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Is Your Soap Unclean?

Imagine if  the body soap or hand soap that we use contains any material from swine. We should get another shower and re-wash our hands.

Eight years ago, that issue questioned by muslim experts. On the seminar “Washing Hands From Islam Point of View” held by Department of Health of Indonesia in Hotel Lumire, Jakarta, on Monday October 19, 2009, scholars and muslim intellectuals suggested that ‘halal’ or ‘haram’ label should be put on soaps.

“There should be a ‘halal’ or ‘haram’ label on soaps. We are concerned that there may be animal fat as one of main ingredients to produce soaps. The question is, are that fat came from ‘halal’ or ‘haram’ animal. If it were ‘halal’, did the animal slaughtered or not, because if it did not, it is considered as ‘haram’ because it is categorized as carcass, and in Islam, carcass is unclean,” said Dr. Ismawati Rais MA, expert of Islamic fiqih and lecture of Postgraduate in State Islamic University of Syarif Hidayatullah on that seminar.

Nowdays, manufacturer has responded the lawsuit. According to Vice Director of LPPOM—Institution which examine food, medicines, cosmetics—of Indonesian Ulema Panel (MUI—Majelis Ulama Indonesia), Dr. Muti Ariantawati, this time most of cleaning products has been certified as ‘halal’, such as hand soap and dishwash soap.

According to WordBook Encyclopedia (1998), the main ingredient of soaps are fat or oil, and alkaline. The problem is, that fat or oil could be extracted from animal,vegetable oil such as coconut oil or olive oil. While alkaline came from caustic soda (NaOH). Another ingredients are fragrances and colorings.

Body soap may contain only soap, or the mix of soap and syntethic sufcactant such as bleaches. Beside containing fragrance, body soap may contain germicide (anti-microbe).

Dr. Muti then said that soaps can be risky because of that animal ingredients. “If (soaps) contains element of haram animals (swine) or another animal that did not slaughtered in the manner of Islam, then the material considered unclean and can not be used.” Dr. Muti added that there are so many suspicious ingredients to produce soaps, especially the fat.

Alhamdulillah, nowdays there are more brand of soaps that has obtained halal certification. Among that familiar brands are Lifebuoy (white, pink, green, gold), Lux (moisturize, nourish, gentle, deep clean, balance) and Lux Mild (white, yellow, salmon). The former known as soaps for family, the latter as beauty soaps. The expiration date for both of the soaps produced by PT Unilever Indonesia is until end of May, 2003.

Beside the aforementioned brands, there is Medicare. The health soap packaged with yellow, green, blue and red plastic packaging that looks flashy. The manufacturer also put a piece of paper contains ingredients of soaps.

According to Top of Mind survey conducted by SWA and Frontier in 1999, soaps manufactured by Megasurya Mas stood at the big five. Mainly produced within Indonesian territory, this Medicare manufacturer also exported the porducts to Tanzania, Uni Arab Emirates, Laos, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Mongolia and Taiwan.

Another brand that also has obtained halal certification are Anita, OK Beauty Soap, Eve and Doll. Another brand called Harmony, a body soap with fruits fragrance.

On the list of cosmetics that has obtained halal certification issued by LPPOM MUI, there are another brand which are Bee & Flower and Baraka Black Seed Soap.

The mentioned products that has obtained halal certification is easy to find. So you do not have to worry anymore about the unclean products.


Halal Detergent

This Ramadhan, we have seen an excited advertising about detergent products called Total Almeera. This product highlight the halal thing as its tagline.

Dr. Muti said, the critical point to determine the cleanliness of detergent  product are the surfactant ingredients, that can be extracted from derivative of fat, enzyme, fatty acid and soap base which are derivative of fat, fragrance and solubilizer. There are concerns, as elaborated by Dr. Isnawati Rais, the clothes that we washed using the detergent may be unclean, instad of clean.

The breakthrough performed by Total Almeera as the pioneer of halal detergent now started to be followed by another manufacturer. They registered their products to be certified by LPPOM MUI. This is a good thing, Alhamdulillah.

this post also available in: idIndonesian