Mushbooh is an Arabic term that means suspected, questionable, or doubtful. The things that are not clearly Halal or Haram according to Quran and Sunnah or those that need more information to be evident as Halal/ Haram are the doubtful ones.
So according to Shariah, if one does not know the Halal or Haram status (source) of a certain food or drink, such a food or drink is doubtful. Muslims are instructed to avoid doubtful things to purify their Deen and honour.
Mushbooh is sometimes also said to be Makrooh (discouraged/ detested). In the fold of Islam, likewise, the Halal and Haram, the word, Mushbooh, exercises all aspects of life (food, actions, and policies).
Given the Mushbooh meaning, scholars' opinions differ on the ruling of the doubtful matters, whether they are Halal or Haram.
In one Hadith, the messenger of Allah said:
"The lawful is what Allah has made lawful in His Book, and the unlawful is what Allah has made unlawful in His book. Whatever He has been silent over has been pardoned." (Sunan Ibn Majah)
However, in another Hadith, the last messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) advised the Muslims not to fall into doubtful matters.
On the authority of Abi Ab'dillahi al-Nu'man ibn Basheer (R.A), Prophet said:
"The lawful is clear, and the unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know. So whoever is wary of the doubtful matters has saved his religion and his honour". (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)
Therefore, some scholars opine that all doubtful matters are Haram, while others say all doubtful matters are Halal, and a few don't give any ruling.
Even comprehensive Hadiths infer the fact that many people don't understand what doubtful matters are and what their ruling is. However, one thing is clear the doubtful food, things, and matters are in between Halal and Haram, and refraining from them will be from piety. So instead of arguing over those food items' permissibility and unlawfulness, it is better to stay away from them as per the advice of Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Allah Almighty knows best.
That being said, the food items that are open to interpretation can be Halal and/or Haram in a particular circumstance, for instance, in a matter of life and death. Otherwise, as per the interpretations of the Hadiths, scholars suggest leaving doubtful food is from piety.
Therefore, observant Muslims avoid consuming questionable foods and beverages to keep their religious commitments safe.
Some companies have registered their brands and products under the Halal label. However, for that food with no label as halal or Haram, make sure to verify them from a religious scholar or with a halal scanner app before consumption.
One must know the source of the product before consumption. All food products and ingredients whose origins are unknown will fall under the Mushbooh category, whether made from Halal or Haram sources.
Similar to Halal and Haram, the application of Mushbooh meaning applies to all stages of processing – from farm to table. The following is the list of Mushbooh food:
All snacks, chocolates, confectionery products, beverages with doubtful ingredients and additives, alcoholic fillings, and questionable artificial colouring.
Some Muslim scholars and factions regard Amphibians (animals that live both in water and on land) as Mushbooh – frogs, turtles, crocodiles, and seals.
Synthetic materials that are not safe for humans and unadulterated with filth (najis).
Products/ ingredients with uncertainty about their permission or prohibition under Islamic laws.
The below ingredients mostly come in Mushbooh because of their origin (animal products).
Gelatin, Yeast (Yeast Extract, Autolyzed Yeast from brewer's yeast), Renin/Rennet, Enzymes, Emulsifiers, Whey, Pepsin, Monoglycerides, Hydrolyzed Animal Protein, Glycogen, Glycerol Stearate, Glyceride, Diglyceride, Fatty acid, Hormones, Cochineal/Carmine Color, Shellac.
So unless specified, these ingredients source is Halal (grain, plant products, synthetic) the manufactured food will be Mushbooh or Haram.
Therefore, in today's marketplace, a vast range of products belongs to the food grey area, given their questionable origin. However, Muslims must be cautious of doubtful things.
Practising Muslims with the help of a Halal checker app with authentic results for the food Halal/ Haram/ Mushbooh status can avoid them. Mustakshif Halal food checker thoroughly checks the ingredients of all the ready-made and semi-ready processed foods and specifies their status. In addition, you can find suitable Halal-certified food alternatives to all the Mushbooh and Makrooh foods with a single touch.
In a Muslim country, all the meat in the market and slaughtering will be according to Muslim laws. Thus, that meat will not be Mushbooh and is lawful to consume. Similarly, if one knows that the meat is from haram animals or slaughtered by illegal means (killing by shocking/ strangling/ beating) forbidden by Islam, regardless of being in a Muslim or non-Muslim country, one should avoid it at all costs.
However, the meat will be doubtful if one can't identify the source (an animal whose meat it is). Or if one can't guarantee that the slaughtering is according to Muslim rites. So it is better not to eat it. It is because it is a must for Muslims to eat only lawful things.
The chocolate itself is not Haram. For the most part, it is a plant-derived item/ ingredient. Therefore, it is generally ruled as halal.
However, if it contains Mushbooh additives, bacon, animal fats, or alcohol, it is Haram. Not only the ingredients but also the Mushbooh or Haram items used for machinery and packaging will make the chocolate Mushbooh or Haram.
No. A Muslim can be a vegan or vegetarian due to any health reasons or personal taste. Besides, most vegetarian and vegan foods are halal except for alcohol and other prohibited items, including animal byproducts such as gelatin and rennet.
The Mushbooh meaning is suspected. Some medicines like stimulants, depressants, and multivitamins may have Haram or doubtful ingredients like animal products, gelatin, and alcohol. Therefore, Muslim scholars consider some medicines as Musbooh or Haram because of their origin.