Category: Food & Drink
Fatwa#: 21257
Asked Country: Russian Federation

Answered Date: Jun 22,2012

Title: Is L-Cysteine permissible?

Question

Is L-Cysteine permissible?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 

As-salāmu `alaykumwa-rahmatullāhiwa-barakātuh.

 

Definition and Background of L- Cysteine

 

The product in reference referred to as “L- Cysteine” or “L- Cysteine Hydrochloride”, is a non essential amino acid added to baked products as a dough conditioner to speed up the process of industrial processing”[1] 

L – Cysteine is used in the following processes:

1.      Reduce the mixing time of the flour dough.

2.      Stop shrinking of pizza crust after it is flattened.

3.      Help move the dough through various bakery processing equipments or dough conditioners.

L-Cystein is used in Bagels, Croissants, Hard Rolls, Cake Donuts (from human hair in Dunkin Donut's cake donuts only, Yeast raised donuts do not contain L-Cysteine), Pita Bread, some Crackers and Melba Toast. It is also used as a nutrient in baby milk formula and dietary supplements.[2]

Ten years ago the most way to obtain L-cysteine on industrial scale was throughhydrolysis of human hair found on the floors of Chinese barbershops. Today, approximately 80% of it is derived from duck feathers.

At least two forms of synthetic L-Cysteine have been produced by Ajinomoto and WackerBiochem. Ajinomoto uses industrial chemicals that undergo a biochemical transformation brought about by non-animal enzymes.

WackerBiochem produces L-Cysteine through a microbial fermentation process developed in 2001 using corn sugar as the growth medium. Since both forms are expensive, they are not commonly used.[3]

 

The source of L-Cysteine is human hair, chicken feathers, cow horn, petroleum by-products and synthetic material.

L-Cysteine is manufactured in Japan, China and Germany only. Human hair is the cheapest source for L-cysteine.[4]

 

Shar’ee Rulings of L- Cysteine

 

1. It is impermissible to consume L- Cysteine or any product which contains L- Cysteine derived from Human hair extracts since the Human body is to be honored and revered at all times. By consuming L- Cysteine, one would be going against the honor accorded to the Human Body which is forbidden in Islam.[5] 

 

2. It is impermissible to consume L- Cysteine or any product which contains L- Cysteine derived from Pig bristles or any other Pig extract since every part of the pig is considered impure in Islam, hence impermissible.[6]

 

3.It is permissible to consume L- Cysteine or products which contain L- Cystein if it is produced from the hair extracts of any animal besides pigs whether the animal was slaughtered according to the Shar’ee process of slaughter, died a natural death or the animal was incorrectly slaughtered.

 

The feathers or hair extracts do not have life, therefore the sale, consumption and usage thereof is totally permissible. Shar’ee slaughtering is not required to validate the usage and consumption of the hair extracts from animals besides pigs.[7]

 

4.It will be permissible to consume L- Cysteine or any product which contains L- Cysteine if it is produced synthetically since it is not produced from any impure or haraam (forbidden) substance.

 

In reference to point four and five in your email, it was stated that “It is impermissible to consume L- Cysteine derived from an animal not permissible to consume or not slaughtered according to Shariah which could be because the animal died a natural death or was slaughtered in a wrongful manner”.

 

1.We would like to draw your attention to the following Ibaraat:

 

لا نسلم ان كل جزء من اجزاء الميت نجس بل النجس منه ما كان فيه حياة زالت بالموت هذه الاشياء لا

حياة فيهاحتي لا يتالم بقطعها الحيوان.

 

و اخرج الدارقطني عن عبيد الله بن عبد الله بن عباسانما حرم رسول الله صلي الله عليه و سلممن الميتة لحمها فاما الجلد و الشعر و الصوف فلا باس به. 

 

الا كل شيئ من الميتة حلال الا ما اكل منها.فاما الجلد و القرون و الشعر و الصوفوالسن و العظم فكله حلال.فتح القدير.85/1.حقانية.

