What is Halal? Your Guide to Everything Halal

You may be new to Islam and wondering what is Halal? Islam is a vast religion and has many regulations to adhere to. Learning about what is Halal and what isn’t, is something all Muslims confront on a day-by-day basis, especially in the Western.

What is Halal? | The meaning of the word Halal

The word Halal, is an Arabic word that has more than one meaning. Halal is what is allowed or permissible for Muslims. Halal applies to what food Muslims can eat, clothes they can wear and actions they can perform.

The basic ruling in Islam for what is considered Halal has been revealed in the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed (Pbuh). With so many innovations and advances in technology, Muslim scholars have to step-in to determine the ruling for some situations.

The opposite of Halal is “Haram”. Haram typically means the foods, actions and clothes Muslims should avoid.

Here are some common examples for what Halal means:  Permissible or Allowed

  • Halal can apply to what we eat, for example:
    • “Is this food Halal?”
    • “Is it Halal to eat shark?”
  • Halal can also apply to what we wear:
    • “Is wearing silk Halal for men?”
    • “Is it Halal to wear high heels?”
  • Another application of the word Halal can refer to an action:
    • “Is working in a bank Halal?”
    • “Is it Halal to keep a dog?”

What are Halal foods?

There are many types of halal foods Muslims can eat and consume. Generally, foods that are not mentioned as Haram in the Quran or saying of the Prophet Mohammed (Pbuh) are allowed (Halal). The halal foods we consume should not knowingly harm us in any way or cause us to become intoxicated.

Here are some guidelines to help you determine whether the food you eat is Halal (allowed) or Haram (forbidden).

What is Halal Meat?

When it comes to meat Muslims can consume, there are some additional regulations to qualify it as halal meat.

  • First, the animal must be “slaughtered” in accordance to Islamic tradition.
  • Second, the meat isn’t considered to be halal if the animal died of natural causes, strangled, drowned or slaughtered in any other name besides “Allah”.
  • Third, eating pig or Pork is not allowed and clearly stated as Haram in the Quran.

Which plants are halal to eat?

As far as which plants are halal to eat, the General Rule above applies. The plants we consume should not knowingly cause harm to us or cause us to become intoxicated.

An obvious example of plants Muslims should avoid consuming would be Marijuana or tobacco.

Sometimes a doctor can restrict patients from eating certain halal foods. For example, a doctor might forbid his patient from consuming Grapefruit if they are taking blood thinners.

What is halal to drink?

It’s Halal for Muslims to consume all types of drinks as long it doesn’t cause any direct harm to the body or cause intoxication. Any drink that contains wine, alcohol or liquor is not considered to be halal, even in the smallest amounts.

Muslims are the most sober “Dry” culture in the world. Any, and all forms of alcohol is forbidden “Haram” to consume, handle, serve or even produce.

When buying products, we normally check the list of ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain anything Not Halal. Many non-halal ingredients are easy to spot, while others are disguised in complicated sounding terms.

So how can you tell what is Halal and what isn’t?