The History of Halal Food

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The term “halal” gained popularity in 2024. Halal food has been a part of Islamic dietary laws since the inception of Islam over 1400 years ago. Numerous restaurants and grocery stores offer halal food dishes, but what does halal mean? 

While seeing halal products, have you ever questioned yourself when and how the word halal came into being and who invented it? Have you ever read the history of halal food?

It is okay if you are new to this concept. Here, you will learn about the history and some interesting facts about halal food.

The word Halal is derived from Arabic language, and translated as something “allowable” or “authorised.” The term halal is specifically related to food and denotes items that comply with Islamic dietary rules. The main guidelines about Halal items are derived from the Quran. The guidelines provided by Islam clearly define which type of food is permitted for consumption.

The history of halal food is linked back to ancient times. As Islam spread to other regions worldwide, so did the concept of halal food. Islam is the most followed religion in Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and India, so halal food has become an integral part of daily life.

Eating halal food is not only a religious practice but also has some health benefits. After proper research, many people view halal food as a healthier option.

The Origin of Halal Food

The idea of halal food started in the Arabian Peninsula around 1,400 years ago when Islam began. At that time, there wasn’t always enough food, so rules were made to help people eat food that was safe and good for them.

Islam has its standard for considering food permissible. According to Islam, food is lawful if it is free from prohibited substances or impurities. Islamic guidelines not only provide a list of halal meat but also include the slaughtering process. These guidelines were given by Allah (God) in the Quran and reached us by his Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Although some critics believe that labelling food as halal and haram will limit the variety of food a person can have, that is wrong. Islam provides a massive list of halal foods. Halal foods provide essential nutrients for a balanced diet and are available all over the world.

Latest Facts about the History of Halal Food

610 CEThe concept of halal food originates in the Arabian Peninsula with the advent of Islam.
7th CenturyQuranic dietary laws are established, defining halal and haram foods.
1907The first halal restaurant in the United States opened in New York City.
The first halal food certification agency was established in the United States.
2024The halal food market in the United States is expected to grow to $30 billion by 2025.
Present DayHalal food is now available in over 100 countries around the world.
1.9 BillionA number of Muslims worldwide are driving the demand for halal food.
Major MarketsCountries with significant halal markets include Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the United States.
CertificationHalal certification systems ensure compliance with Islamic dietary laws globally.

Guidelines defined by Islam for food

Guidelines defined by Islam for food
BeefCows are adequately slaughtered according to Islamic law, with the name of Allah invoked.
LambLamb and sheep are slaughtered humanely with a sharp knife, meeting Islamic guidelines.
GoatGoat meat is permissible if the slaughtering process follows Islamic guidelines.
CamelCamel meat, common in the Arabian Peninsula, is allowed if slaughtered according to Islamic law.
ChickenPoultry, including chicken and eggs, is halal if slaughtered according to Islamic procedures.
FishAll types of fish are halal and do not require specific slaughtering methods.
LocustsLocusts are halal and are a source of food during times of scarcity.
Fruits and VegetablesAll fruits and vegetables are halal, they also must free from harmful substances.
Grains and LegumesGrains like wheat, barley, and rice, as well as legumes like lentils and chickpeas, are halal

Why does Halal Foods matter?

Halal food is essential for Muslims to follow their religious beliefs. They also promote healthy eating habits and conscious consumption. By eating halal foods, Muslims show obedience to Allah (God) and foster a sense of community with other believers.

Quranic Verses on Halal Food

The guidelines for what is considered halal have been given by Allah through the Quran:

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ كُلُواْ مِمَّا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ حَلَٰلٗا طَيِّبٗا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَٰتِ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنِۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَكُمۡ عَدُوّٞ مُّبِينٌ
O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:168

This day, I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.

Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:3

By understanding halal foods and their significance in Islam, we can appreciate the rich history and culture of this religion. 

Popularity of Halal Food in 2024

Popularity of Halal Food in 2024

The demand for halal food increases over time, and so does the market for halal products. Most people think that halal products include only eatables, but that’s not the truth. There is a massive list of halal products, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and other consumer goods.

With the growth of technology, halal food has become more accessible than ever. With a massive number of Muslim communities (1.9 billion Muslims worldwide), there is a growing demand for halal products. Muslims and non-Muslims desire halal food because of its health benefits.

In recent times, people have loved fusion cuisine. Food experts combine traditional halal dishes with flavors from different cultures to conduct more food experiments. Mixing conventional recipes with new ideas provides a unique blend of both, which enhances the dining experience.

After seeing the growing demand for halal items, countries are developing halal certification systems. A certification system ensures that food products meet the standards set by Islamic dietary laws. This helps consumers identify halal products and makes buying easy. 

The Controversy Surrounding Halal Food

No matter how well something performs, there will always be critics. This is the case with halal food; despite its growing popularity, it has also faced some controversy. Some critics argue that prohibiting the consumption of pork limits consumer choices. Analysts believe that differentiating products can create discrimination towards non-Muslims.

The stunning process has always been debated whether or not it is permissible in halal food production. As we all know, stunning is a method used to render animals unconscious before slaughter. A group of Islamic scholars believe that stunning goes against Islamic principles. While others believe stunning is a more humane practice. So, the conflict regarding halal and haram is yet to be resolved.

The history of halal food is rooted back to Islamic traditions and has changed over time. The concept of halal spread across the globe with Islam.

With time, halal food turned into a critical part of global trade. Although there are controversies, the demand for halal products is continue growing. With more knowledge of halal products and their benefits, it is becoming widely accepted in all countries.

So, the next time you see a halal restaurant or product, remember to give it a try. Join the rising trend and try some tasty halal dishes for yourself.

Noreen Asghar
Noreen Asghar

Noreen Asghar is a food writer who develops halal food recipes and creates delicious dishes at home. She knows a lot about cooking and cooks unique sauces and food quickly. Her recipes are creative and quickly made so that anyone can cook at home. She also contributes recipes to Global Food Frenzy.

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