Let's All Be Halal Here…

to be our best, purest selves in our worship for Allah Subhana wa Ta'aala

the point of all this

Assalaamu ‘alaikum.

So this blog is basically going to be posts about all that I’ve researched in the field of halaal non-food products. (Of course that’s a pretty general term, and I’ll come to clarifying that in a bit.) A good friend of mine from high school had recommended I start one, to have this information that I’d gathered available in one accessible place. I had thought about it before, just a little thought that flitted away soon after, but she convinced me. 🙂

I was made aware of the fact that byproducts from non-zhabihah animals, and yes, haraam animals were used in items we use everyday, when another good friend of mine commented on my toothpaste, saying that she’d heard it was haraam. I was surprised, and a little disbelieving, because, hello, it’s toothpaste, right? Anyway, so I went and checked up on this, because I really like my toothpaste (I’m particular like that), and after some extensive research I found that it was not, indeed, haraam. So, that should’ve been that, right? Except it rarely goes that way. I’d stumbled across more information on other products as well, like my Softsoap Shea Butter handsoap–which is made from not halaal sources–and it went from there.

That was the beginning, and I was way overwhelmed, and was usually frustrated and exhausted. This was because I had to find out if everything I was currently using was halaal, and that took up a lot of my time as a full-time student, and also, as a newbie, the whole concept was a bit staggering.

And so I started researching. And it took– what, two weeks? maybe more– until now, and I’m almost done– with my daily essentials. Though that’s because almost everything I used to use was not fine and now there’s this group of forlorn animal-byproducts-in-them bottles and containers on the low table in our dorm room. So I had to replace all that… and, like I said, almost there– just one thing left (my shampoo). And though I was overworked in that initial phase, trying to learn all I could as fast as I could (cuz hello, a girl needs her deodorant), I was able to be thankful to Allah for opening my eyes on this matter.

Okay so about the general word of “halaal” mentioned before. Halfway into my research, my sister told me that one of her moulanas said that though not preferred, it would be fine to use products that were made from halaal animals (i. e. edible for us, e.g. cows, sheep, etc.)– but if it was an animal that was najisul ‘ain, that is impure from the get go, like pigs and dogs– then it’s definitely haraam. And then here, one of my madrassa girls asked one of our moulanas, and he said that if there is no alternative, it’s permissible. Now, since it seems like a reconciliation of opinions is in order, that’s what I did: so conclusion: if it’s from pork etc., it is not permissible at all and haraam. If from halaal but non-zhabihah animals, then if no alternative, then it’s permissible. (And there’s always an alternative.)This is, of course, my personal deduction from the sayings of two of my schools (I used to go to my sister’s alma mater). There is also another common response when I let people know of these things, that hey, it’s not going in our bodies, so what’s the big deal? And I say, do you sweat? Yes, you do, cause you have pores. And just like stuff can come out through those pores, stuff can be absorbed through them into the skin, as well. And, like the blog tagline says, it is so we can be our best, purest selves (at least outwardly, since the heart is a different matter, but inshaAllah it’ll affect the heart, too) for our worship of Allah (SWT).

Okay, I think that’s enough of an introduction, telling you the basic what, why, how, etc. … and I hope what I post on here will be of benefit. If anyone has any questions, comments, or requests, please don’t hesitate to ask. I might not reply right away, but I will eventually do so inshaAllah. Also, don’t forget to subscribe/follow, if you want to be kept up to date on what I’m posting.

May Allah always guide our footsteps. Aameen.

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PRODUCT: deodorant

Assalamu alaikum. It’s been a long while, but I’ve gotten a request for this topic, so here goes.

I remember when I was first looking for a halaal alternative to my trusty Secret deodorant, and I thought the only ones that were okay were the vegan ones…. and those don’t really smell good (and some of them burrrrn ><). 😛 So I dug deeper, and here it is:

Secret: I used to use this, and loved it (as did my sisters), but when I called the company they said there’s no guarantee of pork or beef not being used. So that was definitely out.

