Question: One of the ingredients of the British 5 pound note is tallow (beef fat). Explaining the permissibility of performing Salaat with such notes in one’s pocket, a Mufti In the U.K. mentioned as daleel the following three texts from the Kutub of Fiqh:
1) In Al-Fataawa Al-Hindiyyah it is mentioned that if one side of a double-folded cloth is najis (impure), then Salaat on the other side will be valid.
2) “If a woman kindles the tan-dur (an oven in the ground heated with coal or timber), then wipes the (sides of) the oven with a damp najis cloth, then bakes the bread in it, the bread will not be najis if the heat of the fire dries the (impure) moisture before the bread is placed in the oven”. No reference is given.
3) If the intestines of a dead goat are treated and a person performs Salaat with these intestines on him, the Salaat will be valid……” (Al-Bahrur Raaiq)
On the basis of these masaa-il, the Mufti inferred: “The note is kept in the pocket and the pocket is considered to be an inner lining of the cloth. The ruling is that if the inner layer is impure but the outer layer is pure then Salaat will still be valid.”
Please comment. Are the arguments of the Mufti valid?
Answer by Mujlisul Ulama:
All three arguments presented by the Mufti are invalid. While we agree that it is permissible to perform Salaat with such currency notes in one’s pocket, and that the Salaat is valid, we disagree with his dalai-il. The Mufti did not correctly apply his mind to the texts which he has adduced for his argument of permissibility.
Regarding the first quote from Fataawa Hindiyyah, the Mufti has not cited the full text. The full text stipulates that the doubly folded cloth must not be sewn. If the folded cloth is sewn into a single cloth, then performing Salaat on the other socalled clean side will not be valid. Only if the large cloth is not sewn, may the clean part be folded over the najis portion, or not even folded, but Salaat performed on the clean part. Then only will Salaat be valid.
The second error pertaining to this argument is that it is ludicrous to analogize the pocket in one’s trousers, etc. on the basis of a cloth or a musalla which is not attached to the body or which is not part of a garment on the body. Salaat will not be valid if the pocket is impure. The pocket is a portion of the trousers/kurtah. It is unlike the cloth used as a musalla.
The second citation pertaining to fire being a cleansing agent is not applicable to the tallow ingredient which is not eliminated by whatever melting process is employed. Melting an impure substance does not purify it. The haraam tallow exists as an ingredient. If it is totally eliminated, the intended benefit will not be acquired. It is very much present in the admixture of substances which go into the manufacture of the notes.
The third daleel from Bahrur Raa-iq has no relevance to the issue of the notes. Expulsion of moisture from haraam skins and other items which the Shariah categorizes as ‘skins’, e.g. intestines, bladder, etc., during the tanning and treatment process, renders the skins taahir. The skin is not destroyed or changed into another substance. Only the impurities are expelled from the skins, hence these skins are pure.
In the manufacture of the notes, the tallow is not eliminated. The whole of the tallow is impure. Assuming that the moisture from the tallow is expelled, then too the tallow will remain haraam.
The simple daleel for permissibility is the real need (dhuroorat). This principle obviates and makes unnecessary the lengthy labyrinthal arguments presented by the Mufti.