Halal vs Haram: What Is The Difference
The main difference between halal and haram is that halal is permissible under Islamic law while haram is not.
Halal refers to things that are allowed or lawful while haram refers to things that are forbidden or unlawful.
This includes food items, activities, and other behaviors. Foods that are considered halal include all types of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, dairy products, eggs, poultry and fish.
Meats from animals slaughtered according to Islamic law are also acceptable for consumption. Foods made with pork or alcohol are considered haram ie forbidden foods and must be avoidable.
- Halal foods must be prepared, processed, and stored following Islamic law while haram foods are prepared in a manner that goes against Islamic law, such as using impure substances like alcohol in food
- Halal food are more healthy as they are mostly from animals or plants that are free from illness-causin bacteria
- Halal foods come from sources that are considered pure and acceptable according to Islamic law
In Islam, there is a specific classification system for food that differentiates between what is considered permissible (Halal) and what is prohibited (Haram). This system is based on Islamic teachings and aims to promote healthy eating habits and maintain the spiritual and physical purity of the individual.
What Is Halal?
Halal is an Arabic meaning of the English word permissible, halal foods in Islam simply refers to food that is permissible according to Islamic law and is considered clean and pure. There is a category of food that is acceptable and considered permissible (Halal) and prepared according to halal regulations.
Halal category of food includes
- Zabiha halal meat such as beef and lamb and poultry
- Seafood (fish)
- Animal-derived products extracted from Zabiha animals
- Milk and eggs of all permissible animal species
- Organic plant-based products like vegetables, fruit, and grains except those that cause intoxication
- All vegetable ingredients except those that cause intoxication
- Any beverage that contains alcohol in it is also prohibited
What Is Haram?
Haram refers to food being prohibited or unlawful. Prohibited in the sense that a Muslim is not permitted to consume such kind of food.
The key category of food that is prohibited according to Islamic law includes
- Non halal meat includes pork and its by-products such as bacon, deli meats, ham, and sausage
- Animals that have not been slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines
- Blood from any kind of animal including halal animals is not acceptable, Islam forbids the consumption of blood
- Food prepared with prohibited animals or ingredients from prohibited animals
- Any food or drink that contains haram ingredients, food additives and alcohol.
- Beverages such as beer, spirit wine, alcohol, liqueur
It is important to note that in addition to being permissible or prohibited, food can also be considered doubtful or questionable. This category includes food that is not clearly Halal or Haram and may contain ingredients that are of questionable origin or may have been processed in a manner that is not in line with Islamic teachings, most especially when it comes to seafood, creatures of the sea are one of the most questionable animals that are used in the provision of food and many Muslims are still lost in doubt.
In these cases, it is advised to avoid such food or to consult with religious scholars to gain a clearer understanding of the permissibility of the food.
Guidelines For Animal Slaughtering According to Islamic Law
The guidelines for slaughtering animals according to Islam law is known as “Zabiha”, this process requires that the animal will be faced toward the position of where Mecca is located, the name of Allah be invoked (saying a blessing before killing), and the animal should be killed swiftly with a sharp knife. This process ensures that the animal experiences less suffering and is considered more humane than other methods of slaughter like stunning, or hanging.
Why Does Islam Forbid Haram Food or Animals?
It is important to understand that the concept of halal and haram is way more than just food as it helps Muslims to determine what is acceptable in their daily lives and what is not. Food is also considered as what is likely to promote physical and spiritual purity.
Eating only halal foods is considered to be a way to maintain cleanliness, avoid impurities, and protect oneself from harmful substances that might be present in non-halal foods, especially meat.
In the Qur’an 2: 173, Allah has forbidden Muslims to eat animals that did not die as the result of man, animals that contain blood, or bacteria that cause health risks such as pigs, animals that feed on flesh (Predators), and others. Islam also forbids the consumption of animals that have been sacrificed to another god.
Differences Between Halal and Haram Foods
As explained earlier, for a food to be considered halal, it means such food is being prepared and must have gone through the Islamic law checklist that guides food. Below will explain the differences between halal and haram food.
Source of the food – Halal foods come from sources that are considered pure and acceptable according to Islamic law, such as meat from animals that are halal and have been slaughtered following Islamic law and with specific procedures, and foods that are processed in a clean and hygienic environment.
On the other hand, haram foods come from sources that are considered impure or unclean. animals including pork and its by-products and carnivorous animals are considered haram because they feed on either flesh of their prey or they are unclean.
The preparation – Halal foods must be prepared, processed, and stored following Islamic law, which prohibits the use of unclean substances or processed in an unhygienic environment, and substances such as alcohol or alcohol in food preparation are prohibited.
However, Haram foods are prepared in a manner that goes against Islamic law, such as using impure substances like alcohol in food, the use of blood or blood by-products, and other impure substances.
Consumption – Muslims are encouraged to seek out and consume halal foods as part of their commitment to following the teachings of Islam. The consumption of haram foods is forbidden in Islam and is seen as a sin.
Also read this article on the difference between halal vs Kosher
Halal Foods Health Benefits
We as humans need to consume healthy food including plant-based foods, grass-fed animals, and their by-products. Halal foods are extracted from the best food source, it is considered the best and most hygienic foods to eat and is also believed to promote physical and spiritual health. They are mostly prepared from animals and plants that are free from illness-causing bacteria.
Below are science-proven health benefits of halal meat
- Halal meat is more hygienic and safer to eat
- Halal meat tastes better than regular meat because it has less presence of blood during its preparation
- Halal meat is stress hormone free
- Halal meat and other halal foods enhance metabolism
- Halal foods create a good impact on the brain
- Halal foods help boosts the immune system
- The slaughtering is more humane
- Halal meat is healthier because their animals are fed good foods such as vegetables and other foods with no growth hormone chemicals used
- Halal Meat is fresher with a longer shelf life
Difference Between Halal and Haram Meat
Halal meats are meats that are permissible to eat. Haram meat are meats that are not permissible to eat eg pork.
Can non-Muslim Eat Halal Food?
Yes, anyone can eat halal food, regardless of their religious beliefs. Halal food is prepared following Islamic dietary laws and it is considered safe and healthy for human consumption, no matter the individual background and culture.
The idea of halal food is just to provide the human race a healthy eating that will help boost the metabolism and also prevent the human immune system from being attacked by impurities or illness-causing bacteria that can be found in several foods that we eat. So, non-Muslims are welcome to try and enjoy halal food if they wish to.
How To Buy Halal Food
When choosing halal food, it is important to be cautious and familiar with the ingredient used in the preparation, as well as where such food is being processed or prepared. Wehalal is the leading online store for halal grocery in USA. Here are a tip that can help:
Look for halal certified products: Some organizations provide certification for halal products, this certificate is to create confidence in customers that such food is certified and from a trustworthy manufacturer, so look for their logos or seals on the packaging to ensure the product is truly halal.
In conclusion, the Halal vs Haram food classification in Islam is an essential aspect of the religion that aims to promote healthy eating habits and maintain the spiritual and physical purity of the individual. By following these guidelines, Muslims are now able to maintain their connection to their faith and ensure that their daily actions align with their beliefs and values. For non-Muslims as well, the idea of halal foods is to ensure safe and healthy eating habits being adopted for the wellness of the immune system and physical well-being.