Under the Islamic Law, all sources of food are lawful except the following sources, including their products and derivatives which are considered unlawful:
The guideline mentioned below points out that the term halal may be used for foods which are considered lawful. Under the Islamic Law, all sources of food are lawful except the following sources, including their products and derivatives which are considered unlawful:
1. Food of animal origin
1.1 Pigs and boars.
1.2 Dogs, snakes and monkeys.
1.3 Carnivorous animals with claws and fangs such as lions, tigers and bears. 1.4 Birds of prey with claws such as eagles, vultures, and other similar birds.
1.5 Pests such as rats, centipedes, scorpions and other similar animals.
1.6 Animals forbidden to be killed in Islam, ants, bees and woodpecker birds.
1.7 Animals which are considered repulsive generally like lice, flies, maggots 1.8 Animals that live both on land and in water such as frogs, crocodiles.
1.9 Mules and domestic donkeys.
1.10. All poisonous and hazardous aquatic animals.
1.11. Any other animals not slaughtered according to Islamic Law.
2. Food of plant origin. Intoxicating and hazardous plants except where the toxin or hazard can be eliminated during processing.
3.1 Alcoholic drinks.
3.2 All forms of intoxicating and hazardous drinks.
4. Food additives. All food additives derived from item 1, 2 and 3.
All foods are considered Halal except the following, which are
• Swine/pork and its by-products
• Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering
• Animals killed in the name of anyone other than ALLAH (God)
• Alcohol and intoxicants
• Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and land animals without external ears
• Blood and blood by-products
• Foods contaminated with any of the above products
Foods containing ingredients such as gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, etc. are questionable (Mashbooh) because the origin of these ingredients is not known.
With today’s manufacturing and food production, it’s hard to know what goes into the food we eat. Food labelling helps, but not everything is listed, and what is listed is often a mystery. Dietary laws for Muslims are very clear. As outlined in the Qur’an, Muslims are forbidden from consuming pork, alcohol, blood, meat dedicated to false gods, etc. It is easy to avoid these basic ingredients, but what about when the ingredients are disguised as something else? Modern food production allows manufacturers to start out with one basic product, then cook it, boil it, and process it, until they can call it something else. However, if its original source was a forbidden food, then it is still forbidden to Muslims.
So how can Muslims sort through it all?
Some Muslim dieticians have published books and lists of products, from Burger King Hamburgers to Kraft cheese, to indicate which things are forbidden and which are permitted. But it is nearly impossible to list every possible product. In addition, manufacturers often change their ingredients, and international manufacturers sometimes vary the ingredients from country to country. Such lists often become outdated and obsolete rather quickly.
As another approach, the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America has compiled a list of ingredients that is very helpful. You can use this list to check labels for items that are forbidden, permitted, or suspect. This seems to be the most reasonable approach, as the shortlist is not likely to change over time. With this list in hand, it can be very simple for Muslims to purify their diets and eat only what Allah has permitted.
HALAL CONSUMER GUIDE
The purpose of this guide is to help Muslim consumer’s select acceptable food products in the supermarket. Products contain many ingredients in varying quantities, including trace amounts of Haram or questionable ingredients. This list includes some of the more common ingredients that must be avoided or investigated before consuming them. It is not a comprehensive list. In the listing, we have specified ingredients as:
HARAM / AVOID: These main ingredients are unquestionably haram and are found in large percentages within a product. Examples are lard, which is 100% pork fat, or gin, which is hard liquor (alcoholic beverage). Muslims should not even buy these products.
INVESTIGATE FURTHER: These are used in small quantities and can contain components that mainly come from haram animals, alcohol, or Halal animals slaughtered by non-Muslims. Examples are whey, a dairy product, which is the liquid left after making cheese. The cheese may be made with enzymes from pork, calf, goat or microorganisms. Muslims are required to eat pure (Halal) foods. With the complexity of food manufacturing, it is difficult for the Muslim consumer to determine the appropriateness of many food products. We hope this guide will serve as a handy and easy way of verifying the acceptability of food products. For more information, please contact IFANCA or contact the manufacturer of the food product to find the source of the ingredient. Of course, there is no substitute for authentic, certified Halal products.
- Animal Shortening
- Bacon Bits
- Hydrolyzed animal protein
- Hydrolyzed porcine collagen
- Shortening Ethyl alcohol
- Malt liquor
- Wine coolers