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About Halal

Halal Food

 

Halal is an Arabic word meaning "lawful" or "permissible." The term covers not only food and drink, but also all matters of daily life.

The most common example of non-halal (or haraam) food is pork. While pork is the only meat that cannot be eaten by Muslims at all (due to perceived hygienic concerns), foods other than pork can also be haraam. The criteria for non-pork items include its source, the cause of the animal's death, and how it was processed.

The food must come from a supplier that uses halal practices. Specifically, the slaughter must be performed by a Muslim, who must precede the slaughter by invoking the name of Allah, most commonly by saying "Bismillah" ("In the name of Allah") and then three times "Allahu akbar" (God is the greatest). Then, the animal must be slaughtered with a sharp knife by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck (while the animal is conscious), causing the animal’s death without cutting the spinal cord. Lastly, the blood from the veins must be drained. This final step is performed because blood can harbor harmful bacteria[citation needed], and also to ensure that there are no blood clots, thus keeping the entire body safe and clean to be eaten.

Muslims must also ensure that all foods (particularly processed foods), as well as non-food items like cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are halal. Frequently, these products contain animal by-products or other ingredients that are not permissible for Muslims to eat or use on their bodies.