Much has been said about halal food. But what is it really? If you have Muslim friends as well as acquaintances and you want to make sure that they are respected at all cost, then it’s best to be acquainted with them. To add, lately, there have been a lot of calls for improved labelling of the so called items in restaurants, canteens, and so on. But what exactly is halal food and what makes them different from the rest? If you need a clear-cut explanation about them, then you came to the right place because that’s what this article aims to provide.
What is halal food?
Halal is an Arabic term which means permissible. That being said, halal food is food that strictly adheres to Islamic laws that are elaborated in the Koran or Quran. Here, animals and/or poultry undergo a specific form of slaughtering called dhabiha. It involves cutting via the carotid artery, jugular vein, and windpipe. The animals that are going to be used for halal must be healthy and at the same time alive during slaughter, then their blood drained. Along the way, the Muslim who is involved in the process recites a tasmiya or shahada, a kind of Muslim dedication.
It should be noted that halal food are not confined to meat; they also include rice, bread, pasta, and other grain-based products. However, they cannot be prepared using alcohol, lard, vanilla extract, and ingredients that are considered haram or forbidden by Allah. The same also goes for fruits and vegetables.
The question still stands: why do Muslims practice halal? Well, in Islam, there is a serious emphasis in the way life is treated and ended, this is true when it comes to animals. It’s believed that life is a sacred gift from God. With this in mind, in case where an animal’s life needs to be ended for human survival, the whole ordeal should be done in the name of Allah. For this reason, the phrase bismillah, which means “in the name of Allah,” needs to be said or recited prior to the slaughter process.
In line with all these, it should be noted that Muslims cannot consume animal meat that did not undergo the mandatory guidelines or those that are sacrificed in another name other than Allah. This is because those that are slaughtered in the name of a person (regardless if he/she is living or otherwise), idol, or deity, among others, is considered haram and are therefore not fit for consumption.
The dispute that halal food preparation is inhumane since animals are bled to death is untrue and in fact proven wrong by science. It should be noted that an animal’s throat is cut in a sudden as well as swift motion and is done with the use of a sharp object, sometimes a razor sharp knife or something similar. Afterwards, it becomes unconscious and dies due to cerebral hypoxia or reduced oxygen supply and not blood loss as originally thought.
These are only some of the most important things about halal food that you can acquaint yourself. Since food is an important aspect of life, Muslims are expected to consume them for survival and in the process achieve overall health and well-being. However, they should not live just for eating. It should be noted that in Islam, eating is heralded as a form of worship. Something in the mold of prayer, fasting, and so on. These are some of the reasons why Muslims put utmost importance to the food that they eat.