Is Gelatin Halal? The Truth Revealed

Gelatin, a widely used substance in food and medicine manufacturing, has become a topic of discussion, particularly among individuals who adhere to specific dietary restrictions such as halal. In this article, we will explore the question of whether gelatin is halal, shedding light on the different perspectives surrounding this issue.

Unveiling the Nature of Animal Gelatin

Animal gelatin is a soft, viscous substance extracted from the bones and tissues of animals through a lengthy boiling process. It is widely employed in various food and medicine products, ranging from pastries and yoghurts to capsules and lotions. However, the most crucial factor in determining the halal nature of gelatin lies in its source and transformation.

The Permissibility of Gelatin Extraction

Gelatin extracted from permissible animals, which have been slaughtered in accordance with Islamic guidelines, or from non-harmful plants, is considered halal. This type of gelatin is widely accepted and can be used without any concerns, as stated in Mawsu’ah al-Fiqh al-Islami.

On the other hand, the extraction of gelatin from the flesh, bones, or skin of pigs or non-halal animals is strictly prohibited. The Islamic Fiqh Council explicitly states that gelatin derived from haram sources, such as pigs, should not be used.

Assessing the Transformation of Gelatin

The issue of whether gelatin undergoes complete transformation after being introduced into the manufacturing process remains a matter of debate among specialists. Some argue that gelatin from cattle and pigs, derived from their bones and skin, undergoes a complete transformation, acquiring distinct chemical properties that differentiate it from its original impure substance.

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However, others disagree, emphasizing that the chemical processes used to extract gelatin from pig skin and bones result in only partial transformation. Gelatin extracted from these sources retains some of the characteristics of the impure substance. Notably, Dr. Wafeeq ash-Sharqawi suggests that testing can determine the origin of gelatin extracted from pig skin and bones due to the presence of discernible properties.

The Impermissibility of Using Gelatin from Impure Sources

Based on various factors, it appears more correct to consider gelatin derived from impure substances, such as pigs, impermissible for consumption in foods, medicines, and other applications. This perspective is supported by a number of reasons:

  1. Specialists argue that the transformation of gelatin is not complete, and the processes it undergoes are simply manufacturing rather than true transformation. Consequently, substances derived from impure sources retain their impure status.
  2. The presence of doubt regarding the completeness of transformation leads to adherence to the original ruling, which deems the substance impure unless evidence proves otherwise.
  3. Many scholars maintain that the impurity of a substance remains unchanged, even if it has undergone some transformation. Therefore, using gelatin derived from impure sources is considered haram.
  4. The view that this kind of gelatin is impermissible is widely supported by contemporary scholars, as stated in a statement from the Islamic Fiqh Council in Jeddah.

The Verdict on Gelatin

The scholars of the Standing Committee have clarified that if gelatin is derived from haram sources, such as pork or the skin and bones of pigs, it is undoubtedly haram. However, if gelatin is produced without any involvement of haram ingredients or substances, then using it is permissible.

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In conclusion, gelatin sourced from impure substances, especially pig skin, should not be consumed in foods, drinks, or medicines. Halal alternatives exist, allowing for the manufacture of gelatin from animals that have been slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines, serving the same purpose in food and medicine production.


  • An-Nawazil fi’l-Ashribah by Zayn al-‘Abidin al-Idrisi
  • Al-Mustakhlas min an-Najis wa Hukmuhu, compiled by Nasri Rashid
  • Ahkam al-Adwiyah fi ash-Shari‘ah al-Islamiyyah by Hasan al-Fakki
  • Majallat al-Buhuth al-Fiqhiyyah al-Mu‘asirah (issue no. 31, p. 6-38)
  • An-Nawazil fi’l-At‘imah by Badriyyah al-Harithi

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