following article claims that Gelatin derived from pork ingredients is
halal due to a protein chemical change. The evidence in this article is
flawed, as we will discuss immediately following it.
[SalafiEducation] Re: Pork in Frito Lay-Chips and the 'asl of istihala |
As Salaam `Alaykum wa RahmatAllaah,
Concerning the issue of the pork in the frito-lays brand chips, more
research needs to be done as to whether it is changed from one form or
state to another. There is a fiqh principle known as istihala which
states, "Ruling upon an object is upon what it is named (what it is),
if the name (what it is) changes then so does the ruling."
This was principle was discussed in detail in a lecture by Shaykh
Muhammad Bazmool (hafidahullah) , Professor at Umm ul Qura Makkah,
based on a fatwa given by Shaykh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullah) on gelatin.
The principle is also discussed by Ibn Hazm (rahimahullah) , the
exponent of the Literalist school, in his manual Al Muhalla. As the
Shaykh so perfectly described it in his lecture, "We must be careful
when we call things haraam because it is a form of thulm (oppression) .
Scholars have said that it is worse that you make something
halaal to haraam rather than making something haraam to halaal. This
deen of Allaah has been made yusr (easy) let us not make it 'usr
I am not a scholar, nor do I like potato
chips (frito-lays or any other) but we should get a fatwa from the
`ulema on this before we make our own fatwa, because the enzymes used
in these frito-lays come from pork, but they could have changed over in
the chemical process to something entirely different, and so the ruling
would now be different. Wallahu Ta'ala 'Alim.
The following is the transcription of the lecture given by
Shaykh Muhammad Bazmool (hafidhahullah) :
The Fiqh Principle of Istihala – Changing from impure to pure
(Taken entirely from a dars given by Sh. Muhammad
Bazmool, Professor at Umm ul Qura Makkah translated by Moosa Richardson
and a fatwa given by Shaykh al-Albaani)
is when something becomes pure. It was najis (impure) but it is now
taahir (pure). A good example would be maitah (animal carcass): it is
najis, but should it be burned and become ashes, or decompose and
become earth, then it is taahir, it is no longer najis. This can happen
with dung or feces or whatever. Whenever something changes from one
property to another, then the ruling likewise changes.
Example: Let us say that someone uses the fat of a dead animal to make
soap. That fat is najis, but the chemical change that it was put
through makes it taahir.
Ibn Hazm put it concisely
when he said, "Ruling upon an object is upon what it is named (what it
is), if the name (what it is) changes then so does the ruling."
He also mentioned in his book of fiqh, Al-Muhalla: "If the quality of
the substance of naturally impure objects changes the name which was
given to it so that it is no more applicable to it and it is given a
new name which is given to a pure object, so it is no more an impure
thing. It becomes a new object, with a new rule."
Meaning that if the natural composition of a substance changes to
another substance of a different composition, so much so that you can
no longer call the new substance by the name of what it was-- ruling
upon that substance changes too.
(radyallahu anhum) used to eat a cheese that came from the land of the
disbelievers. In that cheese was a part of the calf which was
slaughtered by the disbelievers in a way that is not in accordance with
Islaam. The companions knew this, but they also knew that the
prohibition was upon the calf, what is directly from the calf, and what
could be properly called part of the calf; the ruling is not upon that
which you cannot identify as part of the calf nor is it called any
longer such-and-such part of the calf. This is called istihala.
Another proof from the Sunnah: The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa
sallam) forbade making vinegar out of wine, but he said that if you
should come across vinegar that has been made from wine then it is
The ruling is
upon what the object is, and not what it was. Wine is haraam; vinegar
is not, and before the wine became an intoxicant, it was halaal. Why?
Because it was fruit before that.
Allah says in
"And surely there is a lesson for you
in the cattle we give you to drink of what is in their bellies from
between the feces and blood, pure milk, wholesome to those who drink
Allah is putting forth an example for
us of how something pure can come from something impure.
And we can also use as proof something that we've already gone over.
