What is Halal ?

halal global Capture

Halal is a Quranic word meaning lawful or permitted. In reference to food, it is the dietary standard, as prescribed in the Quran the Muslim scripture. General Quranic guidance dictates that all foods are Halal except those that are specifically mentioned as Haram (unlawful or Prohibited).

The life of a Muslim revolves around the concept of Halal. A Muslim must earn income from Halal sources, be involved only in Halal transactions and consume Halal food and drink.

This is a thinly veiled attempt to promote the spread of sharia in non-Muslim countries. Islamist zeal is exploiting commercial gain as part of its unrelenting mission to conquer the world for Islam. The tactics used in this video are deplorable, twisting the truth and using the worst methods of slick advertising to convince the non-Muslims of the supposed advantage of halal products.

THE BIBLE FORBIDS CHRISTIANS TO CONSUME MEAT THAT HAS BEEN SLAUGHTERED TO IDOLS:

Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded … that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

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CONCEPT OF HALAL (Islamic Council of Queensland)

Islamic-Council-of-Queensland-Logo

Staying away from Haram for the Muslim, particularly in non-Islamic society is a life-long struggle. But, if a Muslim tries sincerely, Allah Ta’ala makes this effort easy. It is obvious that Muslims should seek an education and training for themselves and for their children. Education of Muslim children cannot be complete if it fails to inculcate in them a strong faith in the superiority of Halal practices.

All foods are made lawful according to Muslim Scripture, The Glorious Qur-an;

O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you and render thanks to Allah, if it is He whom we worship (Qur-an Chapter II Verse 172).

The unlawful foods are specifically mentioned in the Glorius Qur-an, in the following verses;

He hath forbidden you only carrion and blood and swine flesh and that which hath been immolated to any other than Allah.. (Quran Chapter II , Verse 173)

Forbidden unto you (for food) are: carrion, and blood, and swine flesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that hath been killed by the gorging of horns, and the devoured of wild beasts saving that which ye make lawful and that which hath been immolated to idols, and that ye swear by the divining arrows.

“Forbidden to you is anything that dies by itself, and blood and pork, as well as whatever has been consecrated to something besides Allah, and whatever has been strangled, beaten to death, trapped in a pit, gored, and what some beast of prey has begun to eat, unless you give it the final blow; and what has been slaughtered before some idol, or what you divide up in a raffle; (all) that is immoral!” (5:3)

This is an abomination… (Chapter V, Verse 3)

Consumption of alcohol and other methods of intoxication are prohibited to following guidance in Qur-an;

O ye who believe! Strong drinks and games of chance, and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork, leave it aside in order that ye may succeed (Chapter V, Verse 90).

Meat is the only regulated of the food groups, Not only are blood, pork, and the meat of dead animals or those immolated to other than Allah strongly prohibited, it is also required that the halal animals be slaughtered while pronouncing the name of Allah at the time of slaughter.

Eat of that over which the name of Allah hath been mentioned, if ye are believers in his revelations (Chapter VI Verse 119).

And eat not of that whereon Allah’s name hath not been mentioned, for lo! it is abomination. Lo! The devils do inspire their minions to dispute with you. But if ye obey them, ye will be in truth idolators (Chapter VI Verse 122).

Islam is not a mere religion. It is a way of life with rules and manners governing every facet of life. Since food is an important part of daily life, food laws carry a special significance.

Muslims are expected to eat for survival, to maintain good health and not to live for eating. In Islam, eating is considered to be a matter of worship of God like prayer, fasting, alms-giving and other religious activities.

Muslim eats to maintain a strong and healthy physique in order to be able to contribute his knowledge and effort for the welfare of the society. Muslims are supposed to make an effort to obtain the best quality nutritionally.

It is mentioned in a Hadith that the Du’aa (prayer) of a person is rejected by Allah if his food is haraam. Another Hadith states that Jahannam (hell-fire) is more deserving of the flesh which has been nourished with haraam.

The basic principle is that all things created by God are permitted, with a few exceptions that are specifically prohibited.

