14 April 2014

Halal Food Guide - Alcohol

Monday, April 14, 2014 33 Comments
This post was first published on 14/04/2014. Some of the information previously included has become outdated, so I thought I'd provide some fresh outlook on the new things that became available since then.

Alcohol. Wine, beer, spirits, liqueurs... It's not something I really miss in my life, but sometimes when we celebrate something (birthday, anniversary etc.) and having a nice meal, it would be nice to have something nice to drink too, not just ordinary juice or Coke ;)

I want to dedicate this post to pregnant and breastfeeding girls too, to show how not to feel like you're missing out when all your friends enjoy their booze ;)

First of all - why don't Muslims drink alcohol?

The short answer is that it's considered haraam, forbidden. There is an argument that it's not explicitly mentioned as haraam in the Quran, like, for example, flesh of swine, blood and flesh of animals that died not being sacrificed in the name of Allah, are. However, there is a mention of intoxicants being "Satan's work", made to create enmity between people and push them away from God and prayer, hence they are to be avoided. Drinking alcohol is also called sinful, and there is an instruction not to approach prayer while intoxicated as it requires a clear mind. Based on all of the above, the general consensus is that the alcohol is considered haraam. For reference see: Quran 2:219, 5:90, 5:91

When it comes to other types of alcohol, used for medicinal and industrial purposes, rulings are a bit different. Those are usually the kinds made through chemical processing rather than fermentation, which according to some scholars makes them "pure". They're not used for consumption and don't cause intoxication, so are generally considered permissible - for example rubbing alcohol or hand sanitisers, or perfume. Although the latter can also sometimes become a subject of a debate, 


It's often arguable whether even the smallest amounts found in foods are forbidden - like using vanilla extract. To be on the safe side, I avoid foods that have any kind of alcohol on the list of ingredients.

But, as previously, we still find the ways to enjoy ourselves ;)

  • non-alcoholic beer

When I went to the supermarkets to do my research, I was actually surprised how much choice they offer nowadays. All the beers pictured above are 0% alcohol.

  • fancy soft drinks

That's in my local Sainsbury's - whole section of fruity non-alcoholic alternatives.

Feel Good range offers some fantastic juice drinks, and now also non alcoholic cocktails.

Shloer has been our favourite for a while now. It's a great alternative to sparkling wine - sparkling grape juice, available in white, rosé and red. During my research I also spotted the "celebration" edition.

  • wine

07 April 2014

Halal Food Guide - Gelatine

Monday, April 07, 2014 20 Comments
When you think of gelatine, you think "jelly". While it's quite obvious that jelly is something we're careful about, you'd be surprised how many other products also contain gelatine. So this post is partially for vegetarians as well.

Basically, gelatine is produced by partial hydrolisis of collagen from animal by-products - skin, bones and connective tissues. 

It's mainly used as a gelling agent and is found in jelly, marshmallows and other confectionery (gummy bears, jelly babies etc.)