Start with a detailed explanation of Halal and Non-Halal
Starting with a detailed explanation of Halal and Non Halal, the following chapters will help you understand the concept of Halal dietary laws. In addition, the applicable restrictions are explained in more detail.
Apart from that, you will also find the relevant references from Quran and Hadith to help you understand the concept of Halal and Haram. An explanation of the most important terms should make it easier for you to deal with Halal certification bodies.
We have also included a list of things commonly referred to as haram (forbidden).
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Haram (Arabic: حرام) (often Haraam) is an Arabic term meaning forbidden. Haram is anything that is prohibited by the faith. Its antonym is halal.
The religious term haram can be applied to:
Certain foodstuffs or food ingredients, such as alcohol or pork and also to foods, objects and people that would normally be halaal but which were tarnished in some or other way, for example meat slaughtered in a non-permitted way Certain behaviours, such as adultery or abuse, abstention in the general elections Certain objects
Haram also applies to ill-gotten wealth obtained through sin. Examples include money earned through cheating, stealing, corruption, murder or any means that involves harm to another human being. It is prohibited in Islam for a true Muslim to profit from such Haram actions. Any believer who benefits from or lives off wealth obtained through Haram is not a Muslim.
Haram means ‘unlawful’ or ‘prohibited’ according to Islamic Law.
Najs regards foods that are themselves ‘impure’ and that cannot be cleaned.
Mashbooh means ‘suspected’. If Halal food consists of that which is deemed a suspected or unlawful (Haram) ingredient, the item becomes wholly unlawful.
Tayyeb is synonymous with ‘purity’ and ‘quality’, that which is safe and wholesome. Muslims are religiously mandated to consume only Halal and Tayyeb.
Thus most foods are considered to be Halal unless found to be or containing doubtful or Non-Halal ingredient(s)
Ahlul Kitab (People of the Book) A term from the Quran. It refers to the People who received Divine Scriptures and is a reference to the Christians and the Jews. ALLAH The proper name of GOD, The Creator. ALLAH is a single being with no partners. Antioxidant Compounds that delay or prevent oxidation of foods. Examples are BHA, BHT and citric acid. BHA Butylated Hydroxy Anisole. It is an antioxidant. BHA is Halal. BHT Butylated Hydroxy Toluene. It is an antioxidant. BHT is Halal. Carrageenan An extract from Irish Moss, which forms a gel in food systems. It is used as a food ingredient. Carrageenan is Halal. Casein The major protein in milk. It is used in the manufacture of most cheeses. It may be Halal or haram, depending upon the enzyme used to produce it. Chocolate Liquor A semi-viscous sweet syrup containing chocolate, sugar and other ingredients. It is used in making candy, drinks and other chocolate flavored foods. Chocolate liquor is non-alcoholic and is Halal, unless there is contamination with haram ingredients. Clarifying Agents A group of chemical compounds used in liquid foods to remove cloudiness due to suspended matter. Cream of Tartar A white crystalline chemical called potassium bitartarate. Cultures Several bacteria and other microbes used singly or in combination to bring about fermentation in several foods. They are used in the manufacture of fermented milks, cheeses and fermented meat products. Diglycerides Fatty substances containing glycerol and two fatty acids. Diglycerides can be made from animal or vegetable fats and they are used as an emulsifier in food products. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way or from plant sources, they are Halal. Otherwise they are haram. Currently, it is best to look for products using only 100% vegetable diglycerides. Emulsifiers A chemical substance that keeps fats (or oils) dispersed in water or water droplets dispersed in fats (or oils). Emulsifiers are used in foods containing both fats (or oils) and water. Examples of emulsifiers are lecithin and mono and diglycerides. Emulsifiers can be made from animal or vegetable sources. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way or from plant sources, they are Halal. Otherwise they are haram. Enzymes Protein substances found and formed in all living cells. They bring about chemical reactions inside and outside the body, without being consumed themselves. They are extracted from animals or microorganisms and are utilized in the food industry to manufacture cheese and other products. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way, from plant sources or from microorganisms, they are Halal. Otherwise they are haram. Currently, it is best to look for microbial enzymes. Fatwa Religious edicts Gelatin A derived protein of animal origin. It is made from the skins, bones and connective tissues and used in desserts and as an additive in a variety of food products. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way, it is Halal. Otherwise it is haram. Unless a product containing gelatin is certified Halal or says Halal gelatin, it is most likely haram and should be avoided. GHP Good Hygiene Practice GMF Genetically modified foods (GMF) are foods derived from genetically modified organisms. Genetically modified organisms have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering, using a process of either Cisgenesis or Transgenesis. These techniques are much more precise than mutagenesis (mutation breeding) where an organism is exposed to radiation or chemicals to create a non-specific but stable change. Other techniques by which humans modify food organisms include selective breeding (plant breeding and animal breeding), and somaclonal variation. GMO A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. GMP Good Manufacturing Practices are guidelines that outline the aspects of production and testing that can impact the quality of a product. Hadith Hadith are narrations originating from the words and deeds of the Islamic prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). Hadith are regarded by traditional schools of jurisprudence as important tools for understanding the Qur'an and in matters of jurisprudence. Halal The Arabic word “Halal” implies that which is “lawful” for consumption by Mankind. Hanafi One of the Islamic school of thought founded by Imam Abu Hanifah. Among the four established Sunni schools of legal thought in Islam, the Hanafi school is the oldest. It has a reputation for putting greater emphasis on the role of reason and being slightly more liberal than the other three schools. The Hanafi school also has the most followers among the four major Sunni schools. (Both the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire were Hanafi so the Hanafi school is still widespread in their former lands). Today, the Hanafi school is predominant among the Sunnis of Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China as well as in Iraq, Mauritius, Syria, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia in the Balkans and the Caucasus. It is also followed in large numbers in other parts of Muslim world. Hanbali Hanbali is one of the four schools Madh'habs (rites) of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. The jurisprudence school was started by the students of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal. Hanbali jurisprudence is popular in the Arabian Peninsula. Haram “Haram” means “unlawful” or “prohibited” according to Islamic Law. Ijma’ Ijma' is an Arabic term referring ideally to the consensus of the ummah (the community of Muslims, or followers of Islam). Lard A saturated fat derived from pork. It is used in frying oils and bakery products. Lard is haram and any products containing lard are haram. Lecithin An emulsifier comprised of glycerol, two fatty acids, phosphoric acid and choline. It is extracted from egg yolks, soybeans or animal fats. