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['Aalim Network QR] Rennet

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\

Salaamun Alaykum,

The following question was asked about rennet found in cheese.  The
answer was kindly provided by Moulana Rizvi.  May Allah (SWA) reward him
for his effort.


Mustafa Rawji

Salamun Alaikom;

As long as I know there is a Fatwa from Imam Khomeini regarding rennet.

I would like to know the answer from Ay. Khoei and Ay. Seestani:
Rennet is produced from something from a sheep after it is killed.
and is used for making cheese.

My question is about when the animal is not killed in Islamic way? (Zibh)



Salaamun `alaykum.

You have asked about rennet derived from the animal which was not killed
in Islamic way (zabiha). I had written an article in 1989 and will just
summarize the relevant parts in answer to your question:

Rennet or renin is tahir (pak) and halal even if it is obtained from the
stomach of an animal which has not been slaughtered Islamically.

An animal not slaughtered Islamically is known as maytah. Maytah is one of
the `ayn najis (inherently unclean) things, so how can rennet extracted
from a maytah be considered tahir? It is true that maytah is considered
`ayn najis, but our mujtahids unanimously have declared that certain parts
of the maytah are exempted from the najasat and are to be considered
tahir. One of such parts of a maytah is rennet, known in Arabic as anfaha
or minfaha. (See al-Khu'i, Minhaju 's-Salihiyn, vol. 1, p. 109; masala No.
393 in the chap.  on taharat. This is also in the new edition of
as-Sistani. For the view of other mujtahids of our time, see Sayyid Kazim
al-Yazdi at-Tabatabai, al-`Urwatu 'l-Wuthqa, p. 20-21.)

Not only is the anfaha considered tahir, it is also considered halal. (See
Minhaj, vol. 2, p. 336; masalah No. 1691 in the chap. on food and drink.)

This is not a new fatwa or a new mas`alah; our Imams (a.s.) have given
clear guidance on this issue in quite a few ahadith. I will just quote
some parts of a conversation between Qatadah and Imam Muhammad al-Baqir

Qatadah: Tell me (the law) about cheese.
Imam (a.s.): There is no problem in it.

Qatadah: But sometimes the anfaha (rennet) from a maytah is put into it.
Imam (a.s.): Still there is no problem in it because there are no veins in
it nor any blood or bones; it comes out from between the intenstine and
the blood vessels. The case of anfaha is similar to that of an egg which
comes out of a dead chicken. Would you eat that egg?  Qatadah: No; nor
would I tell others to eat it.

Imam (a.s.) And why is that?
Qatadah: Because the egg is from a maytah.

Imam (a.s.): But if you hatch that same egg and a chicken comes out of it,
would you eat it?
Qatadah: Yes.

Imam (a.s.): "Now, what has made the egg haram for you but made the chicken
halal for you?! Similarly, the anfaha is like the egg [from the maytah but
halal]..." (Wasa'ilu 'sh-Shi`ah, vol. 16, p. 364)

Yours in Islam,

Sayyid M. Rizvi

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