Wednesday, 8 October 2008

What is 'halal'?

Halal is an Arabic word meaning permissible and refers to anything permitted according to syariah, or Muslim law, as opposed to Haram, which means unlawful of forbidden.

The following are considered as haram and not permitted for consumption by Muslims:
-swine or pork and their by-products
-animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering
-animals killed in the name of other than Allah
-alcohol and intoxicants
-carnivorous animals, birds of prey and land animals without external ears
-blood and by-products of blood
-food contaminated by any of the above products
-food containing ingredients such as gelatine, enzyme and emulsifiers that are questionable because of the origin of these ingredients is unknown and more information is needed in order to categorise them as halal or haram

For the meat to be halal, some rules must be followed in the interest of animal welfare: the animal must be fed as normal and given water prior to slaughter; the animal must not witness another animal being slaughtered; the knife must be razor sharp and must slit the animal’s throat from vein to vein with one swipe; and the slaughtere and the animal should be facing the Qiblat (Mecca).

Source: Time Out, Gulf Times

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