What is Jallālah?
The Dietary Shari‘ah
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

There is a lot of confusion these days regarding the Islamic concept of Jallālah and animal feed. Some individuals as well as animal rights organisations are campaigning that since most of the animal feed contains extracts from other animals, the rule of Jallālah applies here and hence Muslims cannot consume any meat in the North American Continent. My questions are as follows: What is the definition of Jallālah? Why is it prohibited? Is there a difference of opinion among our scholars regarding its prohibition? Since the animal extracts that are used in the feed undergo a long process in which they are changed from their original state, does the rule of Jallālah apply here? Does mishandling or ill-treatment of animals before slaughter restrict Muslims not to eat their meat?


‘Jallālah’ means an animal that is addicted to eating filth. There is no difference of opinion as far as the definition is concerned. Ibn ‘Umar reports:

The Prophet (sws) prohibited the meat and milk of Jallālah. (Abū Da’ūd, Kitābu’l-At‘imah)

A little deliberation on the nature of the directive and on its relation to the original sources of Islam shows that its prohibition is not part of the Islamic Sharī‘ah. It belongs to the category of directives that forbid certain things whose abhorrence is found in human nature.

Among the authorities whose opinion we know, Imam Mālik regards it to be undesirable (makrūh) and Imam Shāf‘ī calls it prohibited (harām).1

In my opinion, the word Jallālah does not apply to the situation you have described. Animal feed is prepared from animal extracts through a chemical process that changes the original material.

The answer to your last question is in the negative as well. Muslims can use the meat of all animals which are slaughtered the Islamic way. This of course does not mean that Islam condones the maltreatment of animals.




1.Ibn Hazm, Bidāyatu’l Mujtahid, 1st ed., vol. 3, (Beirut: Dāru’l-Ma‘rifah, 1997), p. 21

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