Dove: After a lot of researching, I found that one line of Dove’s deodorant’s were classified halaal by the MCG, the “go sleeveless” line. So I called and asked, and ’twas true. Yay! I was so relieved (as were my dormmates 😀 ). As for the other deodorants Dove manufactures, you’ll have to call and ask about them individually. I didn’t have time to ask about every. single. one they make, but if you have a favorite, go for it. Right now my staple is the go sleeveless in beauty finish.             UPDATE: I called about the new dry spray deodorants today, and they are all animal-free. Hooray! 😀

Lady Speed Stick: halaal; my little(r) sister uses it and she really likes it.

Old Spice: no guarantee, not halaal

Degree: UPDATED: dry sprays are not halaal, they are animal sourced, can be from pig, cow, or sheep. As far as I know, the solids are ok.

Axe: animal derived, according to MCG

BAN: no guarantee, not halaal (but some aren’t: I called about one for a friend and it was ok, so make sure to call)

If there are are any other ones anyone is concerned about, call the company and ask. It’s really easy. 🙂

May Allah guide us all, aameen.

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PRODUCT: shampoo and conditioner

Salaam all, summer has officially begun at my school, and all is peaceful and tranquil… and exams are looming ahead like monoliths. *shudder* Anyway, here’s another everyday product, the research of which took a lot of my time and sorely tried my patience. Alhamdulillah, I am somewhat appeased with what I use now, and have a couple of ideas, but that’s for later. So:

Tresemme: the brand I trust for hair the most, and so was heartbroken when I learned that the one I used (that was the HG* for my hair: the Moisture Rich duo) had haraam ingredients in it. When I called the company (multiple times: that’s another story, too), the summary of it all was: if they contain any of the following, they are animal derived and not halaal: gelatin, tallow (beef or pork), stearic acid, glycerin (derived from: palm oil, coconut oil, tallow, or synthetic), keratin (apparently they updated the status on that and it’s from sheep’s wool now), lanolin alcohol, lanolin wax (from sheep), oleic acid (beef or pork).

I’ll expand on this in another post, along with the “other stories”, inshaAllah.

yesto…: all the yes to products are halaal, with the only animal ingredients used being beeswax and honey extract, which is halaal. Still, I emailed them asking abut the alcohol content, will update this post then inshaAllah.

Garnier Fructis: all halaal line, but terrible for hair, in my experience. If it works for you, that’s great, you don’t have to desperately call Tresemme a million times 😉

Aussie: no guarantee for being pork free; not halaal

White Rain: all halaal (not sure about quality, might be like Garnier)

Head and Shoulders: no guarantee; not halaal

Herbal Essences: my sister used to use this, and was sad to see it go, but no guarantee; not halaal**

Dove: if it contains stearic acid or glycerin, not halaal. Otherwise it’s fine

Suave: according to their website, if the product contains stearic acid or glycerin, is not halaal; otherwise is halaal

Pantene: my other sister used to use this, but no guarantee; not halaal

VO5: according to the MCG site, someone called, and they said though their products are animal-free, some contain alcohol, which will be found in the ingredient list***

Matrix: all halaal

J&J (baby shampoo): halaal

*HG means Holy Grail, a term used by beauty bloggers, and though I am not one, felt was appropriate lol. Used to describe what one deems as the best of the best product in that category

**as I did for Tresemme, cuz I love it so much, if you really like a brand, then do some research, call ’em up, see if you can find any products from the company that are halaal

***and always, always, always look at the ingredients. This is the base for shopping halaal.

As always, any question, comments, requests, additions are welcome below. Jazaakumullah khair.

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PRODUCT: bodywash

Salaam, after the long weekend and my sister’s Jalsa and all that awesome jazz. 😀 So today it’s bodywash. I have not looked at all the bodywashes out there and checked every single one, but I have looked at a lot in my quest to find one I could use. So here forth is a list of sorts:

Bath and Body Works: I used to se the citrus bodywash from this company, but when I called and asked about the ingredients (from the list to have handy), they said that there is no guarantee that there are no animal byproducts in their merchandise, as they use whatever is available. Not halaal if any of those ingredients found.

St. Ives: all halaal (this is what I use now)

Dial: not halaal as not guaranteed, according to the MCG site, and then a reliable source called and confirmed

Caress: the rest of my family used to use this, but it is not halaal as not guaranteed, it says so right on their website

Olay: same, not halaal as not guaranteed

Suave: according to their website, any product containing glycerin or stearic acid has animal byproducts. So if otherwise, it’s fine.

