Fatwa ID: 02956
Answered by: Moulana Muqtaur Rahman
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah
Is cheese halal or haram?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
It was narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar: The Prophet (ﷺ) was brought a piece of cheese in Tabuk. He called for a knife, mentioned Allah's name and cut it.
Also narrated by Anas: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) freed Safiyya and then married her, and her Mahr was her freedom, and he gave a wedding banquet with Hais (a sort of sweet dish made from butter, cheese and dates).
Cheese made from milk contains an ingredient called infaha in Arabic and ‘Renner’ in English. It is used to coagulate or curdle milk.
If rennet is taken out of the stomach of an animal slaughtered in the name of Allah, there is no harm in using it. The meat, fat of an Islamically slaughtered animal are permissible. But, in the event they are taken from the stomach of an animal slaughtered unislamically, there is a difference of views among Muslim jurists. Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik consider it clean and pure while Imam Abu Yusuf, Muhammad and others call it unclean and impure.
There is a strong likelihood that rennet from unislamically slaughtered animals is used in cheese made in non-Islamic countries. Under the juristic position taken by Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik, leeway exists. However, it is more precautious to act upon the views of Imam Abu Yusuf and Muhammed and refrain from it.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Moulana Muqtaur Rahman
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
سنن أبي داود – كتاب الأطعمة: باب فِي أَكْلِ الْجُبْنِ – 3819 
-عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ أُتِيَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِجُبْنَةٍ فِي تَبُوكَ فَدَعَا بِسِكِّينٍ فَسَمَّى وَقَطَعَ–
صحيح بخاري – كتاب النكاح – باب الْوَلِيمَةِ وَلَوْ بِشَاةٍ–5169
عَنْ أَنَسٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَعْتَقَ صَفِيَّةَ، وَتَزَوَّجَهَا وَجَعَلَ عِتْقَهَا صَدَاقَهَا، وَأَوْلَمَ عَلَيْهَا بِحَيْسٍ
(Maariful Quran p.428 v.1)