The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said that when the hide of
maitah (the carrion) is tanned, then it is taahir. He (sallallahu
'alayhi wa sallam) gave us a method to purify something which was first
Let us examine things we are familiar
with: mono and diglycerides, whey, gluten, emulsifiers, gelatin, and
whatever else is on the international haraam list. These by-products
sometimes come from animals, pigs even, in which case the ruling on the
initial substances is that they are haraam. But the initial substances
(e.g. fat, marrow, cartilage, etc.) are put through chemical change so
that you no longer can even call it "pig fat" or "animal bone" or
"skin" or "cartilage", etc. because it is no longer that, hence it is
taahir, it is halaal.
What is gelatin? As Oxford
dictionary of science defines: "A colorless or pale yellow,
water-soluble protein obtained by boiling collagen with water and
evaporating the solution. It melts when water is added and dissolves in
hot water to form a solution that sets to a gel on cooling." (page 290)
Is this a chemical change or is this not a chemical
change? Is it protein any longer? No, it is not.
You are in disbelief so you ask, "But how can it be halaal when it came
from something haraam?"
Because of the proofs
mentioned above, the ruling is not based upon what it was, the ruling
is based upon what it is. A Hanafi scholar, Ibn Abedin gave the
example: "the swine which drowns in a salt lake and decomposes and
becomes salt itself, is now halaal."
Hanafi scholars go on to say: "salt is different from meat and bones.
If they become salt, they are salt."
To take the
salt example further: salt consists of sodium chloride (NaCl) when
together they are the halaal food known as salt, when separated they
make up two poisonous substances which are then haraam for consumption.
The ahnaaf (Hanafis) also use as an example the
human semen, saying that it is najis, then when it inseminates the egg
and becomes a blood clot it is still najis, but when it becomes flesh
it is no longer najis. And the ahnaaf are not the only ones who take
The examples are numerous and they
extend beyond food: Yesterday a man was kaafir and going towards Hell,
today he is Muslim, so what is the ruling upon him? It is based upon
what he is today.
We must be careful when we call
things haraam because it is a form of thulm (oppression) . Scholars
have said that it is worse that you make something halaal to haraam
rather than making something haraam to halaal. This deen Allah has made
yusr (easy) let us not make it 'usr (hard). Wallahu 'Alim.
End of Dars
the article in which it discusses
proofs for why
gelatin is believed to be permissible
These two things
are not similar: decomposing things that change into something later
... and putting pork into a big pot with other ingredients, stirring it
all up, and then baking it in an oven. How can it be halal to knowingly
eat any food in which one of the ingredients is pig or pig oil? It
doesn't go through a naturally occuring transformation like salt just
because it's been cooked. Sure, it may change from thin to thick, etc.
But the name of something isn't what matters. WHAT is in it, is what
haram. If it's no longer capable of causing intoxication, then it's not
haram. Intoxication is an effect of the food. Comparing this to pork is
like comparing apples and oranges. They don't compare. Pork is haram to
A REFRESHER ON THE HARM OF PORK
* Pork tapeworm infection: http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18494
Yes, it is
inconvenient to have to rule out several more store bought foods. But
since when was anything good or worthwhile in life easy?
It is related in al-Bukhari and Muslim that
the Prophet, sallallahu aleihi wa sallam, said: "The value of [one's]
deeds is determined by [one's] intentions; and thus for each shall be
according to his intentions."
Yes, this religion has been made easy for us. But that is no excuse to
do whatever we want. That means we are to pick the easy path when faced
with two or more HALAL choices.
LOOKING AT THE INGREDIENTS LABEL ON THE BOX
If a label on food from the USA
says LECITHIN, this is various oils from animals including pork. If,
however, the label says SOY LECITHIN, this is the oils from soy and
okay. Look on your labels. If it a box from the usa and it says GELATIN
or LECITHIN, do not eat it. Well, unless you don't care about those pig
tapeworm and other garbage from the pig possibly entering your body. Or
maybe you think Allah will just "understand" that it's okay because of
the inconvenience of having a diet different from the majority. In
Muslim countries, they usually do not use the pork oils when creating
gelatin and so they are usually ok to eat. You don't have to
use pork oil to create gelatin.