Dove: according to the website, if either stearic acid and/or glycerin in the ingredients, then not animal-free, so not halaal. Otherwise is fine.

Nivea: all halaal

Irish Spring (owned by Colgate): the ones that contain glycol distearate are not halaal, others are fine. You can check the ingredients before you buy here, just hover over “view ingredients”.

Old Spice: no guarantee, not halaal

Softsoap (owned by Colgate): you’ll have to check the ingredient list for any suspicious ingredients; I do know the pomegranate one has gelatin, and not halaal

Aveeno: a lot of Aveeno’s are halaal (all the stuff owned by me and my friends here from them proved to be so, when I called them) but I have not personally checked each body wash. Call and ask; if you want me to, request it below.

Gillette: no guarantee, not halaal

Tom’s of Maine: all halaal (I don’t know about the alcohol content, exercise caution and read the label carefully, please)

Axe: no guarantee, not halaal

White Rain: all halaal

Okay, that’s all I have for now; and as always, questions/comments/requests are welcome below. Jazakallah khair.

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PRODUCT: toothpaste

Pretty straight forward; this post is about toothaste. I thought it’d only be fair to have the first product to be so, since that is what started all this, really. Heh.

Anyway, so if you recall, I basically went and hunted for info on my toothpaste, Crest Regular Cavity Protection, because you know how if you use a certain toothpaste for some time you get really used to it and everything else feels/tastes too too? Too minty, too sweet, too fresh, just too too. Well, it was like that for me, and hence the hunt. So I was finally successful, and found it on their website (duh!)– actually, found the final confirmation on their website, it wasn’t written out clearly or anything, but basically. So Crest Cavity Protection is fine, in all flavors, not just the regular.

After that (and along the process) my dorm mates asked me to check theirs, too, and I did, and here’s what I found:

Colgate: all toothpastes except Max Fresh are halaal

Aim: all halaal (What I used growing up, and which tasted too sweet when I went home. I almost gagged. No, I did gag. Blech. My family has finally branched off, thank God.)

AquaFresh: all halaal

Sensodyne: all halaal

Arm & Hammer: all halaal

Tom’s Maine: all halaal– I think Ultra brite is under this company, I did check this, but I’ll check again iA. (You’ll see this brand often, as it’s a vegan brand. I’ve never tried their products, though I do have a testimony on a deodorant. That’ll come later, iA.)

The desi toothpastes like CloseUp and Pepsodent are also all halaal. Lol, I say desi only cuz I don’t see much use of ’em in the states, and they used to always have ads for ’em in desiland. 😀

Okay, so that’s all for toothpaste– if you have any questions or requests, do ask in the comments below.

(Some of the info is from the Muslim Consumer Group website: I have been told by reliable sources that what they state as halaal is so, but their system of haraam labeling is a bit extreme. So I take their halaal labelled stuff, and double check the haraam labeled ones.)

Jazaakumullah khair, and assalaamu ‘alaikum.

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a list to have handy

Salaam, after an absence– I was unwell last week, and have finally gotten around to posting this. Following is a list of ingredients to look out for, although there are some included that are actually fine for use– I left them on the list in case of questions. The base for the list was a vegan blog post from Yahoo Voices, and the author, Melissa McDade, had a list of non-vegan-friendly ingredients intended for aiding vegan makeup users. I added, took out, and changed around the content to be suitable for Muslim use. So without further ado, here it is:

KEY

F  for fine, this is halal   D  for doubtful/call n check   O  for other, specified   C  for must call and check with the company

(F) Acetate is an aliphatic alcohol. This ingredient is sometimes animal based and can come from fish liver oils or egg yolks. It is not always animal derived as the ingredient can be found in many things that contain Vitamin A, such as carrots and wheat germ oil. Other names include: Retinol or Palmitate.

Allantoin is an ingredient sometimes found in creams and lotions that is an uric acid derived from cows.

Arachidonic Acid is found in some skin creams and eczema creams. This ingredient is a fatty acid that is usually taken from the liver of animals.

(F) Bee products such as bee pollen, beeswax or honey are all ingredients that are completely halaal. Tree sap (Propolis) and Royal Jelly, are also bee products.

(C) Biotin is derived from the cells of animals and is usually pulled from milk or yeast. Other names include Vitamin H and Vitamin B Factor.

