Defining Halal:HALAL is an Arabic word (Arabic: حلال ḥalāl) meaning ‘lawful’ or ‘permissible’. The opposite of halal is HARAAM (حرام), which means ‘unlawful’ or ‘prohibited’.
Halal and Haram are universal terms that apply to all facets of life. However, we will use these terms only in relation to food products, meat products, cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, and food contact materials.
When it comes to slaughtering of animals, the Islamic law (Shariʻah) mandates a very clear and precise method.
Zabihah or Dhabīḥah is referred to the prescribed method of slaughtering all permitted meat sources, excluding fish and other sea-life, as per the Shariʻah.
This method of slaughtering animals consists of:
- using a well-sharpened knife to make a swift, deep incision, that
- cuts the front of the throat, the carotid artery, windpipe, and jugular veins
- after making the cut, the blood has to be drained completely before detaching the head of the animal
- animals should be slaughtered upon utterance of the Islamic prayer “in the name of Allah”
- preferably, the head of the animal that is being slaughtered is aligned to face the Qibla (the direction of the Ka’ba)
PICTURE: The Islamic Method of Slaughtering
The purpose to drain out most of the blood is due to the fact that the blood serves as a good culture medium for micro organisms.
The spinal cord must not be cut because the nerve fibres to the heart could be damaged during the process causing cardiac arrest, which would stagnate the blood in the blood vessels.
Allah says in Holy Qur’an (Surah Al-An’aam, 6:121):
“And do not eat that which the name of Allah has not been mentioned. And surely it is a transgression. Surely the Shayateen (devils) inspire their friends to dispute with you. But if you were to obey them you would indeed be of the mushrikeen (polytheists).”
In Hadith, Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) said:
“The prayers of a person who eats one morsel of Haram food will not be heard for forty days.”
VIDEO: In Islam, a set of dietary regulations determines what you can eat. Here’s how to serve up a meal according to the basic rules.
Contributed by: Rubina Ahmed
Website Content Editor, TorontoHalaal.ca