Halal & Haram

What is the meaning of ”Halal”?
Halal is an Islamic word that means permitted. It refers to things or actions that are permitted by Islam and is usually used to describe something that is allowed for a Muslim to do or participate in, e.g. Eat, drink, consume, handle or use. For a food, product or service to be considered halal, it must follow the Islamic rules contained in the Qur’an, in the Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) traditions clarified by the Islamic law schools.

What is the meaning of ”Haram”?
The word haram means illegal or forbidden and is the opposite of the word halal.

Examples of haram products are:
– Pork / pork and its by-products.
– To give or receive interest on money or on a loan.
– Animals that have been slaughtered improperly or killed before slaughter.
– Gelatin and additives made from pig or pig by-products.
– Animals that are not slaughtered in God’s name.
– Alcohol and all kinds of intoxicating and dangerous drinks.
– Carnivorous animals, birds of prey etc.
– Pests such as rats, centipedes, scorpions and other similar animals.
– Animals considered obnoxious in general as lice, flies, larvae and other similar animals.
– Animals that live both on land and in water such as frogs, crocodiles and other similar animals.
– Blood and blood by-products.

In order for a food to be considered halal, the following conditions must be met:

  • It must be free of prohibited substances or components
  • It must not come into contact with a prohibited substance or product during manufacture, production, processing, storage and transport.
  • Preservatives, dyes, flavors or additives are halal.
  • If it includes meat or meat product in the food, it must come from a halal slaughtered animal.

Halal slaughter:
One of the main criteria for the meat to be allowed to eat according to Islam is that it has been slaughtered according to Islamic tradition. An animal is not allowed to eat if it is self-killed, strangled, beaten unconscious, fallen headlong, pointed by a horn or felled by wild animals. In order for the meat to be allowed to eat, it must have been slaughtered with an incision over the neck deep enough to reach the trachea, esophagus and carotid arteries, without cutting the spinal cord.

Guidelines for a correct halal slaughter

  • The animal should be healthy and without damage.
  • The animal should have been treated with compassion and dignity.
  • The animal should receive food and water and be calmed before being slaughtered.
  • The slaughter is to be performed by a trained Muslim. The butcher should always have eye contact with the animal.
  • Both animals and butchers are turning in Qibla (towards Mecca).
  • Both animals and butchers are turning in Qibla (towards Mecca).
    Before slaughter, the words ”Bismillah, Allahu Akbar” (in God’s name, God is greatest) are recited. This means that the Muslims do not take the animal’s life on their own, but with the author’s authority.
  • One should sharpen the slaughter knife. The knife must be examined and sharpened before and after each animal is slaughtered.
  • The knife must be moved in a single unbroken movement.
  • The esophagus, trachea and carotid arteries are cut off without damaging the spinal cord.
  • An animal must not see another animal die.
  • One should slaughter an animal at a time and under conditions that ensure that the single animal is handled as gently and carefully as possible.
  • The blood must be completely drained.
  • According to Islamic law schools Hanbali and Maliki, all slaughtering must take place without prior anesthesia, and according to the law schools Shaf’i and Hanafi, it is accepted to slaughter with previous anesthesia provided the animal does not have time to die before the cut.

Halal economy according to Islam:
For a financial product or service to be considered halal in Islam, it must meet the following three basic requirements:

  • Free from Riba (ocher, interest), which is strictly prohibited in Islam.
  • You cannot participate in transactions with industries or companies with operations that are haram.
  • To avoid ”Gharar”, an Islamic financing term that describes a risky or dangerous sale, where information about the sale of the item is unknown or uncertain. Gharar is generally prohibited by Islam, which explicitly prohibits trade which is considered to have excessive risks due to uncertainty.