To make lawful and unlawful is the right of God alone. No human being, no matter how pious or powerful, may take this into his hands. Falsely representing unlawful as lawful is prohibited. It is unlawful to legalise God’s prohibitions by excuses.

Prohibiting what is permitted by God and permitting what is prohibited by God is similar to ascribing partners with God.

The reason for the prohibition is due to impurity and harmfulness. Good intentions do not make the unlawful acceptable.

That is permitted is sufficient and what is prohibited is then harmful, God prohibited only things that are harmful while providing better alternatives.

HALAL CONCEPT

Within the Islamic religion, a strong emphasis is placed on cleanliness – both spiritually and in the context of food and drink. For a food or drink product to be approved for consumption it must conform to the Islamic dietary laws as specified in the Qur’an, the Hadith (sayings) of the Prophet Muhammad, his Sunnah (tradition) and in the Fiqh (understanding) of the Islamic Jurists: Hanafi, Shafi’, Maliki and Hambali. The Qur’an has numerous injunctions instructing Muslims to choose and consume good and wholesome foodstuffs.

In the selection of food and drink, Islam has laid down three very important guidelines, namely;

  • Whether the consumption of the foodstuff is prohibited by Allah,
  • Whether the foodstuff is obtained through Halal or Haram means, and
  • Whether or not the material is harmful to health.

There are several factors that determine the Halal/Haram status of a particular foodstuff. Amongst others, it is dependent on its nature, how it was processed and where it originated from.

As an example, any pig product is considered Haram because the material itself is Haram. Whereas beef from an animal that has not been slaughtered according to Islamic rites would still be considered Haram.

Also Haram is food that has been stolen or acquired through unethical means. Islam also prohibits the usage of any materials that are detrimental to the spiritual or mental well-being of a person, such as alcoholic drinks and drugs.

The concept of Halal in Islam has very specific motives;

  • To preserve the purity of religion
  • To safeguard the Islamic mentality
  • To preserve life
  • To safeguard property
  • To safeguard future generations
  • To maintain self-respect and integrity.

Islam encourages its followers to choose Halal foods. This awareness is always propagated in Muslim societies and is strengthened by the widespread knowledge extolling the virtues of consuming clean and Halal foods.

Due to advancements in food technology and distribution, Muslims are more exposed to various ingredients and manufactured foods imported into Muslim countries.

The most common of these are food additives, gelatine, emulsifiers and rennet in cheese manufacture. The Muslim community would like to know whether or not the addition, the ingredients or the finished foods contain any Haram substance.

These products can become Halal if the raw materials are Halal and the process is compatible with the Islamic way.

To determine the Halal-Haram status of foodstuffs and other material,

Islam has laid general guidelines on this matter, namely:
  1. All raw materials and ingredients used must be Halal.
  2. Naturally Halal animals such as cattle, goats etc., must be slaughtered according to Islamic rites, the rituals specify that the act must be performed by a mentally sound Muslim, to sever the blood and respiratory channels of the animal, using a sharp cutting tool such as knife.
  3. The Halal ingredients must not be mixed, or come into contact with haram materials such as products from pig or dog during storage, transport, cooking, serving etc.

It must be understood that the production of Halal food is not only beneficial to Muslims, but also to food producers, by means of increased market acceptance of their products.

Manufacturers and exporters of Halal products can receive Halal certification for their products from AFIC.

HALAL

In general every food is considered lawful in Islam unless it is specially prohibited by the Qu’ran or the Hadith. By official definition, Halal foods are those that are:

  • Free from any component that Muslims are prohibited from consuming according to Islamic law.
  • Processed, made, produced, manufactured and or stored using utensils, equipment and/or machinery that have been cleansed according to Islamic law.
Animal Kingdom:

This includes land animals and marine animals. All freshwater and saltwater animals (those which live in water all the time) are permitted unless they are harmful to health.

There is no requirement to slaughter the marine animals.

