What is halal?
Halal simply means permitted or lawful. So when we are talking about halal foods it means any foods that are allowed to be eaten according to Islamic Sharia law.
This means that for any food to be considered halal it must comply with the religious ritual and observance of Sharia law.
What is halal certification?
This means that food has been subjected to approved certification systems which guarantee to consumers that nothing in the food has any forbidden components. Halal certificates are issued, for a fee, by a certifying body.
What is haram?
The opposite of halal is haram (forbidden).
Food can be forbidden in Islam if it includes:
- meat or any products from a forbidden animal, including pigs and any carnivorous animals or birds of prey
- meat or any products of an animal which has not been slaughtered in the correct manner in the name of Allah
Under Islamic law (sharia) it is permissible (halal) to consume items that would otherwise be termed haram so long as it is a matter of survival and not just an act of disobedience.
Here at Halal Choices we are concerned with the halal slaughter of animals such as beef, lamb and poultry. To be halal certified the animal must be facing Mecca, have its throat cut while still alive and then ritually sacrificed by a Muslim who recites a prayer dedicating the slaughter to Allah. Because the animals must be slaughtered alive, stun guns are often not an option as they can kill an animal before the heart pumps out all the blood.
To see the halal slaughter process, click on the link below. Be warned though, it is extremely graphic and disturbing!
WARNING! Extremely graphic and disturbing!
Slaughtering facilities need to be inspected to ensure halal standards are met. Fees must be paid to one of the certifying organisations for this service. Islamic certifying organisations benefit financially from providing this service. They receive a constant stream of funds to support Islamic projects which contribute to the advancement of sharia (Islamic law) here and around the world.
Many companies are freely paying this tax but not displaying the corresponding symbol on their labels. Currently Muslims represent less than two percent of the Australian population. So, as an Australian consumer, you could be paying a fee for an Islamic ritual service you do not require.
If you would like to know more about sharia and how it affects communities click here.
Halal Choices on Today Tonight
Halal Certification Stamp
7 March 2012, 6:22 pm