Perbincangan mengenai masalah istihalah, gelatin
Q90.Gelatine substance is normally made from the bones of a cow.
If it is taken from animals not slaughtered in the Islamic manner, with
the knowledge that it is not permissible to eat it, is it ruled to be
ritually pure for external usage?
Yes, because the bone is from the part in which life does not dwell;
therefore, it is ritually pure, even if it were from a dead (animal).
God knows best. (MMS, p. 36, Q75)
I read the questions and answers in the archives on whether gelatin is haraam
or halaal. The answers cited Imam Khoei (1989), but I would like to know what
the current Imam has to say about this. Also, do all moulanas/mujtahids etc.
agree on this solution (istahaza makes gelatin tahir) ?
I follow in my taqlid Sayyid Ali Khamenei. And I would like to know
what is the judge of gelatin, is it haram , halal, or shubuha ? and if
it is shubuha, if we got as a gift some food with gelatin, is it
better to eat it or to throw it away??
Afeedouna jazakum allah khayran
Since gelatin is normally taken from the bones of a cow, it can be consumed
even if the animal has not been slaughtered in an Islamic manner. This is
because the bone is a part of the body in which there is no life.
Ref. Contemporary Legal Rulings, Q 90.
With salaams and du'as
Gelatine - Beef / Fat
What is the ruling on Gelatin? Can gelatin derived from cows and pigs be
Answer RE: Gelatin
On the queston of gelatine, I am quoting what I have written in January 1989
in the Shama newsletter produced in Vancouver, BC. I have just added few
comments to further clarify the issue.
A. What is Gelatine?
Gelatine is an animal protein substance having gel-forming properties, and
is used primarily in food products. It is derived from collagen, a protein
found in animal skin and bone. This means that gelatine can be derived from
animal skin or animal bone.
B. The Basic Rule of the Shari`ah:
The shari`ah rule about animal skin differs from that of animal bone:
SKIN: Animal skin or anything made from it can be considered tahir
(pak) only if the animal had been slaughtered Islamically.
Consequently, the gelatine derived from animal skin would be
considered najis unless we know that the animal had been slaughtered
Islamically. [Those present-day mujtahids who consider the animal
slaughtered unIslamically as tahir but haram -- their opinion does not
affect this answer that much because in their opinion, even if that animal
skin is tahir, it is still haram for consumption by human beings.]
BONE: Animal bone is considered tahir even if the animal had not
been slaughtered Islamically. Bones have been exempted from the rule of
maytah [i.e., an animal slaughtered unIslamically or died by itself].
However, this does not include the bones of pigs and dogs. (See Minhaju
's-Salihiyn [vol. 1, p. 109 and vol. 2, p. 336] of the late Sayyid al-Khu`i
and al-`Urwatu 'l-Wuthqa, p. 20-21)
Consequently, the gelatine derived from animal bones (other than
pigs and dogs) is tahir even if the animal was not slaughtered Islamically.
C. The Practical Problem:
Having stated the above, we are faced with a practical problem: The
labels on food products do not specify whether the gelatine was derived from
animal skin or animal bones. So what should we do? Can we assume that it has
been derived from animal bones and consider it tahir or not?
When I sent this question to the late Ayatullah al-Khu`i in December
1989, he replied: "Yes, it can be considered tahir." This answer is based on
the shari`ah principle that if an item can originate from two sources: one
pak and other najis -- in cases of ambiguity, you can assume that it is pak.
D. Accepted that it is tahir; but is it also halal?
There are some people who would not be satisfied with the answer of
Ayatullah al-Khu`i and pose the following question: "Accepted that it is
tahir (pak); but is it halal for consumption as food item?" In my question
to Ayatullah al-Khu`i, I gave the example of cheese and sweets with
gelatine. It is quite obvious that I was asking the late marja` about eating
those items, and not just touching and feeling them!!!
However, to satisfy those who would like to see the words "halal and
religously eatable," I will quote a detailed answer of the Ayatullah
al-Khu`i to three questions sent to him from London.
Q. Is gelatine derived from dog or pig tahir?
Is gelatine derived from halal animals (like cows, goats, etc)
but not slaughtered according to shari`a tahir?
Is gelatine derived from non-halal animals other than dog or pig,
A. "If a najis or haram matter from any category whatsoever changes
into another than its original category, then it is considered tahir as long
as it did not come into contact with another source of najasat. And the rule
for gelatine in all the three cases is same as what we have mentioned above.
"But in case the gelatine does not change, then:
"If it is derived from parts of dogs and pigs or an animal which
feeds on human excrement and has not been quarantined, then it is haram
"Similarly, [it is haram and najis] if it is derived from those
parts of the maytah which are other than its bones.
"But if the gelatine is derived from the bones of other than dogs
and pigs, and has not become najis because of a secondary najasat, then it is
permissible to eat it and eat whatever has been mixed and submerged into
The last paragraph of Ayatullah al-Khu`i's answer fully supports
what I had written in Shama in Janaury 1989.
E. Issue of Istihalah in Gelatine:
In the first part of Ayatullah Khu'i's answer, he says: "If a najis
or haram matter from ANY CATEGORY whatsoever changes into another than its
original category, then it is considered tahir as long as it did not come
into contact with another source of najasat." This is based on the rule of
istihalah -- chemical change which makes a najis item tahir (mutahhirat).
To know if such a change occures in the final product known as
gelatine, we have to refer to the experts of food industry. After my article
was published, a brother from Minnesota, USA, was kind enough to send for me
a copy of an hand-out distributed by General Foods (the manufacturer of
Jell-o, the gelatin dessert). A paragraph in that hand-out, in my opinion,
clearly gives the expert's view about the chemical change (istihalah) which
takes place in manufacturing of gelatine. While reading the below quotation,
keep in mind that these people do not have the slightest clue about the
issue of istihalah in our shari`ah! It says:
"It is interesting to note that during manufacture of gelatin,
chemical changes take place so that, in the final gelatin product, the
composition and identity of the original material is completely eliminated.
Because of this, gelatin is not considered a meat food product by the United
States government. The plant is under supervision of the Federal Food and
Drug Admininstration. If the government considered gelatin a meat food
product, the plant would operate under the Meat Inspection Branch of the
Department of Agriculture." (From General Foods Corp. New York.)
If this is not istihalah, then what is it?
In final conclusion, all types of gelatine is tahir and halal
Question As-Salamu `alaykum! What do we do about processed foods that have ingredients that we are not sure of? For example, gelatin can be made from beef or pork. Other ingredients such as triglycerides can be made from vegetable or animal fats.
Answer Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Generally speaking, any food that a Muslim does not feel sure about it, it is better to avoid it. However, from the point of halal (lawful) and haram (unlawful), unless the item is clearly known to be haram, then it cannot be deemed haram.
The issue of gelatin has been investigated by many Muslim experts and many Muslim scholars have issued Fatwas saying that on the basis of the rule of istihalah (transformation) in the Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), gelatin has undergone certain chemical process that rendered it into a completely different substance. This is called in Fiqh a rule of istihalah where the thing may be haram in the beginning, but after undergoing some changes it can be transformed into a halal substance.
I am personally of the view that gelatin is halal. But, if you are not comfortable, you don't have to use it unless you make sure it does not come from pork.
Allah Almighty knows best
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