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Many products nowadays use animal testing to determine the quality and effects of the product, or even whether or not it is safe for human use. This is especially prevalent with beauty and health products commonly available off the shelf.

If animal testing was used for these products, in such a way that it caused suffering or death to the animal involved, does that make the product itself haram?

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    Salam and Welcome to Islam.SE, we suggest you check out our help-center. We also recommend you look around this site to get used to how things work. Again we welcome :) – مجاهد Jul 17 '13 at 1:22
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    What do you mean die in a non-halal way? It literally means die in a not permissible way. Halal means allowed, or in the context of food, means food that is allowed. You are asking whether we are allowed to use products that are tested on animals, and whether leather products are permitted, maybe you can edit your question a bit. – user2350 Jul 17 '13 at 1:59
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TL;DR: This is hard to answer, and I doubt a simple yes/no answer is possible. I highlight three points:

  1. unofficial sources claim halal certification requires no animal testing;
  2. it's not clear what "tested on animals" means; and
  3. Malaysian halal certification documentation does not list animal testing as a condition.

Unofficial sources say halal certification requires no animal testing

Some unofficial sources write how halal certification requires no animal testing. Two examples are

  1. Global Islamic Finance Report 2013 (link), Chapter 13 (pdf), writes:

    Capitalising on the burgeoning halal cosmetic market, a number of cosmetic companies are beginning to develop this niche market by producing halal-certified product lines that contain no animal ingredients, and not tested on animals to meet the growing demand of consumers who simply want more assurance that the cosmetics they are using are healthy and sustainably sourced.

  2. Talk slides by Sarifah Rejab entitled Cosmetics and Natural Products Programme Research and Technology Division SIRIM Berhad (talk slides) lists "no animal testing involved" among the halal certification requirements (although they recognize that this is due to compliance to Asean Cosmetic Directives).

Other unofficial sources which make the claim are: Peta Asia (see also Peta: Animals in Islam), a The Economic Times article, and Iba Halal Care.


What does it even mean for a product to be "tested on animals"?

To determine the halal/haram status of cosmetics based on animal testing, we need a clear idea of what "tested on animals" means. But what does it mean?

  • If you buy a unit of some product, it's very unlikely that this individual unit was tested on animals.

  • Does it mean another unit of the product is actively being used for animal testing? What if it's no longer being tested on animals?

  • If the ingredients in a product have changed since it was tested on animals, is it still classed as "tested on animals"? How much do they need to change?

  • If product Y was developed using knowledge derived from testing product X on animals, is product Y classed as "tested on animals" too?

  • If a laboratory does widespread animal testing, but not on product X, is product X then okay?


Malaysian halal certification

The relevant section of the Malaysia Standard MS2200: 2008, Consumer Good – Section 1: Cosmetic and Personal Care – General Guidelines (available from here at the time of writing) states:

3.4 Halal cosmetic and personal care

Halal cosmetic and personal care products, including the accessories, are products permitted under Shariah law and fulfill the following conditions:

... b) do not comprise of or contain any parts or substances derived from animals forbidden to Muslims by Shariah law, to use or to consume or from halal animal which are not slaughtered according to Shariah law;

[The other items: a (human parts), c (najis), d (contaminated equipment), e (physically segregated from haram products), and f (not harm the consumer)]

Thus, animal testing was not listed in MS2200: 2008.

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