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Question:

  1. Is eating machine slaughtered animals Halal if the mechanism that slaughters is operated by a Muslim who presses the button while using the name of Allah (SWT) and all other conditions are met (example knives are sharp, animals not slaughtered in front of other animals  etc…)
  2. Many of the foods we purchase from the grocery stores contain ingredients such as mono and di-glycerides as well as other ingredients that may be of animal “or” vegetable origin.
    1. If these ingredients are of animal origin are they Halal to eat? I have heard that because these ingredients are in their elemental form they no longer take the same rulings that “meat” products take. However, I have also heard that because they were originally derived from a “non-Halal” meat source they are not permissible to consume. May you please clarify?
    2. In the case that these ingredients are not permissible, what does one do about eating out such as at a restaurant or even more importantly at Muslim friends houses where they are not keeping track of the ingredients in their food? This is an important question because a huge amount of foods have ingredients such as mono and di-glycerides that “may” come from animals, and therefore, are commonly used by Muslims either un-intentionally or intentionally. At this point do you have to ask the family making the food? What happens if they don’t know? Many of the times the food labels state an ingredient such as mono or di-glycerides, but do not state the source (i.e. animal or plant). To what extent should we go in order to find out the source? If we do not know the source is this food permissible or not?
    3. There are many codes used in ingredients, especially candies, for example, RED 40, yellow 3, etc. are these derived from animal sources?
    4. Also, artificial flavours are added readily to products and we do not know what are in these “flavours”…sometimes we are told that some of these flavours contain non-halal ingredients, are these halal for us given that we do not know what is actually in them because the company does not specify the ingredients of the “artificial flavours?

In Sum, there is lack of information out there regarding the complete ingredients in a given food product and some of these ingredients are found in so many food products as mixing or preserving agents. What is the permissibility of these products and to what extent are we supposed to go to find out what these ingredients are and if we can eat them or not?

  1. Are we allowed to consume non slaughtered food (i.e. vegetables, grains, fish etc…) If a name other than that of Allah (SWT) is used on that food. I am asking because in some “vegetarian” Indian restaurants the owners are Hindu and may be using names of their false lords to “bless” their food. Can we eat at such restaurants? Can we eat such foods?
  2. Are we allowed to use alcohol based products on our body or clothing (ex. Colognes, perfumes, hand sanitizers etc…)? If we are allowed can we pray with these products on?

 

Answer:

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

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

  1. The Darul Iftaa is currently busy with a detailed research on the issue. Insha’Allah once the research is finished, it will be posted on Askimam website at : www.askimam.org
    1. If mono and dyglycerides are sourced from animals, then such ingredients will generally be impermissible to consume unless the animal was slaughtered according to Shari‘ī requisites. If the ingredients are sourced from vegetable or other non-animal sources then such ingredients will be permissible to consume.
    2. We should try our level best to only consume that food of which the wholesomeness and being halal is certain. If we doubt that the food at certain restaurant may not be halāl, then we should do whatever we can to find out about its ingredients. If for any reason you are unable to find out about the ingredients, then it is best to abstain. When you are invited to your Muslim friends, use discretion. If you are reasonably certain that the friend is muttaqi (cautious) about his consumption then reside your confidence in him and partake of the food. If you are doubtful about him, then accept the invitation and then politely excuse yourself from attending. In this case, use your wisdom to address the importance of halal food at a later appropriate occasion.
    3. We advise you to consult one of the halal food organizations like HMA (Halal Monitoring Association) (http://hma.jucanada.org/).  Since commercial and industrial practices differ from place to place, a local Canadian Halal Food organization will be more appropriate to answer your question. You may also check out http://www.eathalal.ca/.
    4. We are liable to do as much research as possible to make sure that what we eat is healthy, halal and wholesome for our physical and spiritual health. As the saying goes, “When in doubt, opt out”. If you are doubtful of any ingredient, then refrain from it until you have satisfactorily found out about its permissibility or impermissibility.
  2. The foods that are prepared in these restaurants are made to sell. Their prime motive is not “to be given to the gods”. Hence, as long as the ingredients are all halal, the food will be permissible to consume.
  3. The alcohol used in the Colognes, perfumes and sanitizers is not derived from dates and grapes (i.e khamr), hence it is permissible to use these products. Salah prayed with such a perfume will be valid.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Faisal bin Abdul Hameed,
Student Darul Iftaa
Montréal, Canada

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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