The meaning of halal meat may be confusing to anyone outside the territories of Muslim countries. However, the only thing I’m going to be doing today is to put you through the understanding of what halal meat entails. In general, halal food is a food that is permissible by Islamic law.
Halal meat is certified meat following the manner of dhabiha, and that means the animal has to be cut through the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe to drain all blood out. Most importantly, halal is prepared in obeisance to guidelines.
What is Halal?
The word halal is an Arabic word that means permitted or lawful but generally considered what is permitted under Islamic law. Halal is the direct opposite of the word haram, meaning something unlawful.
To add, halal and haram cover all aspects, but when it comes to food and drink, the concept is similar to the concept of kosher in Judaism.
Most non-Muslims have limited knowledge of halal as they believe it is simply related to the slaughter of animals. Because meat can be halal or haram, depending on how the animal was killed, some items such as fruits and vegetables are halal as they are not limited to meat only.
The following section will explain the whole idea of halal meat and why halal meat is prescribed.
The Idea of Halal Meat
For a meat to be called halal, that means such meat was slaughtered by cutting the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe, a manner called dhabiha. The process of consuming blood is haram in the Muslim culture.
Therefore, a Muslim has to recite a dedication called tasmiya or shahada during the process.
This recitation follows a guideline which includes; the pronunciation of Allah’s name during the slaughtering process, the use of a sharp instrument to ensure a neat slaughter, the animal has to be alive and sound, and the animal must be allowed to bleed and dry thoroughly (eating of blood is haram), the animal must not be fed with by-products but natural ones and must be carried out by a Muslim.
Any animal that dies as a result of illness or some nature reason is haram- clarion. For it to be named halal, such an animal has to be alive, in health, and conscious during the time of its slaughtering.
Moreover, some halal certification bodies see halal as a mere stipulation regarding the mental state of the slaughterer and the comfortability of the animal before it was slaughtered. Still, no matter how you slaughter an animal, some can never be halal and will always remain haram. Such animal meats include;
- Reptile: Lizards and their likes
- Bird of prey
- Pork: meat from Pigs
- Horses, mules, and Donkeys
- Danger animals: Cat, Bear, Dog
- Monkeys, etcetera.
Considerably, some meat such as Beef, lamb, chicken, fish, and venison, are highly halal- permitted in the Islamic law.
To even add to that, there is usually a subtle debate regarding some halal elements- and that is whether stunning is allowed or not. Stunning is a method of killing an animal following the guidelines of the Halal Food Authority (HFA), an organization that maintains the effectiveness of the halal principles and monitors allegiance.
Stunning has to do with the use of electricity on an animal before slitting its throats, a method called “pre-stunning.” The British HFA approves of low-voltage electrified water to kill poultry and tong stunning for animals like sheep and goats. However it is done, such animal must not be killed in the stunning process.
Do you know that all intoxicants are haram? They are also against halal food laws. Most vegan food (examples; vegetables) are halal. At the same time, dairy and eggs (a vegetarian food) tend to be an exception because of their complications. Though, it all depends on your interpretation of Islamic law.
This comes down to two reasons;
Diary and eggs usually follow the non-halal animal slaughter (an example is killing non-productive male chicks and others). Its cheese may contain non-halal rennet.
Some animals are fed by-products (like pork by-products), which is against Islamic law and halal pharmaceuticals.
Is Halal Different from Kosher Practice?
Yes! The practice of Mosher differs from halal in that the Jewish method of killing animals, Shechita, does not permit the use of stunning. It takes a professional with seven years of experience to slaughter the animal using a chalaf (a sharp instrument) that is twice the size of the animal’s neck for easy slaughter without pain and distress.
The Jewish dietary law is termed kashrut, a governing law as to what they can eat or not. However, the Jewish law does not require any recitation during the slaughtering process like that of halal, but they both make use of use of a sharp instrument.
When it comes to eating the carcass, kashrut prohibits the consumption of parts like sciatic nerves and fats. At the same time, halal forbids the consumption of the bladder and testicles.
Why is Halal Prescribed?
It is advisable to completely drain off blood from a slaughtered animal which is significant when the meat is utterly soft. The chances of blood clotting are increased in jhatka. If the meat is left undercooked for a few days, it may deteriorate, making the meat more difficult to bite and less to talk of chew.
Research has shown that animals slaughtered by jhatka endure more trauma than those slain by halal. The better the meat, the less an animal struggles.” When an is injured, it raises the glycogen content in the animal’s muscles, leading to tough fleshy meat at the end of the day.
Every religion has its practice, and halal practice is one related to the Muslims, which tells them what food law is permissible or not. And these are laws that must all be followed accordingly.
In conclusion, halal meat demands that an animal be slaughtered through the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe using a sharp instrument and following a guideline.