Halal is an Arabic word which means permissible or lawful. In the Holy Quran, God commands Muslims and all of mankind to eat of the Halal things - "O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome, and follow not the footsteps of the devil.  Lo! he is an avowed enemy of you." (2:168)
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The Scope Of Halal Food and Drinks

The Scope of Halal Food and Drinks

One of the main objectives of the Shari'ah (Islamic Law) is the protection of human beings. The rule on "the basic of things of permissibility" (as purported in the Quran), has greatly contributed to this objective. This rule has also been contributive to the flexibility and applicability of the Islamic Law throughout the ages. The fact that permissible things are innumerable and beyond limitations, permissibility (or halalness ) is truly God's gift for the good of mankind.

Three Major Categories of Sources of Food - Minerals, Plants and Animals


Minerals are Halal (not prohibited) unless they are harmful to the consumer. Many minerals are toxic and poisonous to human beings and are therefore prohibited. Similarly, clay has been prohibited because of its harmfulness to the consumer. However, if a small portion of clay falls into a food e.g. a sauce, it will not affect the halalness of the food as it will not harm the consumer.


Fruits and vegetables are basically halal and good for human consumption. Utilising or eating plants is permissible except, of course, if it is harmful as the Shari'ah forbids all harmful things.


Animals are classified into edible and inedible. However, there are procedures to be followed before inedible animals become Halal. Allah says: "Of the cattle are some for burden and some for meat, eat what Allah has provided for you, and follow not the footsteps of Satan for he is to you an avowed enemy" [Al-An'am (6), verse 142].

What are Halal food and drinks?

Halal food and drinks can be described as follows:

"anything that man can eat or drink and there is no legal evidence prohibiting it, and its contituents are free from any unlawful or impure elements. It shall be good and pure and its consumption brings no harm. Animals' meat must be from animal slaughtered in the Islamic manner and must not be dedicated to anyone but Allah swt."
The conditions defining halal food and drinks, are the essence of halal food and drinks and are briefly explained below.

No legal evidence prohibiting

Based on Quranic verses that permit utilising what is in the heavens, on the land and in the sea which are associated with the implementation of the rule "the basic of things is permissibility", anything edible or drinkable is Halal and beneficial as long as there is no legal evidence prohibiting it. This is because, in Islam, only the Legislator (Allah) has the absolute jurisdiction to attribute Halal or Haram quality to things, sources and deeds.

"But say not - false things your tongues may put forth - this is lawful and this is forbidden, so as to ascribe false things to Allah, for those who ascribe false things to Allah will never prosper" [Al-Nahl (16),verse 116).

Free from any unlawful or impure elements

Halal food and drinks must not contain in their ingredients any unlawful or impure substance. In other words, their matter and ingredients must be free from any forbidden or filthy component.

Good and pure

The concept of Halal suggests that the word 'Halal' is asociated with the word 'good' or is implicitly presented in the context of the goodness of things.

"They ask you what is lawful to them (as food), say lawful unto you are (all) things good and pure and what you have taught your trained hunting animals (to catch) in the manner directed to you by Allah, eat what they catch for you but pronounce the name of Allah over it, and fear Allah for Allah is swift in taking account. This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful to you" [Al-Maidah (5),verse 4-5].

Consumption brings no harm

This condition is imperative in the Halalness of food and drinks. Food or drinks must be safe for consumption and must not contain any element that harms the human body and health. Since one of the main objectives of the Shari'ah is the protection of human beings, any food or drinks which may cause harm to the human body and health is forbidden even if there is no prohibiting legal evidence.

"And make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction"[Al-Baqarah (2), verse 195]; "Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves for verily Allah has been to you most merciful"[An-Nisaa (4), verse 29].

Slaughtered in the Islamic manner

For animals whose meat God permits eating they must be slaughtered in the Islamic manner except for marine life and locusts.

Must not be dedicated to anyone but Allah

Animals slaughtered with the invocation of a name other than the name of Allah, such as the name of idols, is an act of polytheism (Shirik) and are therefore not acceptable in Islam.

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