Ideally, one would contact the food manufacturers to determine the
ingredients for all the processed food we tend to eat. Or, baring time
constraints, one would rely on the Muslim organizations that have
already done the research for us.
Creating food called "gelatin", which isn't the same as something
becoming salt over a long natural process, is simply a cooking process.
Why would we want even a drop
of pork or the oils from pork ..... in our food? It's not like we're
starving or there is no alternative.
Using words like enzymes and proteins just
seems to complicate a very simple matter.
The motion of cooking something doesn't make it halal. If that were the
case, cook pig meat all by itself until the proteins and enzyme content
has changed (which is what happens when you cook food) and then eat it.
Even though the pig meat has gone through a chemical change, it is NOT
If you cook a slab of
pig meat, it also goes through a chemical protein change, but it is NOT
halal to eat. The fact that something results in a chemical protein
change IS IRRELEVANT.
some proof that SIMPLY COOKING FOOD can cause a chemical change:
|From "Cooking Eggs, Chicken and Pork"
Eggs, chicken and pork all
benefit from not being overcooked. Overcooked scrambled eggs will be
watery. Why? Well, when the eggs first set, they've reached a
temperature of about 145°F. They are ready to eat at this point. If the
temperature of the eggs rises further, to about 165°F, the
protein in the eggs undergoes a second chemical change which
results in a tighter protein matrix. This squeezes
water out of the eggs, resulting in tough watery eggs.
A similar process occurs in pork. When pork is
just done, it's at about 145°F as well. It is as tender as it will ever
be. If the temperature of the pork is allowed to rise over about 170°F,
water will be squeezed out of the pork, and the pork will toughen.
Unlike the ruined eggs, however, the pork can be brought back to
salvation. Heating to 185°F for an extended period of time results
in a third chemical change in the pork. This change affects
the interconnectedness of the individual strands of muscle constituting
the pork. The pork will break into pieces after heating this hot over a
long period of time. This is the fundamental goodness of Carolina
breast behaves much like pork in that it possesses a similar
set of three chemical changes that occur as it's cooked, at
similar temperatures. Another aspect of cooking to the second degree of
tender is that a smaller piece of meat is produced. Some pork will
shrink by as much as 50% during good pulled pork cooking.
APPLYING THE RULING
>From the article in question, it says, "The ruling is upon what
the object is, and not what it was."
Yes, that is correct. It is food with pig as one of the ingredients
when cooking. It is therefore not halal.
While someone may want to chide others for "making halal into haram,"
it should be noted that there are other valid differences of opinion in
which one of the opinions is that something is halal and the other
opinion is that something is haram. So, just picking the side of
"halal" doesn't always make a person to be on the right side of an
issue. One could equally argue that making something haram into halal
is a form of oppression, as it physically can harm the body and can
anger Allah if done. However, we would get nowhere.
We simply have to just discuss the point,
which is whether or not cooking food (resulting in a chemical change)
makes something haram into halal. If that were true, then we could just
cook pure pork meat and because it goes through a chemical change, we
would then believe it is ok to eat.
Please don't over-complicate a very simple directive. It's really quite
simple: don't ever eat a food that you believe contains or may contain
Allah is our Protector.
produced in the West, such as gelatin
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
For a great time now my community and I have been concerned with the
issue of foods such as Gelatin, mono and dyglycerides, pepsin and
rennetAll these thing are in our foods today and yet we do not know
what we can eat and the reason for each. PLease give me a very detailed
response that could end this trouble.
Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah has blessed His slaves by creating for
them all kinds of provision on earth, and He has permitted them to eat
from that which is halaal (permissible) and good; this includes very
many things, it is not limited. Allaah says (interpretation of the
mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow
not the footsteps of Shaytaan (Satan). Verily, he is to you an open
enemy.” [al-Baqarah 2:168]
Allaah forbids a limited number of foods, as He says (interpretation of
(O Muhammad): “I find not in that which has been revealed to me
anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it
be Maitah (a dead animal) or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the
like), or the flesh of swine (pork); for that surely, is impure or
impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a
sacrifice for others than Allaah (or has been slaughtered for idols, or
on which Allaah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering).”
