kjkkvould you please comment on the contents of the following article which is by the late Shaykh Darsh who was an Azhari Hanafi..... would you consider his fatwa mainstream or valid to follow?
Alcohols Derivatives in Foods
By: Dr. S. M. ad-Darsh
with a preface by M. Afifi al-Akiti
"Eat and drink, yet do not overdo things; Allah does not love the extravagant." (7:31)
When dealing with the change of state for a particular chemical element for instance, it should be referred to a specialist in the field of food chemistry. This is important so that they can verify whether the change remains in its original state in the final product or whether it undergoes significant chemical changes causing it to loose its original properties. According to the Hanafi school, if there is no significant chemical change, the consumption is prohibited. (Ibn Abidin, Fataawa 1/217)
As far as the Fiqh rule is concerned: "All Fuqaha have agreed unanimously that if alcohol changes into vinegar by itself, it is Halal for consumption." (Ibn Rushd, Bidayat al-Mujtahid 1/461)
What they disagreed on is about the change that is resulted by an action from humans such as heating the alcohol or putting salt or other chemicals.
"If the alcohol is transformed after the chemical process resulted through human action and does not remain as alcohol then in such circumstances, the Hanafi and some of the Maliki Fuqaha have agreed that it's usage and consumption is permissible. They sight the case where wine turns into vinegar loosing all its former properties thus making it permissible for Muslims to use because there is a change in the state of wine. But the view from the Shafi'i and the Hanbal schools are of the opinion that vinegar made from alcohol is prohibited and there is no change in its impurity. Furthermore we are ordered to keep away from alcohol."
(al-Zuhayli, Fiqh al-Islam wa Adillatuh 7/4)
The Hanafi school uses the argument citing the case of tanning an impure skin makes it pure as is clear in the Hadith:
"Tanning removes its impurity." (Related by an-Nasa'i, at-Tirmidh, Ibn Majah & al-Hakim)
The action of tanning the skin is to purify it and this makes it better and so any action which makes things better is permissible (Mubah). The Qiyas (analogy) is applied here to mean that the change from alcohol to vinegar is to make it better and thus permissible. Furthermore when alcohol changes into vinegar, the substance goes through such a significant change that it retains no properties of its former state and differ completely in application. The Hanafi school states that when alcohol changes completely into vinegar, its surrounding and vessels become pure as well. They also support their argument with Ahadith such as:
Umm Salamah reported that the Prophet (s.A.w.) said:
"Tanning makes it Halal just as alcohol is changed into vinegar."
(Related by ad-Daraqutni)
Jabir Ibn Abdullah reported that Prophet (s.A.w.) said:
"The best vinegar is from alcohol." (Related by al-Bayhaq)
(Refer to Tabyin al-Haqa'iq 6/48; al-Durr al-Mukhtar 5/320; Nasb al-Rayah 1/119 & 5/311)
The Shafi'i and the Hanbal schools points out that we are ordered to keep away from alcohol. To use alcohol will then give rise to the value of alcohol in the market. Accordingly, this is going against the general command of abstaining from alcohol. They present the Hadith of:
Abu Talhah reported that he asked the Prophet (s.A.w.) about orphans who had inherited wine and the Prophet (s.A.w.) said, "Pour it out." He asked if he might not make vinegar of it and he told him he must not.
(Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud & at-Tirmidhi)
"This Hadith clearly shows the prohibition. If this action is to make it better, and that if the Shara' allows such action, why did the Prophet (s.A.w.) ordered him to pour it out, particularly when this involves the property of the orphans, which according to the Shari'ah, is prohibited to be damaged or to be wasted."
(Al-Ashribah lit al-Mausuah al-Fiqhiyyah; al-Zuhayli, Fiqh al-Islam wa Adillatuh 7/4)
It is clear if one follows the opinion of the Shafi'i and the Hanbal schools, the usage of alcohol in any cooking, regardless whether the alcohol has evaporated or whether the alcohol causes any intoxication renders the food to be Haram. On the other hand, the Hanafi and some of the Maliki schools sanction the use of alcohol provided that it has undergone complete chemical change. Included is a letter from Shaykh ad-Darsh about the Fiqh position regarding the chemical change, for example in additives. Ad-Darsh intended to present the strongest view (Rajih) regarding this issue.
May this be of benefit.
M. Afifi al-Akiti,
Belfast, 25 June 1996.
Additives are chemical elements. They are no more considered as the original material from which they are derived. The Fiqh rule is: "any change in the substance entails change in the rule". This is the answer I give to those who enquire about what foods today are Halal. Many try to argue that any additive which contains an element of Haram makes a food itself Haram, based on the Hadith,
"Any flesh grows out of suht (unlawful food) will not enter Paradise".
