Why is Pigskin Leather Haram in Islam?
It’s a difficult task to recognise pigskin leather you don’t know what you’re looking for. For the fashion savvy in us, a little bit of leather can make all the difference in our outfit. However, the leather of said outfit could come from a variety of sources, be it synthetic, bovine, porcine or from the skin of many other animals.
As Muslims, it’s crucial that we recognise the characteristics of pigskin leather. No matter if you’re a pastel prince or a goth queen, the Quran states that Muslims are prohibited from eating and using any part of the pig (Surah al-Ma’idah 5:3) In other words, it is HARAM. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts.
Good news is that there are simple ways to tell if that leather suede shoes you’ve been eyeing on is made of pigskin leather or not.
What is Pigskin Leather Used For?
Pigskin leather have a variety of names; pig leather, pig suede, pork suede and peccary. It is highly renowned for suppleness and softness. Pigskin leather is pliable, comfortable and water resistant. The fibre structure of pigskin is loose, spongy and breathable. This makes it an ideal inner lining for shoes.
Pigskin leather also feels very light and it is not too warm. This makes it suitable for casual wears. The color of the leather is brighter compared to cow or lamb leather. However, it’s more fragile and easy to tear compared to cow or lamb leather. Plus, pigskin leather is actually cheaper compared to lamb leather because it is a by-product of the food industry.
In the fashion industry, pigskin leather is used to produce leather jackets, work gloves, wallets, bags and shoes.
3 Ways to Recognise Pigskin Leather
GENUINE PIGSKIN leather can be recognised by the 3-dots pattern of the hair pores on the surface. The 3-dot pattern is not neat, randomly scattered, slanting and see-through. The spots should appear knobby and grainy on the leather surface.
SYNTHETIC or FAKE PIGSKIN leather will also have the 3-dot pattern, but the dots will appear neat, well arranged and not see-through. Fake pigskin leather is artificially ingrained with the 3-dot pattern to make it look and feel like pigskin
Ask whether the leather is made of the POLYMER called POLYURETHANE. Polyurethane is known for its excellent quality and how similar it feels to genuine pigskin leather. It could even have the 3-dot pattern ingrained to make it look like pigskin leather.
In Malaysia, the stores will usually have a display of some sort to inform customers that the product is made from genuine pigskin leather. Sometimes they will wrap the products in plastic to protect Muslims from touching the pigskin.
But in some cases, they don’t do nothing. In that case, ask the store attendants if there are any products with pigskin in their store before shopping. And if you’re still unsure, it’s simply best to avoid buying the product.
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