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Is it permissible to consume foods which contain bone char?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

It has recently been brought to my attention that sugar is processed through bone charcoal which has been derived from animal origins.

Now, this does not apply to all sugars, I have contacted a few companies such as ‘silver spoon’, ‘tate and tyle’, ‘billington’ and found that they do not use such a process. But since sugar is in almost all foods it is simply not possible to to enquire from every company about the source of thier sugar (which they themselves may not be aware of).  

So if you could please let me now what course of action to take because a few brothers I know have totally stopped all sugar related products, such as pasta, mayonnaise/sauces, pizza, bread, bakery, biscuits, cereals, juices etc.

We are urgently awaiting your response.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Bone char is a granular material produced by charring animal bones; the bones are heated to high temperatures (in the range of 400 to 500 °C).[1]It is primarily used for filtration and decolourisation.[2] Bone char is primarily made from cow bones.[3]

The usage of charred cow bones for sugar refining does not raise a shar‘ī issue as bones of halal animals are pure immaterial of the method of slaughtering.[4]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hisham Dawood

Student, Darul Iftaa
Chicago, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net


[1] See www.reade.com

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_char

[3] ibid

[4]

 وعصب الميتة وعظمها وقرنها وريشها وشعرها وصوفها وظلفها وكذا حافرها ومخلبها و كل ما لا تحله الحياة منها طاهر مطلقا إذا لم تكن عليها دسومة (حلبي صغير ص-٩٧، دار النشر العلمية)

كل ما يستباح من الحيوان في حال حياته بغير ذكاة، فحاله بعد الموت كهي قبله، وذلك لأنه لا يلحقه حكم الموت لأنه لو كان يلحقه حكم الموت لما حل له إلا بذكاة الأصل كاللحم وسائر أعضاء الحيوان، لما لحقه حكم الموت بموت الحيوان، لم يحله إلا الذكاة…ولهذه العلة نفسها قلنا فى الشعر والصوف والريش والقرن ونحوها أنها لا تكون ميتة بعد موت الحيوان (شرح مختصر الطحاوي ج-٧ ص-٢٩٦-٢٩٧، دار السراج)

 

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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