But there are two aspects to this: first, suht means unlawful. Ibn Mas'ud explained this word which is recorded in chapter 5 verse 42 of Tafseer Ibn Kathir as meaning "one who takes bribes". Thus, Ibn Kathir first explained suht generally as anything unlawful or derived from unlawful means. Second, this Hadith is weak, (Kashful Khafa vol.2 page 176).
The Hanafi Position:
Going to the substance of the letter. The purity of an additive is based upon the principle described (the change of the nature of the substance). In vol.1, page 314, Hashiya Ibn Abidin, Radd al Mukhtar Ala ad-Durr al Mukhtar, a standard Hanafi Fiqh text book, written by Muhammad Ala' ad-Deen Al-Hasafki, there are more than thirty purifying things mentioned by Al-Hasafki (rendered into a poetry form to make it easy to memorise). In one line he said, "and change of substance".
Ibn Abidin said,
"the swine which drowns in a salt lake, after decomposition, becomes salt and thus Halal". Ibn Abidin based his comments on the saying of Al Hasafki regarding the manufacturing of vinegar made from wine. "According to the principle of change of substance, vinegar made of wine is lawful". He then went on to say, "Vinegar made by mixing wine with water, according to the correct (Rajih) opinion, is pure"
One page 315, Al Hasafki has said that "soap made from impure oil is pure and can be used. Ibn Abidin, commenting on this said, "This is an example of change of substance". He then went on to quote a statement issued by Al Mujtaba which reinforced Al Hasafki's view that pure soap could be derived from oil that was not pure. A similar position was reflected by Muhammad Ibn Hasan Shaybani, the second great pupil of Abu Hanifah.
According to Ibn Abidin, the fat of a dead animal, used to make soap is subject to the same conditions. The expression used was impure (najas) as opposed to 'mutanajjis' which means to make impure. However, oil is usually used in preference to other fatty substances. However, reading Al Munyah, I found an explanation which supports the first view. He states,
"If a man or dog falls into the container in which soap is being made, it remains pure".
Ibn Abidin goes on to say, "Know that a compound is deemed pure, according to Muhammad Ibn Hasan, from the rule which allows for change of substance". In addition, he adds that any product or substance, not only soap, can also be judged pure on account of its widespread use.
One page 326, on the subject of change of substance, as if to reinforce the point, al Hasafki says that dust and smoke particles rising from burnt human or animal excrement cannot be judged impure. If it were, he says, then we would be forbidden to eat bread baked on fires in which such impurities were used as fuel. The same can be said for salt filtered from animal contaminated lakes.
This, concludes Ibn Abidin, is how any product or substance is judged to be pure or otherwise. Muhammad Ad-Dakhira, Al Muhit and Abu Hanifah are all of the same opinion. Other Fuqaha choose to follow this ruling as well. This is the chosen rule for the Shari'ah ruled that these things were impure in their nature. The reality of a thing changes with the change of some of its implied parts, not to mention all of them. Salt is totally different from meat and bones. If they become salt, they are salt. What is similar to that in the Shari'ah is the life-germ (sperm), the beginning of human life. From a Hanafi point of view it is impure, then it is turned into a clot (Alaqah), it is still impure, then it becomes a lump of flesh (Muzqah) and at this point it becomes pure. The same goes for wine juice. It is pure, when it becomes wine it becomes impure, but when it turns to vinegar, it becomes pure. This is as far as the Hanafi school is concerned.
The Hanbal Position:
The Hanbal school's attitude is quite different. In al Mughni by Ibn Qudamah, a Hanbal standard book, in the book of purity, section on utensils, he writes: "No impure thing could turn into pure as a result of the change in its substance except wine when it changes by itself into vinegar".
But it could be deduced that all impure things become pure as a result of the change of its nature, analogous (Qiyas) to the change of wine to vinegar is pure, the skin of a dead animal when tanned and the domestic, edible birds and animals which eat excretion.
The Literalist (Zahiri) Position:
According to the Literalist School: Ibn Hazm, the exponent of the Literalist school wrote in his manual (Al Muhalla) volume 1, page 166, problem no.132:
"If the excretion of the animal is burnt down or changed and becomes ashes or dust, all that becomes pure and can be used for Tayammum (earth purification). The proof of that is the fact that rules are in accordance with what Allah Most High, has ruled regarding the objects in what the object is named. If the name of the object is changed or dropped, the previous rule is dropped as well. It is something different from that which Allah has named".
