From Academic Kids

Halaal (Arabic: حلال, halāl, also sometimes spelt halal) is the Islamic term for "permissible," similar to the Jewish kosher. The use of the term varies between Arabic-speaking Muslim communities and non-Arabic-speaking ones.



Halāl has a general meaning and a more specific one. In Arabic-speaking countries, the term halāl is used to describe anything that is permissible under Islamic law, in contrast to harām, that which is forbidden. This includes behavior, speech, dress, and manner.

In non-Arabic-speaking countries, the term is most commonly used in the narrower context of Muslim dietary laws, especially where meat and poultry are concerned, though it can be used for the more general meaning as well.

Dietary usage

A variety of foods are considered harām, including: the flesh of swine (pork), blood, and animals slaughtered in the name of anyone but God, carrion, carnivourous animals with the exception of all fish and sea animals, and all intoxicants (specifically alcohol).

The halāl method of slaughtering animals is to cut through the large arteries in the neck to allow blood to leave more quickly, which is preceded by the words "In the name of God, most gracious, most merciful" (Arabic بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ, bismillāh, i-rahman, i-rahīm). Killing the animal in this way is considered by Muslims to be both cleaner and more merciful to the animal. However, many animal rights groups contend that this causes unnecessary pain and suffering to the animal when compared to modern methods of animal slaughter, which involve stunning the animal before killing it, which is forbidden in Islam since halāl slaughter requires the animal to be conscious.

The Qur'anic verse 5:5 declares that the food of the People of the Book is halāl. Typically this is taken as referring to the food of Jews as the dietary laws are similar enough to though less restrictive than those regulating kashrut that devout Muslims can consume kosher meat and other food products when there are no halāl alternatives. For example, if there is a famine and only pork is available, the Muslim who eats pork to survive will not face punishment. Of course, kosher products including alcohol are still harām.

Sikhism technically forbids Sikhs from eating halāl meat, for the same reason that Muslims are prohibited from eating meat "dedicated to false gods."

See also

External links

  • Zabihah.com (http://www.zabihah.com) Online halāl restaurant guide
  • Halaal and Haraam (http://www.islamic.co.uk/halaal/main.asp) (Islamic.co.uk) About halāl and harām foods, ingredients, and behaviorde:halal



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