Islamic dietary laws
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Islamic jurisprudence specifies which foods are halāl (حَلَال "lawful") and which are harām (حَرَامْ "unlawful"). This is derived from commandments found in the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, as well as the Hadith and Sunnah, libraries cataloging things the Islamic prophet Muhammad is reported to have said and done. Extensions of these rulings are issued, as fatwas, by mujtahids, with varying degrees of strictness, but they are not always widely held to be authoritative. According to the Quran, the only foods explicitly forbidden are meat from animals that die of themselves, blood, the meat of swine (porcine animals, pigs), and animals dedicated to other than Allah (either undedicated or dedicated to idols), but a person is not guilty of sin in a situation where the lack of any alternative creates an undesired necessity to consume that which is otherwise unlawful. (Quran 2:173) This is the "law of necessity" in Islamic jurisprudence: "That which is necessary makes the forbidden permissible", which, in the case of dietary laws, allows one to eat pork or carrion, or drink wine or ethanol if one were starving or dying of thirst (although the Shafi'i madhhab differs on the issue of ethanolic drinks).
- 1 Food hygiene
- 2 Foods explicitly stated to be Halal in Islamic texts
- 3 Prohibited food
- 4 Alevi people
- 5 In non-Islamic countries
- 6 Efforts to increase the availability of halal food in non-Islamic countries
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Food hygiene is an important part of Islamic dietary law.
Dhabīḥah (ذَبِيْحَة) is a prescribed method of ritual animal slaughter; it does not apply to most aquatic animals. The animal must be slaughtered while mentioning the name of God (Allah in Arabic). According to some fatwas, the animal must be slaughtered specifically by a Muslim; however, other fatwas dispute this, ruling that, according to verse 5:5 of the Qurʼan, an animal properly slaughtered by People of the Book is halal. The animal slaughtered must be killed quickly with a sharpened blade. It must not suffer. It must not see the blade. It must not see or smell the blood from a previous slaughter. The main logic given by Islamic clerics is the significance of life. Many clerics argue that the life, given by God, is not an insignificant gift therefore no entity except God has the right to take this valuable gift away and by mentioning the God's name you imply that command of God.
Animals for food may not be killed by being boiled or electrocuted, and the carcass should be hung upside down for long enough to be free of blood. All water game is considered halal (although the Hanafi madhhab differs on this): "Lawful to you is game from the sea and its food as provision for you [who are settled] as well as for travellers, although you are forbidden to hunt on land while you are in the state of pilgrimage. And be conscious of God, unto whom you shall be gathered." (Qurʼan 5:96.)
There are generally no restrictions on the consumption of vegetarian food as the restrictions pertain to slaughter.
Because of the recent rise in Muslim populations in the United States and Europe, certain organizations have emerged to certify that food products and ingredients met dhabiha standards. The Muslim Consumer Group is an example of an organization that employs certification labelling, using the H-MCG symbol, to identify the status of different edible and non-edible consumer products.
In Islam, halal is an Arabic term meaning 'lawful, permissible' and not only encompasses food and drink, but all matters of daily life. When it comes to halal food, most people think of meat products only.[according to whom?] However, Muslims must ensure that all foods, particularly processed foods, pharmaceuticals and non-food items such as cosmetics are also halal. Often these products contain animal by-products or other ingredients that are not permissible for Muslim consumption.
Since 1991, mainstream manufacturers of soups, grains, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, prepared foods, and other industries, as well as hotels, restaurants, airlines, hospitals and other service providers have pursued the halal market. Halal certification tells Muslims that the ingredients and production methods of a product have been tested and declared permissible by a certification body. It also allows companies to export products to most Middle Eastern and South East Asian countries. The oldest and most well known halal certifier in the USA is Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) and Islamic Services of America.
In Europe, several organizations have been created over the past twenty years in order to certify the halal products. A survey recently published by a French association of Muslim Consumers (ASIDCOM) shows that the market of halal products has been developed in a chaotic way in Europe. The European certification organizations do not have a common definition of "halal" nor agreed upon control procedures and traceability. The controls implemented by individual agencies are all very different: they can go from an annual audit of the slaughterhouse, to checking each production with permanent controls in place and on-going independent monitoring.
Some animals and manners of death or preparation can make certain things haram to eat, that is, taboo food and drink. These include what are regarded as unclean animals such as swine, or animals that are sick.
