Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
Question: Assalam alaykum,
Is it permissible to eat insects or food that uses dye made out of insects e.g. cochineal?
Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam
May Allah increase you in knowledge.
The majority of scholars including the Hanafi, Shafi’i and Hanbali jurists, considers the consumption of insects as impermissible. Yes, the excrete of certain insects such as the silk of the silkworm or the lac of the lack beatle is considered permissible, however insects are not.
Latitude regarding the consumption of insects do exists within the Maliki school, however, one is advised to follow the guidelines offered by the local halal certifying bodies. The position of our scholars here in the Cape, and consequently that of the Muslim Judicial Council is that cochineal is not Halal and that consumers should refrain from it, and Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.