Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The following email came my way a little while ago:

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this weekend my little niece, Haniya, told me that her friends had called Frito-Lay and found out that Doritos have pork in them. Well, I was shocked and a little skeptical. However, when I called the company, they confirmed that their cheese products were not Halal -- they actually used the term "Halal", which I found impressive even though the disclosure was disconcerting. She said they use enzymes in making the cheese for their Cheetos and Doritos that come from pork. I asked when they started doing this, and she said the last 2 years they became aware of it. I wanted to start a petition requesting them to find alternatives, but she said it would be best for individuals to call, because each call is registered. So, if you are going to miss Cheetos and Doritos as much as I am, please call Frito-Lay at 1-800-352-4477, Monday - Friday, 9:00am-4:30pm. Also, pass on this info. to whomever you know.

Any volunteers to call Frito-Lay and do some research?

Until then, I would strongly recommend: Muslim buyers beware!


Affad Shaikh said...

i say we just eat pork, it seems like its in everything anyway? Come on? I am sure we can get a fatwa allowing us, especially since we have such a privelaged place out here in the west.

Affad Shaikh
check out

Omar Zarka said...

assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah,

So I have a proposition: why don't we give up Frito-Lay chips all together anyway? What benefit are they serving in our lives? What's our intention when we pop open a bag anyway: Oh Allah, accept the intake of trash into the body that you bestowed upon me?

If you read the email carefully you'll see that we're not even just taking pork anymore, we're talking pork extracts. They don't use real ingredients to make this stuff. Its all a synthesis of chemicals and extracts with some flavor, food coloring and effective advertising.

Sure maybe we should just find out so we know whether they should be classified as "haram" or not, but regardless, I say stay off the overly-processed, unbelievably salted, sugar dosed chemicals.

peace out

Affad Shaikh said...

Requested to forward this...

Taha Gaya (San Diego, CA) wrote
at 1:48pm

I just called Frito-Lay today hoping against hope you were wrong and the lady said since they get their cheese enzymes from different sources they would advise people who cannot eat pork, NOT to eat any of their products that contain cheese (e.g. Cheetos) AAAAAUUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHH
! Those blockheads!

On a side note: I also called In-n-Out and their burgers are neither halal nor kosher (according to their rep). And since I was on a roll I also called MasterFoods (parent company of Starburst and Skittles) and the gelatin used for those products is made entirely from beef.

Affad Shaikh said...

Okay so people are posting on my page rather then here even though the entire post is only visible here :(

Fahad A (San Diego, CA) wrote
at 1:53pm

does that mean no more Cooler Ranch? how can we have a legit road trip without Cooler Ranch?

Suwila said...


Since we're on the topic of food and all, I thought I'd throw this out there. I watched "Fast Food Nation" and let's just say, I'm so disgusted that I think I'm going to turn into a vegetarian living here in the U.S.



Radia said...

Ok notice how all this stuff is not good for you anyway????? Please...I dont think we are missing out on much.-except some yucky fat and synthetic chemicals in our bodies. Its about time that Trash (chips junk food, candy, burgers etc) should be non halal. You need a snack? Grab a sweet (organic) fruit instead!!

Baraka said...

Sorry, I can't spell today so am re-posting.


Thanks for posting this.

It's also important to keep in mind that there are Hanafi rulings that allow you to eat gelatin or processed enzymes from non-halal animals because they are so processed that they no longer resemble the animal flesh at all.

As for In 'n' Out, some scholars also say that Ahl-e-Kitab meat is halal for us and the company is run by a Christian family that prints Bible verses on its wrappers.

I think it's up to the individual to decide what is appropriate; to realize that Islam is not a simplistic "haram or halal" equation; and lastly, to decide if meat or processed foods are what we want to be putting into our systems regardless.


Anonymous said...

"Enzymes derived from pork" is hardly the same as eating a pork chop. While it is indeed ideal to avoid pork when and wherever possible, it is also advisable to consider the reality of the situation. Enzymes are not pork (the flesh of pork), just as water derived from pork is not pork. Not to mention, both the Hanafi and Maliki schools allow for the consumption of gelatin and other non-halal processed derivatives when they no longer maintain the defining characteristics of their origins.

