WHAT IS HALAL?

 

HALAL is an Arabic word which means permissible or lawful. In the Holy Quran, God commands Muslims and all of mankind to eat of the Halal things.

 

“O mankind eat what is Halal (lawful) and Tayyib (good, clean, wholesome, pure, etc.) on earth and do not follow the footsteps of Satan, truly he is an open adversary to you”

(Surah Al Baqarah 2:168)

 

Halal is an abbreviation of the term Halalan toyyiban. The term describes goods or actions that are permissible and wholesome according Syariah laws and Islamic principles. Food and drinks that are either Halal or Haram, otherwise classified as Syubhah should be avoided, until they are officially declared Halal. Since distinguishing between Halal and Haram is often complex, these guidelines vary from country to country.

 

Halalan toyyiban merely means allowed and permissible for consumption with relation to Syariah law as long as they are safe and not harmful. The opposite of Halal is haram/ non-Halal which means forbidden and prohibited. Any food or drink which lies within the grey area and does not fall clearly under the Halal or non-Halal category is classified as ‘Syubhah’, alternatively called questionable or dubious. In this category, until the status becomes clear, Muslims should avoid consuming Syubhah food or drinks. The Prophet (peace be upon Him) has given a guideline concerning Syubhah matters. It is reported by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Ibn Majah and Darimi, as follow:

 

“What is Halal is clear. And what is Haram is also clear. And in between those two is a dubious area in which many people do not know about. So whoever distanced himself from it, he has acquitted himself (from blame). And those who fall into it, he has fallen into a state of Haram.”

 

Islam has introduced the concept of slaughter, whereby a naturally Halal animal would have to be properly slaughtered prior to consumption. The act of slaughtering is to ensure the quality of meat and to avoid any microbial contamination, which basically covers the toyibban part of Halalan toyibban. Besides fulfilling the Syariah law, which is a must for Muslims, the food safety factor plays a significant contributor in determining the toyibban i.e. wholesome (safe, clean, nutritious, quality) aspects of the food.