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  1. Islamic Awakening


    Guidelines used by a Muslim family on avoiding non-halal swine –based soap products.

    The following notes are only in relation to avoiding swine material and not about the use of ethanol which is an alcohol and should be avoided.
    Something that ends in –OH is usually chemically an alcohol group but Muslim scholars have said it is ok to use some of these derivatives as they are not really alcohol an only contain the OH chemical group.
    It is possible if someone wants to completely avoid the OH group but it severely limits choices in Western countries as well as Muslims countries. Fatwas have been issued on the subject that state that derivatives of OH groups are fine to use as long as they are not ethanol or similar alcoholic compounds.

    Please note that it is always better to ere on the side of caution because in Western society, copious amounts of swine flesh are consumed and remaining haram “non-edible” swine material waste is used cheaply to produce constituents for foods/beauty products.
    Muslims have found that sometimes a local producer can make vegetarian based products but not label them clearly. In this case you will have to check the guidance on the website of that producer or call them and ask.
    We look on the ingredients of all beauty products to see that contain at least one of the following ingredients but does NOT contain Glycerine unless stated clearly that it is suitable for vegetarians. See below on Glycerine notes.
    • Sodium Cocoate,
    • Sodium Olivate,
    • Sodium Sunflowerate
    • Sodium Palm Kernelate (palm oil)
    • Sodium Palmate
    By looking at the list above a clear trend emerges that sodium is used to conjugate with vegetable constituents so you can simply use common sense/judgement and look for a Sodium conjugate with any plant product.
    PALM OIL CONTROVERSY: Muslims need to be aware that Palm Oil needs to be ethically sourced as there is some controversy about how it is extracted. Halal is about ethics/morals as much as avoiding undesirable constituents.
    Warning about “meat-derived” products
    Glycerine: Glycerine content in soap/beauty products is a bit like the old Gelatine story – these contents can be synthetic or vegetable related which is ok.
    Gelatine/Glycerine from beef excess could be deemed ok on an individual/personal basis but some will find the idea of rubbing animal fat/constituents on their face/bodies unappealing especially prior to Worship of Allah (Salah/Salat).
    The problem is that many commercial companies source Glycerine/Gelatine from excess swine (pig) remains and label there Gelatine as “meat-derived”. This may seem to the casual observer that it is likely to be beef-derived, but it is better to consider this as swine-derived in the absence of any conclusive positive statements that it is beef-derived or indeed synthetic/vegetable derived.

    The following commercially available products are not labelled halal but are ok for Vegans and vegetarians so they are good to use.

    • Original Source – vegan
    • Simple
    • Faith in nature
    • Co-op
    • Treacle Moon (tesco)

    In general, it is a pity but even Indian Hindus and Vegetarians take greater care to check products than Muslims. Could it be that all our Salah and Dua is not being accepted because of some of the haram things we rub our bodies in prior to Salah? It does beg the question.
    Despite the politics, it may be best for Muslims to stop shopping for soap/beauty products in large supermarkets and resort to Hindu or Vegetarian shops – better to swallow political pride than not have a prayer accepted by our creator!

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