Halal in Arabic – the language of the Muslim holy book, the Quran – means lawful or permitted. The opposite of halal is haram which means forbidden or prohibited. Some foods fall into the grey area, containing ingredients that can be derived from either halal or non-halal sources. These are considered mashbooh meaning
questionable. Additional information is required to classify them as halal or haram. The terms halal and haram are applicable not only to foods but also to other products, habits and actions.
All foods are considered halal with the exception of the following categories:
- Swine/pork and all its by-products or derivatives
- Animals not slaughtered according to the Islamic requirements – Carnivorous animals and birds of prey
- Blood and blood by-products
- Alcohol and other intoxicants
- Products that are contaminated with haram products
In addition, food products and ingredients such as gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, etc. are considered Mashbooh and must be evaluated before they can be considered halal.
Surah An Nahl (The Bee)
Verse 114 Then eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And be grateful for the favor of Allah , if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.
Verse 1 1 5 He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit] – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.