Islamic dietary laws

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Islamic jurisprudence specifies which foods are halāl (حَلَال "lawful") and which are harām (حَرَامْ "unlawful"). This is derived from commandments found in the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, as well as the Hadith and Sunnah, libraries cataloging things the Islamic prophet Muhammad is reported to have said and done. Extensions of these rulings are issued, as fatwas, by mujtahids, with varying degrees of strictness, but they are not always widely held to be authoritative.

According to the Quran, the only foods explicitly forbidden are meat from animals that die of themselves, blood, the meat of pigs, and any food dedicated to other than God.

However, a person would not be guilty of sin in a situation where the lack of any alternative creates an undesired necessity to consume that which is otherwise unlawful. (Quran 2:173) This is the "law of necessity" in Islamic jurisprudence: "That which is necessary makes the forbidden permissible."

Food preparation

Dhabīḥah (ذَبِيْحَة) is a prescribed method of ritual animal slaughter; it does not apply to most aquatic animals. The animal must be slaughtered while mentioning the name of God (Allah in Arabic). According to some fatwas, the animal must be slaughtered specifically by a Muslim; however, other fatwas dispute this, ruling that, according to verse 5:5 of the Qurʼan, an animal properly slaughtered by People of the Book is halal. The animal slaughtered must be killed quickly with a sharpened blade.

It must not suffer. It must not see the blade. It must not see or smell the blood from a previous slaughter. The main logic given by Islamic clerics is the significance of life. Many clerics argue that the life, given by God, is not an insignificant gift therefore no entity except God has the right to take this valuable gift away and by mentioning the God's name you imply that command of God.[citation needed]

Animals for food may not be killed by being boiled or electrocuted, and the carcass should be hung upside down for long enough to be free of blood.[1] All water game is considered halal (although the Hanafi madhhab differs on this): "Lawful to you is game from the sea and its food as provision for you [who are settled] as well as for travellers, although you are forbidden to hunt on land while you are in the state of pilgrimage. And be conscious of God, unto whom you shall be gathered." (Qurʼan 5:96.)

Prohibited food

A variety of substances are considered as unlawful (haraam) for humans to consume and, therefore, forbidden as per various Qurʼanic verses:

  • Intoxicants and alcoholic beverages[2]
  • Carrion (carcasses of dead animals which weren't killed by men or pets trained for purpose, like dogs or falcons)[3]
  • blood[4]
  • Pork[3]
  • Any food blasphemously dedicated to other than God[3][4]
  • An animal that has been strangled, beaten (to death), killed by a fall, gored (to death), or savaged by a beast of prey [4]

Quranic verses which have information regarding halal foods include: 2:173, 5:5, and 6:118–119, 121.

Intoxicants

In Islam, consumption of any intoxicants (khamr, specifically, alcoholic beverages) is generally forbidden in the Qur'an through several separate verses revealed at different times over a period of years. At first, it was forbidden for Muslims to attend prayers while intoxicated.

In addition to this, most observant Muslims refrain from consuming food products that contain pure vanilla extract or soy sauce if these food products contain alcohol; there is some debate about whether the prohibition extends to dishes in which the alcohol would be cooked off or if it would be practically impossible to consume enough of the food to become intoxicated.[5][6]

Substances which are intoxicants are not prohibited as such, although their consumption is.[7] For example, alcohol can be used as a disinfectant[8][9] or for cleaning, but not as a beverage.

The Alevi Muslims of Turkey permit alcohol, unlike many other denominations.[10] Ismaili Muslims are also noted for discouraging, rather than prohibiting, alcohol.[11] The Zaidi and Mutazili sects believe that the use of alcohol has always been forbidden and refer to the Qur'an Ayah (4:43) as feeling of sleepiness and not to be awake.

Carrion

Animal who dies of itself i.e., carrion

Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, and the strangled (animal) and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall and that killed by being smitten with the horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten, except what you slaughter, and what is sacrificed on stones set up (for idols) and that you divide by the arrows; that is a transgression. This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; but whoever is compelled by hunger, not inclining willfully to sin, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

— Qurʼan, Surah 5 (al-Maʼidah), ayah 3[12]


Blood

Blood and its by-products are forbidden in Islam, in the Qurʼan, surah 5, al-Maʼidah, verse 3:

Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, and the strangled (animal) and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall and that killed by being smitten with the horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten, except what you slaughter, and what is sacrificed on stones set up (for idols) and that you divide by the arrows; that is a transgression. This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; but whoever is compelled by hunger, not inclining willfully to sin, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

— Qurʼan, Surah 5 (al-Maʼidah), ayah 3[13]

Pork

Consumption of pork and products made from pork is strictly forbidden in Islam. The origin of this prohibition is in Surat al-Baqarah:

He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that over which any other (name) than (that of) God has been invoked; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

— Qurʼan, Sura 2 (Al-Baqara), ayat 173[14]

Animals dedicated to other than God

Animal dedicated to or slaughtered at the name of a human being or saint is prohibited.

