Eating wool and its derivatives

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
Translated by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher

What is the ruling of eating sheep wool and its derivatives?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

If the sheep was Islamically slaughtered, then its wool is pure, and it is permissible to eat pure substances that are not considered disgusting as long as they do not harm the body or mind, as explicitly stated [by al-Khatib al-Shirbini] in Mughni al-Muhtaj (4.306):

“Everything that is pure and does not cause harm is permissible to eat because of the Qur’anic verse, “Say, ‘Who has prohibited the beauty of Allah … ” (A`raf:32). The hide of unslaughtered animals that have been tanned, however, are not permissible to eat [h: even though they become pure by tanning] because of the generality of His Most High’s saying, “Unslaughtered dead animals are unlawful for you.” (Ma’idah:3). As for the hide of an [h: edible animal] that has been Islamically slaughtered, it is permissible to eat even if it has been tanned. [h: Pure] substances that are considered repulsive, such as phlegm and sperm are not permissible to eat because of their being repulsive.”

If the sheep died without being Islamically slaughtered, its wool is impure and cannot be purified, and is therefore not permissible to eat.

[Note:The default presumption on wool is that it is pure. Wool and its derivatives would therefore be permissible to eat unless one is certain that their source is a dead animal that was not Islamically slaughtered. Substances such as lanolin, which are derived from wool, are therefore considered pure and permissible to consume].

السؤال: ما حكم أكل صوف الأغنام وما اشتق منه ؟
الجواب : إن كان الغنمُ قد ذُكِّي ذكاةً شرعية فصوفه طاهر ، والطاهراتُ غير المستقذرة يحلُّ أكلُها ما لم تضرَّ بالبدن أو العقل كما صرح بذلك في “مغني المحتاج” (4/306) ونصه : ” ويحل أكلُ كلِّ طاهر لا ضررَ فيه ؛ لآية : ( قل من حرَّم زينة الله ) إلا جلد ميتة دبغ فلا يحل أكله لعموم قوله تعالى : ( حرمت عليكم الميتة ) ، أما جلدُ المذكاة فيحل أكله وإن دبغ، وإلا ما استقذر كالمخاط والمني لاستقذاره “. اهـ أما إن كان الغنمُ ميتةً فصوفه نجسٌ ولا يطهر فلا يحلُّ أكله حينئذٍ .

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