Foods explicitly stated to be Halal in Islamic texts
Locusts are halal. There is a Hadith which permits locust eating (أحلت لنا ميتتان، ميتة الجراد، وميتة السمك) ("Permitted for us are two dead things, dead locusts, and dead fish."). Locusts are permitted for consumption by Muslims in “Al-Rawd Al-Moraba Fi Sharh Zad Al-Mustaqni” which is a work on Sunni Hanbali fiqh. All four Sunni Madhhab allow consumption of dead locusts. A hadith allowing locust consumption by Muslims was narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar: ( عن عبد الله بن عمر، قال أُحِلَّتْ لنا ميتتان ودمان: الجراد والحِيتان والكَبد وَالطِّحال) ("about Abdullah bin Umar, he said permitted for us are two dead things and two bloods : the locusts, and the whales, and the liver and the spleen"). The Prophet Muhammad was reported to have eaten locusts during a military raid with his companions including Abdullah ibn Abu Aufa who narrated a hadith of this incident: (عن عبدالله بن أبي أَوْفَى رضي الله عنه قال غزَوْنا معَ النبيِّ صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم سَبْعَ غزَواتٍ أو سِتًّا، كُنَّا نأكُلُ معَه الجَرادَ) ("About Abdullah bin Abi Aufa radi Allahu anhu he said : our raiding with the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Salam, seven raids or six, and we ate with him the locusts."). Peninsular Arabs have proverbs in Arabic encouraging the eating of locusts: (إذا جاء الجراد انثر الدواء، وإذا جاء الفقع صرّ الدواء) ("If the locusts came dispersing the medicine, and if the Terfeziaceae came saving the medicine.") and (إذا جاد الجراد كب الدواء) ("If the locusts appeared dispersing the medicine"). Locusts are eaten in Saudi Arabia, consumption of locusts spiked around Ramadan in the Al-Qassim Region and Ha'il Region in 2014 since Saudis believe they are healthy to eat, however the Saudi Ministry of Health warned that pesticides they used against the locusts made them unsafe. The use of pesticides against locusts led to an advisory for Saudi citizens cautioning them against picking locusts off the ground and eating them issued by the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture. Locusts are eaten in Kuwait. Yemenis were interviewed over whether they would like to eat locusts before a swarm of them was forecasted to enter Yemen in 2007 and said they were willing to do it. ʻAbd al-Salâm Shabînî described a locust recipe from Morocco. 19th century European travellers observed Arabs in Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco selling, cooking, and eating locusts. They reported that in Egypt and Palestine locusts were consumed. They reported that in Palestine, around the river Jordan, in Egypt, in Arabia, and in Morocco that Arabs ate locusts, while Syrian peasants did not eat locusts however in the Haouran region Fellahs (peasants) who were in poverty and suffered from famine ate locusts after removing the guts and head, while locusts were swallowed wholesale by Bedouins. Syrians, Copts, Greeks, Armenians and other Christians and Arabs themselves reported that in Arabia locusts were eaten frequently and one Arab described to a European traveler the different types of locusts which were favored as food by Arabs. Persians use the Anti-Arab racial slur "Arabe malakh-khor" (عرب ملخ خور) (Arab locust eater) against Arabs. The Iranian rap artist Behzad Pax released a song in 2015 called "Arab Kosh" (عرب كش) (Kill Arabs) which was widely reported on the Arab media who claimed that it was released with the approval of the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. One of the lyrics in the song call Arabs as "locust eaters". The Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance denied that it gave approval to the song and condemned it as a product of a "sick mind". Among the Persian sayings is The Arab of the desert eats locusts, while the dogs of Isfahan drink ice-cold water. (عرب در بیابان ملخ میخورد سگ اصفهان آب یخ میخورد).
The Uromastyx maliensis lizard, known as "dabb" (ضَبّ) by peninsular Arabs, is consumed as food by the Bedouin populations of the Arabian peninsula, mainly those residing in the interior regions of Saudi Arabia. This monitor lizard is considered a "bedouin delicacy". An example of this is attributed to a hadith by the prophet Muhammad, who belonged to a sedentary family in the Hejaz. A Sahih Hadith recorded that when an uromastyx lizard was brought to the prophet Muhammad by Bedouins from the Najd, namely Hufaida bint al-Harith, Muhammad did not eat the lizard but other Muslims were not prohibited by him from consuming it so Muhammad's companion Khalid bin Walid consumed the lizard. Dried lizard tonic was monopolized by the Hashemites before the Saudi family seized Medina and Mecca from them.
