AskDefine | Define halal

Dictionary Definition

halal adj
1 proper or legitimate; "the fund earns halal profits in full compliance with the Shari'a"
2 conforming to dietary laws; "halal meat"; "a halal kitchen" n : (Islam) meat from animals that have been slaughtered in the prescribed way according to the shariah

User Contributed Dictionary






halal (not comparable)
  1. In the context of "of food": fit to eat according to Muslim religious practice.



  • Arabic:
  • Dutch: halal
  • Finnish: halal
  • Kurdish:
  • Persian: (halâl)

See also

Extensive Definition

Halal (حلال, alāl, halaal) is an Arabic term meaning "permissible". In the English language it most frequently refers to food that is permissible according to Islamic law. In the Arabic language it refers to anything that is permissible under Islam. It is estimated that 70% of Muslims worldwide follow Halal standards and that the Global Halal Market is currently a USD 580 billion industry. Its antonym is haraam.

"Halal" the word

Explicitly forbidden substances

A variety of substances are considered forbidden (haraam) as per various Quranic verses:
  • Pork meat (i.e. flesh of swine)
  • Blood
  • Animals slaughtered in the name of anyone but Allah (God) (there are debates regarding the permissibility of meat slaughtered by Jews, i.e., kosher meat).
  • Carrion
  • "Fanged beasts of prey" as per the Sunnah, usually simplified to all carnivorous animals, with the exception of most fish and sea animals
Everything apart from these forbidden (Haraam) items is permitted or halal for all muslims.
  • Verses in the Quran say that intoxicants (and games of chance) contain some good and some evil, but the evil is greater than the good ; most Muslims interpret these verses to forbid any intoxicating substance which may make one forgetful of God and prayer.
There is some disagreement among Muslims regarding seafood, especially predatory sea creatures. IFANCA (Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America) states, regarding the opinion of Islamic scholars:
  • All are in agreement that fish with scales are halal
  • Sunnis consider all fish to be halal, while some Shias consider only shrimp and fish with scales to be halal Within mostly the Hanafi School of thought, there is a strong position that shellfish (shrimp, lobster, crab, clams, etc.) are prohibited.
  • Most agree that frogs are haraam due to the prohibition of killing them in hadith. In fact it is common belief among Southeast Asian Muslims that animals who live on both land and sea (such as amphibians, some reptiles, and some species of bird) are off limits.

Halal in non-Islamic countries

In Dearborn, Michigan, United States, home to one of the largest Muslim and Arab populations in the United States, a number of fast food chains like McDonald's introduced halal chicken nuggets. In the UK, American-style fried chicken is becoming increasingly popular with the Muslim population, and hundreds of outlets serving Halal fried chicken such as Chicken Cottage have sprung up.
Recent laws passed in the United States have made it illegal to sell, distribute, and/or produce food that has been mislabeled "halal," when it is determined that the food does not meet Islamic dietary standards. Similar laws protect kosher foods . Some were struck down by the courts as an unconstitutional sanction of religious provisions, but others were upheld as consumer protection regulations. See Kashrut.
McDonald's is intending to offer Halal meals in the United States and some parts of the United Kingdom with two of its franchises currently on trial, offering this service. All McDonald's Restaurants in Australia (two outlets in Melbourne and one in Sydney have Halal meals since 2006), India, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa are Halal certified.
Depending on which definition of halal a Muslim chooses to adhere to, and the strictness with which the person chooses to adhere to it, living in a non-Muslim country can pose minimal or great difficulty.

Dhabiĥa Halal

Dhabiĥa halal is relatively difficult to adhere to in a non-Muslim country:
  • Depending on the presence or absence of a significant Muslim population in the area, finding grocery stores, meat stores, and restaurants which serve/sell dhabiĥa halal foods can be extremely difficult.
  • The abundance of pork and non-dhabiha meats at restaurants presents a rather difficult problem to overcome. While a Muslim will not order a non-dhabiĥa halal dish, there is a concern about cross-contamination. This is likely to occur when the dhabiĥa halal dish is prepared with the same cooking tools as other non-dhabiĥa halal dishes. Food and juices from the two dishes are likely to be exchanged, technically rendering the dhabiĥa halal dish as haraam.
  • Many apparently meat-free dishes, and even some desserts, contain pork, gelatin, or other non-conforming substances. There is also a concern in the Muslim community about food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) that may use enzymes derived from pig fat in the production process. It is very difficult to avoid such food additives as they are widely used and are not declared on restaurant menus.
  • Alcohol, especially wine, is frequently used in cooking. It is largely used in sauces and cakes, and is also present as an ingredient in vanilla and other extracts. Some contend that this is not a concern, so long as the alcohol has been thoroughly burned off in the cooking process.
Since the turn of the 21st century, there have been efforts to create organizations such as the Muslim Consumer Group that certify food products as halal for Muslim consumers.
  • In 1993 Ahsan Mohyuddin founded the facility of Halal Meat & Food Corporation in Bladenboro, NC as the only meat plant in existence of its time in the United States under the USDA inspection, operating under the principles of the Islamic Faith. Owner of Midwest Halal Meats, Inc. in Perryville, Missouri.
halal in Arabic: مباح
halal in Bosnian: Halal
halal in Danish: Halal
halal in German: Halal
halal in Spanish: Halal
halal in French: Halal
halal in Indonesian: Halal
halal in Icelandic: Halal
halal in Italian: Halal
halal in Hebrew: חלאל
halal in Kazakh: Халал
halal in Lithuanian: Halal
halal in Macedonian: Халал
halal in Malayalam: ഹലാല്‍
halal in Malay (macrolanguage): Halal
halal in Dutch: Halal en haram
halal in Japanese: ハラール
halal in Norwegian: Halal
halal in Polish: Halal
halal in Portuguese: Halal
halal in Russian: Халяль
halal in Simple English: Halal
halal in Slovenian: Halal
halal in Finnish: Halal
halal in Swedish: Halal
halal in Thai: ตราฮาลาล
halal in Vietnamese: Halal
halal in Chinese: 符合教規的食物 (伊斯蘭教)
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