 

فظهر بهذا ان الكلب طاهر العين بمعني طهارة عظمه و شعره و عصبه و ما لا يو كل منه.بحر الرائق.102/1.ايج ايم سعيد.

 

و يستفاد منه ان الشعر طاهر علي القول بنجاسة عينه لما ذكر في السراج الوهاج ان جلد الكلب نجس و شعره طاهر هو المختار.المرجع السابق. 

 

 

و الاصل ان كل ما لا تحله الحياة من اجزاء الهوية محكوم بطهارته بعد موت ما هي جزؤه كالشعر و الريش و المنقار و العظم و الحافر و الظلف و اللبن و البيض الضعيف.البحر الرائق مع الكنز.106/1.ايج ايم سعيد.

 

كل ما لا تحله الحياة من اجزاء الهوية محكوم بطهارته بعد موت ما هي جزؤه كالشعر و الريش و المنقارو العظم و الحافر و الظلف و اللبن و البيض الضعيف.فتح القدير مع الهداية.84/1.الحقانية.

 

الا كل شيئ من الميتة حلال الا ما اكل منها.فاما الجلد و القرون و الشعر و الصوفوالسن و العظم فكله حلال.فتح القدير.85/1.حقانية.

 

The above texts clearly distinguish between the ruling of the hide of an animal and those portions which do not have life in them.

 

 

 Conclusion

 

It will not be permissible to consume L- Cysteine or any product which contains L- Cysteineif it is produced from Human Hair.

 

It will be permissible to consume L- Cysteine or any product which contains L- Cysteine if it is produced from any animal besides pigs whether it was slaughtered according to the legal Shar’ee process of slaughter or not.

 

It will be permissible to consume L- Cysteine or any product which contains L- Cysteine if it is produced from the hair of any animal besides pigs, since the hair or any portion of an animal which does not entail life ((ما لا تحل فيه الحياة is not subject to the process of legal Shar’ee slaughter, hence it does not become impure due to death.

 

It may not be appropriate to issue a general ruling on metamorphosis in L- Cysteine. Much depends on the manufacturing procedure of L- Cysteine. In some instances, metamorphosis takes place. In other instances, it may not.

 

 

And Allah knows best.

 

Moulana Ismail Desai,

Durban, South Africa

Student Darul Iftaa

 

Checked and Approved

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

daruliftaa.net

 

 

 



  و لنا ان حرمة الانتفاع به والبيع لكرامته.الهداية مع الفتح.85/1.حقانية.[5]

 

و حرمة الانتفاع باجزاء الادمي لكرامته لئلا يتجاسر الناس علي من كرمه الله بابتذال اجزائه.فتح القدير.82/1.حقانية.

 

 

و اما الخنزير فشعره و عظمه و جميع اجزائه نجسة.البحر مع الكنز.107/1.ايج ايم سعيد.[6]

 

و اما الخنزير فلا تلحقه الذكاة لانه محرم العين بمنزلة الخمر و الدم.احكام القران للتهانوي.115/1.ادارة.

 

 

7  لا نسلم ان كل جزء من اجزاء الميت نجس بل النجس منه ما كان فيه حياة زالت بالموت هذه الاشياء لا

حياة فيهاحتي لا يتالم بقطعها الحيوان.

 

و اخرج الدارقطني عن عبيد الله بن عبد الله بن عباسانما حرم رسول الله صلي الله عليه و سلممن الميتة لحمها فاما الجلد و الشعر و الصوف فلا باس به.

 

الا كل شيئ من الميتة حلال الا ما اكل منها.فاما الجلد و القرون و الشعر و الصوفوالسن و العظم فكله حلال.فتح القدير.85/1.حقانية.

 

فظهر بهذا ان الكلب طاهر العين بمعني طهارة عظمه و شعره و عصبه و ما لا يو كل منه.بحر الرائق.102/1.ايج ايم سعيد.

 

و يستفاد منه ان الشعر طاهر علي القول بنجاسة عينه لما ذكر في السراج الوهاج ان جلد الكلب نجس و شعره طاهر هو المختار.المرجع السابق.

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