In Islam, eating is regarded as an act of worship to God along with prayer, fasting, alms and other religious practices. In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about the halal diet and halal food.
This is not the case with pork, as its consumption is restricted in the Muslim religion. That being said, halal food means any type of food that is made with halal ingredients. All products of an animal, from meat to bones to wool can be considered halal, since it’s the method of slaughter that determines if something is halal.
This is usually a subject of controversy, as the animals must be slaughtered with a very sharp knife and bled to death. The carotid artery and jugular vein must be carefully cut to keep the spinal cord intact.
In addition, another indication of the ritual is that the animal's head should be facing the direction of Mecca during the slaughter process.
After completion, halal meat should no longer come into contact with other haram meats. On the other hand, the animal sacrificed on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr celebration must undergo a stricter ritual.
These are the rules to follow during an Islamic slaughter ritual:
Some experts claim that animals sacrificed in this way will not suffer if the act is carried out quickly and cleanly, because they will lose consciousness before the brain can perceive pain. The throat of the animal is cut with a quick movement with a sharp knife. Unconsciousness is reached in seconds and death occurs due to brain hypoxia, not blood loss.
Some ingredients that are halal could be meat, parts of fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta, etc. Halal food ingredients include all foods allowed, mainly foods of animal origin. Therefore, some ingredients that are halal could be sheep, cattle, goat, and camel meat, as well as horse, poultry or rabbit meat.
Seafood, fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta and cereals are also permitted. On the contrary, pork, which is usually cited as an example is haram, as well as any meat of animals that have not undergone Islamic slaughter rituals.
However, Hanafi Sunnis and Shiites reject this explanation. They consider fish as the only seafood whose consumption should be legal and relegate shellfish to the category of Haram foods.
How does the shehita ritual develop? The trachea and esophagus of the animal are cut along a precise path with a chalaf, which is a very sharp knife without notches or irregularities. The sacrificed animal is hanged upside down to drain its blood. In the Jewish religion, the consumption of blood (such as that of the sciatic nerve) is prohibited.
The slaughtered animal is then inspected to ensure that the shehita has complied with the ritual requirements, which vary according to the traditions. Finally, the meat is soaked and salted.
Judaism prohibits the consumption of meat and dairy products together. In addition, these foods must not have been handled with the same utensils, from the spoon to the containers. Simply put, Halal and Kosher are two methods of ritual slaughter of animals intended for human consumption. The Halal method respects the rules decreed by the Quran, while the kosher method does the same with the rules of the Torah.
There are several specialized agencies whose job is to verify that the specifications are respected and to approve the halal products as legal. Halal food certification is represented by a label that is widely used on packaging worldwide, for reasons often more commercial than religious. This is due to the lack of clear and precise legislation or due to discrepancies, even within the certification bodies.
The only foods expressly prohibited in the Quran are dead animal meat (rotten flesh), blood, pork, and meat dedicated to any gods other than Allah. However, this is a more extensive list of foods and ingredients that are haram or prohibited in Islam:
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