Using wool and plant fibers in making jewelry and prayer beads
Fatwa No: 308164

  • Fatwa Date:5-1-2016 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 25, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I have been Muslim for about ten months now, and I will soon be taking part in a ladies sales event in a local mosque environment with another sister. I graduated from university last year with a degree in Jewellery, and I want to enquire about the use of wool and recycled plant fibres to create jewellery and prayer beads. The type of fibres that I would like to use is sheep wool, camel wool, alpaca, rabbit wool, and goat wool, and by plant fibres, I mean banana fibres, linen, and flax. Would it be permissable to use these types of materials for prayer beads and jewellery? Thank you, and I hope to hear back from you soon. May Allaah reward you. Sister Fran

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

First of all, we praise Allaah for guiding you to the true faith; we implore Him to bless us and you with steadfastness on the straight path until the day that we shall meet Him. We advise you, dear Sister, to strive in inviting people to Islam so that they will be guided to the true religion, as you have been. Try to do your best in calling people to Allaah; verily, this is one of the greatest and most rewardable acts of worship. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allaah and does righteousness and says, "Indeed, I am of the Muslims."} [Quran 41:33] Striving to guide others to the straight path is one of the greatest righteous deeds that draw their doer closer to Allaah, as underlined in the authentic hadeeth that reads, “By Allaah, if one man is guided to the right path through you, it would be better for you than red camels (meaning the most valuable wealth).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

As for your question, there is no harm in using wool and animal hair in making jewelry and prayer beads as long as they belong to animals whose meat is lawful for consumption. The majority of the Muslim scholars maintained that it is permissible for the Muslim to avail himself of the wool, fur, and hair of the animals the flesh of which Muslims are allowed to consume, even if these animals were dead (the prohibition on the dead animal is explicitly in regards to eating it, not on using its fur, hair, or skin for other lawful purposes). The Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence reads:

The majority of the scholars from the Hanafi, Maaliki, and Hanbali schools of Fiqh held that the wool, hair, and fur of a dead animal are pure and that it is lawful for the Muslim to avail himself of them. This is the view adopted by Al-Hasan, Ibn Seereen, Saʻeed ibn Al-Musayyib, Ibraaheem An-Nakhaʻi, Al-Layth ibn Saʻd, Al-Awzaaʻi, Ibn Al-Munthir and others. They brought forth as evidence the verse that reads (what means): {... and from their wool, fur and hair is furnishing and enjoyment for a time.} [Quran 16:80] The permissibility in the verse is general without any distinction between the duly slaughtered animals and the dead animals. Moreover, the verse indicates reminding mankind of the great blessings that Allaah has conferred upon them; Allaah would not remind His slaves of His blessings bestowed upon them by making reference to impure things that are deemed unlawful for Muslims to avail themselves of. They also relied on the hadeeth on the dead animal, which reads, 'It is the eating (of the dead animal) that is prohibited...'

Also, there is no religious impediment to using plant fibers since they are ritually pure. In principle, all things are declared ritually pure unless proven otherwise by a sharee'ah ruling. Hence, it is lawful to use such fibers for lawful purposes.

Allaah knows best.

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