A local Muslim authority, who last year banned the hair straightening treatment as haraam, has now changed their minds, urging Muslim women to “rather err on the side of caution”.
“The prudent advice in Islam is to leave out when in doubt,” the SA National Halaal Authority (Sanha) said this week.
Last June, Sanha probed whether hair product Brasil Cacau infringed on religious requirements of mandatory ablution rituals in Islam.
The question was whether the Brazilian treatment sealed the hair follicle, preventing water from soaking in.
Sanha found that it did and caused an outcry when it banned the use of the hair treatment shortly before Eid.
However, Sanha spokesperson, Ebi Lockhat, on Wednesday said the authority had examined information and studies and had “unfortunately” found conflicting views on this matter.
The Muslim Judicial Council last year declared Brazilians halaal to use for Muslims.
Lockhat said: “In considering the information and giving precedence to the principle that the purification and five daily obligatory prayers, which are central to the faith, must not be compromised over a cosmetic consideration as opposed to a life-threatening medical condition, Sanha advises its constituents to exercise caution.
“The prudent advice in Islam is to leave out when in doubt. While we are aware that there may exist other views to the contrary, we believe that we should rather err on the side of caution.”
Distributor Inoar ran tests last year on different kinds of hair using its Brazilian keratin treatments, which showed that water does penetrate the follicle.
Inoar’s Hendrien Kruger said Sanha had contacted the company about whether its products were halaal.
“What this means is that Muslim women who undergo Inoar professional Brazilian keratin treatments can rest assured that the procedure is halaal and doesn’t impinge on religious cleansing or participation in worship,” Kruger told the Cape Times.
“The report revealed that the flow of water into untreated hair strands (known as virgin hair) versus strands straightened with glyoxylic acid (present in our Brazilian keratin treatments) is very similar,” he said.
Acting president of the MJC, Sheikh Riad Fataar, said the council respected differences in opinions based on research.