If you are honestly that worried about consuming microscopic amounts of "haram" material, then stop drinking milk, because milk has trace amounts of naturally-occurring alcohol. That also goes for yogurt, cheeses, butter, and nearly all dairy products. Then there's juice... Bottled juices undergo fermentation, which yields alcohol.

You should also avoid any food with glycerides (mono-, di-, or tri-) because those fatty acids might be of (non-halal) animal origin. You should also exclude all jarred/canned foods that might be susceptible to even the slightest fermentation.

With that, I'll leave you to your raw-food, macrobiotic, vegan, juice-free diets. More Doritos for me.


Angie Ellaboudy said...

i agree with radia, organic is waaaay better for your body instead of that poisonous stuff anyways..

but just in case you have to clog your arteries.. I called Frito Lay myself & here's the 411:

Any of their products that contain cheese or whey contains PORK derived enzymes:

BUT their Kosher list contains no animals products:

happy artery clogging :)

Amad said...

I just finished talking with a consumer service representative at Frito Lay, and it is indeed true,: "we recommend that you avoid any products from us that have cheese in it if you are concerned about eating products with pork". Apparently, their cheese has some pork source... I am not a food scientist, so I can't tell you all the details.
But I do agree with your other commentators that this does not mean a death-sentence for Frito in Muslim snack-bags. Many scholars will allow it for the reasons already mentioned.

Syrian Drug Lord said...


Please, for the love of God, stop calling companies to find out what's in their food. If it's not listed on the ingredients, then that's as far as your investigation should go. You're ruining it for everybody. Why do you have to be so obsessed with this stuff. General rule is you eat everything until you have "reason" not just to "suspect" it's not halal, but to know with a substantial certainty. In order to know with certainty you have to call and stuff. So why don't you just not call in the first place, and then all this would be speculation and suspicion and we can still eat whatever we want.
When in doubt, you ALWAYS err on the side of eating the thing, because everything is halal until you know for sure it's not.

my 2 cents.

Dr. Shukri said...

umm okay Syrian Drug Lord is joking right...? that has to be one of the most idiotic comments I have ever heard, when in doubt, you side with eating things...this has to be a joke... Not all of us or at least I would hope the majority of us are not blind followers...what happened to actually questioning things and investigating. and plus who the hell wants to ingest products with out knowing the content of the item...thank you for the post Zahra

Anonymous said...

Speaking of calling companies (Syrian Drug Lord & Dr. Shukri), I dare most of you to call your "halal" meat providers and tracking down the origins of the meat. The VAST majority of "halal" meat comes from factory/feedlot animals (for a funny clip, see:, which are pumped full of steroids, antibiotics, and are fed animal remnants. Yum!

"Zabiha" mandates not only a "Bismillah" in conjunction with draining of the blood from the animal (from the neck), but also that the animal live a "humane" existence. This means that the animal should not be kept penned in a factory, fed putrid "food" riddled with bacteria thus requiring the mega-doses of antibiotics, and also pumped full of steroids to increase their size to unnatural proportions. If that is "halal," the by golly Doritos are totally on the menu.

So, before you sit down and eat your mother's kebabs, curries, or roasts, find out where she got the goods. There are very few instances where halal shops sell Organic, Free-Range, Halal meat. If you can find one, you are indeed lucky.

Syrian Drug Lord said...

I was not advocating that we shouldn't question things and blindly eat whatever we feel like (cuz that would make us animals). All I'm saying is when it comes to finding out the ingredients of what we eat, if it's not on the list of published ingredients or common knowledge, then it's safe to assume that whatever it is you're worried about is not in the food product. Islam is the religion of reason and reasonableness. Going beyond the ingredients of a box and doing a 20/20 investigation is an unreasonable burden to put on any consumer. Also, it is not something that is islamically required. You're being a little too OCD if you actually called the company. What I wanna know is what motivated you to suspect that the dorritos had an ingredient that was not listed on the bag or box? Seriously, give me a break. Why do you gotta make life difficult?