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade the eating of every
carnivorous animal that has fangs, and every bird which has talons.
(Narrated by Muslim, 6/60)
he forbade the flesh of (domestic) donkeys (narrated by al-Mukhari in
al-Fath, no. 4215).
foods which are to be found nowadays, some of them are clearly haraam,
such as dead meat [from an animal which has died naturally as opposed
to being slaughtered properly] and pork. Some foods may contain
ingredients and derivatives which come from haraam sources, so we have
to find out where they come from so that we may know what the ruling is
concerning them. The gelatin which was mentioned in the question may
originate from the skin, muscles and bones of haraam animals such as
pigs. Hence gelatin which is derived from collagen which comes from
pigs is haraam, because it is as if the pig had been turned into salt.
The most correct view is that it is haraam even if it has been changed,
so long as it originally came from a pig, which is haraam.
The fats which are used in foods come either
from vegetable sources or animal sources.
If they come from vegetable sources they are halaal, so long as they
have not been mixed with anything that is impure (najjis) or anything
that could contaminate them. If they come from animal sources, they are
either from animals that we are permitted to eat or animals that we are
not permitted to eat.
come from an animal that we are permitted to eat, then they come under
the same ruling as the meat of that animal.
If they come from an animal which it is haraam
for us to eat – such as pigs – then we look at whether they are used in
foods or for other purposes.
If they are used for non-food purposes, e.g. many fats are used in
making soap, then there is a difference of scholarly opinion, but the
most correct view is that they are haraam.
If they are used in foods, e.g., pig fat (lard) is used in making
sweets and other foods, this is haraam.
With regard to cheese: if it is made from the milk of an animal which
we are not permitted to eat, then according to scholarly consensus it
is not permissible to eat it. If it is made from the milk of an animal
which we are permitted to eat, and it is known that it is made with
rennet that has been derived from an animal slaughtered according to
sharee’ah and it has not been mixed with any najaasah (impurity), then
it may be eaten.
If it was
made with rennet derived from dead meat, there is a difference of
scholarly opinion as to whether we may eat it, but the most correct
view is that it is haraam.
it was made with rennet from a source which is inherently naajis
(impure), such as rennet derived from pigs, then it should not be
See Ahkaam al-At’imah
fi’l-Sharee’ah al-Islamiyyah by al-Tareeqi, p. 482
In many cases these matters are unclear to the
Muslim (he does not know the source of food ingredients). In this case,
it is better to fear Allaah and be cautious. Avoiding doubtful things
may be preferable to using them in these circumstances, as stated in
the hadeeth narrated by al-Nu’maan ibn Basheer (may Allaah be pleased
with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) say – and al-Nu’maan pointed to his
ears – “That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is
plain, and between the two of them there are doubtful matters about
which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears
himself in regard to his religion and his honour, but he who falls into
doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd
who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every
king has a sanctuary, and truly Allaah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions.
Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it is sound, all
the body is sound and which, if it is corrupt, all of it will be
corrupt. Truly it is the heart.”
(Narrated by Muslim, 1599).
From the above we learn that the basic principle concerning food is
that it is halaal, apart from those things for which there is clear
evidence (daleel) that they are haraam, such as dead meat, blood,
animals sacrificed to other than Allaah and meat over which the name of
Allaah was not pronounced at the time of slaughter. Concerning the
foods mentioned in the question: if it is proven that they contain
ingredients derived from haraam sources, it is necessary to avoid them,
otherwise they need not be avoided. If you are not sure whether they
contain anything haraam or not – without being paranoid or succumbing
to the waswaas (insinuating whispers of the Shaytaan) – then it is
preferable to avoid them as a precaution out of fear of Allaah.
And Allaah knows best.
Action Items for the uttaqun:
Remember... Allah, subhana
watala, sees everything we do!