Islamic dietary laws

Islamic jurisprudence positions on food
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Islamic dietary laws are dietary laws that Muslims follow. Islamic jurisprudence specifies which foods are halāl (حَلَال, "lawful") and which are harām (حَرَامْ, "unlawful"). The dietary laws are found in the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as well as in collections of traditions attributed to Islamic prophet Muhammad.

In the Quran and reports by early Muslims, forbidden meat includes pork, carnivores (lions, tigers, wolves, dogs, cats, etc.), non-ruminants (donkeys and horses), animals that were slaughtered in the name of a god other than Allah, or animals that died due to illness, injury, stunning, poisoning, or slaughtering not in the name of Allah. Herbivores or cud-chewing animals like cattle, deer, sheep, goats, and antelope are some examples of animals that are halal and only if they are treated like sentient beings and slaughtered painlessly while reciting the Bismillah and Takbir. If the animal is treated poorly, or tortured while being slaughtered, the meat is haram.[1]

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.[2]

Regulations of food

Quranic verses which have information regarding halal foods include: 2:173, 5:5, and 6:118–119, 121. A variety of substances are considered as unlawful (haram) for humans to consume and, therefore, forbidden as per various Quranic verses:

Haram (forbidden)

Intoxicants

Alcoholic drinks are generally prohibited in Islamic thought,[citation needed] with the Quran including several verses that admonish the consumption of khamr, an Arabic term meaning intoxicants that is interpreted to include most forms of alcohol and psychoactive drugs:

They question thee about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness. And they ask thee what they ought to spend. Say: that which is superfluous. Thus God maketh plain to you (His) revelations, that haply ye may reflect. (Al-Quran 2:219)

O ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when ye are drunken, till ye know that which ye utter, nor when ye are polluted, save when journeying upon the road, till ye have bathed. And if ye be ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have touched women, and ye find not water, then go to high clean soil and rub your faces and your hands (therewith). Lo! Allah is Benign, Forgiving. (Al-Quran 4:43)

O ye who believe! Intoxicants and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed. (Al-Quran 5:90)

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.[citation needed]

Substances which contain intoxicants but are not consumed are not prohibited as such. For example, alcohol can be used as a disinfectant or for cleaning.[3][4]

Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen, a Salafi scholar of Saudi Arabia, was once asked about the so-called (non-alcoholic) beer, given that some brands of non-alcoholic beer have a percentage of alcohol. The following was part of his reply:[citation needed]

As to percentage, do not think that any percentage of alcohol in a thing makes it unlawful; rather if the percentage of alcohol has an effect whereby when a person drinks this mix, he becomes intoxicated, then it is unlawful. But if the percentage is very small without effect, then it is lawful. For example, a percentage such as 1%, 2% or 3% does not make the beverage unlawful. Some people misunderstood the hadeeth that states, "Whatever intoxicates in large quantities, then a small quantity of it is forbidden", to mean that if a small percentage of an intoxicant is mixed with a large amount of a substance that is not intoxicating, then it is unlawful. This is a misunderstanding of the hadeeth. "Whatever intoxicates in large quantities, a little of it is unlawful" means that if a lot of something will cause intoxication, and a little of it will not cause intoxication, then a lot or a little are both unlawful, because you may drink a little that does not cause intoxication, then you may be tempted to drink more and become intoxicated. But if something is mixed with alcohol, while the alcohol content is a minute amount and does not have any effect, then it is lawful and does not come under the ruling of this hadeeth.

The Alevi Muslims of Turkey permit alcohol, unlike many other denominations.[5] 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.[citation needed]

Carrion

An animal which dies by 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 most-Forgiving, most-Merciful.

— Qurʼan, Surah 5 (al-Maʼidah), ayah 3[2]

Blood

Blood and its by-products are forbidden in Islam, in the Quran, surah 5, al-Maʼidah, verse 3: also and its by-products are forbidden in Islam, in the Quran, 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 most-Forgiving, most-Merciful.

— Qurʼan, Surah 5 (al-Maʼidah), ayah 3[2]

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) Allah 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[6]

Animals dedicated to other than God

Animal dedicated to or slaughtered in 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[6]

Beast of cattle

Beast of cattle, i.e. grazing beasts, are lawful except those that are explicitly prohibited.

