For Gluten to be halal, it should be 100% plant-based and must not contain any pork or any other haram substances.
To understand it at a much deeper level, we must know what Gluten is and the different sources of its derivation.
Gluten is a mixture of proteins. These proteins are present in grains like wheat, rye, and barley.
It has tremendous uses in baking. When we mix any of these flour, for example, wheat flour and water, it forms a dough. It’s consistency can be altered as required.
The properties and composition of every dough differ, depending upon the source. For example, dough made from barley is quite different from dough made of wheat.
Mostly, the end product is bread. Bread is Halal.
However, sometimes it could have been baked using pork products. So thorough analysis is necessary to ensure that it is certified to be consumed by the Muslims.
Prophet Muhammed (SAW) Ate Gluten
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to eat food that was simple yet nutritional. He (SAW) mostly ate barley and bread made from its flour. Consumption of Whole wheat was less in His (SAW) Household. He (SAW) would combine barley bread with other food products like gourd, meat, pumpkin, meat, or dates.
Their method involved grinding the barley and then blowing off its husk. It is highly digestible and proven to be helpful for heart issues, as opposed to white flour.
Sahl bin Sad was asked “Did Allah’s Apostle ever eat white flour?”, he replied saying:
Allah’s Apostle never saw white flour [from the time] Allah sent him as an Apostle till He took him unto Him.Sahih Bukhari (source)
Examples of Gluten Sources
- Wheat: Loaves of bread, soups, cereals, and other baked goods.
- Barley: Food Coloring, Malt, and Yeast
- Rye: Rye Bread, Rye Beer, and some cereals
Clearly, there are foods in the list above that may look halal but may not be because of how companies make their products.
Are All Foods That Contain Gluten Halal?
No. Some foods have added Haram or forbidden ingredients like pork by-products or gelatin during their processing stages.
Gelatin can be Halal/ Haram depending upon its derivation, which is mostly from animals. Thus, people must watch out for processed foods or desserts that may have pork gelatin.
For example, Cereal is a classic example of a gluten source that may not be halal.
Lucky Charms cereal contains gelatin derived from pork. This is an example of a Gluten based food that is halal by nature, but companies mix it with other substances that then make it haram.
On a side note, derived from animal sources do not imply that it is forbidden. For example, Fish Gelatin is halal and thus permissible to use. We have to make sure that those sources are Halal to make a better-informed decision.
In a nutshell, it is conditional. It has to be 100% plant-based and must not contain pork or any other haram substances. After successfully passing these conditions, it would be Halal to use.