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Are foods labeled suitable for vegetarians halal if they contain haraam ingredients?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftisays.com
If fatty acids, gelatin and other haraam ingrediants as well as those Emulsifiers which are haraam are present in food, which has the labelling for suitable for vegetarians, is this food halal?
Is Whey powder and Whey powder from milk halal?
Can you pass some information about a full list of haraam ingrediants which are regularly updated?
What’s the verdict on Flavourings and Colourings in food?
I’d appreciate it if you can answer ASAP.

A. 13/ March 2006:

Bismihi Subhanahu Wa-ta’ala Assalamooalaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Respected Sister or Brother

Hereunder is the response to your query subject to disclaimer:

1. A product which is ‘suitable for vegetarians’ does not necessarily make it suitable for a Muslim diet, though it is quite likely that it is. There are two issues which need to be understood:

the use of Animal Derivatives? Preservatives like E471, E472, E476 and other such constituents can be from a vegetarian, synthetic or animal source. So a ‘suitable for vegetarians’ emblem would ensure that these ingredients are suitable for Muslims since they can not be from any animal source. So, in most cases there is usually not anything to worry about.

The use of Alcohol as an ingredient? A ‘suitable for vegetarians’ product could have alcohol added to it but I have yet to find a bread product which contains added alcohol. Nevertheless, be careful with confectionary especially cakes, puddings etc. If alcohol is added then these would be declared in the ingredients panel in most cases.


So, to conclude a product which is ‘suitable for vegetarians’ should be free of animal sources as a rule, so only the alcohol content need be checked.

On the other hand if a product does not have the ‘Suitable for Vegetarians’ emblem, this does not automatically disqualify it for Muslim consumption. Ingredients like fish, and even battery eggs (according the Vegetarian Society, battery eggs are unsuitable) may make the product unsuitable for a vegetarian diet but of course we know that these are suitable for Muslims. We can not ascertain whether a product is Haraam or Halaal until these issues have been clarified.

2. Is Whey Rennet Haraam? (no!) http://gmwa.org.uk/foodguide2/viewquestion.php?foodqid=20&catID=1&compID=1

3. please check www.foodguide.org.uk regularly

4. Alcohol in Flavourings

Most food products nowadays contain some type of flavouring – natural, artificial, or a combination of both. Many of these flavourings contain alcohol, which is used as a carrier or solvent for the flavouring. The actual amount of alcohol in the finished food product may vary, but it is usually around 1% or less, as the alcohol evaporates during the production process. Items such as drinks and ice creams can contain a bit more, since no evaporation takes place. Such a small amount of alcohol is not required to be declared on the ingredients declaration on the packaging of the product.

The Foodguide follows the opinion of major contemporary Hanafi scholars including the venerable Mufti Yusuf Sacha of the UK (highly acclaimed foods expert) and Mufti Ashraf Usmani of Pakistan. The fatwa in our times is that synthetic alcohols (and all alcohol not sourced from dates and grapes) in foods and otherwise is pure (tahir), and permitted to use and consume on the conditions that:

(a) it is not used as an intoxicant;

(b) it is not used as intoxicants as used (i.e. for alcoholic consumption, even a little);

(c) it is not used in an amount that intoxicates;

(d) it is not used in vain (lahw).

Courtesy: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This is the view propounded by the Foodguide service and rest assured that it is of sound Hanafi scholarship. Nevertheless, if you are a follower of a Maz-hab (school of thought) apart from the Hanafi School or you prefer to refrain from such products then that is fine too. We will try to facilitate such persons by indicating which products are affected on this web-site as far as possible.

Related Reading:

Foods and internal: Vanillin

Wine Vinegar, Halaal?

Wa Alaykumussalaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh

(Mufti) Abdullah Patel
Halal Food Guide

Original Source Link

This answer was collected from MuftiSays.com, based in London (UK). It is one of the fruits of Darul Uloom London. Many ‘ulama are involved in answering the Q&A on the site, including: Shaikul Hadeeth Mufti Umar Farooq Sahib, Mufti Saifur Rahman Sahib, Mufti Abdullah Patel Sahib, Maulana Qamruz Zaman Sahib, Mufti Abu Bakr Karolia Sahib.

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