O ye who believe! Fulfil your indentures. The beast of cattle is made lawful unto you (for food) except that which is announced unto you (herein), game being unlawful when ye are on the pilgrimage. Lo! God ordaineth that which pleaseth Him.(Al-Quran 5:1)

Hunting during pilgrimage

Hunting during pilgrimage is prohibited.

O ye who believe! Fulfil your indentures. The beast of cattle is made lawful unto you (for food) except that which is announced unto you (herein), game being unlawful when ye are on the pilgrimage. Lo! God ordaineth that which pleaseth Him. (Al-Quran 5:1)

However, fishing is permitted during pilgrimage.

To hunt and to eat the fish of the sea is made lawful for you, a provision for you and for seafarers; but to hunt on land is forbidden you so long as ye are on the pilgrimage. Be mindful of your duty to Allah, unto Whom ye will be gathered. (Al-Quran 5:96)

Prohibited methods of slaughtering

An animal slaughtered by following methods is prohibited:

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[2]

Donkey meat

Donkey meat is prohibited by Muhammad, according to hadith.

Narrated Ibn `Umar: The Prophet prohibited the eating of donkey's meat.[7]

Animals with fangs

Predator animals possessing fangs are prohibited (e.g. cats, dogs, bears, lions, wolves).

Narrated Abu Tha`laba: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs (canine teeth).[8][9]

Birds of prey

Birds having talons are prohibited (e.g. owls, eagles, hawks).

Ibn 'Abbas reported that Islamic Prophet prohibited the eating of all fanged beasts of prey, and all the birds having talons (claws).[10]

Meat of mules and horses

In both Sunni and Shia hadith the meat of mules is prohibited but horse meat is allowed in Sunni sources.

Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah: "On the day of Khaibar, Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) forbade the eating of donkey meat and allowed the eating of horse meat."[11]

Horse meat is especially popular among the Muslims of Central Asia, due in part to their nomadic heritage.[12]

According to Shia hadith the use of horses for food is prohibited.[13]

In Shia hadith there is also a prohibition of eating eels.[14]

Other prohibited animals

Lizard is prohibited.

Narrated AbdurRahman ibn Shibl:The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) forbade to eat the flesh of lizard.[15]

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.”[16]

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.”[17]

Eating monkeys is prohibited in Islam.[18] According to Shia hadith metamorphosed animals to which a disobedient, irreverent, or arrogant pre-Islamic nation was converted as a punishment, such as (apes and monkeys) are prohibited.[19]

Halal (permissible, lawful)

Game of Sea

Game of water, i.e. fish and other sea creatures, is permitted in most of the schools of Islam. Hanafism, the most widespread school of Sunni Islam, only allows fish and consider other sea food such as Crustacean makruh.[20]

To hunt and to eat the food of the sea is made lawful for you, a provision for you and for seafarers; but to hunt on land is forbidden you so long as ye are on the pilgrimage. Be mindful of your duty to Allah, unto Whom ye will be gathered. (Quran 5:96)

Food hunted by hunting animals and bird

Animals hunted by trained birds and animals is permitted.

They ask thee (O Muhammad) what is made lawful for them. Say: (all) good things are made lawful for you. And those beasts and birds of prey which ye have trained as hounds are trained, ye teach them that which Allah taught you; so eat of that which they catch for you and mention Allah's name upon it, and observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is swift to take account. (Quran 5:4)[21]

Food of People of the book

Food of Jews and Christians (other than those explicitly forbidden) is lawful for Muslims.

This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when ye give them their marriage portions and live with them in honour, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whoso denieth the faith, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter. (Al-Quran 5:5)[21]

Permitted method of slaughter

Halal butcher shop in Shanghai, China

In Islamic law, dhabīḥah (Arabic: ذَبِيحَة) is the prescribed method of slaughter for halal animals. It consists of a swift, deep incision to the throat with a very sharp knife, cutting the wind pipe, jugular veins and carotid arteries on both sides but leaving the spinal cord intact. The butcher is also required to call upon the name of Allah" (Bismillah) individually for each animal.[22]

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.[23] All water game is considered halal (although the Hanafi madhhab differs on this).[citation needed]

The Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence forbids consumption of seafood other than "fish" with scholars in disagreement about whether prawns/shrimp are "fish", but in agreement that crocodiles, crabs, lobsters, and mollusks are not. al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 5/289–291, Bada’i al-Sana’i, 5/35–39 and Radd al-Muhtar, 304–308. Moreover, certain lower animals are considered haram, including land animals without blood, such as a hornet, insects, spiders, scorpions, with the singular exception of locusts. Surah al-A’raf, V: 157; Sunan Abu Dawud, no: 3806. Most reptiles are also considered haram, including chameleons, lizards, and snakes, as are most pests (hasharat al-Ardh) such as mice and rats. Surah al-A’raf, V: 157. A difference of opinion remains on whether consumption of horse, mule, and donkey are permitted. In the Quran, one finds this verse: "And (He has created) horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride and use for show; and He has created (other) things of which you have no knowledge." Surah al-Nahl, V: 8. Which some scholars have interpreted as limiting these animals for riding and show and not permitting their consumption. Musnad Ahmad, 4/89, Sunan Abu Dawud, no: 3790, Sunan Nasa’i and Sunan Ibn Majah; Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 5202, 5205, and 5208. Predatory animals, such as lions and tigers, and birds of prey, such as falcons and hawks are forbidden to consume. Sahih Muslim, no: 1934.

Islamic dietary laws during Ramadan

Ramadan, the ninth month on the Muslim calendar, is considered the holy month of fasting. Ramadan begins and ends with the appearance of the new moon. During the month of Ramadan, God delivered the Quran to the prophet Muhammad as guidance for the people. During Ramadan, Muslims take time for introspection, prayer, and reading of the Quran. For those who observe Ramadan with fasting, prayer, and faithful intention; God forgives their past sins. During this period, Muslims focus on self restraint or sawm (Arabic: to refrain) which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Ramadan emphasizes sawm, when worshippers have to abstain from food, drink, sexual activity, and immoral behavior between dawn and dusk. After dusk, Muslims break their fast during a meal called iftar with family and friends. Sawm can be negated by breaking fast, however, the lost can be made up with one extra day of fasting. The end of the Ramadan fast is the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr (Feast of Fast-Breaking), one of the two major religious holidays on the Muslim calendar.[24]

Food certification

Halal restaurant in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Yurta (potatoes with meat) and kumis are made of ingredients considered halal.
Halal food products in an Oriental shop
A bottle of milk with halal certificate in China

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.[25] 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 Southeast Asian countries. The oldest and most well-known halal certifier in the United States is called the Islamic Services of America.[26]

In India, the Halal certification body was established in the year 2010 by Halal India, with an ideology that halal consumers and businesses derive benefits, which is lawful and in governance to Shariah (law). Halal India has consultation, halal compliance certification, independent auditing & monitoring systems. Apart from food & beverage industries, they also provide certification to pharmaceutical, primary meat, cosmetic & personal care, and nutraceutical industries.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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[27]) shows that the market of halal products has been developed in a chaotic way in Europe.[28] 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.[citation needed]

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.[29]

In Singapore, halal certification is managed by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), also known as the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. They are the sole custodian of Halal Certification in Singapore.[30]

In Malaysia, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) is the agency responsible for halal certification in Malaysia.[31]

Availability of halal food in non-Islamic regions

Many apparently meat-free dishes, and even some desserts, contain pork, such as most kinds of gelatin, or other non-conforming substances. There is some disagreement about food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) that may use enzymes derived from pig fat in the production process. It is difficult to avoid such additives when eating out since they are usually not listed on restaurant menus. Some Muslim organizations compile tables of such additives.[32][promotional language]

The halal market is now estimated to be 26% of world food trade and is growing.[33] Companies from Europe and North America that would like to access the growing Halal market must get their consumable products Halal certified. The Global Halal Institute has a list of Halal certifiers that are approved by most Muslim countries with dietary import restrictions.[34]

Americas

The first USDA approved Halal Food Company in the USA is Midamar Corporation. The company began producing halal beef, chicken, lamb and turkey products for domestic and international consumption in 1974 and is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa which is home to one of the oldest Muslim communities in America and the longest standing mosque in America. 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.[35]

Europe and Asia

In the United Kingdom, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, or Singapore, halal fried chicken restaurants having thousands of outlets, some but not all of which, serve halal foods such as the Kentucky Fried Chicken, Nando's, Brown's Chicken, and Crown Fried Chicken companies.[citation needed] In Arab, North African and Middle Eastern countries meat and food is mostly halal, even from foreign fast food chains.

