Is Omega-3 Fish Oil HALAL or HARAM?

Khadija Ahmed

August 18, 2023
Bottle of omega-3 fish oil capsules, a popular source of essential fatty acids for a healthy lifestyle

You've heard your favourite fitness influencers talking about the benefits of taking Omega-3 Fish Oil. But what exactly is it, why are Omega-3 Fatty Acids beneficial, and most importantly, is it halal?

What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a collective group of important fats that are key nutrients in helping build and maintain a healthy body. The three main fatty acids are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These nutrients can support heart health, brain function and overall wellbeing.

These fatty acids can usually be found in fish, nuts, seeds, vegetable and flaxseed oils and some green vegetables. But if you don't eat enough of these particular types of food, then it can be beneficial to take a supplement rich in Omega-3.

Image displaying fresh fish and fish oil capsules, rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids

What the Quran says about halal guidelines 📖

The Quran, the reference book for all Muslims, has given us clear guidelines regarding what we can and cannot consume. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran,

"He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:173)

Are fish considered halal in Islam? 🐟

Fish and seafood are generally considered as halal, or permissible in Islam, as the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

"Its water is pure, and its dead are Halal." (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 3720)

Therefore, fish oil, derived from fish, is generally considered halal.

Is Omega-3 Fish Oil always halal? ✅

While fish oil itself is halal, there are factors we need to consider in the production process that could turn this halal food into a haram substance:

  1. Source of the fish oil: In Islam, all sea creatures are generally considered halal as per the hadith mentioned above. However, there's a difference of opinion among scholars about whether or not all sea creatures are permissible. According to the Hanafi madhab (school of thought), only fish (that have scales) are halal, and other sea creatures like shellfish (prawns, crabs and lobster) are not, as they are bottom feeders.

  2. Manufacturing process: The processing of the fish oil should not involve any haram substances, and the equipment used should not be contaminated with anything haram. For example ethanol can sometimes be used in the extraction process of supplements and it is forbidden for Muslims to consume alcohol.

  3. Gelatin capsules: Many Omega-3 fish oil supplements come in soft gel capsules, which often contain gelatin. Gelatin can be halal if it comes from halal animal sources, although some gelatin is derived from porcine material or pig, or from animals not slaughtered according to Islamic rules.

Halal certificate issuers diligently inspecting and certifying supplement products in a professional laboratory

How can I be certain that my Omega-3 Fish Oil is halal? 🤔

For ultimate peace of mind, look out for products which are 100% halal certified by a recognised certification body, like the World Halal Trust or Halal Monitoring Committee. Having a stamp of approval from these organisations means that everything in the production process has been vetted and is halal compliant.


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