Fact Check: Defining What Halal Food Is

Indian RestaurantIslam is among multiple religions with strict dietary measures. Case in point, Muslims separate food as either “halal” (permissible) or “haram” (forbidden). Distinguishing halal food from haram can be difficult for the uninitiated, which is why Lagun-Sari.com.sg offers specialised halal buffet catering, making it easier for most to conform to regulations.

For the sake of the knowledge, however, it’s still handy to know which food Muslims consider halal.

General Guidelines

The rules used for distinguishing halal food are derived from Islamic Shari’ah, or the main body of Islamic law. Much of what constitutes halal rulings involve meat and the slaughter of animals. To make meat halal, an animal or poultry must be slaughtered in the ways of Zabihah.

Zabihah rituals require animals to be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter, due to Islamic law forbidding the consumption of carrion. It must also be slit at the throat with a razor sharp knife, in an attempt to lessen its pain and suffering. Meat from an animal killed in other ways apart from the Zabihah method is considered haram; such as one killed by a violent blow.

Furthermore, halal rulings also put noticeable concern on animal welfare. For instance, it is mandated that animals be fed as normal and given clean drinking water before the slaughter. The process must also not be done in the presence of other animals, and that the knife be super-sharp so as to cut through flesh easily and let the animal die quickly.

Specific Rules

The Islamic Qur’an also mentions specific food and drink which are considered haram. Pig meat is among those which are strictly forbidden, as well as alcohol, blood in liquid form, and meat from an animal that has died of natural causes.

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Several Muslims are also aware of what other types of food were used as ingredients. For instance, food and drink which use animal-based products like lard, gelatine, or enzymes as ingredients are classified as haram. Beliefs, however, vary greatly among Muslims themselves. For instance, a number of Muslims believe that animals and poultry slaughtered by non-Muslims can be eaten, leading to them buying from conventional supermarkets or butchers. Those who follow far-stricter rules on the other hand may choose only to buy from a halal butcher.