In Islamic jurisprudence, Muslims are forbidden from doing certain things. Those things are referred to as ‘haram’ in Islam. Allah has set certain limits and boundaries. Muslims cannot cross those limits. These limits are mentioned in Quran and hadith, and include not only acts, but also things which are prohibited for Muslims to consume or make use of them. Allah has issued a threat to the one who transgresses these limits. He says in the Quran.

“And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment.” [Quran, 4:14]

Thereafter, it is a duty of every Muslim man and woman to obey the limits set by Quran and Sunnah. There are various occasions in the life of Prophet (PBUH) where he (PBUH) mentioned the importance of refraining from prohibited things and acts. For instance, he (PBUH) once said.

“Whatever you have been prohibited to do, avoid it, and whatever you have been commanded to do, do as much of it as you can.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitaab al-fadaa’il, Hadith no. 130)

Generally speaking, there is a wide range of acts and things which are prohibited, and all of them are written in Quran and mentioned in Sunnah. Among other things, Allah had also specified what Muslims can eat and what they cannot eat. Allah had said in Quran.

“O you mankind! Eat of what is on earth, Lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the devil, for he is to you an avowed enemy.” (Quran, 2:168)

For instance, Allah has mentioned in the Quran that Muslims cannot eat the meat of a dead animal or that of a pig, dead or alive. Thereafter, it is important for Muslims to consume food that does not contain ingredients from one of the prohibited lists of items. In light of this, it is pertinent that Muslims should know which food items contain haram ingredients so that they can avoid them.

Following is the list of items which contain haram ingredients:

1. Japanese cuisine:

It is necessary that you check the description of food that you are ordering in a restaurant. Most of the Japanese food items make use of ‘Soy sauce’, and it contains alcohol. Other haram ingredients include Mirin which also uses alcohol.

2. Instant Fried Tofu:

Often, Chinese shops sale precooked frozen tofu, which is fried in pork fat to retain its crispiness.

3. Cheese Fondue:

It is a Swiss dish which makes use of white wine or alcohol.

4. Spirit Vinegar:

Alcohol and products containing alcohol are haram, even if the alcohol has evaporated in the end. Thereafter, spirit vinegar is haram. However, if alcohol is not used in the making of vinegar, then it is halal. One should check the description of ingredients before buying to make sure.


It is common knowledge that Jell-O contains gelatin, a protein derived from the collagen present in pig bones, skin and connective tissues.

6. Marshmallows:

Again, marshmallows contain gelatin, so they are haram. However, ‘vegan marshmallows’ are also available which are halal and can easily be substituted for regular marshmallows.

7. Potato Chips:

Some potato chips are flavored with powdered cheese, which contains casein, whey or animal derived enzymes.

9. Cake Mix:

Some readymade cake mixes make use of pork fat. Make sure to check the ingredients list before buying one.

10. Red Sweets:

Red or strawberry flavored sweets are often dyed with food coloring called carmine. Carmine is made from dead crushed up beetles. It comes about when the insects are boiled with sodium carbonate or ammonia, which then produces the attractive, bright red dye. Therefore, it is advised to see the list of ingredients before buying.

The author

Omam Khalid