Basil brings up a great point. While we waste time on the little mostly symbolic food issues, most of us either don't know about the problems of animal cruelty or we don't care. How many Muslims do you know care about environmental issues and put their money where their mouth is? The symbolic process that makes the meat "halal" means nothing if the animals were treated in an unislamic and seriously evil way before being led to their slaughter. It's like yelling at your son for not praying Sunnah after Maghrib like it's the end of the world, but saying nothing when he misses Fajr. We gotta look at the big picture when we're dealing w/ halal nutrition issues. Look at the spirit of the islamic law, not just the literal rule. Otherwise, "halal" would become a rubberstamp to things that in spirit are really not.


Syrian Drug Lord said...

one more thing, Dr. Shukri. Why do you seem to assume that everything is haram until proven halal? Isn't it the other way around? All the food around us is "halal" until proven or observed otherwise (that's the default fiqh rule with everything). That's not to say that it's healthy or a good idea to eat it. Personal hygiene choices is another matter, and it has nothing to do with what's halal. Even the gray areas are still technically "halal", though the imams will recommend that we stay away from the gray area. That's the distinction b/w what's legal and what's moral or good.

Dr. Shukri said...

very very true....but I don't have that problem, since I am a I don't consume meat...:-)

Affad Shaikh said...

Assuming makes an ass out of people. I get your drift though. However, living in the West and being people endowed with intellect- then its safe to say that if we are in doubt we can pursue further investigation.

Granted, I for one, am of the opinion with amad, barka an basil. But you do have to understand that the issue is an individual issue. When people find out its about allowing others to stay away from eating something that has been found to be "bad"- notice not using haraam.

Anyway, what I take issue with is the idea that staying ignorant and in bliss is better then being informed. Thats a state of mind American Muslims can not fall into, we must be informed citizens, and we must make ourselves heard.

What is great, is to know that Frito-lays knows Muslims dont eat pork or pork products, the next level is making them cognizant that it wont hurt them to move away from something that for American Muslims can be doubtful.

Thats the power of being informed citizens, we can work toward positive change.

People calling in and participating actively in what they do is good. Its not OCD. Priorities, yes maybe they are screwed up, but again, individuals specialize in what they believe they can be good at. We make comments on blogs and do not have our own radio stations- why?

But to put people down, even in a joking way as was done does come off as condescending and unjust. Its like yelling at your son for not praying sunnah after maghrib but missing fajr.

Only here, its yelling at our Muslim brothers and sisters for taking the time to further research something that might affect us. Islam is in the end, a way of life, and what we eat is as much part of what we do, how we think and how we act. If we eat food that is not good for our bodies then it affects us, maybe even makes us sleep in and miss fajr, I dont know it can happen?

MamaNiyah said...

Bismillahi wa salaatu wa salaamu 'alaa rasulillah,

(Taken entirely from a dars given by Sh. Muhammad Bazmool, translated by Moosa Richardson and a fatwa given by Sh. al-Albaani)

Istihala is when something becomes pure. It was najis (impure) but it is now taahir (pure). A good example would be maitah (animal carcass): it is najis, but should it be burned and become ashes, or decompose and become earth, then it is taahir, it is no longer najis. This can happen with dung or feces or whatever. Whenever something changes from one property to another, then the ruling likewise changes.

Example: Let us say that someone uses the fat of a dead animal to make soap. That fat is najis, but the chemical change that it was put through makes it taahir.

Ibn Hazm put it concisely when he said,

"Ruling upon an object is upon what it is named (what it is), if the name (what it is) changes then so does the ruling."

He also mentioned in his book of fiqh, Al-Muhalla: "If the quality of the substance of naturally impure objects changes the name which was given to it so that it is no more applicable to it and it is given a new name which is given to a pure object, so it is no more an impure thing. It becomes a new object, with a new rule."

Meaning that if the natural composition of a substance changes to another substance of a different composition, so much so that you can no longer call the new substance by the name of what it was-- ruling upon that substance changes too.