(C) Caprylic Acid is another fatty acid and is often used in fragrances and shampoos. It usually (so call and check) comes from the milk of cows or goats. Other names include Caprylamine Oxide, Capryl Betaine, and Caprylic Triglyceride.

Carmine is red coloring obtained from ground up beetles. This is not halal according to Ahnaaf, and is found in many cosmetics. Make sure to check all your cosmetics’ labels carefully. Also always be on the lookout for vegan makeup (but check for alcohol, too!). This is also known as Cochineal, Natural Red 4, and Crimson Lake. The latter two terms are usually used in food.

(C) Carotene is a pigment made from animal tissue. This is another ingredient that can also be plant derived. It is used as coloring in a lot of cosmetics.

(F) Casein is a milk protein used in cosmetics and beauty masks. Other names include Caseinate and Sodium Caseinate.

Castor or Castoreum is an ingredient derived from the genitals of muskrats and beavers. It is sometimes used in perfumes.

(C) Cetyl Alcohol is a very common ingredient. It’s a wax usually made from the spermaceti of sperm whales and dolphins (spermaceti is found in the head cavity of the sperm whale), or other resources, such as other animals, and palm trees. It may also be referred to as Cetyl Palmitate, Spermaceti, or Sperm Oil. These last three names indicate that they are indeed halal, so these are fine.

(O: from shrimp) Chitosan is a fiber that comes from the shells of crustaceans. It’s often used as a binder in skin and hair products, deodorant and some oral hygiene products.

Cholesterol is sometimes used in cosmetics and hair care products. It’s pretty obvious why this is not a vegan/halaal ingredient.

Civet is a rare ingredient but it is sometimes used in perfumes. It is scraped from a gland near the genitals of a civet cat. This process is usually done while the cat is alive and is very painful for the animal. I am not sure why they do this but I have a hunch it has something to do with extracting pheromones. I could be wrong. In Regardless of why they do it, steer clear of this ingredient at all costs.

(C) Collagen is a protein found in all vertebrates. There are many plant alternatives for this ingredient but many companies continue to derive it from animal tissues. Call to ask.

Cysteine or L-Form is an amino acid derived from animal hair.

(F) Egg Protein is probably obvious, but it is found in some shampoos and skin care products and is not a vegan ingredient—but obviously it’s halaal.

(C) Elastin is similar to collagen and is a protein derived from cows. Still call, because it may be derived from other sources which are halaal, e.g. codfish.

Emu Oil comes from ratite birds, which are now factory farmed in order to obtain this ingredient.

Estrogen or Estradiol is a hormone taken from the urine of female pregnant mares. It’s mostly used in birth control and menopausal medicines but it has been found in some lotions and fragrances.

(F) Fish oils are another obviously non vegan yet halaal ingredient that can be found in some soaps. Other names include Oleyl Alcohol, Ocenol, Oleths, Oleyl Arachidate, and Oleyl Imidazoline.

(F) Fish Scales are sometimes used when making shimmery makeup, nail polish and lipsticks. This ingredient can also be listed as Guanine or Pearl Essence.

Gelatin or gel is a protein made from the bones, skin and/or ligaments of cows or pigs. This can sometimes be found in shampoo or face masks.

(C) Glycerin is sometimes made from animal fats though it can also come from vegetables. If it is indeed derived from vegetables, the ingredient will usually be listed as vegetable glycerin. Otherwise, it’s safe to assume it comes from an animal. If you really like your product, call to make sure. It’s found in many cosmetic products and in soaps. Other names include Glycerol, Glyceryls, Glycreth-26, and Polyglycerol.

Hyaluronic Acid is used in cosmetics. It is an animal protein that is usually taken from umbilical cords and joint fluid.

Hydrolyzed Animal Protein is often found in shampoo and hair products.

(C) Keratin or Hydrolyzed Keratin is a protein made from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, and hair of various animals. It is often found in shampoo and other hair related products. This is halaal (according to the online Ifta board of Darul Uloom Deoband) if from halaal-to-eat animals. If from pig or dog, it is not.

 Lactic Acid is an ingredient that comes from blood and muscle tissue.

(F) Lactose comes from the milk of animals. It is sometimes found in cosmetics and lotions.

