#461: Eating Raw Egg

Question:

Assalamualaikum w.b.t. Is it permissible to eat raw eggs? Hope for an explanation. Thank you.

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam w.b.t.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those who follow his footsteps until the Last Day.

We begin with the statement of Allah SWT:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحَرِّمُوا طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

“O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.” [1]

The above verse contains reminders for believers to not prohibit anything that is good, which Allah SWT permits for them which includes food, drink and marrying women that constricts what Allah SWT has widened for them. Furthermore, this verse also reminds them to not transgress the limitations that Allah SWT has prohibited, for indeed, Allah SWT dislikes transgressors. [2]

Mukadimah

Eggs are a versatile food and can be served in a variety of ways. Apart from that, it is also one of the people’s favourite foods and is an important ingredient in the Malay community’s cuisine. For example, boiled eggs are often cut small and eaten with nasi lemak, also eaten with curry noodles or laksa and others. In addition, eggs are one of the healthiest foods and can be a good source of protein. In addition, an egg also has a variety of vitamins such as vitamins A, B2, B12 and D as well as minerals such as folate and iodine.

There is one thing we usually hear that is about the benefits of eating raw eggs, especially for bodybuilders to build more muscle. Therefore, some people add a grain of two raw eggs to drinks or smoothies, as a booster that can help them build more muscle in a short time. The question that arises is this true?

In fact, boiled eggs are better than raw eggs. This is because it has more protein than raw eggs. Eating or drinking raw eggs does not have any additional benefits compared to boiled eggs or half-cooked eggs. The process of cooking eggs helps to break down protein so that it is easier to digest and absorbed by the body. In addition, the protein in raw eggs is only absorbed by 50-60% compared to 90% of the protein found in boiled eggs. Not only that, eggs have a kind of water-soluble vitamin that is great for hair and nail growth. This benefit cannot be enjoyed by those who eat raw eggs due to the existence of a type of protein called avidin. Avidin in raw eggs will prevent biotin from being fully absorbed by the body. Cooked eggs do not have avidin because this protein is broken down after cooking.

However, if you still choose to eat raw eggs, make sure the eggs are stored in a cool, dry area such as in the refrigerator. Also, wash and wipe the cooking area well and wash your hands before handling the eggs. Also, make sure not to eat eggs that have passed the deadline and eggs that are broken or cracked. [3]

Eating raw egg

Regarding this matter, Imam al-Nawawi stated that egg from permissible animal to be eaten is pure according to the ijmak. While egg from non-halal animals, it is divided into two opinions. The stronger opinion in this matter is that it is considered pure. [4] Likewise, al-Khatib al-Syirbini further explained that there is khilaf among scholars regarding the halal status of the egg of animals that are impermissible to be eaten. In the book al-Majmu’, it is stated that the egg is considered pure – and this is the rajih opinion – hence, it is halal to be eaten without any khilaf because it is considered pure and not disgusting. [5]

Furthermore, al-Qalyubi also stated that all types of eggs are pure, even if it originates from non-halal animals. Even if it has changed into the blood and if it is incubated it will surely hatch. However, it is prohibited to eat any harmful eggs such as snake eggs. [6]

Thus, we can conclude that all types of eggs are halal to be eaten regardless of whether the egg originates from halal or non-halal animals except if there is evidence stating otherwise such as when it is harmful to those who eat it and others. This follows the Islamic legal maxim:

الْأَصْلُ فِي الْأَشْيَاءِ الْإِبَاحَةُ حَتَّى يَدُلُّ الدَّلِيلُ عَلَى التَّحْرِيمِ.

“The original ruling of something is its permissibility until there is evidence stating its prohibition (of the matter).” [7]

However, one should also consider the health aspect of this matter. The reason is the surface of an apparently clean and uncracked chicken egg may seem uncontaminated. However, there is still the risk that it has been contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella. According to Dr Ida Zarina Zaini, Emergency Medicine Specialist, Tuanku Muhriz Chancellor’s Hospital Emergency Medicine Department (HCTM), Salmonella is a group of bacteria that cause food poisoning. Clean eggshell surfaces are infected with Salmonella during the laying process or through chicken faeces in the area around the laying hens. However, chicken eggs can be free of Salmonella bacteria after pasteurization, which is a heating process to kill germs on the eggs.

He added that patients infected with Salmonella will begin to experience symptoms of food poisoning such as stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fever within 12 to 72 hours. However, patients can develop these symptoms in a short period of time, which is about 30 minutes after consuming food contaminated with Salmonella, but it is rare. This is because Salmonella produces toxins that attack cells on the surface of the intestine causing individuals to get symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. Typically, the symptoms experienced by an individual occur within three to seven days and will heal without the need for hospital treatment.

In addition, these Salmonella bacteria are also very dangerous because they not only cause food poisoning but also be fatal. This is because food poisoning caused by Salmonella can result in death in two ways, namely when the patient loses severe water (dehydration) and sepsis. Then he concluded by saying, that is why people are not encouraged to eat raw or half-cooked eggs. [8]

Conclusion

Thus, according to the above discussion, in our opinion, it is permissible to eat raw eggs. However, if there is harm to one’s health and can lead to food poisoning, then it is prohibited. Allah SWT states:

وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ

“And do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction,” [9]

The above verse means that you shouldn’t place yourself in matters that could lead to destruction, however, you should do things that can lead towards safety. [10]

Here, we’d like to suggest that it is better for the egg to be cooked first before being eaten such as by boiling or frying it and others to ascertain that it is safe to be eaten and ensure the health of one’s body.

May Allah SWT grant us all a clear understanding in religion. Amin.

Wallahu a’lam.

 

[1] Surah al-Maidah: 87

[2] See al-Tafsir al-Muyassar, pg. 122

[3] See https://hellodoktor.com/pemakanan/fakta-nutrisi/makan-telur-mentah-rebus/. Accessed on 9th February 2022.

[4] See al-Majmu‘ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 2/555.

[5] See Mughni al-Muhtaj, 6/158.

[6] See Hasyiata Qalyubi wa ‘Umairah, 1/82.

[7] See al-Asybah wa al-Naza’ir by al-Suyuti, pg. 60.

[8] See https://www.hmetro.com.my/sihat/2020/06/589501/makanlah-telur-betul-betul-masak. Accessed on 9th February 2022.

[9] Surah al-Baqarah: 195

[10] See Zubdah al-Tafasir min Fath al-Qadir, hlm. 38.

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