Is animal rennet halaal?
Before delving into the ruling it has to be understood that Rennet is the enzyme which is generally extracted from the stomach lining of a calf. On the other hand, Infahah is the curdled milk which is obtained from a calf which is slaughtered a couple of hours after it drinks its mother’s milk.
Rennet that is extracted from the stomach of a calf that was slaughtered in accordance to Shariah, will be Halaal to consume. Thus, rennet extracted from pigs or from edible animals that are not slaughtered in accordance with Shar’ie requirements will not be Halaal to consume. Generally, the Ulama have taken Rennet and Infahah to be the same, however, after research was carried out by a senior Alim of this country he came to the conclusion that Rennet and Infahah are not the same. After this new research surfaced, we now hold the same view.
Thus, rennet extracted from edible animals that are not slaughtered in accordance to the Shariah, will not be permissible to consume. There is a difference of opinion regarding the substance called Infahah of animals that are not slaughtered according to Shariah between Imam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alaih) and his two students Sahibayn viz. Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad (Rahmatullahi Alaihima) who hold the view that the Infahah itself is Halaal but its consumption would be Haraam (unlawful) because of its contamination with moisture etc. found in the stomach of the animal which becomes impure upon death of the animal if not slaughtered in accordance to Shariah. However, if the Infahah is in solid form then it will possible to purify it by washing it, which will then be permissible to consume. If it is liquid form, it will not be possible to purify it and will remain impure. Imam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alaih) however, states that the liquids of the stomach do not become impure upon the death of the animal, therefore the Infahah of animals that are not slaughtered according to Shariah will be pure.
The official position of the Hanafi Mathab is the permissibility of Infahah extracted from even Ghiar Mathboohah (animals not slaughtered islamically). Therefore, if the Infahah is extracted from animals that are permissible to consume, the Infahah will be Halaal regardless if the animal is slaughtered in accordance to Shariah or not.
As for Rennet, it will only be Halaal if the animal is slaughtered according to the Shariah.
Checked and Approved By:
Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.
Nizaamul Fataawa in Vol.1 Pg.32-33
Hashiyatut Tahtawi Ala Dur Vol.1 Pg. 114
Hashyatut Tahtawi Ala Marakil Falah Pg.169
Shaami Vol.1 Pg.206
Is Rennet Halaal (Majlisul Ulama of South Africa)