In the Quran, Halal is a term used in reference to any action or food which is permitted. There are three main requirements for a thing to be considered Halal:
- The person performing the action must have belief in God.
- The person performing the action must intend it for something good or with proper intention and meaning.
- The action itself should not harm anyone else.
The term Halal is taken from the Arabic word “halal”, meaning permissible in Arabic. The first letter of Halal (ح) has the same sound as the English letter “e”. Both are silent, and since “e” is pronounced only after a vowel and not silent, there is no possibility for confusion between an action that is haram (forbidden) or halal. Food whose preparation, sale and consumption is approved by Muslims generally falls into the category of Halal food.
Most food that is prepared or served by Muslims is considered Halal. Non-Muslims are not forbidden from eating Halal food but they should make sure it is not haram for them. All kinds of meat are considered Halal except for pork, which is the meat of an animal that is forbidden to eat in Islam (haram). Animals such as pigs, dogs, rabbits and insects are not allowed.
All foods that comes from creatures that are Halal are also Halal.
The creatures that are Halal are all the animals whose meat is considered permissible in Islam. These animals include: cattle, camels, sheep, goats, chickens and fish.
Vegetables that are Halal and don’t come from livestock include: Asparagus, artichokes, beans and corn. Vegetables that are Halal and do come from livestock include most fruits (the only exception is bananas) and vegetables such as turnip greens (raja rani), soybeans (soy hu), etc.
This section will cover the foods that are considered Halal for Muslims and non-Muslims to eat, and the food that is considered Haram.
There are many things that are not considered Halal for non-Muslims to consume. Those include: alcohol, pork, insects, etc.
Read more about the foods permissible for consumption in Islam in our food and drink section.