Benefits

The halal way of slaughter has been considered to be healthier and more hygienic. Research claims the method of quickly severing windpipe, jugular vein and carotid artery in one quick move without giving the animal time to panic does have an effect on quality of meat. When animals face trauma or stress the glycogen in their body is converted to lactic acid. This affects the pH level of the meat, lower pH resulting in lighter coloured meat and higher pH resulting in darker meat. [36] This makes the meat tougher and also hard to chew. The halal way of slaughtering ensures the method is virtually less traumatic for the animal. [36] According to the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, in a 1980 study on the effects of stress on livestock and meat quality, it was found that stunning creates more anxiety due to the stress experienced between the stunning and the bleed out of the animal. The halal slaughter method does not encounter this, as the swipe of the knife directly correlates to the loss of blood supply.[37]

“By cutting the windpipe and the carotid artery, the flow of blood to the nerve in the brain that causes the sensation of pain, is stopped,” says Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi, former teacher at Darul Uloom, Deoband, India. “This leads to reduced pain.” The animal may appear to struggle and kick but that’s due to the contraction and relaxation of muscles deficient in blood rather than pain. [38]

In addition, draining out all the blood post slaughter which produces softer meat. Blood left in could clot and cause the meat to spoil faster and harbour growth of microorganisms. [38]

See also

References

  1. ^ Şentürk, Lütfi. "Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı İslam İlmihali: İslam'da hayvan hakları ve hayvanlara eziyetin cezası". www.yeniakit.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 2021-10-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Quran 5:3
  3. ^ UK NHS National Patient Safety Agency: Alcohol handrub
  4. ^ "World Health Organization Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care" (PDF).
  5. ^ Turkey's Alevi Muslims look to EU for protection from intolerance.
  6. ^ a b Quran 2:173
  7. ^ Sahih Bukhari 7:67:431
  8. ^ Sahih Bukhari 7:67:438
  9. ^ Al-Kafi 2:11117:2
  10. ^ Sahih Muslim 21:4752
  11. ^ Sahih Bukhari 4219
  12. ^ Horse meat dishes in Kazakhstan. Retrieved 13 January 2009. (archived from the original on 2008-06-10)
  13. ^ Al-Kafi 2:11128:13
  14. ^ Al-Kafi 2:11116:1
  15. ^ Sunah Abi Dawood 3796
  16. ^ Sunao ibn Majah 4:28:3248
  17. ^ sunah ibn majah 4:28:3249
  18. ^ "Muslims and food: What can be eaten safely and what should be avoided as per Islamic law-India News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  19. ^ Al-Kafi 3:11132:1
  20. ^ * Muhammad ibn Adam. "Sea Food in the Four Madhahib". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
    • Muhammad ibn Adam. "Is Catfish Halal?". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
    • Muhammad ibn Adam. "Is Shark Meat Halal?". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Surah Al-Ma'idah - 5:1". quran.com.
  22. ^ [Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, "The Islamic Laws of Animal Slaughter", White Thread Publishers, CA, USA]
  23. ^ "What exactly does the halal method of animal slaughter involve?". The Guardian. May 8, 2014.
  24. ^ "Ramadan | Fasting & Traditions". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  25. ^ "Welcome halaladvocates.org - blueHost.com". halaladvocates.org. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  26. ^ "?". Islamic Services of America.
  27. ^ "ASIDCOM". ASIDCOM.
  28. ^ "Survey on the Halal certification agencies (December 2009)". ASIDCOM. Retrieved 2010-09-11.
  29. ^ "HHO: Recognized Halal Certification Bodies". Halal-hub.org. Archived from the original on 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  30. ^ "Muis: Halal". www.muis.gov.sg. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  31. ^ "Halal Malaysian Portal". www.halal.gov.my. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  32. ^ "Food additive numbers". special.worldofislam.info. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  33. ^ "Global Halal Trade Opportunities". Halal Australia. Archived from the original on 23 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  34. ^ "List of Halal Certification Bodies | Global Halal Institute". April 16, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-04-16.
  35. ^ Dodge, Christine Huda. "Halal McNuggets a Hit in Detroit". about.com. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  36. ^ a b Grandin, Temple (1980-01-01). "The Effect of Stress on Livestock and Meat Quality Prior to and During Slaughter". Agribusiness Collection.
  37. ^ "Halal Slaughtering: Is it more humane?". www.halalwatchworld.org. 2020-04-30. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  38. ^ a b Sinha, Kounteya; Bhattacharya, Amit; Varma, Anuradha (March 27, 2012). "Science of meat". The Times of India. Retrieved 2022-04-18.

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