He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that over which any other (name) than (that of) God has been invoked; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

— Qurʼan, Sura 2 (Al-Baqara), ayat 173[15]

Prohibited methods of slaughtering

An animal slaughtered by following methods is prohibited.

  • strangled to death
  • beaten to death
  • died due to falling
  • killed by being smitten by horn
  • eaten by wild beast

Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, and the strangled (animal) and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall and that killed by being smitten with the horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten, except what you slaughter, and what is sacrificed on stones set up (for idols) and that you divide by the arrows; that is a transgression. This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; but whoever is compelled by hunger, not inclining willfully to sin, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

— Qurʼan, Surah 5 (al-Maʼidah), ayah 3[16]

Others

Donkey meat is prohibited by holy prophet.

Narrated Ibn `Umar:

The Prophet prohibited the eating of donkey's meat.[17]

Predator animals possessing fangs are prohibited.e.g. Cat, dog, lion etc.

Narrated Abu Tha`laba:

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs(canine teeth).[18] [19]

Birds having talons are prohibited. e.g. Owl.

Ibn 'Abbas reported that Islamic Prophet prohibited the eating of all fanged beasts of prey, and all the birds having talons(claws).[20]

Lizard is prohibited.

Narrated AbdurRahman ibn Shibl:The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) forbade to eat the flesh of lizard.[21]

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: “Who eats crows? The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) called them vermin, By Allah, they are not from among the good and permissible things.” [22]

Likewise snakes, scorpion and mice are prohibited.

It was narrated from ‘Aishah that the Islamic Prophet said:

“Snakes are vermin, scorpions are vermin, mice are vermin and crows are vermin.”[23]

Islamic prophet prohibited eating of eel lizard and donkeys.[24] Muhammad prohibited the use of horses and mules for food. [25] Metamorphosed (animals to which a disobedient pre Islamic nation was converted as a punishment such as apes and monkeys) animals are prohibited by Muhammad [26].

Food certification

Halal restaurant in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Yurta (potatoes with meat) and kumis are made of ingredients considered halal.

Since the turn of the 21st century, there have been efforts to create organizations that certify food products as halal for Muslim consumers in the USA.[27] Since 1991, some mainstream manufacturers of soups, grains, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, prepared foods, and other products, as well as hotels, restaurants, airlines, hospitals, and other service providers have pursued the halal market. These companies purchase halal-certified products. This can allow companies to export products to most Middle Eastern countries and South East Asian Countries. The oldest and most well-known halal certifier in the United States is called the Islamic Services of America.[28]

In 2011, the Halal Products Certification Institute was established in California and became the first worldwide corporation that certified halal consumer products such as cosmetics, personal care products, and perfumes and fragrances. The institute was established by Islamic intellectual scholars and Muslim scientists to assure the dissemination of halal consumer products.

In Europe, several organizations have been created over the past twenty years in order to certify the halal products. A survey recently published by a French association of Muslim Consumers (ASIDCOM[29]) shows that the market of halal products has been developed in a chaotic way in Europe.[30] The European certification organizations do not have a common definition of "halal" nor agreed upon control procedures and traceability. The controls implemented by individual agencies are all very different: they can go from an annual audit of the slaughterhouse, to checking each production with permanent controls in place and on-going independent monitoring.

Some animals and manners of death or preparation can make certain things haram to eat, that is, taboo food and drink. These include what are regarded as unclean animals such as swine, or animals that are sick.[31]

In South Africa, most chicken products have a halal stamp. The South African National Halal Authority (SANHA) issues certificates and products bearing this logo range from water, snacks, and even meat-free products (which may contain non-halal ingredients). The South African National Halal Authority also licenses the usage of the Halal logo in restaurants where the food is halal in addition to no alcohol or pork products being served.[32]

Efforts to increase the availability of halal food in non-Islamic countries

Since the turn of the 21st century, there have been efforts to create organizations such as the Muslim Consumer Group that certify food products as halal for Muslim consumers in the USA.[33]

Since 1991, some mainstream manufacturers of soups, grains, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, prepared foods, and other products, as well as hotels, restaurants, airlines, hospitals, and other service providers have pursued the halal market. These companies purchase halal-certified products. Halal certification tells Muslims that their ingredients and production methods have been tested and declared permissible by a certification body. It also allows companies to export products to most Middle Eastern countries and South East Asian Countries. The oldest and most well-known halal certifier in the United States is called the Islamic Services of America. Something that companies which intend to export halal products must keep in mind, when choosing a certifier, is whether or not the certifier is recognized by foreign governmental bodies.[34]

  • In 1986, the Islamic Meat & Poultry Company was founded in Stockton, California. Islamic Meat & Poultry is a halal-only, U.S. Department of Agriculture–inspected, hand-slaughtering and meat processing facility. This company follows the principles of slaughtering and meat processing according to the Islamic Shariʻah.[35]
  • In 2011, the Halal Products Certification Institute was established in California and became the first worldwide corporation that certified halal consumer products such as cosmetics, personal care products, and perfumes and fragrances. The institute was established by Islamic intellectual scholars and Muslim scientists to assure the dissemination of halal consumer products.

