The PJ Tatler

Halal or Haram? Turkey Fatwa Weighs in on Toilet Paper

Turkey’s Diyanet, or Directorate of Religious Affairs, issued a fatwa on the use of toilet paper, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

The verdict? It’s permissible if you need it, but haram if water is your first option for lavatory cleansing.

“If water cannot be found for cleansing, other cleaning materials can be used. Even though some sources deem paper to be unsuitable as a cleaning material, as it is an apparatus for writing, there is no problem in using toilet paper,” the statement said in part.

Some manufacturers have marketed halal toilet paper in Muslim regions, as noted in this recent Malaysian op-ed:

The other day, I went to a store to get a packet of toilet paper and was shocked to read “Halal, recognised by Jakim Malaysia” on its packaging.

Wow, even toilet paper is certified halal nowadays!

What’s next? Halal tampons and condoms?

As a Muslim myself, I understand the sensitivity of Muslims regarding halal products. Yes, we want to ensure foods and products we consume are prepared and cooked in accordance to Islamic rules and regulations.

…At times I feel we are taking this halal thingy a little bit too far.

I remember going to a Halal Expo a couple of years ago. I was pretty interested in one of the booths at the expo, promoting real estate.

“Halal Homes.”

I was amused and had to ask the consultant at the booth what it meant to have a halal home.

“A housing area which is built on halal land, using quality products and situated in a good location, far from haram activities such as factories producing haram goods and pig farms” – that’s more or less how he described it to me.

According to him, a halal certificate will be issued to the house buyers to certify the home is halal.

The global market for halal products is $547 billion a year, according to writer Fa Abdul.