As such, excretion is different from dust, as it is different from ashes. The same thing with wine which is different from vinegar and human being is different from the blood from which he is created. The dead thing is different from dust or ashes.
In page 178, he goes on to say:
"If the quality of the substance of naturally impure object changes the name which was given to it so that it is no more applicable to it and it is given a new name which is given to a pure object, so it is no more an impure thing. It becomes a new object, with a new rule. The same thing is true of a pure thing changing into impure thing such as juice becoming wine or the wine becoming vinegar. The pork flesh eaten by a chicken and becoming a chicken flesh. It is Halal. The water becoming wine or the food turning into excretion. The excretion and the wine used as fertiliser or becoming a fruit and so many other things."
From The Qur'an:
The basis of all these is the Qur'anic verse: (16:66)
"And surely there is a lesson for you in the cattle we give you to drink of what is in their bellies from between the faeces and blood, pure milk, beneficial to those who drink it".
Allah Most High, considers it one of the favours He bestowed upon people that a healthy pure animal product comes out of these impure things.
In the light of what is mentioned above, and the widespread use of so many things which are becoming essential needs for Muslim communities living in a non-Islamic environment, any substance which chemically changed from its original character becomes a new product and acceptable to use. This includes:
1. Chemical preservatives.
2. Soap made from fat, animal products or oil, deemed impure in its original form.
4. Wine Vinegar.
5. Gelatine and products containing it.
To obtain gelatine from animal protein, it has to undergo a lengthy chemical process described in the Oxford dictionary of science as follows:
"A colourless or pale yellow, water-soluble protein obtained by boiling collagen with water and evaporating the solution. It melts when water is added and dissolves in hot water to form a solution that sets to a gel on cooling" (page 290).
This description shows the great change it undertakes and the new name it takes. On considering part of the Qur'anic verse of chapter 161 quoted earlier, it is clear this process is like or similar to the process of obtaining milk out of the dirt inside the belly of the animal which Allah described as wholesome, palatable and pure.
In fact, most of the new products which are containing such chemical elements are obtained by chemical processes. These processes are not a mere mixing up of what is Haram with what is Halal. It is a real change. Protein is different from gelatine. As such it is pure and can be used in products which are allowed. Vinegar, milk and salt are all examples of products extracted from impure substances.
In fact the Hanafi view in this connection is much more advanced and liberal. Particularly when we study the purifying aspects mentioned by Ad-Durr Al-Mukhtar, which, by the way, includes boiling, tanning, slaughtering and dividing.
To hasten to say Haram without considering the process of change, to look into the original without considering the new product shows the inability to understand the world of science and chemistry advanced as it is nowadays and ignoring the needs of the Muslim communities in their new environment.
May Allah guide us on the right way.
Shaykh Dr. Syed Mutawalli ad-Darsh. 25 November 1992.
Imam al-Zarqani said in his book Manahil al-Irfan: 'Our Scholars agreed that if a word carries 99 aspects of disbelief and one aspect of faith, it must be interpreted according to the best of meanings, which is faith'.
Visit www.asharis.wordpress.com and the Marifah website
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20-03-2005, 08:04 PM #2
Excuse me for butting in, as this question was directed to Ziyad.
While this article mat sound convincing, it is extremly flawed. The author seems unaware of the reality behind gelatine consumption, thus he erred.
Gelatine does not undergo a change when produced, but is infact extracted from collagen. It can be similarised to the extraction of salt from urine.
Urine if dried completely will leave behind a small percentage of salt. this salt is haraam, as it has not undergone a change, but has rather been extracted from the urine.
Ziyad could fill you guys in with more details.
Just one point, there seem to be some terrible errors in understanding the statements of ibn abideen eg.
This has been translated as:
"Muhammad Ad-Dakhira, Al Muhit and Abu Hanifah are all of the same opinion"
while the correct translation would be:
"This is the view of Imam Muhammad, while in az-Zakhirah and al-Muhit, this has also been mentioned to be the view of Imam Abu Hanifah."
It should be borne in mind that nearly all the reliable halal organisation all over the world have classified gelatine from skins of non-zabihah animals as haraam. This is the verdict of the fiqh academy of jeddah as well.
Here is a good article on gelatine from sunni path.
Gelatine is not a naturally occurring protein, but is derived from the fibrous protein collagen, which is the principal constituent of animal skin, bone, sinew and connective tissue. A very complex chemical procedure is undertaken to extract the gelatine from its raw stage and make it usable for consumption and otherwise. A detail follows on how gelatine is extracted from animal hides in 8 different stages to form the final product.
