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Ruling Of Gelatin

Question

What is the Hukam of
gelatin for Hanafi and Shafiee

Answer

Gelatin or gelatine (from Latin: gelatus meaning “stiff”, “frozen”) is a translucent, colorless, brittle (when dry), flavorless solid substance, derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-products. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar way are called gelatinous. Gelatin is an irreversibly hydrolysed form of collagen, and is classified as a foodstuff. It is found in most gummy candies as well as other products such as marshmallows, gelatin dessert, and some ice cream, dip and yogurt. Household gelatin comes in the form of sheets, granules, or powder. Instant types can be added to the food as they are; others need to be soaked in water beforehand. Gelatin has E number E441. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin ) 

With regards to gelatin in the Hanafi Maz-hab, the following is an extract from our Darul Ifta Archives….

The term Bovine refers to beef; hence Bovine gelatine will imply gelatine that is obtained from the bones, skins, hides, splits, trimmings etc. of cattle.

As per its acceptability, the same ruling that is applicable to gelatine derived from animal origin will also be applicable to bovine gelatin.

The below mentioned are the rulings that apply to the acceptability or non-acceptability of gelatine derived from animal sources: –

1) If gelatin is manufactured from Halaal animals it will be Halaal for consumption with the proviso that the normal Halaal zabah (slaughtering) process was carried out. In other words, it must reasonably be established with High Probability/Strong Presumption (غالب الظن) that such gelatin had indeed been produced from Halaal hides/sources.

2) If it is manufactured from Haraam animals such as pork, or from Halaal animals which were not slaughtered in accordance to the normal Halaal zabah process, then the consumption of such gelatin will be Haraam.

3) If it comes from a doubtful source, i.e. it could not be established with High probability that such gelatin has been produced from Halaal hides/sources, or one does not know with great certainty with regards to the source of gelatin used in a particular item then one should consider it as impermissible; hence one would be prohibited from consuming such an item. Yes, if one is in a Muslim country whose Muslim inhabitants are very particular in the matters of Halaal and Haraam, and there are no signs that indicate towards the unlawfulness of an item then one is permitted to consume thereof. It will not be permissible to consume items containing such gelatin from non-Muslim countries since there is a very high possibility of the presence of gelatin from Haraam sources and there is apparent reason to doubt the permissibility of such items, considering the fact that generally such gelatin would be manufactured by non-Muslims, who have no consideration of Halaal and Haraam.

It should be noted that at present gelatin is most widely obtained from collagen derived from beef or pork skin and bones. Furthermore, the raw material used in gelatin manufacture are mainly derived from animals which are not slaughtered in terms of Shariah. It would thus be advisable for one to strictly avoid the consumption of items containing animal-originated gelatin unless there is genuine verification signifying its permissibility.

4) Gelatin sourced from vegetables or extracted from any plant will be permissible to consume.

If you require advice in future as per the permissibility of consuming a product in particular we would advise you to contact the SANHA offices. 

Regarding the Hukam according to the Shafiee Madhab, we advise that you should contact a Shafiee Mufti or Darul-Ifta and obtain an answer from them, as we generally only issue rulings in accordance with the Hanafi Mazh-hab.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

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