The relation between soap and human is as old as the history of culture. Soap has always been the part of civilized society in different shapes either in the shape of Soil collection or mixture of tree leaves and vegetables or mixture of ash and oils while, presently, it comes up with the unique blend of various chemical components, as it is known as liquid soap, beauty soap, toilet soaps and antibacterial soaps etc which is the dire need of each house. As per a careful estimate, about 6 billion people of the world use soap daily and this number is prominently increasing day by day.
But current chemical components and scientific developments have raised differnt questions about the Halal authenticity of soap and have evidently proved the involvement of non Halal ingredients i.e. Tallow extracted from the fat of swine, chemical from the haram animals’ flow “Satiric Acid” which is obtained from Lards and all this mixture and blending have distinguished between the division of Halal and haram. While in Islam the matter of Halal and Haram is not only confined to foods rather it is also applied on services (Islamic Banking, Islamic mode of businesses and Islamic Finance etc), clothes and tangible items such as Cosmetics, Soap and Paint etc. When man enters in the category of impurity by touching some haram animals and it becomes mandatory to have shower (Ghusal), then now would it be justified to take bath while using the soaps which is produced with chemicals from the ingredients obtained from same animals? Will his worship be accepted after using that soap?
Hence, it is needed that we should discriminate Halal and Haram in tangible (consumable) items along with food and services. We buy and adopt with joy the leather made imported items such as shoes and hand bags imported from Italy and other countries but do we ever think of the ingredients used in those products and the skin of the animal which was used in those products? Whether the Halal animals are utilized in those countries? If “No” then which animal’s skin was used as leather? Which chemicals are used in dying processing of towel that we use to clean the face. Is it obtained from swine’s Fat? Which chemicals are used in our paint industry etc? These are the matters of deep concentration that I leave on the readers who need to make the efforts to avoid haram a part of our life. The prime objective of this piece of writing is not to put the Muslims into the fear rather to highlight the issues caused by latest chemical evolutions. If we analyze the current volume of cosmetics industry globally which is about US $ 335 billion but share of Halal cosmetics is US $ 13 billion while our, Muslim, population is about 1.6 billion which is the 26% of whole world population, so, as per these figures, non-Halal cosmetics have more consumption in Muslim countries and the main reason behind it is the lack of awareness and no discrimination between Halal and haram in material items. May Allah (Subhana wa’a Taala’a) forgive us for the sins caused by lack of awareness and give us enough strength to avoid them in future (Aameen).
Halal Research Council (HRC), keeping in view the social, religious and professional responsibilities, inaugurated a specialized department for state of the art research in Soaps, Cosmetics, Dyeing and Paint Chemical to resolve the problems in these industries through in depth research to give a clean and purified society to the Muslim world.
(Muhammad Zubair Mughal is the Chief Executive Officer of Halal Research Council (HRC) and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)