A Sahih Muslim Hadith on lizard says - 'Abdullah b. 'Abbas reported that Khalid b. Walid who is called the Sword of Allah had informed him that he visited Maimuna, the wife of Allah's Apostle (ﷺ), in the company of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), and she was the sister of his mother (that of Khalid) and that of 'Ibn Abbas, and he found with her a roasted lizard which her sister Hufaida the daughter of al-Harith had brought from Najd, and she presented that lizard to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ). It was rare that some food was presented to the Prophet (ﷺ) and it was not mentioned or named. While Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was about to stretch forth his hand towards the lizard, a woman from amongst the women present there informed the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) what they had presented to him. They said: Messenger of Allah, it is a lizard. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) withdrew his hand, whereupon Khalid b. Walid said: Messenger of Allah, is a lizard forbidden? Thereupon he said: No, but it is not found in the land of my people, and I feel that I have no liking for it. Khalid said: I then chewed and ate it, and Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was looking at me and he did not forbid (me to eat it). (وَحَدَّثَنِي أَبُو الطَّاهِرِ، وَحَرْمَلَةُ، جَمِيعًا عَنِ ابْنِ وَهْبٍ، قَالَ حَرْمَلَةُ أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ وَهْبٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي يُونُسُ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ أَبِي أُمَامَةَ بْنِ سَهْلِ بْنِ حُنَيْفٍ الأَنْصَارِيِّ، أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ، بْنَ عَبَّاسٍ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ خَالِدَ بْنَ الْوَلِيدِ الَّذِي يُقَالُ لَهُ سَيْفُ اللَّهِ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّهُ، دَخَلَ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى مَيْمُونَةَ زَوْجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهِيَ خَالَتُهُ وَخَالَةُ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ فَوَجَدَ عِنْدَهَا ضَبًّا مَحْنُوذًا قَدِمَتْ بِهِ أُخْتُهَا حُفَيْدَةُ بِنْتُ الْحَارِثِ مِنْ نَجْدٍ فَقَدَّمَتِ الضَّبَّ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَكَانَ قَلَّمَا يُقَدَّمُ إِلَيْهِ طَعَامٌ حَتَّى يُحَدَّثَ بِهِ وَيُسَمَّى لَهُ فَأَهْوَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَدَهُ إِلَى الضَّبِّ فَقَالَتِ امْرَأَةٌ مِنَ النِّسْوَةِ الْحُضُورِ أَخْبِرْنَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِمَا قَدَّمْتُنَّ لَهُ . قُلْنَ هُوَ الضَّبُّ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ . فَرَفَعَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَدَهُ فَقَالَ خَالِدُ بْنُ الْوَلِيدِ أَحَرَامٌ الضَّبُّ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ " لاَ وَلَكِنَّهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ بِأَرْضِ قَوْمِي فَأَجِدُنِي أَعَافُهُ " . قَالَ خَالِدٌ فَاجْتَرَرْتُهُ فَأَكَلْتُهُ وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَنْظُرُ فَلَمْ يَنْهَنِي .)
A Sahih Bukhari Hadith on lizard says - that his aunt, Um Hufaid bint Al-Harith bin Hazn, presented to the Prophet (ﷺ) butter, dried yoghurt and mastigures. The Prophet (ﷺ) invited the people to those mastigures and they were eaten on his dining sheet, but the Prophet (ﷺ) did not eat of it, as if he disliked it. Nevertheless. if it was unlawful to eat that, the people would not have eaten it on the dining sheet of the Prophet (ﷺ) nor would he have ordered that they be eaten. (حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو النُّعْمَانِ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي بِشْرٍ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّ أُمَّ حُفَيْدٍ بِنْتَ الْحَارِثِ بْنِ حَزْن ٍ ـ خَالَةَ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ أَهْدَتْ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم سَمْنًا وَأَقِطًا وَأَضُبًّا، فَدَعَا بِهِنَّ فَأُكِلْنَ عَلَى مَائِدَتِهِ، وَتَرَكَهُنَّ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَالْمُسْتَقْذِرِ لَهُنَّ، وَلَوْ كُنَّ حَرَامًا مَا أُكِلْنَ عَلَى مَائِدَةِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَلاَ أَمَرَ بِأَكْلِهِنَّ.)
