Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings (Fiqh)
Fatwa#: 39856
Asked Country: New Zealand

Answered Date: Jun 14,2018

Title: What is the proof that red color E120 is impermissible?



There is this question regarding Red color E120. I have read at numerous sites that it is haram and should not be consumed. 

There is this friend of mine with strong beliefs and he asked me a question where i was unclear myself, his question states

'Where is the proof from Quran or Hadees that Beetle has been prohibited?'. I understand that he is a good follower of deen and need clarification on this point so me, my friend and other muslims can benefit and be clar on this and can spread the word. JazakAllah khair


In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


According to the Hanafi madhab (school of thought), it is prohibited to consume insects[1].

Carmine acid is extracted from beetles and contain particles of beetles in it, therefore it is not permissible.[2]


And Allaah Ta’aala Knows Best

Muhammed Al-Ameen Bin Moulana Ismail Akoo


Student, Darul Iftaa

Newcastle; KZN, South Africa


Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.




Allah Ta’ala says,  

وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ 


“And he makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the impure things” [Qur’an/7-157]


The following is a narration from Abu Dawood which is mentioned under the chapter regarding eating the insects of the land


عَنْ عِيسَى بْنِ نُمَيْلَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ،كنْتُ عِنْدَ ابْنِ عُمَرَ فَسُئِلَ عَنْ أَكْلِ الْقُنْفُذِ، فَتَلَا {قُلْ لَا أَجِدُ فِيمَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا} الْآيَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ شَيْخٌ عِنْدَهُ: سَمِعْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ يَقُولُ: ذُكِرَ عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ «خَبِيثَةٌ مِنَ الْخَبَائِثِ» فَقَالَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ: «إِنْ كَانَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ هَذَا فَهُوَ كَمَا قَالَ مَا لَمْ نَدْرِ»


Numaylah said: I was with Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him). He was asked about eating hedgehog. He recited: [verse 145/surah 6]. An old man who was with him said: I heard AbuHurayrah May Allah be pleased with him) say: It was mentioned to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), he (in response to the question about the ruling of hedgehog) said: “Impure from the impure things” Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said: If the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) had said it, it is as he said” [Abu Dawood/Hadeeth No. 3799]







The cochineal (/kɒtʃɪˈniːl/ kotch-ih-NEEL, /ˈkɒtʃɪniːl/ KOTCH-ih-neel; Dactylopius coccus) is a scale insect in the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the natural dye carmine is derived. A primarily sessile parasite native to tropical and subtropical South America as well as Mexico and Arizona, this insect lives on cacti in the genus Opuntia, feeding on plant moisture and nutrients. These insects are found on the pads of prickly pear cacti, then are brushed off and dried.

The insect produces carminic acid that deters predation by other insects. Carminic acid, typically 17-24% of dried insects' weight, can be extracted from the body and eggs, then mixed with aluminium or calcium salts to make carmine dye, also known as cochineal. Today, carmine is primarily used as a colorant in food and in lipstick.

The carmine dye was used in Central America in the 15th century for coloring fabrics and became an important export good during the colonial period. After synthetic pigments and dyes such as alizarin were invented in the late 19th century, natural-dye production gradually diminished. Health fears over artificial food additives, however, have renewed the popularity of cochineal dyes, and the increased demand has made cultivation of the insect profitable again,[1] with Peru being the largest exporter. Some towns in the Mexican state of Oaxaca are still working in handmade textiles using this cochineal


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