to him: "O Messenger of Allah, what do you think of their fat of dead animals, for it is used to caulk ships, it is daubed on animal skins, and people use it to light their lamps?" He said: "No, it is unlawful." Then the Messenger of Allah said: "May Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, curse the Jews, for Allah forbade them the fat (of dead animals) but they rendered it, sold it, and consumed its price."
Sahih al-Bukhari (2082) and Sahih Muslim (2960)
Imam al-Nawawi also cited the consensus of scholars regarding the prohibition of eating any part of swine: “The Muslim ummah have agreed on the prohibition of fat, blood and any part of swine.” (Refer al-Majmu` Syarh al-Muhadzdzab, 9:5)
From the above evidences, it is clear to us that it is prohibited to use or benefit from any parts of swine. However, in exigent situations that could lead to death or great harm, it is permissible to benefit from swine according to the statement of Allah SWT:
إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ الله بِهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ الله غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
“He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit] - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
Surah al-Nahl (115)
Thus, the Islamic legal maxim state:
الضَّرُورَات تُبِيْحُ المَحْظُورَات
“Exigent situations make the impermissible permissible,”
Likewise, it is bound with another maxim which state:
الضَّرُورَةُ تُقَدَّر بِقَدَرِهَا
“Exigent situations are determined according to its degree,”
Coming back to the question asked, the issue is about the usage of paintbrush used to paint a house which is suspected to be made from swine’s hair. In this matter, whether the paintbrush is really made from swine’s hair is still uncertain. If the matter is still in the suspicion stage, then one should ignore his suspicions according to the maxim which states:
اليقين لا يزول بالشكّ
“Certainty is not abrogated by suspicion.”
The same is stated in another Islamic legal maxim:
اليقين لا يزول إلاَّ باليقين
“What has been determined through certainty will not be abrogated unless with another certainty,”
The reason is, dzan (assumption) does not affect a certainty. Allah SWT state:
وَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا
“…and indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all.”
Surah al-Najm (28)
Thus, don’t be too cautious and try to find out an uncertainty that would end up burdening us in the future. Allah SWT state in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ
“O you who have believed, do not ask about things which, if they are shown to you, will distress you.”
Surah al-Maidah (101)
However, it is best to replace the paintbrush with another paintbrush which is believed to be made from permissible materials to paint the rest of the house which has not been painted. The Prophet PBUH said:
دَعْ مَا يَرِيبُكَ إِلَى مَا لَا يَرِيبُكَ
“Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”
Sunan al-Tirmidzi (2442)
According to the above discussion, we would like to state that the walls that have been painted with a paint brush that is feared to be made from swine’s hair is just a suspicion or assumption where it is not a certainty proven with concrete proof. Thus, one should ignore and neglect his suspicions and believe with the original purity of it. Indeed, Allah SWT do not burden His slave from anything that He has commanded in His sanctions. Allah SWT state:
وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ ۚ
“…and (He) has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty.”
Surah al-Hajj (78)
May Allah SWT give us understanding and guidance in practising His commandments the best we could. Amin.