The Marfu' Hadith number 1829 from Musnad Ishaq Ibn Rahwayh records Maymunah bint al-Harith mentioning an incident with the Prophet Muhammad talks about Najdis eating the Dabb lizard (أَخْبَرَنَا جَرِيرٌ ، عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ أَبِي زِيَادٍ ، عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ الأَصَمِّ ، عَنْ مَيْمُونَةَ ، قَالَتْ : " أُهْدِيَ لَنَا ضَبٌّ ، فَصَنَعْتُهُ ، فَدَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا رَجُلانِ مِنْ قَوْمِهَا ، فَأَتْحَفْتُهُمَا بِهِ ، فَدَخَلَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَوَضَعَ يَدَهُ ، ثُمَّ رَفَعَهَا ، فَقُلْتُ : ضَبٌّ أُهْدِيَ لَنَا ، فَذَهَبَا يَطْرَحَانِ مَا فِي أَيْدِيهِمَا ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : " كُلُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمْ أَهْلُ نَجْدٍ تَأْكُلُونَهَا ، وَإِنَّا أَهْلُ تِهَامَةَ نَعَافُهَا بِهِ " . ) It appears also under Hadith number 2034 (أخبرنا جرير عن يزيد بن أبي زياد عن يزيد بن الأصم عن ميمونة قالت أهدي لنا ضب فصنعته فدخل عليها رجلان من قومها فأتحفتهما به فدخل النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فوضع يده ثم رفعها فقلت ضب أهدي لنا فذهبا يطرحان ما في أيديهما فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ( كلوه فإنكم أهل نجد تأكلونها وإنا أهل تهامة نعافها ) ) and appears under Hadith number 6069 (وعن ميمونة أنها أهدي لها ضب فأتاها رجلان من قومها فأمرت به فصنع ثم قربته إليهما فجاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهما يأكلان فرحب بهما ثم أخذ ليأكل فلما أخذ اللقمة إلى فيه قال: "ما هذا؟". قالت: ضب أهدي لنا. قالت: فوضع اللقمة وأراد الرجلان أن يطرحا ما في أفواههما فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: "لا تفعلا إنكم - أهل نجد - تأكلونها وإنا أهل تهامة نعافها". رواه الطبراني في الكبير وفيه يزيد بن أبي زياد وهو ممن يكتب حديثه مع ضعفه. )
A wedding dowry of 100 dabb lizards was proposed by a Saudi groom.
One stereotype Persians have of Arabs is that they eat lizards. Persians use the slur "soosmar-khor" (سوسمار خور) ("lizard eater") against Arabs and the Sunni Muslim Persian poet Ferdowsi included a derogatory insulting verse against Arabs in his Shahnameh poem (زشیر شتر خوردن و سوسمار عرب را به جایی رسیده ست کار که فر کیانی کند آرزو تفو بر تو ای چرخ گردون تفو) (zasheer shatar khordan va soosmar) which is translated into Arabic as (مِن شُرب لبن الابل وأكل الضب بلغ العرب مبلغاً أن يطمحوا في تاج الملك؟ فتباً لك أيها الزمان وسحقا) or (ثم قال: أعلمنى بما أنت عليه من دينك، و رسمك و آيينك. و أخبرنى مَن سلطانك و بمن اعتضادك و اعتصامك. فقد جئت فى عساكر حفاة عراة بلا ثقل و لا رحل و لا فيل و لا تخت. ثم بلغ بكم الأمر من شربكم ألبان الإبل و أكلكم أضباب القيعان إلى تمنى أسرّة الملوك العجم أرباب التخوت و التيجان.), with the verse attributed to the Persian commander Rostam Farrokhzād as insulting the Arabs as camel milk drinkers and lizard eaters during the Muslim conquest of Persia. Some historians believed another Persian in the Medieval ages inserted the line about lizards and camels milk and that Ferdowsi did not write it. Richard F. Burton translated the line as "Hath the Arabs daring performed such feat, Fed on camels milk and the lizard's meat, That he cast on Kayánian crown his eye? Fie, O whirling world! on thy faith and fie!"