Raw materials intended for medicinal use and food production are generally skin and bone of pig or calf. Some plants use animal tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilages and hooves. In the case of animal hides, the prime source of gelatine, leather tanneries wash them in lime solution and chemicals are added to dissolve the hair from the surface. The hides are then sent through various machines which remove traces of meat from underneath the hide and then split the hide horizontally into a number of thin sheets. The top sheets are used in leather production as it has the grain pattern on the surface whilst the bottom layers, known as split hides, are used in gelatine production.
Animal hides are preserved in lime solution [pH 13-14] The hides are chopped into pieces 6-8 inches in size and allowed to soak in caustic soda solution. Approximately 1% strength is used, reducing a little in the warm summer months. The soak in caustic soda lasts about 2-3 weeks which has the effect of breaking down [denaturing] the protein, enabling it to be extracted into hot water.
Following the soak, the hide pieces are pumped into special washing equipment. Acid is added to acidify the hides [pH 1.5-2.0] and then washed to remove impurities and salts for 8 hours.
The washed hide pieces are pumped into large extraction tanks where hot water is added and temperature maintained at about 50c. The hides break down slowly in the slightly acid solution [pH 3.0-3.5] to form gelatine. This is drained off once at certain strengths and then fresh hot water is added at a higher temperature to give another extraction. 3 further extractions are made, producing gelatines of different physical properties, [e.g. setting strength and viscosity].
The gelatine solution drained from the heated hide pieces is then purified. The first stage is filtration and the final stage is through a 2 micron filter to give a solution of high clarity. The gelatine is then de-ionised in order to remove excess salts not removed during washing.
Following purification, the gelatine solution is evaporated in large vacuum evaporators to a strength of about 30%.
Before drying, the Gelatine is sterilised to remove all bacteria. The conditions used are standard in the Food industry - 140c at 4 seconds minimum.
The Gelatine solution is chilled to make it set, and then placed in a drying tunnel for 2-3 hours. It leaves the tunnel dry, and is broken into granules for storage purposes.
Gelatine is commercially available in sheets, shreds, flakes or coarse powder. It is white or yellowish, has a slight but characteristic odour and taste and is stable in dry air but subject to microbial decomposition if moist or in solution. It is insoluble in cold water but swells and softens when immersed gradually absorbing 5 to 10 times its own mass of water. In hot water it dissolves to form a thick colloidal mucilage which forms a jelly on cooling. Gelatine varies widely on quality and is usually graded in jelly strengths.
In its raw form it is used for the treatment of brittle finger nails and other non fungal defects but proof of efficiency of such treatment is lacking. It is also used in the preparation of many pastes, throat pastilles, vaginal pessaries and rectal suppositories. Gelatine is the main ingredient in all hard and flexible capsules. Many older tablet formulations still contain gelatine as a binding agent. The most important value in therapy is as an easily digested adjuvant food-when supplemented, it is very widely used for various forms of malnutrition, gastric hyperacidity and ulcer, convalescence and general diets of the sick.
Edible Gelatine is used throughout the food industry, for example in confectionery, ice-creams, jellies, chocolates, sweets, jams, pastries, desserts, dairy products and the meat industry. It acts as a stabilising and smoothing agent in foods. Gelatine is also used in the manufacture of rubber substitutes, adhesives, cements, lithographic and printing inks, photographic plates and films, matches, sizing papers and textiles.
Islamic Law Regarding Gelatine
If the source of Gelatine is derived from a Halaal source then its usage is permissible, whilst if the source is Haraam or Mashqook [doubtful] then it will be considered Haraam. The hide matrix or gelatine protein is basically a piece of skin, which is hydrollised, washed, melted and extracted, purified, evaporated, sterilised, chilled, dried and granulated for further shelf life and easy use. Alkaline treatment tends to remove amide groups present on certain amino acid residues on the collagen protein chains resulting in a lowering of the isoelectric point and consequently an alteration not a transformation of the chemical and physical properties of the protein occurs. Despite the above method of changing a raw product into gelatine under tremendous chemical pressure still retains much of its chemical equation. The collagen triple helix structure is lost during this procedure but the resultant Gelatine product retains the original coil structure. The aspect of Tabdeel-e-Mahiyyat does not take place.
Muslims should avoid choosing Haraam and doubtful ingredients. If a comparable medication is available in tablet or liquid form it would be advisable to ask for them instead of taking capsules. In the area of food we have such a vast selection of products whereby foregoing a certain brand containing Gelatine should pose no problem. In the UK it is a legal requirement to list ingredients in products and a reference to this guide will indicate what can be consumed or not. Muslim countries as well as local associations should provide finances to initiate and promote research to develop alternate forms to Gelatine to overcome this problem.