How Do I Know the Source of Live Cultures in Yogurt?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat


How do I know if the live cultures in yogurt are sourced from pigs or other microbial? Life is getting complicated when it comes to choosing food.


Most of the yogurt people have access to comes from cow, goat, or sheep milk. All three are pure, and the default ruling is that yogurts retain purity and permissibility.

There would be no need to think otherwise unless there was some strong evidence to suggest so. You can relax and continue consumption based on the default ruling. Certainty is not lifted by doubts or mere possibilities. [Zarqa, Sharh al Qawa’id al-Fiqhiyya]

Microbial Cultures

I looked into the matter, and it seems that most yogurt cultures come from cows, sheep, goats, and similar animals. I did not see any reference to pigs being the source of any cultures. In any case, most cultures are taken from earlier strains as it is easier to produce that way.

If you feel uncomfortable consuming it, you can follow the injection of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “Leave what distresses you and go to what does not distress you.” [Tirmidhi]. Just be sure that it is based on sound knowledge.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.