Halaal Gelatine – Should you know better? (Part 2)

This post is a follow on from here.

After some informative comments from a reader, Emre Metin, I’ve decided to highlight some of the things that he’s researched on the topic.

Emre referenced the following sources:

  1. Bazmool M. The Fiqh Principle of Istihala – Changing from impure to pure, (translated by Moosa Richardson and a fatwa given by Shaykh al-Albaani)
  2. Venien, A., & Levieux, D. Differentiation of bovine from porcine gelatins using polyclonal anti-peptide antibodies in indirect and competitive indirect ELISA. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2005;39:418–424.
  3. Zhang G, Liu T, Wang Q, Chen L, Lei J, Luo J, Ma G, Su Z. Mass spectrometric detection of marker peptides in tryptic digests of gelatin: A new method to differentiate between bovine and porcine gelatin Food Hydrocolloids,2009;23:2001-2007

The crux of the argument is summed up in the following statement from Emre:

According to Islam, when something changes its composition until it can not be related to its source, it is considered as a completely different material. This is called istihala.

The paper referenced above in [3], finds that it is possible to identify the source of Gelatin by looking for “marker peptides” that will point the source of the Gelatin as being either Bovine or Porcine. So, has the Gelatin then in face been changed in composition to the point that “it can not be related to its source” ?

Allah knows best. Let’s not deceive ourselves thinking we can deceive our Creator?

Halaal Gelatine – Should you know better?

In my opinion, the whole halaal gelatine issue is a sad reflection of how divided we are as Muslims. At the moment, there are 3 major Halaal “authorities” in South Africa, SANHA, MJC and NIHT.

SANHA approves only gelatine derived from Halaal animals as Halaal, while the other two certify gelatine derived from haraam animals as halaal. The reason given by MJC is that the gelatine undergoes significant change from its original state (bones) to make it irreversible.

My opinion is that this reason is dodgy and I seem to be in the minority on this one.

I have one question that no one at MJC / NIHT seem to have been asked. Why don’t they then certify gelatine derived from Pigs as halaal? Surely it undergoes the same process? Is there a difference between consuming a haraam cow and a pig? The hadith used to justify “significantly metamorphosed animals” mentions a donkey that dissolved into a salt-pan. Would NIHT/MJC certify gelatine derived from donkies halaal? (ok, that was more than one question)

Sounds dodgey to me.

Recipe: Carrot Cake


Recipe: Carrot Cake, originally uploaded by {joey}.


2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cup chopped peacan nuts
1 table spoon ground cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate
4 eggs

Beat sugar with eggs, add oil, carrots, nuts and remaining dry ingredients and beat together.

Bake @ 180 deg for 30 minutes or 20 minutes for cupcakes.

1 x 250g tub cream cheese
1 table spoon soft butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 cups icing sugar