Proof/Example 1:

The companions (radyallahu anhum) used to eat a cheese that came from the land of the disbelievers. In that cheese was a part of the calf which was slaughtered by the disbelievers in a way that is not in accordance with Islaam. The companions knew this, but they also knew that the prohibition was upon the calf, what is directly from the calf, and what could be properly called part of the calf; the ruling is not upon that which you cannot identify as part of the calf nor is it called any longer such-and-such part of the calf. This is called istihala.

Proof/Example 2:

Another proof from the Sunnah: The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) forbade making vinegar out of wine, but he said that if you should come across vinegar that has been made from wine then it is halaal.


The ruling is upon what the object is, and not what it was. Wine is haraam; vinegar is not, and before the wine became an intoxicant, it was halaal. Why? Because it was fruit before that.

Proof/Example 3:

Allah says in the Qur'an:

"And surely there is a lesson for you in the cattle we give you to drink of what is in their bellies from between the feces and blood, pure milk, wholesome to those who drink it." (16:66)

Allah is putting forth an example for us of how something pure can come from something impure.

And we can also use as proof something that we've already gone over. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said that when the hide of maitah (the carrion) is tanned, then it is taahir. He (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) gave us a method to purify something which was first impure.

Let us examine things we are familiar with: mono and diglycerides, whey, gluten, emulsifiers, gelatin, and whatever else is on the international haraam list. These by-products sometimes come from animals, pigs even, in which case the ruling on the initial substances is that they are haraam. But the initial substances (e.g. fat, marrow, cartilage, etc.) are put through chemical change so that you no longer can even call it "pig fat" or "animal bone" or "skin" or "cartilage", etc. because it is no longer that, hence it is taahir, it is halaal.

What is gelatin? As Oxford dictionary of science defines: "A colorless or pale yellow, water-soluble protein obtained by boiling collagen with water and evaporating the solution. It melts when water is added and dissolves in hot water to form a solution that sets to a gel on cooling." (page 290)

Is this a chemical change or is this not a chemical change? Is it protein any longer? No, it is not.

You are in disbelief so you ask, "But how can it be halaal when it came from something haraam?"

Because of the proofs mentioned above, the ruling is not based upon what it was, the ruling is based upon what it is. A Hanafi scholar, Ibn Abedin gave the example: "the swine which drowns in a salt lake and decomposes and becomes salt itself, is now halaal."

And other Hanafi scholars go on to say: "salt is different from meat and bones. If they become salt, they are salt."

To take the salt example further: salt consists of sodium chloride (NaCl) when together they are the halaal food known as salt, when separated they make up two poisonous substances which are then haraam for consumption.

The ahnaaf (Hanafis) also use as an example the human semen, saying that it is najis, then when it inseminates the egg and becomes a blood clot it is still najis, but when it becomes flesh it is no longer najis. And the ahnaaf are not the only ones who take this position.

The examples are numerous and they extend beyond food: Yesterday a man was kaafir and going towards Hell, today he is Muslim, so what is the ruling upon him? It is based upon what he is today.

We must be careful when we call things haraam because it is a form of thulm (oppression). Scholars have said that it is worse that you make something halaal to haraam rather than making something haraam to halaal. This deen Allah has made yusr (easy) let us not make it 'usr (hard). Wallahu 'Alim.

Rasheed Abdullaah

MamaNiyah said...

"one more thing, Dr. Shukri. Why do you seem to assume that everything is haram until proven halal? Isn't it the other way around? All the food around us is "halal" until proven or observed otherwise (that's the default fiqh rule with everything). That's not to say that it's healthy or a good idea to eat it. Personal hygiene choices is another matter, and it has nothing to do with what's halal. Even the gray areas are still technically "halal", though the imams will recommend that we stay away from the gray area. That's the distinction b/w what's legal and what's moral or good."

Might I add that there is a Hadith stating that everything in this world is Halaal except what has proof against it, and everything in this deen is Haraam except for what has proof for it.

Taufa said...

