Is Pig Gelatine Halal To Consume? Here's What Islamic Scholars Say

Following the furore over pig DNA in chocolate bars, Islamic scholars are now at loggerheads over whether food products using pig gelatine are considered halal.

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Recently, Cadbury Recalled Two Of Their Products In Malaysia After It Was Found To Contain Traces Of Pig DNA, Although Declared As Halal And Pork-Free

So, What Do The Muslim Scholars Have To Say About This?

According To Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Any Gelatine Or Pig Product Which Has Been Transformed Into Something Different Is Considered As Halal

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

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Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a world renowned scholar argued that such food is halal as gelatine is a pig product which has been transformed into something different.

In his website, Qaradawi said that when something which is deemed “dirty” is transformed into something “clean” - like pig products transformed into soap or gelatine - it is halal.

The View By Qaradawi, Who Heads The International Union Of Muslim Scholars, Is Supported By Former Perlis Mufti, Dr. Asri Zainul Abidin. The Transformation Process Is Known As Istihalah.

Istihalah is the transformation of the natural characteristics of a forbidden substance into another substance with a different name, properties or characteristics.

Former Perlis Mufti, Dr. Asri Zainul Abidin.

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“When something unclean has gone through a process and has lost its original characteristics it would not be judged through its original nature because it has truly changed,” he said, adding that the substance should be judged through its new characteristics.

"Simply explained; the changing in nature of a substance having gone through this particular process is referred to as istihalah,” he added.

However, The View Received A Backlash From Ustaz Kazim Elias Who Claimed That Anything Which Has Connection To Pigs Will Forever Be Haram

Ustaz Kazim Elias.

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“All four religious sects uphold to the fact that anything which has connection to pigs can’t be eaten as everything that goes into our body will be part of us."

“If the food is haram, hell is the place for us and if the food is halal then heaven is the place for us,” he said.

The Matter Was Then Further Explained By Dr. Asri Zainul Abidin, Adding With Some Examples

“Qaradawi, the European Fatwa Council and the Medical Fiqh Conference in Morocco in 1997 and others know that pigs are haram to consume, but what we are debating is when pig matter is transformed..."

"Bananas are halal. It does mean that a banana is unclean because the fertilizer was unclean," explained Dr. Asri.

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“The issue is not whether to eat a piece of fried pork or pork soup, but to eat chocolates or biscuits with traces of pig DNA due to ingredients of pig origin, which chemical nature has changed."

"Bananas are halal. It does mean that a banana is unclean because the fertilizer was unclean," explained Dr. Asri.

He added that the same can be said for Muslims in Singapore who drink New Water, which is water processed from sewerage - that is considered halal because it has been purified.

Meanwhile, Ustaz Zamihan Mat Zin Had Urged Action Against “Individuals Who Often Cause Controversy By Issuing Deviant Fatwas” Which Cause Muslims “Distress”

“We hope that scholars in this country stop acting smart and issuing statements that confuse Muslims. Things that are clearly haram should never be made halal."

Ustaz Zamihan Mat Zin.

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“According to scientists, pig matter does not change and cannot be cleansed using acid, hydrolysis or even sterilisation at high temperatures."

“Even if the matter changes, its status as filth remains until the end of the world,” he said, urging Muslims to trust the Islamic Development Department (JAKIM)'s halal certification.

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