Question: Is it valid to pray wearing fox fur?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
If it is not known that the animal (fox or any other edible animal) was Islamically slaughtered, then in the Shafi’i school, its hair, fur, or feathers would be filthy. This would obtain even if the fur were on a hide that had been tanned. (Minhaj al-Talibin, Nawawi)
This being the case, it would not be valid to pray to wear such items, and all prayers prayed wearing it would have to be made up.
However, the Hanafi, Maliki, and Hanbali schools do not deem the hair and fur of non-Islamically slaughtered animals filthy. (Al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuhu). Furthermore, many great Shafi’is such as Ibn al-Mundhir, Taqi al-Din al-Subki, and Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti held this same opinion, among many others. (al-Awsat, Ibn al-Mundhir; Fatawa al-Subki; al-Hawi lil-Fatawi, Suyuti) In fact, Imam al-Shafi’i himself had two opinions on the issue, both of which (arguably) have weight. (al-Majmu’, Nawawi; Rawdat al-Talibin, Nawawi)
This being the case, if one were to follow this alternative position with regards to one’s past prayers, it would be okay. If one is Shafi’i, one should be careful and stick to the official Shafi’i school for future prayers.
Imam al-Bayhaqi quotes one of the Early Muslims saying, ‘Whoever wants to do nothing and be nothing, let him see well to following [all sorts of] dispensations.’ (Shu’ab al-Iman, al-Bayhaqi)
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.