Halal Overview

What is Halal

In Arabic, the word halal means permitted or lawful. Halal foods are foods that are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines. According to these guidelines gathered from the Qu'ran, Muslim followers cannot consume the following:

  • pork or pork by products
  • animals that were dead prior to slaughtering
  • animals not slaughtered properly or not slaughtered in the name of Allah
  • blood and blood by products
  • alcohol
  • carnivorous animals
  • birds of prey
  • land animals without external ears

These prohibited foods and ingredients are called haram, meaning forbidden in Arabic.

Why Halal

The primary reason for Halal is to serve the national and international Muslim communities in meeting their religious compliance. The concept of Halal applies to a wide range of goods and services used in a Muslim’s daily life. Muslim consumers choose products because it is in compliance with the process and procedure as defined by Islamic Law (Sharia). Industry and producers of goods and services are often not aware of these requirements. Subsequently, they overlook the needs of this segment of our population. USA Halal Chamber of Commerce, Inc, promotes unified Standards of acceptance and certification. A unified standard bridges the gap between Muslim consumers and the industry. It establishes credibility and assures the Muslim consumer of strict compliance to the Halal process.

Arabic Definitions

  1. Halal: Means permissible in the Arabic language. Lawful or permitted as indicated in the Qur’an and teachings of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).
  2. Halal Auditor, Inspector, Supervisor: These terms are used here Interchangeably
  3. Halal Food: Food permitted according to the Sharia (Islamic Law)
  4. Haram: - Anything considered unlawful as indicated in the Qur’an, teachings of the Prophet Muhammed (PBU}-I), or as ruled upon by the major Madhhabs; opposite of Halal. Forbidden, including the categories of:
    • Carrion or dead (unslaughtered carcasses)
    • Flowing Blood
    • Swine
    • Intoxicants including Alcohol
  5. Makrooh: Disliked, detested or discouraged
  6. Mashbooh: Suspect, in doubt or questionable
  7. Mathhab: School of thought in Islam. School of Islamic legal thought.
  8. Najs: Filth, including things that are themselves not permissible such as pigs and its derivatives, blood and carrion; fluids or objects discharged from the human or animals’ bodies such as urine, excrements, blood, vomit and pus.
  9. Tasmiya & Takbir: Bismillah Allahu Akbar, which means by the name of God, the Greatest. Tasmiyyah - The process of pronouncing the name of Allah while performing Dhabihah one must say "Bismillah Allahu Akbar" which means "In the Name of Allah, Allah is Great"
  10. Dhabiha: Dhabiha in Arabic which means slaughtered with a sharp instrument. An exact and clearly defined method of killing an animal (slaughter) making the meat fit for Muslim consumption.
  11. Dhabih - The person who performs Dhabihah slaughterer
  12. Hadith - A verified saying or teaching of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).
  13. Shari’ah - Islamic Law

USA Halal Chamber of Commerce, Inc.