Are pig hair basting brushes allowed and pure enough for usage when making food?

Question

Are pig hair basting brushes allowed and pure enough for usage when making food?
  1. The status of pig hair
    1. The scholars differ regarding the impurity of pig hair. The majority of scholars – including the Hanafi, Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of jurisprudence – hold the view that the hair of a pig is impure due to its flesh being impure [al-Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah]. Allah said, “Say: I do not find, in what has been revealed to me, anything (out of the cattle under discussion) prohibited for anyone who eats it, unless it be carrion or blood that pours forth, or flesh of swine – because it is impure – or there be an animal slaughtered sinfully by invoking on it the name of someone other than Allah.” [Qur’an, 6:145]
  2. Pig bristle basting brushes
    1. Accordingly, pig bristles are considered impure. The impurity of the bristles would be transferred to other substances when wet [al-Shatiri, al-Yaqut al-Nafis]. If the brush is used for culinary purposes such as the basting of meat, or the like, it would render the meat impure and the consumption of impurities is haram [Qalyubi, Hashiyah ala Sharh al-Mahalli].
    2. There is a possibility, however, that the bristles may be covered with a pure coating. This possibility, unfortunately, does not carry any merit as the coating would have been rendered impure when it originally came in contact with the impure bristles.
  3. The status of those who have consumed such food
    1. Persons who may have consumed such food are excused. The legal maxim reads that forgetfulness and ignorance (when doing something prohibited) cancels out the sin (of that action) [Suyuti, al-Ashbah wa al-Naza’ir].
    2. In addition, the Maliki school holds that pig hair is pure and only that part of the hair which is in direct contact with the flesh is impure. According to them, when the hair is clipped and not plucked, it is pure and permissible to use. [al-Adawi, Hashiyah ala Sharh Mukhtasar al-Khalil]. Consequently, pig bristles are considered pure and would not contaminate that with which they come into contact.
    3. The Maliki school is only cited here as compensation for persons who have already consumed contaminated substances and not as an alternative view to be followed. The consumption of haram has a serious and lasting impact upon the soul and it is therefore preferred that one practices caution.

والله تعالى أعلم

And Allāh knows best

MJC (SA)

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