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Thread: are capsules halal?

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    Default are capsules halal?

    In medicine doctors prescribe drugs in capsule form which are made from gelatin which is a protien extract from animals. Are we saying that capsules are thus not permitted for muslims? I enclose relevant info

    In the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, encapsulation refers to a range of techniques used to enclose medicines in a relatively stable shell known as a capsule, allowing them to, for example, be taken orally or be used as suppositories. The two main types of capsules are hard-shelled capsules, which are normally used for dry, powdered ingredients, and soft-shelled capsules, primarily used for oils and for active ingredients that are dissolved or suspended in oil. Both of these classes of capsule are made both from gelatine and from plant-based gelling substances like carrageenans and modified forms of starch and cellulose.

    Gelatin (also gelatine, from French gélatine) is a translucent, colorless, brittle, nearly tasteless solid substance, extracted from the collagen inside animals' connective tissue. It has been commonly used as an emulsifier in food, pharmaceutical, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar way are called gelatinous. Gelatin is an irreversibly hydrolyzed form of collagen.

    Gelatin is a protein produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the bones and connective tissues of animals such as the domesticated cattle, and horses. The natural molecular bonds between individual collagen strands are broken down into a form that rearranges more easily. Gelatin melts when heated and solidifies when cooled again. Together with water, it forms a semi-solid colloid gel

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    Veteran Member vinod's Avatar
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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    Gelatin can also be made from palm oil. If I were to make gelatin from palm oil and gelatin from animal fat, they would look the same and have the same physical and chemical properties. In other words, they are exactly identical. Now, you tell me, why should the same substance, be impure in one case and pure in another. How far back do we take this? When animals which are killed or die naturally decay, their tissues get broken down into carbon and released into the atmosphere which probably is used by the potato crop that you later eat. Does that make the potato crop haram?

    Just something to think about. Hypothetically, if we were able to pulverize a pig into its constituent carbon and hydrogen molecules and then reassemble those molecules (all done technologically) into a potato, would you then deem that potato to be haram?

    The point is that at a certain indeterminable stage of the processing of the meat, it's constitution is changed so drastically from its original form that it can no longer be called meat and should therefore not invite the pig-is-haram rule.

    Regards
    1.4 billion people live under the poverty line - 1.25 USD per day. 20000 Africans die needlessly everyday due to AIDS, malaria and TB. 1.02 billion people do not have enough to eat. 3/4s of this are rural poor farmers who will also bear the brunt of global warming.

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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    I have once heard a ruling that if it is chemically different from it's original (haraam) source it is no longer haraam. The specific ruling was because jelly might have pig products in it.
    The image-obsessed, bloodthirsty, sensationalistic world outside your window is the real madhouse.

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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    Are you going to NOT take prescribed medicines in capsule form... simply because you cannot be assured of the pharmacutical companies source of Gelatin base in the capsule?

    [stop the snide remarks]

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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    are Liquorish Allsorts haram?They have bovine gellatine in them?

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    Veteran Member vinod's Avatar
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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    Alan, How is your question any different from what DocW is asking?

    Regards
    1.4 billion people live under the poverty line - 1.25 USD per day. 20000 Africans die needlessly everyday due to AIDS, malaria and TB. 1.02 billion people do not have enough to eat. 3/4s of this are rural poor farmers who will also bear the brunt of global warming.

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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    Assalaamu'alaikum

    Questions relating to laws in particular, should be taken to scholars. Please remember this.

    Read up this Sunnipath link, and search more on the site, or ask your question if you have anything unanswered.

    Wassalaam

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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    Quote Originally Posted by vinod View Post
    Alan, How is your question any different from what DocW is asking?

    Regards
    Well,alot of people are concerned solely that the gelatin has come from the pig.If it has come from the cow,is it anymore acceptable,as some scholars say the small amounts of gelatin in medicines for example are irrelivant and so one can take the medicine without fear of doing something haram.So can we eat Liqoirish allsorts?

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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    Brother Alan, ask these questions to scholars, not to laymen.

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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    According to the sunnipath web site


    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.