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way, from plant sources or egg yolks, it is Halal. Otherwise it is haram. It is best to stick to products that are Halal certified or contain vegetable lecithin or soya lecithin. Makruh something which is makruh is a disliked or offensive act (literally hated). Though it is not haram (forbidden) and therefore not a sin, a person who abstains from this action will be rewarded. Muslims are encouraged to avoid such actions when possible. This is one of the degrees of approval (ahkam) in Islamic law. Maliki The Maliki madhhab is one of the four schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. It is the third-largest of the four schools, followed by approximately 15% of Muslims, mostly in North Africa, West Africa, United Arab Emirates, and some parts of Saudi Arabia. Mashbooh An Arabic word meaning suspect or questionable. Mashbooh items can be produced from Halal or Haram sources. When the specific source is not known, the items are suspect or questionable. Monoglycerides Fatty substances containing glycerol and one fatty acid. Monoglycerides can be made from animal or vegetable fats and are used as emulsifiers in food products. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way or from plant sources, they are Halal. Otherwise they are haram. Currently, it is best to look for products using only 100% vegetable diglycerides. Najs “Najs” regards foods that are themselves “impure” and that cannot be cleaned. There are 3 differenciations: Najs Mughallazah = Severe filth Najs Mukhaffafah = Light filth Najs Mutawassitah = Medium filth Pepsin An enzyme extracted from animal stomachs, especially pig stomachs, and used in the production of cheese. Pepsin is haram. Quran The Divine revelation to the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him. The Quran is the source of wisdom and law for Muslims. Rennet An enzyme extracted from the 4th stomach of calves and used in the production of cheese. If the calves are slaughtered in the Islamic way, it is Halal. Otherwise it should be avoided. Microbial rennet is Halal. Shafi'i The Shafi‘i school of fiqh is named after Imam ash-Shafi‘i. The Shafi‘i school is followed throughout the Ummah and is the official madhab of most traditional scholars and leading Sunni authorities. It is also recognized as the official madhab by the governments of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia. In addition, the government of Indonesia uses this madhab for the Indonesian compilation of sharia law. It is the dominant madhab of Syria, Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Chechnya, Kurdistan, Egypt, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Maldives, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia. It is also practised by large communities in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia (in the Hejaz and Asir), Israel, the Swahili Coast, Mauritius, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan (by Chechens), and in the Indian States of Kerala, Karnataka (Bhatkal,Mangalore and Coorg districts) , Maharashtra (by Konkani Muslims) and Tamil Nadu. The second largest school of the Sunni branch of Islam in terms of followers, the Shafi`i madhhab is followed by approximately 29% of Muslims worldwide. Sharia Sharia refers to the way Muslims should live or the path they must follow. Sharia is derived from the sacred text of Islam (the Qur'an), and Traditions (Hadith) gathered from the life of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. There are different interpretations in some areas of Sharia, depending on the school of thought (Madh'hab), and the particular scholars (Ulema) involved. Traditionally, Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) interprets and refines Sharia by extending its principles to address new questions. Islamic judges (Qadi) apply the law, however modern application varies from country to country. Sharia deals with many aspects of life. Shortening A blend of fats and/or oils used in baked products. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way or from plant sources, it is Halal. Otherwise it is haram. Currently, it is best to look for products using only vegetable shortening. Stearic Acid A long chain fatty acid found abundantly in most saturated fats. It can also be synthesized. It is used to make functional chemicals and metallic stearates (sodium stearate, potassium stearate, etc.) for a variety of food applications. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way or from plant sources, it is Halal. Otherwise it is haram. Currently, it is best to look for products using only vegetable stearates. Tallow A white solid fat obtained from cattle, sheep or goats and used in making shortenings and frying oils. If made from animals slaughtered in the Islamic way, it is Halal. Otherwise it is haram. Currently, it is best to avoid edible products containing tallow unless they are Halal certified. Tayyib: “Tayyib” is synonymous with ‘purity’ and ‘quality’, that which is safe and wholesome. Muslims are religiously mandated to consume only Halal and Tayyib. Whey The watery part of milk that separates from the curd during cheese making. It is used as an ingredient in many products.If the enzyme used to produce the whey and cheese is Halal, the whey is Halal. Otherwise it is not. It is best to avoid products containing whey unless they are Halal certified. Thus most foods are considered to be Halal unless found to be or containing doubtful or Non-Halal ingredient(s)
In Islam every action of a person, as an individual, as well as a member of the community depends on the purity of his noble intention, which must be clearly expressed before starting any action. It is utmost important to pronounce the Name of Allah (s.w.t.) before any action and His guidance is sought and expressed accordingly. The performance and completion of this duty towards Allah (s.w.t.) has the highest priority for a Muslim. That is why all actions are carried out in such a way that any possible and/or anticipated mistake must/can be avoided altogether. It is therefore of utmost importance that everyone involved in the process of production and/or handling with Halal products, must meet and fulfil these stringent demands and undertake all the necessary precautions.