By Ir. Hendra Utama, Senior Auditor of LPPOM MUI
Lexically, bristle meaning is a short, stiff hair, fiber, etc (Webster’s Dictionary). So all hair, stiff fibers, will be termed as bristle in terms. Hair, a stiff beard, can be categorized as a bristle. Another example is that palm fibers or stiff pine leaves can be called bristle.
So, what is the application in the industrial world? In the industrial world, the bristle is indeed used as a brush maker or brush including a toothbrush. The bristle can be sourced from animal hair, plant fibers, or synthetic fibers such as nylon and silicon. Animal fur used can be sourced from pigs, goats, horses, or camels. Plant fibers that have also been used as brushes or brushes are fibers. Nylon is also a synthetic fiber that is commonly used for brushes or toothbrushes.
From the halal aspect of brush materials and brushes including toothbrushes derived from animal hair, it is a critical point. When the ingredients are pig bristle, they should not be used because any material originating from pigs are haram and unclean, both in dry and wet forms. In addition to the prohibition of the substance, the MUI fatwa said that whatever comes from pigs are haram for their use (al-intifa’) includes their fur.
But the problem is not all uses of brushes or toothbrushes can be recognized whether the brushes come from pig bristle or no. One information that can be seen as a marker that a brush comes from pig’s bristle is written as a product name such as “Boar Bristle Brush”.
However, brushes or toothbrushes are not always made of pigs bristle. There are several manufacturers using goat or camel hair or horses as a brush or nylon material. When there is no information on the source of the material, a simple method can be used at least. To ascertain whether or not made from animal hair, the method meant is by burning the material.
If it smells like burning hair or horns, it’s better to leave it. Material from plastic or coconut fiber does not emit such a distinctive odor if burned.