    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

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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    On a slightly related matter, it is in such issues that I think it doesn't really matter whether it is a scholar or a layman giving the answer, as long as the reasoning is strong. There seems to be no religio-technical detail that a layman wouldn't know here. What is averred by the scholar is inferential and analogical reasoning which is not privy to scholars alone. The usage of the term -Tabdeel-e-Mahiyyat - is not something that is particularly religious but is one of the many ratios of the islamic legal case law tradition, which can typically be reasoned out by the layman as well. There are no doubt some technical details in relation to chemical processing of meat here, but that is something for which even the scholar has to rely on technical laymen. Hence, I personally don't give much weight to the usual appeals like that of Haroon's.

    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.
    I would question the scholars on -

    (i) when does a alteration become a transformation, if removal of amide groups + lowering of isoelectric point is insufficient?
    (ii) if the connection to the original source of the gelatine product is the retained coil structure, then why should gelatine from plant sources, which probably also has a coil structure (somebody check this for me), not be banned as well? Unless, I am wrong about gelatine from plant having any coiled structure to it.


    Regards
    1.4 billion people live under the poverty line - 1.25 USD per day. 20000 Africans die needlessly everyday due to AIDS, malaria and TB. 1.02 billion people do not have enough to eat. 3/4s of this are rural poor farmers who will also bear the brunt of global warming.

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    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    As salamu `alaykum,

    Since I am not a chemist, I am hesitant to say anything, but Wikipedia's description of the process under which gelatin is produced confirms Sidi Ilyas' contention that gelatin's chemical composition is very similar to that of its original source. Both suggest that gelatin is collagen that has merely been chemically broken up, melted and reformed. Which entails alternation or manipulation and not chemical transformation. Since things return to their original state until decisively proven otherwise, the burden is upon the one declares it to be pure and not the one who maintains its unlawfulness. If you do not know at which point alteration becomes transformation, how can you feel comfortable stating that it is lawful? The mere fact that gelatin and pectin have similar chemical compositions is irrelevant. Ethanol and methanol are known by the same chemical name, yet one is najas and the other is not.

    Additionally, much of what Islamic law addresses are not religious issues, but things like these which are rather mundane. So the fact that something is not related to `ibada, does not mean it is wide open to the ijtihad of every person who thinks themselves qualified. Whether it be a chemist who has only read a few Islamic fiqh works or a faqih who has a playful curiosity regarding science. The actual `ualama at the heads of their perspective field still are trained in the "secular" sciences which relate to their expertise, when "secular" knowledge is relevant.

    And Allah knows best.
    Last edited by lumumba_s; 25th December 2007 at 06:23.
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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    Thank you Lumumba. Very enlightening post. As always.

    Regards
    1.4 billion people live under the poverty line - 1.25 USD per day. 20000 Africans die needlessly everyday due to AIDS, malaria and TB. 1.02 billion people do not have enough to eat. 3/4s of this are rural poor farmers who will also bear the brunt of global warming.

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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    One of my dear friends just told me that istihlak occurs when the "properties" of the najasa merges with something pure. By the description of both sources, gelatin seems to be produced by diluting the chemically broken-up collagen with water. Dilution and merger are obviously two different things and by the description of the manufacturing process, I am not convinced that transformation actually occurs. In other less scientific descriptions, the gelatin is described as being produced from "boiled skin, bones and tendons of animals". And that isn't a profound description as it relates to this discussion if one is advocating for its permissibility.

    There seems to be a similar debate amongst the Jewish community, with the more "liberal" elements advocating that it has gone sufficient change, while the orthodox preferring to stick to fish and plant sources. But their issue seems to be whether or not it can still be considered "meat", which is a completely different basis of understanding.
    Last edited by lumumba_s; 25th December 2007 at 06:45.
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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    Default Re: are capsules halal?

    Assalaamu'alaikum Vinod

    Hence, I personally don't give much weight to the usual appeals like that of Haroon's.
    Perhaps if you ever met a scholar or sat with a scholar and learned something, you would understand why I appeal people to take their questions to people of knowledge rather than to laymen. When you are ill you dont go to any person, you go to a specialist, a doctor. So what makes you think, that the deen of Allah, deep as it is in its law system, should not be referred back to those who have studied the deen and are qualified in that field? If you cannot see that, then come to me next time you are ill and ill make you up something.

    Wassalaam

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