Thank you so much for posting this information. This really concerned me so I called them up and they said they couldnt find an alternative to the enzyme, but if they did they would change it in the future. In the meantime they gave me a list of items that didn't contain the enzyme. (in short anything that didn't have the cheese.)

Heres the list.

Triangle K - Dairy
FRITO-LAY® brand Original Trail Mix
FRITO-LAY® brand Sweet Honey Trail Mix
FUNYUNS® brand Onion Flavored Rings
GRANDMA’S® brand Homestyle Chocolate Chip Big Cookies
GRANDMA’S® brand Homestyle Fudge Chocolate Chip Big Cookies
GRANDMA’S® brand Homestyle Oatmeal Raisin Big Cookies
GRANDMA’S® brand Homestyle Peanut Butter Big Cookies
GRANDMA’S® brand Peanut Butter Mini Cookies
GRANDMA’S® brand Peanut Butter Sandwich Cremes
GRANDMA’S® brand Rich ‘N Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
GRANDMA’S® brand Tiny Bites Animal Mini Cookies
GRANDMA’S® brand Vanilla Mini Cookies
GRANDMA’S® brand Vanilla Sandwich Cremes
LAY’S® brand Dill Pickle Flavored Potato Chips
LAY’S® brand Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips
LAY’S® brand Sour Cream & Onion Flavored Potato Chips
RUFFLES® brand Sour Cream & Onion Flavored Potato Chips

Triangle K
DORITOS® brand Toasted Corn Tortilla Chips
FRITO-LAY® brand BBQ Sunflower Seeds
FRITO-LAY® brand Cashews
FRITO-LAY® brand Dry Roasted Peanuts
FRITO-LAY® brand Flamin’ Hot Sunflower Seeds
FRITO-LAY® brand Honey Roasted Peanuts
FRITO-LAY® brand Hot Peanuts
FRITO-LAY® brand Salted Peanuts
FRITO-LAY® brand Spanish Peanuts
FRITO-LAY® brand Sunflower Kernels
FRITO-LAY® brand Sunflower Seeds
FRITOS® brand BBQ Flavored Corn Chips
FRITOS® brand King Size Corn Chips
FRITOS® brand Original Corn Chips
FRITOS® brand Scoops!® Corn Chips
FRITOS® brand Waves Corn Chips
MUNCHOS® brand Regular Potato Crisps
SANTITAS® brand White Corn Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips
SUNCHIPS® brand Original Flavored Multigrain Snacks
TOSTITOS® brand Bite Size Tortilla Chips
TOSTITOS® brand Crispy Rounds Tortilla Chips
TOSTITOS® brand Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips
TOSTITOS® brand Scoops!® Tortilla Chips

If you would like to get a printable version just click (or copy and paste)

there has been concerns about this by many people and we should keep calling, they do send our concerns their headoffice. Please everyone just keep calling.
May Allah Bless You


Taufa said...

please e-mail me at

Taufa said...

Yes these chips aren't good for us, but if we stay concerned, it will show how muslims work together. Everywhere you go now people have bad things to say to muslims. Its not the chips were talking about. It about being a muslim. We need to change something to help ourselves. You dont need to eat the chips, just do it for being a muslim. They dont need to use enzyme to make the chips so let them know they should change it.


Saso said...

Salaam, My cousin he read the quarn and then he told all of us that the cheeto products were made in some pork materials. We went home and we took all of the cheeto produts from our houses. We all were sad and depressed. I can't live without cheetos and now i know the truth that it has pork and now we are extremely mad that they didn't put this weird main ingredient on the back of this weird products......bamanequda

Amad said...

Sh. Yasir Qadhi on the Doritos: A comprehensive examination:

Punchline: They are HALAL inshallah.

haniya said...

just out of curiosity... who sent the original email your way?

cherefahgirl said...

they make people hate being in america..... how the heck is it that over seas in yemen /sanaa (for people who know where that is) they sell hot chips and doritos and marshmallows...there the same companys but there overseas.... WHY DONT THEY TELL THEM TO STOP EATING THEM TOO!!! IM PISSED