Halal Or Haram Ingredients

Question

My question relates to the food ingredients. I am in the United States and the people in this area use the meat which is not slaughtered and cannot be called zabiha according to Islam. Now if you check different Islamic websites they have lot of different views about products and they emphasize you to know the source. If you are buying the product in the market and you see the label, you are unable to find out the source. Now you can either ask the store associate, who in most cases don't know or you can call the company which is lot of hustle and time consuming. Then these different ulemas have made it very difficult. Take gelatin for example. They say it comes from pork or vegetable. If the gelatin is mentioned in the product how can we find it out? They say check U.D label which is supposed to contain some haram ingredients. You can't even toothpaste without looking at its label. My question is that do we really have to go through this or just go with big things like the things you know about pork only? Or we really have to go through the source before eating and how is it possible to make it simpler and easier?


Answer

I understand what you are saying. I think you are asking for a more general advice on what your approach should be Rather than detailed technical advice on what is halal and what is haram.

In principle Islam has made some things haram for us. On the other hand God does not expect us to put ourselves in so much misery and difficulty when following His rules. It seems to me that the most important thing is to be consistent and honest in the rules we are following. I suggest you do a bit of research (not a thorough one but a short and reasonable one) in order to see what seems to be the opinion of the scholar or scholars that you trust more. Study their opinion and if you found them to be valid then stick to them till you happen to come across an opinion that you find to be stronger, in future.

In deciding which scholars are more reliable in their knowledge please bear in mind that traditionally the most reliable scholars, the ones who had a deep and correct understanding of Islam, have (overall) held easier and more relaxed opinion about the rules, of course within the boundaries of Sharia. This in fact was the Sira of the Prophet (pbuh) too. This is while over-analyzing issues and coming up with complex and difficult to follow rules (in general) is mostly seen with less reliable and knowledgeable people.

I sincerely hope this helps and if you need more detailed and technical advice on halal and haram then please do not hesitate to come back to us.

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