Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: November 8, 2021

Chances are, you’ve seen a growing amount of signs for halal meat and meat deli in and around the US.

These days, hundreds of restaurants are supplying Halal food, allowing Muslims to dine out in the same restaurants we do.

However, unless you are Muslim, you may not fully understand halal meat, why it is so important, and what must be done for it to be considered ‘halal.’

In this article, we will cover everything you should know about halal food, as well as the halal meat markets.

Halal: A Summary

For non-Muslims, halal may be seen as simply a different way to slaughter and prepare meat.

However, it runs much deeper than this, and halal meat is incredibly important within Islam. What makes the meat halal is an intensive process.

‘Halal’ is a word used to refer to behavior or an action that is considered permissible in Islam, whereas ‘haram’ means the opposite. It could refer to the meat or the methods used to prepare it.

Dietary rules in Islam include no pork products and blood, birds of prey, and reptiles. All of these would be considered ‘haram.’

“He [Allah] has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah.” - Quran

God’s name must be repeated before the animal goes through a religious slaughter.

Meat slaughtered following the halal rules is referred to as ‘zabiha,’ and it is done using a surgically sharp knife, cutting the jugular vein and letting the animal’s blood drain from the body. An animal slaughtered this way is considered halal.

Only one animal can be slaughtered at a time, and no livestock should witness another animal being slaughtered.

Throughout the animal's life, they must also be treated with respect - they should have food, fresh air, clean water, and enough space to roam.

Halal Markets

Butcher standing behind displayed meat

A halal market is a place that provides halal foods, following all the rules permitted by Islam and the halal food authority. It can include halal meats, as well as other foods prepared using halal principles.

The halal products must be from a certified halal butcher, and supermarkets selling halal products can only be transported by Muslims.

Grocery stores that cater to both halal and non-muslim foods have a much harder time following Islamic law.

It is because all haram foods must be kept separate from halal products. Halal methods state that all food that comes in contact with haram food turns into haram.

That’s why halal products have to be brought into the grocery store using a different entrance, stored in a different place, and be put on display in a separate area.

Halal rules state that no halal supermarket can take profit from items considered haram, including pork, alcohol, lottery tickets, etc. It is because all of these items are forbidden in the halal lifestyle.

You can also check out our article on the best halal meal delivering services.

What Is Stunning?

Butcher looking at the meat

Stunning is an act of electrocuting the animal before the animal’s death. Electrocuting puts the animals to sleep, so they don’t go through any “unnecessary suffering.”

Since 1979, stunning has been mandatory throughout the EU, and in a few countries killing animals without stunning is illegal [1].

Some supermarkets claim that the only difference between halal and normal foods is the prayers done before slaughter.

That being said, stunning is not widely accepted in the Middle Eastern world, with the halal food authority claiming that stunning causes the meat to become haram.

This is because many animals die from the stunning and arrive at the slaughterhouse dead. Animals must be alive while the ceremony takes place. [2]

Chickens slaughtered for halal meats are often stunned, and a lot of them die beforehand.

It also means the animals are unconscious while slaughtering, meaning they are not awake to hear the Tasmiyah (prayer).

Difference Between Kosher and Halal Meat

Both hands wrapping and packing meat

Kosher food follows the kashrut (Jewish dietary law), and much like halal, they have very specific rules and regulations to follow.

Kosher meat is similar to halal since they both need the meats to be slaughtered by a sharp surgical knife, done by a trained professional.

However, Jewish law forbids the animal to be stunned beforehand.

Unlike Muslim meat, Jewish meat doesn’t require prayer or God’s name to be said before every slaughter.

Kashrut also forbids Jewish people to eat certain parts of the animal, such as particular fats and sciatic nerves.

FAQs

Is Halal Meat Better For You?

It is said that halal meat tastes better than other meat due to the blood being drained out during slaughter. It also stays fresher for the same reason.

Does Halal Meat Taste Different?

Halal meat doesn’t taste any different than regular meat. Kosher meat, however, tends to taste salter due to the way blood is removed.

Is Halal Meat Necessary?

If you are Muslim, halal food is 100% necessary.

There is a large and vigorous process to make the meat halal and ensure it stays that way.

Haram foods can not be eaten due to religious reasons.

Halal meat markets are a great way for Muslims to get all they need in a safe environment, ensuring no halal foods come into contact with haram foods.

These markets also serve as a sort of community center, bringing people together.


References:

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-27324224.amp
  2. https://halalhmc.org/resources/issues-of-mechanical-slaughter-and-stunning/

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