Halal vs Haram Food: What You Need to Know

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Halal vs Haram Food

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In Islam, the concepts of halal and haram are important in Muslim daily life, especially in relation to food. These are not only terms or labels; they represent a set of dietary laws that guide Muslims in their eating habits. Muslims who are living in non-Islamic countries should know the importance of halal food.

Difference Between Halal vs Haram food

Halal: “Halal” is an Arabic word that means “lawful or permitted.” In food and drink, the halal refers to eating and drinking things that are allowed under Islamic law. 

This also includes how the food is sourced, processed, and prepared. Halal food must be free from any haram substance or methods that Islam forbids. For example, goats, camels, or sheep must be slaughtered in a specific way while invoking the name of Allah. The laws of halal have remained the same throughout time.  

Haram: The “Haram” is also an Arabic word that means “forbidden” or “unlawful. The most common example of haram food is pork, which is forbidden according to Islamic dietary laws. 

Another example of Haram is alcohol, blood, and the meat of animals that were not slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines or died due to illness, injury, or natural death.

Halal & Haram, according to the Quran

Below are 2 verses with ayat from the Quran related to the haram vs halal.

قُلْ هُوَ الْقَذَرُ وَمَا تُذْبَحُوا عَلَى الْأنصَابِ وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُوا بِالازْلامِ ذَلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ الْيَوْمَ يَئِسُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِي أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلامَ دِينًا
He has forbidden to you only dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But if one is compelled by necessity without willful transgression or exceeding the limit, there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Surah Al-Baqarah (2:173)

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلَّا مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَوَمَا قُرِّدَ عَلَى الْنُصُبِ وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُوا بِالازْلامِ ذَلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ الْيَوْمَ يَئِسُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِي أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلامَ دِينًا
Forbidden to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been slaughtered in the name of any other than Allah, the strangled animal, or killed by a violent blow, or by a fall, or by the goring of horns, or one that has been eaten by a wild animal – unless you slaughter it while it is still alive – and that which has been slaughtered on an altar – and that you seek fortune by divining arrows. All this is transgression. This day those who disbelieve have despaired of your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon

Surah Al-Maidah (5:3)

What is Halal Meat?

halal meat 1

Animals like goats, sheep, camels, lambs, chickens, and cows are slaughtered according to the Islamic way for halal meat. The process of slaughtering animals is called ‘Zabihah.’ In this process, the human slaughtered the animal by saying the name of Allah.

Below are some guidelines that must be followed while slaughtering an animal in the Islamic way.

  1. Only Muslim people should slaughter the animal.
  2. The animal should be alive and healthy.
  3. Do not slaughter the animal in front of the other animal.
  4. When Muslims slaughter animals, they should say ‘Bismillah’, which means ‘In the name of Allah.
  5. The knife should be sharp enough so the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe are cut in once.
  6. All equipment, knives, and facilities must be free from non-halal substances.
  7. The animal must hang upside down so all blood should drain from the meat.
  8. The pigs, carnivorous animals, birds of prey, pests, and poisonous or hazardous animals are not halal.

Types of Halal Foods

types of halal food

Below is the list of halal food that is allowed to eat

  • Fruits and vegetables are naturally halal food items that Muslims can consume without restrictions.
  • Rice, wheat, lentils, and beans are all Halal.
  • Seafood-like fish and other creatures of the sea are halal.
  • Cheese, milk, and fruit juices are Halal as long as they are free from alcohol and other Haram substances.

In non-Islamic countries, companies label food and drinks with Halal certification. This helps Muslims easily identify which halal food products to use. These include snacks, beverages, and canned goods.

In recent years, the Halal product market has expanded. Halal-certified products like cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and meat can be easily found in supermarkets.

Types of Haram Foods

types Haram Food

Below is the list of food and drink items that are prohibited in Islam. You should know that eating or drinking any of them is a major sin. But If your life is in danger, or there is no food and drink available, and for medicine purposes, you can use it.

  1. Meat that is not slaughtered or Zabihah according to the Qur’an or Hadeeth method.
  2. The Pork and its products are haram.
  3. Alcohol and or usage of alcohol in any food or drink item it will be haram.
  4. Consuming blood is strictly prohibited.
  5. Animals that are dead, die due to illness, and naturally dead they are haram.
  6. Carnivorous animals and birds

Why Halal Food is important for Muslims?

Halal Food importance for Muslims

The reason that we Muslims only eat Halal food and meat is a fundamental aspect of a Muslim’s faith. In the Quran, the holy book of Islam, and the Hadith, the sayings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) clearly explain the halal and haram food.

Consuming Halal food in Muslims obeys the commands of Allah (God) and follows the teachings of Islam. Muslims ensure that the food consumed is pure and clean, free from any impurities or haram substances. This helps Muslims maintain a clear conscience and a pure heart, essential for their spiritual connection with Allah.

Halal food preparation involves specific hygienic and Islamic methods. For example, the process of slaughtering animals in Halal procedures ensures that the blood is fully drained from the veins, reducing the risk of harmful bacteria and toxins.

Halal certification is the assurance of quality for Muslims. In non-Muslim countries, halal certification is maintained through strict standards and regulations set by Halal-certified authorities.  This ensures that the food meets all the requirements of Halal standards and gives Muslims confidence that they are consuming halal food.

Sharing Halal meals with family, neighbours, and friends is a cultural tradition. By doing this, it strengthens community bonds and maintains Islamic origin. Also, It helps Muslims to maintain their identity and values, especially when living in multicultural societies.

How to Identify Halal Foods in Non-Muslim Countries

Identify Halal Foods in Non-Muslim Countries

Many non-Muslim countries have Halal-certified authorities that ensure the products meet Halal standards. Popular certifications include Halal Australia, Halal Food Authority (HFA), and the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA).

Many cities have local Halal markets where you can find various Halal products. These markets are a great resource for fresh meat, groceries, and special items.

By remembering the points below, you can ensure that food, meat, or any item is halal or haram.

  1. On packed halal items, they have the “Halal Certified” logo.
  2. If there is no logo of halal, then look for look for the vegetarian sign. The sign will have a green square with a green dot in the middle.
  3. Always check the ingredients too.
  4. You can also download the application, and by scanning E-Codes online, it will tell you it is Halal or not.
  5. If you are eating at a restaurant, make sure it is Halal certified, and check their menu card; they do not serve the haram items. if they also serve haram food items, it is probably not a halal restaurant.
  6. Some restaurants serve alcohol, so, in my opinion, you should consider other restaurants it would be better to go for them.
  7. If the owner of restaurant is Muslim, then it is also credible for halal food, but make sure they also have a Halal certificate.

Umer Mehmood is a food blogger who shares his recipes and cooking adventures on Global Food Recipe. He inspired by the home-cooked meals my family made, and now he cook easy recipes that anyone can follow. He also review kitchen accessories which help you to make an best and informed choice for you kitchen.

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