The Plant Kingdom:

All products derived from plants are lawful for Muslim consumption except when fermented to contain alcohol, or when containing intoxicants or ingredients otherwise harmful to humans.

The Mineral Kingdom:

Generally safe substances derived from mineral or petroleum sources are Halal except those which might become intoxicating or those which pose a health hazard.

Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering in Halal Foods:

Biotechnology and bioengineering have started to reshape the food production, questions are being asked about the permissibility of foods produced using this technique.

Islam is a viable religion for all times and such issues are being reviewed on a case to case basis by the Muslim scholars. Biotechnology covers a wide range of biological science activities and may lead to a large number of different applications for the food industry and our food supply.

Bacterial Fermentation and their products:

Many useful products can be made by having bacteria produce them in fermentation tanks. Muslim religion is concerned with the actual components of these fermentation vats.

Fermentation process has been used to produce cheese, bread, fermented milk, vinegar and many other products for the millennia. Muslims consider the fermentation process to be useful for food production.

It is the use of product thus produced that is permitted or prohibited according to the scriptures.

If purified food chemicals through biotechnological techniques have traditional equivalents that are halal, they are also halal.

Consequently, products such a monosodium glutamate, citric acid and lactic acid are produced through biotechnology are halal provided they are free from prohibited contaminants.

Gene Products (Transgenically Produced Enzymes and Cultures):

Enzymes are widely used as biological catalysis in the food industry.

Some enzyme cultures are used internally in food products like bread and cheese, while other are used in intermediary media to carry out reactions to produce certain food products.

There are two distinct benefits of biotechnology reaped by the food industry;

Firstly by the biotechnology products have improved yields and decreased batch to batch variations in enzyme characteristics compared with those from traditional sources. Consequently, the cost of production for these food ingredients has decreased.

Secondly in some cases where traditional sources of such enzyme culture were unacceptable to Muslim consumers transgenically produced enzymes are permitted for use in the production of Halal foods.

For example bovine rennet produced from calves that have not been slaughtered according to Muslim requirements is not accepted by Muslim. Where as chymosin (the main enzyme found in rennet) produced microbally through transcription from the bovine chymisin gene is universally accepted by Muslims.

Free from contamination while prepared or processed with anything considered Najis (filthy).

HARAM

ACCORDING TO THE CURRENT ISLAMIC THINKING, THE FOLLOWING ARE CONSIDERED NAJIS AND THEREFORE HARAM (UNLAWFUL, PROHIBITED):

  • Swine including all by-products.
  • Insects considered ugly or filthy such as worms, lice, flies, etc.
  • Animals with fangs such as tigers, lions, cats etc,
  • Birds that have talons with which they catch their prey such as owls, eagles, etc.
  • Animals which Islam encourages to kill such as scorpions, centipedes, rats etc,
  • Dogs
  • Animals which Islam forbids to kill such as bees etc.
  • Animals which have toxins, poisons or produce ill effects when eaten such as some fish etc.
  • Amphibian animals such as crocodiles, turtles, frogs etc.
  • Meat (limbs, tails etc.) which have been cut from a live animal.
  • Lawful animals not slaughtered according to Islamic rites. (Fish is exempt from slaughtering).
  • Carrion or dead animals.

PLANT AND THEIR PRODUCTS.

  • Poisonous Plant
  • Intoxicating Plant

LIQUIDS AND THEIR PRODUCTS.

  • Poisonous drinks
  • Intoxicating drinks

OTHER MATTERS AND THEIR PRODUCTS.

  • Faeces and urine
  • Placental tissue
  • Blood

Halal Sources

Products made from the following substances are Halal unless containing or come into contact with a Haram substance

  • All plant and their products
  • Certified Halal meat, poultry, game birds and animals.
  • All water creatures, fish, crustaceans and molluscs.
  • Egg from acceptable birds only.
  • Rennet from certified Halal slaughtered calves
  • Non animal rennet (NAR, culture)
  • Gelatine produced from beef skins and/or bones,
  • Animal ingredients certified Halal
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