Items which contain animal by products.

Question:

Assalamu alaikum,

I live in a non-Muslim country.  Everything has animal ingredients in it.  For example plastics, leather, medicine, lotions, creams, shampoos, detergents,  brushes, paints, food containers, and lots more.  I feel like I need to inquire about every single thing, but that is not even possible, and even if its possible these things are almost impossible to avoid.  Even if I become extra cautious myself, I cant expect that from everyone around me.  Because of these things, I have waswasa that everything is filthy and worry that everything has animal fats (which is quite true), and this is causing me immense hardship.  Can you give rukhsa due to hardship living in non-Muslim land?  Can I assume tabdeel mahdiya for everything where the fat was used to make something else?  I cant inquire about everything, and even if I do, it is too difficult to avoid such things.

Sample links (I didnt even search for these things, but stumbled upon them):

1. http://www.vegansecret.com/sharing.cfm?pageMode=2&title=Animal%20Ingredients&subCatID=23

**Please read the subsection “Are you aware of the Animal Products Hidden in Our Everyday Lives”:

  1. http://www.eathalal.ca/2008/03/gelatin-in-paper-money.html
    3. http://www.eathalal.ca/2008/03/gelatin-in-stationary-carbon-free-copy.html

 

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

It is correct that animal by products are used in many items nowadays. While abstaining from these products may be challenging, especially for Muslims living in non-Muslim countries, it is not impossible, and by exercising precaution and courage, Allah Ta’ala will reward one greatly.

As far as those items which are edible, e.g. foods and medicines, and cosmetics, it is necessary to abstain from anything which contains animal ingredients. In most cases, this information can be obtained from the manufacturer, or one may contact a reliable halal authority. Animal free and Halal alternatives are available for most medicines, foodstuff, lotions etc.

Other than those items which are consumed or used on the body, for example plastics, paint etc. these are for external use. The use of such items is permissible and does not render one impure.

You may contact a local reliable Mufti for further assistance.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Arshad Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net