A variety of substances are considered as unlawful(haraam) for humans to consume and, therefore, forbidden as per various Qurʼanic verses:
- Animals slaughtered in the name of anyone but "Allah". All that has been dedicated or offered in sacrifice to an idolatrous altar or saint or a person considered to be "divine"
- Carrion (carcasses of dead animals which weren't killed by men or pets trained for purpose, like dogs or falcons)
- An animal that has been strangled, beaten (to death), killed by a fall, gored (to death), or savaged by a beast of prey (unless finished off by a human)
- Intoxicants and alcoholic beverages
Quranic verses which have information regarding halal foods include: 2:173, 5:5, and 6:118–119, 121.
In Islam, consumption of any intoxicants (specifically, alcoholic beverages) is generally forbidden in the Qur'an through several separate verses revealed at different times over a period of years. At first, it was forbidden for Muslims to attend prayers while intoxicated.
O you who believe! do not go near prayer when you are Intoxicated until you know (well) what you say, nor when you are under an obligation to perform a bath—unless (you are) travelling on the road—until you have washed yourselves; and if you are sick, or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth, then wipe your faces and your hands; surely Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.— Qurʼan, Sura 4 (al-Nisaʼ), ayah 43
They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit. And they ask you as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, that you may ponder.— Qurʼan, Surah 2 (al-Baqarah), ayah 219
This was the next step in turning people away from consumption of it. Finally, "intoxicants and games of chance" were called "abominations of Satan's handiwork", intended to turn people away from God and forget about prayer, and Muslims were ordered to avoid.
O you who believe! Intoxicants, gambling, al-ansāb, and al-azlām (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shayṭān's (Satan's) handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful.— Qurʼan, Surah 5 (al-Maʼidah), ayah 90
In addition to this, most observant Muslims refrain from consuming food products that contain pure vanilla extract or soy sauce if these food products contain alcohol; there is some debate about whether the prohibition extends to dishes in which the alcohol would be cooked off or if it would be practically impossible to consume enough of the food to become intoxicated. The Zaidi and Mutazili sects believe that the use of alcohol has always been forbidden and refer to this Qur'an Ayah (4:43) as feeling of sleepiness and not to be awake.
Substances which are intoxicants are not prohibited as such, although their consumption is. For example, alcohol can be used as a disinfectant or for cleaning, but not as a beverage. For people who will enter paradise, in Sura XLVII Verse 15 it states that,
(There is) a Parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised; in it are rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink;and rivers of honey......etc.
Blood and its by-products are forbidden in Islam, in the Qurʼan, surah 5, al-Maʼidah, verse 3:
Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, and the strangled (animal) and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall and that killed by being smitten with the horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten, except what you slaughter, and what is sacrificed on stones set up (for idols) and that you divide by the arrows; that is a transgression. This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; but whoever is compelled by hunger, not inclining willfully to sin, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.— Qurʼan, Surah 5 (al-Maʼidah), ayah 3
Consumption of pork and products made from pork is strictly forbidden in Islam. The origin of this prohibition is in Surat al-Baqarah:
He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that over which any other (name) than (that of) Allah has been invoked; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.— Qurʼan, Sura 2 (Al-Baqara), ayat 173
Consumption of rabbit is forbidden among the Alevi people in Turkey and Balkan countries. Consuming alcohol is not forbidden for Alevi people either as different from other Islamic religious groups.
In non-Islamic countries
Rules concerning halal food are relatively difficult to adhere to in non-Muslim countries:
- The abundance of pork and non-dhabīḥah meats (that is, from animals that are not slaughtered by the prescribed method) at restaurants presents a rather difficult problem to overcome. While an observant Muslim would not order a non-halal dish, there is a concern about cross-contamination. This is likely to occur when the dhabīḥah halal dish is prepared with the same cooking tools and in the same kitchen as other non-dhabīḥah halal dishes. Food particles and juices from the two dishes are likely to be exchanged, technically rendering the dhabīḥah halal dish as haraam.
- Many apparently meat-free dishes, and even some desserts, contain pork, such as most kinds of gelatin, or other non-conforming substances. There is some disagreement about food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) that may use enzymes derived from pig fat in the production process. It is difficult to avoid such additives when eating out since they are usually not listed on restaurant menus. Some Muslim organizations compile tables of such additives.