Also in Europe, several organizations have been created over the past 20 years in order to certify halal products. A survey recently published by a French association of Muslim Consumers (ASIDCOM) shows that the market of halal products has been developed in a chaotic way. The certification organizations do not have a common definition of "halal" nor agreed upon control procedures and traceability. The controls implemented by individual agencies are all very different: it can go from an annual audit of the slaughterhouse to checking each production with permanent controls in place.[36]

In South Africa, most chicken products have a halal stamp. The South African National Halal Authority (SANHA) issues certificates and products bearing this logo range from water, snacks, and even meat-free products (which may contain non-halal ingredients). The South African National Halal Authority also licenses the usage of the Halal logo in restaurants where the food is halal in addition to no alcohol or pork products being served.[37]

One of the first halal food companies in the USA is Midamar Corporation, established in 1974 and located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[38] It is also one of the first companies in the USA to sell USDA approved and halal-certified US protein products to the Middle East and South East Asia.[39] The certification agency Islamic Services of America (ISA) was established in 2004 and is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[40] Islamic Services of America certifications are recognized by some Islamic countries. In 2015, Midamar and Islamic Services of America were indicted for altering USDA inspection marks on meat exported to Indonesia and Malaysia to make it appear as though meat actually produced in a non-halal facility was produced in a halal facility.[41]

In 1993 the first USDA inspected halal meat plant, Halal Meat & Food Corporation located in Bladenboro, North Carolina, was established following the strict guidelines of Islamic Zabiha Halal practices and the USDA regulations.[42] The owner of Halal & Meat & Food Corporation, Ahsan Mohyuddin, is a graduate of Saint Louis University's Cook School of Business. The 8,500 square foot meat processing facility of $1 million was strategically placed in the North Carolina to cater to rising domestic demand (due to increase in Muslim American population) and to export meat out of Wilmington, North Carolina.[43] Ahsan Mohyuddin also owns Midwest Halal Meats, Inc. in Perryville, Missouri, of its time the only USDA certified Zabiha Halal slaughterhouse in the Midwest. The production includes chicken processing, grain raised from Illinois Amish farms, using Islamic guidelines.[44]

In Dearborn, Michigan, the home of one of the largest Muslim and Arab populations in the United States, some fast-food restaurant chains such as the McDonald's Corporation have introduced halal chicken nuggets and chicken sandwiches.[45]

In the United Kingdom, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, or Singapore, halal fried chicken restaurants having thousands of outlets serve halal foods, such as the ChicKing Fried Chicken, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Nando's, Brown's Chicken, and Crown Fried Chicken companies. As of February 2009, Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in the U.K. began to sell halal meals in several restaurants.[46]

Also, in New York City there are numerous halal food carts in business which serve gyros, chicken platters, and other halal fast foods, whereas in Europe, there are many Muslim-owned döner kebap shops.[47]

A law passed by Wayne County, Michigan, in 2005, bans the sale, distribution, or production of food mislabeled "halal", when county authorities determine that the food does not meet Islamic dietary standards. Similar laws protect kosher foods in most of the United States, and in many other countries, states, or provinces.[48]

In 2008 and 2009, twelve stores in the Mary Brown's chain in Ontario and Alberta became 100% halal.[49] Numerous halal meat markets also exist in Southern Ontario and Metro Vancouver.[citation needed]

Popeye's Chicken in Ontario is mostly not halal-certified (depending on location); however, a legal dispute broke out between a group of 14 Muslim franchisees and the chain over the company's decision to use machine-slaughtered birds. The fourteen Toronto area outlets are instead using hand-slaughtered halal birds, and are suing the company so that they can continue to do so.[50]

Thailand and the Philippines also have a noticeable population of Muslims and halal-meat shops country-wide.

Within the People's Republic of China, which has a sizable Hui Muslim minority population, halal food is known as qingzhen (Chinese: 清真; pinyin: qīngzhēn; literally: "pure truth"). Halal restaurants run by Hui Chinese resemble typical Chinese food, except that they do not serve pork. Dishes specific to Hui Chinese are known as Chinese Islamic cuisine.

See also

References

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  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Quran 2:173
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Quran 5:3
  5. Alcohol in Islam
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  18. Sahih Bukhara 7:67:438
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  23. sunao ibn majah 4:28:3249
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External links