Halal is an Arabic term which refers to anything “permissible” in the Islamic faith. When it is applied to food or other goods it denotes specific regulations as to which types of food/drink Muslims can consume as well as how those items are prepared. Halal also involves a ritual process of animal slaughter and specific health standards as well as an absence of pork and blood byproducts.
Halal meat includes beef, chicken, lamb, goat, and fish, among others. Pigs as well as carnivores and omnivores are not halal. In order for meat to be considered Halal, the animals must be raised in a humane fashion. They must then be slaughtered humanely which means, for example, the animals must not witness other animals being slaughtered. The slaughterman must be a Muslim. Before each animal is slaughtered with a sharp knife the slaughter man recites "Bismillah, Allahu Akbar" which means "With God's blessings, God is Great". The carcass then thoroughly bleeds out before it undergoes further processing.
Quranic Verses which refer to Halal food:
"O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you." (2:168)
"O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He Whom ye worship." (2:172)
"Eat of that which Allah hath bestowed on you as food lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah in Whom ye are believers." (5:88)
Slaughtered with a sharp Knife, either by hand or mechanical.
Not lawful to consume or use according to the Islamic Shariah. Examples of Haram foods:
• Pork and its derivatives
• Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering
• Animals killed in the name of anyone other than Allah (God)
• Alcohol (Khamr) and other intoxicants
• Carnivorous animals, birds of prey
• Flowing blood and its by-products
"Forbidden to you are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death, that which hath been eaten by a wild beast, unless ye are able to slaughter it; that which is scarified on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows, that is impiety. This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiven, Most Merciful." (Quran, 5:90)
Please see the detailed list of Haram materials in Islam by clicking here.
Sacrifice of animals during pilgrimage by people performing pilgrimage, which is mandatory, or those at home, which is recommended.
Sacrifice of animals to fulfill Nathr (Nizr).
Slaughtering of animals to celebrate the birth of a child, i.e. two lambs for a baby boy and one lamb for a baby girl.
Suspicious, doubtful or unknown. This could include items that are not known or there is a possibility that they might not be Halal. According to the Islamic Fiqh, it is recommended for consumers to avoid the Mashbooh.
The last three categories have conditions of slaughter and distribution of the meat. The meat is distributed into three portions: One-third for the household, one-third for friends and neighbors and one-third for the poor and needy.