Capsules made from gelatin. Can one consume the contents?
Is it permissible for a Muslim to take medicine which is covered by a capsule made from gelatin ? So can he consume the contents of the capsule and dispose the capsule ? Also is it permissible for a Muslim to sell medicines which are covered by a gelatin capsule ?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
In most cases the gelatine contained in medication and capsules is impermissible due to being derived from swine or non halaal bovine based. In some cases, the gelatine may be plant based (vegetarian) which will be permissible.
Firstly, one should seek Halaal alternatives that do not contain any impermissible ingredients.
Secondly, if there are no Halaal alternatives and one wants to use such medication, if the medication inside the capsule is dry and powered based, one may open the capsule, pour out the powder and consume. If however the content inside the capsule is liquid, it will not be permissible to use, even if extracted due to likely contamination with the haram content of the capsule.
Nb: If there is a genuine need to take a medicine which its capsules contain gelatine or another Haraam ingredient, and after discussions with medical experts there’s no effective alternative Halaal substitutes, it will be permissible to use such medication.
It is important to note also that kosher certified gelatine do not meet the requirements of halal. Due to major differences between Kosher and the requirements of Halaal according to Shari’ah, it is would not be permissible for a Muslim to rely on a Kosher approval.
Lastly, if there are no Halaal alternatives then it is permissible to sell such medications. However by exercising precaution and avoiding, Allah Ta’ala will reward one greatly.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Arshad Ali
Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)
 ولو وضع قدمه الجاف الطاهر أو نام على نحو بساط نجس رطب إن إبتل ما أصاب ذلك تنجس وإلا فلا
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 وأكل الترياق يكره إذا كان فيه شيء من الحيات وإن باع ذلك جاز (الفتاوى الهندية 1/ 355)