(D) Lanolin is derived from wool bearing animals, such as sheep. It is a waxy substance that is secreted from the sebaceous glands of the animal. It may also be called Isopropyl Lanolate, Laneth, Lanogene, Lanolin Alcohol, Lanosterols, Triterpene Alcohols, wool wax or wool grease. It is usually halaal, but call and check to make sure.

Lard is pig fat and can be found in some shaving creams, cosmetics and soap.

Lecithin is found in a large array of beauty products and can come from eggs, blood, nervous tissue, milk, corn or soybeans. This is another tricky ingredient as it can be either vegan/halaal or not. It is also known as Choline Bitartrate, which is usually a synthetic vegan ingredient.

Linoleic Acid is another fatty acid used in cosmetics.

(F) Marine Oil comes from fish or marine mammals and is sometimes found in soaps.

(F) Milk Protein or Hydrolyzed Milk Protein is derived from cow’s milk and can be found in beauty products such as makeup, shampoo and conditioner and moisturizers.

Mink Oil comes from mink and is an ingredient in some cosmetics.

(C) Musk or Musk Oil is used in a lot of fragrances. This can come from a variety of animals and is often harvested in very inhumane ways.

(D) Myristic Acid is a butter acid. It is not a vegan ingredient and is found in cosmetics, shampoos and creams. Other names include Isopropyl Myristate, Myristal Ether Sulfate, Myristyls, and Oleyl Myristate.

 (C) Natural Sources can be animal based or plant based. In cosmetics the term is most often used to described animal based ingredients so it’s best to just avoid it, though there is, of course, no harm in calling before buying.

Nucleic Acids are found in cosmetics and hair products. They are derived from the cells of animals.

(C) Oleic Acid is often obtained from animal fats but can be vegetable based as well. Other names include Oleyl Oleate and Oleyl Stearate.

(C) Panthenol is found in some shampoos and is sometimes animal derived. It may also be called Provitamin B-5.

Placenta Polypeptides Protein is just what it sounds like, it is found in the uterus, placenta or afterbirth of animals. It’s a very common ingredient in skin care and shampoos.

Polypeptides are an animal protein found in cosmetics.

Polysorbates are a fatty acid found in cosmetics.

(F) Pristane is made from shark liver oil or whale ambergris and can be found in cosmetics. Other names include Squalane and Squalene.

Progesterone is a steroid hormone found in a lot of anti-wrinkle products.

RNA or Ribonucleic Acid is used in cosmetics and hair products and comes from the cells of animals.

Shellac is derived from excretions of some insects. It can also be called Resinous Glaze.

Silk or Silk Powder is found in a lot of beauty products. A lot of people think silk comes from a plant or is man made but it in fact comes from silkworms. The silkworms are boiled in their cocoons in order to get the silk. (I actually am not sure about our stand on this. It seems to be fine but the method is very inhumane. Will double check inshaAllah.)

(C) Stearic Acid is a fat found in many beauty products. This is usually taken from cows, sheep or the stomach of pigs. At times is it also taken from the bodies of euthanized cats and dogs. Other names include Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid and Tallow. This may be derived from plants as well, like St Ives does, but you’ll have to check with the company, hence the C.

(C) Stearyl Alcohol is often (not always: call and check) made from the oils of the sperm whale. Other names include Stearamine Oxide, Stearyl Acetate, Stearyl Citrate, Stearyldimethyl Amine, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Stearyl Heptanoate, and Stearyl Stearate.

Turtle Oil is made from the muscles and genitals of giant sea turtles.

(D) Tyrosine is found in some cosmetics and creams. It is an amino acid made from Casein (which is halal, so I’ll have to double-check this, too.)

Urea is an ingredient extracted from urine and other fluids of animals. It is found in many types of beauty products such and deodorants, hair coloring, and lotions, among other things. Other names include Carbamide and Uric Acid.

(F) Vitamin D can be derived from egg yolks, milk or fish liver oils. It is found in lotions and creams and some cosmetics.

Remember, it’s only hard when you first start the process, but once you have a new, all-halaal skin and beauty regimen down, you’ll be set, inshaAllah. Take heart! 😀

If anyone has any additional information, whether on the ingredients listed, or about any additional ingredients, please do let me know in the comments. Jazakumullahu khairan.

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