Halal Food

Halal and Haram in Islam

Islam keeps some limits in foods and drinks. Islam allows some foods to be eaten but forbade us to no eat and drink some foods.

"O People, eat from the land what is permitted & good & do not follow in the footsteps of Shaitan, for he is an open enemy to you." 
(Al Baqarah, 2:168)

Allah has given clear guidelines on what can and cannot be consumed.  Foods can be primarily divided into two sections.

1)     Plants, fruits, vegetables and grains:All these can be eaten as long as they are not harmful to human beings. This means that they must not contain poisonous or narcotic substances. 

2)    Living creatures. 
These can be divided into three: A. Sea creatures ,B. Land creatures &  C. Birds

A)   Sea creatures.

We are allowed to eat any fish as long as it has scales. All other sea creatures such as whales, sharks, turtles, lobsters and crabs are Haraam. The only exception is for prawns and shrimps, which can be eaten. 
In order for the fish to be Halaal, it must be removed alive from the water. It does not matter who has done the fishing or what method has been used to catch the fish.

B)   Land creatures.

This term covers all animals that live on the face of the earth. Allah has permitted the eating of some and forbidden others. The first five verses of Sura 5 Ma'idah give a summary of the commands regarding what is permitted to eat. 

Amongst domestic animals, camels, cows, goats and sheep are permissible to eat. They all possess a hoof or cloven hoof. From amongst wild animals, which mean animals that are not normally kept in enclosures, mountain sheep, wild cows and asses, gazelles and deer are permitted. 

It is Makruh (undesirable) to eat the meat of a horse, donkey or mule. 

It is not permitted to eat the meat of animals that possess canine teeth or fangs. Examples of such animals that are sometimes eaten by man are dogs, rabbits, elephants and monkeys. There are specific verses in the Holy Qur'an forbidding the eating of a pig. 

It is not permitted to eat reptiles such as snakes and tortoises. Insects such as fleas and lice are also forbidden. However, locusts are permissible.


C)   Birds.

Birds that comply with the following two conditions can be eaten.

i-                The body is covered with feathers. 

ii-              They are not classes as birds of prey (possessing talons).

               There are two other principles by which one can distinguish between birds that are    permitted and those that are not:-

i-                 Every bird which, when in flight glides more than the flapping of its wings cannot be eaten. 

ii-              If a particular bird's movement is not known, then before eating one must check for the presence of one of the following: a craw (where grain collects in the throat), a gizzard (part of the stomach) or a projection (a fork-like extension on the bird's foot which performs the function of a talon). 

Thus chickens, turkeys, pigeons and all small birds are permissible to eat. Even ostriches and peacocks are allowed. 

Birds of prey like eagles, hawks and vultures are Haraam to eat. Crows, rooks and ravens should not be eaten either. 

Other animals, which fly but are not, classified, as birds such as bats, bees and other flying insects are Haraam.

All animals and birds that are permissible to eat are nevertheless forbidden to a Muslim unless they have been correctly slaughtered. The laws for hunting differ slightly and can be obtained from books of Islamic Laws of various jurists. 

The correct method of slaughtering involves the simultaneous cutting of the gullet, windpipe, carotid artery and jugular vein of the animal with a sharp knife. The conditions for the slaughtering are as below:

-1 The one who carries out the slaughtering must be a Muslim. 
-2 If possible, the instrument used to slaughter should be made of iron. 
-3 The creature to be slaughtered must be made to face the Holy Ka'aba. 
-4The person performing the slaughter must mention the name of Allah as he slaughters the animal. 
-5 Here must be a normal emission of blood from the animal after the slaughter. 
-6 The animal must show some sign of movement after being slaughtered, especially if there was some doubt whether the animal was alive before being slaughtered.

However if a Muslim has slaughtered it as per his own sects fiqh rules ,which do not comply with all ?of the above ,the meat can still be considered as Halal


Reference: http://www.islamic-laws.com/halalharamfooddrinks.htm