Q. I would like to know if it is permissible to buy kefir grains to make kefir (which seems to be a type of yoghurt made with raw milk). It seems to be very healthy from what I’ve read. I am unsure if the grains, which are a starter culture similar to yeast are sourced from animals or plants. Below is some information which I have found about kefir grains.
A. The article you have forwarded states that in order to make home-made kefir starter culture the “grains” will have to be extracted from the digestive tract. This will involve the use of najaasat (impure substance) which is not permissible.
In so far as the ready-made kefir starter culture is concerned it is not clear how this is derived. It is thus mushtabah (doubtful) at the least and to abstain from it is waajib (obligatory).
Perhaps you can enquire from Dr. Mercola whose link is provided in your article, to clarify how the starter culture is derived and more specifically from where? You could also write to the Molecular Food Microbiology Laboratory (Stellenbosch University) whose article written by Dr Witthuhn appears in the email you sent.
Until it is not established with certainty that the laboratory produced kefir starter culture is free from animal and human sources it will not be permissible to utilize this substance, regardless of the purported benefits.
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15 Jamaadil Ula 1440 AH
21 January 2018
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Competition for Worldy Wealth
Narrated by `Amr bin `Auf Radiallahu Anhu:
(An ally of the tribe of Bani 'Amir bin Lu'ai and one of those who had witnessed the battle of Badr with Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)) Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) sent Abu 'Ubaida bin Al-Jarrah Radiallahu Anhu to Bahrain to collect the Jizya tax. Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) had concluded a peace treaty with the people of Bahrain and appointed Al 'Ala bin Al-Hadrami as their chief; Abu Ubaida Radiallahu Anhu arrived from Bahrain with the money. The Ansar heard of Abu 'Ubaida's Radiallahu Anhu arrival which coincided with the Fajr (morning) prayer led by Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). When Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam finished the prayer, they came to him. Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) smiled when he saw them and said, "I think you have heard of the arrival of Abu 'Ubaida and that he has brought something." They replied, "Yes, O Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)! " He said, "Have the good news, and hope for what will please you. By Allah, I am not afraid that you will become poor, but I am afraid that worldly wealth will be given to you in abundance as it was given to those (nations) before you, and you will start competing each other for it as the previous nations competed for it, and then it will divert you (from good) as it diverted them." '