Halal Food

HalalHalal means “permissible” or “pure.. For Muslims, halal is a legal term referring to good actions and to foods that are ritually slaughtered. Halal is the opposite of Haram. means “permitted” in ArabicClassical Arabic is the language of revelation in Islam as recorded in the Qur’an. Muslims consider every word of the Qur’an to be a direct utterance of God. The Arabic language itself is regarded as perfectly suited as the instrument for God’s comm...; it is the opposite of haramHaram means “prohibited” or “impure.” For Muslims, haram is a legal term referring to sinful actions and impure food. Haram is the opposite of Halal., or “forbidden.” These are key concepts in IslamIslam in Arabic literally means “submitting” or “submission.” One who submits or surrenders his or her will to God is called a Muslim. While the whole of God’s creation is described as being inherently Muslim, human beings must choose whether to... with many ramifications for the daily life of a Muslim; one of the most visible expressions of these concepts may be found in Islamic dietary rules. Among those Qur’anic injunctions related to the consumption of food is the following:

“O ye who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you. And be grateful to AllahAllah is the word for God in Arabic, used by Arabic-speaking Christians, Jews, and Muslims. According to Islam, Allah is the creator and ruler of the entire universe, the ultimate judge of all human beings, characterized by mercy and compassion. By means ..., if it is Him ye worship. He hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name hath been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, then is he guiltless. For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.” (SurahThe text of the Qur’an is divided into 114 surahs or chapters, arranged roughly from the longest to the shortest. They include praises, warnings of judgment, exhortations, directives, and occasional short narratives. Every Muslim must learn to recite th... 2.172-173, King Fahd transTransgender is a term that refers to a range of unconventional relationships to gender. Transgender people do not identify with the sex and gender roles they were assigned at birth, and they may feel that their psychological gender and physical bodies are....)

Accordingly, food items considered haram include pork and beasts of prey; further, the consumption of intoxicants such as alcohol is also haram. Islam prescribes a method by which animals may be slaughtered with minimal suffering. At the time of slaughter, the name of GodGod is a term used to refer to the Divine, the Supreme being, Transcendent deity, or Ultimate reality. is pronounced, symbolizing God’sGod is a term used to refer to the Divine, the Supreme being, Transcendent deity, or Ultimate reality. role as creator and provider: such meat is considered halal.

Contemporary Muslim understandings of halal food rules do vary. Some Muslims believe that avoiding pork, pork lard, and alcohol and saying “bismillahThe words “Bismillahir rahmanir rahim,” “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compasssionate,” begins all but one of the surahs (chapters) of the Qur’an. The entire phrase or simply “Bismillah” is frequently used to invoke divine blessing b...” before eating are sufficient for food to be halal. Other Muslims insist on Islamically slaughtered meat and carefully check all product labels for haram ingredients. Other Muslims contend that these proscriptions are not limited to food, and will not wear perfume because of its alcohol content, or use soaps made from lard. In the American context, these proscriptions may be difficult to observe, as many goods contain pork by-products such as lard, or small amounts of alcohol. Numerous Islamic Internet sites post an article from the Muslim Consumer Guide which lists hidden sources of haram food, such as pork lard in the hamburger buns and apple pies served at some fast-food restaurants.

One of the strategies adopted by American Muslims is to eat kosherKosher means, literally, “proper” or “correct” and refers to food that is permissible to eat under Jewish dietary laws (kashrut). These dietary laws prescribe what foods may be eaten, how animals must be slaughtered etc. food, which is marked with a “K” on the packaging. Jewish dietary rules also forbid the consumption of pork and require that the name of GodThe term god with a small “g” is used to refer to a deity or class of deities whose power is understood to be circumscribed or localized rather than universal, or to refer to a plurality of deities. be said at the time of slaughter. Muslim travelers sometimes request kosher meals for their airplane flights; at Harvard University, some Muslim undergraduates take their meals at Hillel House, the Jewish student center. There is an increasing impetus in the Muslim community to educate the larger community about Islamic dietary restrictions and to establish more halal stores and restaurants, as well as to create a halal certification system that would function in a way similar to that used for kosher foods.

In larger U.S. cities with significant Muslim populations, there is a growing network of halal products available, with groceries, catering services, and restaurants offering halal food. The Caltech Muslim Students AssociationIn 1963, the Muslim Students Association (MSA) was organized to promote religious unity, through education and mutual aid, among Muslim international students at North American colleges. The MSA laid the groundwork for numerous national organizations, inc... maintains a list of halal restaurants in Southern California, including Thai, Pakistani and Persian; in Texas, the Muslim Yellow Pages lists numerous grocery stores with halal food products and Islamically slaughtered meat; in San Jose, California, one local masjidMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit... offers halal pizza by the slice for those attending Jum’ahFriday is called Yawm al-Jum’ah in Arabic, meaning the Day of Assembly. On this day, Muslims pause from their work at mid-day to gather for congregational worship. The regular mid-day prayer on Friday is supplemented by a two-part sermon known as the kh... prayersPrayer is the vocal or silent address to the Divine. It may consist of fixed words, spontaneous words, or rest in silence with no words at all. Some forms of prayer are accompanied with specific postures or gestures, while others are not. during their lunch break.

Recently, halal food companies have grown in popularity, with even such mainstream grocery chains as Whole Foods stocking the halal frozen food entrees of “Saffron Road”, a subsidiary brand of the American Halal Company. IFANCA, the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, is a national organization that certifies over 2,000 brands of food that qualify as halal, serving both the Muslim consumer and companies seeking an entry into this particular market. The website Zabihah (www.zabihah.com) is another recent innovation that allows consumers to search for halal restaurants and products by state, and it is additionally available as an application for various smart-phones.

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