I have recently settled in Canada and I am concerned about the products being sold here. I wanted to inquire whether Cheddar Cheese is to be considered halaal or haraam? While doing some research on the internet regarding the subject I came up with something rather interesting. Islam considers any products made from dead animals haraam. Rennet, which is the chief ingredient of cheese is obtained from the stomachs of various animals, is done so by slaughtering the animal. That means that all rennet and hence cheese is haraam upon us? What do you have to say about this?
Also could you please inform me of the authenticity of the “halaal” labels on various meat products being sold here? i have seen that some of the products still have an amount of blood in them, which means that they have been slaughtered. if they had been sacrificed in the Islamic way there would have been no blood. This is because if an animal is killed by jerking the blood stops flowing and remains in the body. However if it is properly sacrificed the blood flows out. Please advise.
Could you please also inform me of the related Surah, with which I can check your recommendations? Thanks.
In one of my previous responses to a related question, I had written:
From amongst the animals that have generally been used for eating by man (i.e. excluding all those animals that have not been used as edibles, like a dog or a tiger or an eagle or man’s own flesh), the Shari`ah has prohibited the following items:
Flesh of a dead animal (which otherwise is generally used as edible);
Flesh of a swine; and
Moreover, if the animal is not slaughtered in the manner prescribed by the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh)3, it shall then be considered a dead animal and therefore, its flesh shall be prohibited for consumption.
The above are the real prohibitions of the Shari`ah. A Muslim should refrain from consuming any part of these things as an edible.
Keeping the foregoing explanation in perspective, it should be easily determinable that if rennet is an unprocessed extract of any of the stated prohibitions of the Qur’an, then a Muslim should refrain from eating cheese, as rennet is one of its ingredients. On the other hand, if the extracts taken from any of these stated prohibitions of the Qur’an are processed in such a way that their chemical composition is significantly altered, then it would not be correct to categorize the products in which these extracts are used as ingredients, as ‘clearly prohibited’.
The case of rennet (and consequently that of ‘Cheese’) should be decided after investigating its usage in the light of the foregoing explanation.
As far as information on the authenticity of the “Halaal” labels is concerned, I would suggest that you should contact an authority, which is more qualified to comment on the topic.
31st July 2000