The halal market is now estimated to be 16% of world trade and is growing. Companies from Europe and North America that would like to access the growing Halal market must get their consumable products Halal certified. The Global Halal Institute has a list of Halal certifiers that are approved by most Muslim countries with dietary import restrictions. The list can be found on http://globalhalalinstitute.com/?p=66
Efforts to increase the availability of halal food in non-Islamic countries
Since 1991, some mainstream manufacturers of soups, grains, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, prepared foods, and other products, as well as hotels, restaurants, airlines, hospitals, and other service providers have pursued the halal market. These companies purchase halal-certified products. Halal certification tells Muslims that their ingredients and production methods have been tested and declared permissible by a certification body. It also allows companies to export products to most Middle Eastern countries and South East Asian Countries. The oldest and most well-known halal certifier in the United States is called the Islamic Services of America. Something that companies which intend to export halal products must keep in mind, when choosing a certifier, is whether or not the certifier is recognized by foreign governmental bodies.
- In 1986, the Islamic Meat & Poultry Company was founded in Stockton, California. Islamic Meat & Poultry is a halal-only, U.S. Department of Agriculture–inspected, hand-slaughtering and meat processing facility. This company follows the principles of slaughtering and meat processing according to the Islamic Shariʻah.
- In 2011, the Halal Products Certification Institute was established in California and became the first worldwide corporation that certified halal consumer products such as cosmetics, personal care products, and perfumes and fragrances. The institute was established by Islamic intellectual scholars and Muslim scientists to assure the dissemination of halal consumer products.
Also in Europe, several organizations have been created over the past 20 years in order to certify halal products. A survey recently published by a French association of Muslim Consumers (ASIDCOM) shows that the market of halal products has been developed in a chaotic way. The certification organizations do not have a common definition of "halal" nor agreed upon control procedures and traceability. The controls implemented by individual agencies are all very different: it can go from an annual audit of the slaughterhouse to checking each production with permanent controls in place.
In South Africa, most chicken products have a halal stamp. The South African National Halal Authority (SANHA) issues certificates and products bearing this logo range from water, snacks, and even meat-free products (which may contain non-halal ingredients). The South African National Halal Authority also licenses the usage of the Halal logo in restaurants where the food is halal in addition to no alcohol or pork products being served.
One of the first halal food companies in the USA is Midamar Corporation, established in 1974 and located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is also one of the first companies in the USA to sell USDA approved and halal-certified US protein products to the Middle East and South East Asia. The certification agency Islamic Services of America (ISA) was established in 2004 and is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Islamic Services of America certifications are recognized by some Islamic countries. In 2015, Midamar and Islamic Services of America were indicted for altering USDA inspection marks on meat exported to Indonesia and Malaysia to make it appear as though meat actually produced in a non-halal facility was produced in a halal facility.
In 1993 the first USDA inspected halal meat plant, Halal Meat & Food Corporation located in Bladenboro, North Carolina, was established following the strict guidelines of Islamic Zabiha Halal practices and the USDA regulations. The owner of Halal & Meat & Food Corporation, Ahsan Mohyuddin, is a graduate of Saint Louis University's Cook School of Business. The 8,500 square foot meat processing facility of $1 million was strategically placed in the North Carolina to cater to rising domestic demand (due to increase in Muslim American population) and to export meat out of Wilmington, North Carolina. Ahsan Mohyuddin also owns Midwest Halal Meats, Inc. in Perryville, Missouri, of its time the only USDA certified Zabiha Halal slaughterhouse in the Midwest. The production includes chicken processing, grain raised from Illinois Amish farms, using Islamic guidelines.
In Dearborn, Michigan, the home of one of the largest Muslim and Arab populations in the United States, some fast-food restaurant chains such as the McDonald's Corporation have introduced halal chicken nuggets and chicken sandwiches.
In the United Kingdom, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, or Singapore, halal fried chicken restaurants having thousands of outlets serve halal foods, such as the ChicKing Fried Chicken, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Nando's, Brown's Chicken, and Crown Fried Chicken companies. As of February 2009, Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in the U.K. began to sell halal meals in several restaurants.
Also, in New York City there are numerous halal food carts in business which serve gyros, chicken platters, and other halal fast foods, whereas in Europe, there are many Muslim-owned döner kebap shops.
A law passed by Wayne County, Michigan, in 2005, bans the sale, distribution, or production of food mislabeled "halal", when county authorities determine that the food does not meet Islamic dietary standards. Similar laws protect kosher foods in most of the United States, and in many other countries, states, or provinces.
In 2008 and 2009, twelve stores in the Mary Brown's chain in Ontario and Alberta became 100% halal. Numerous halal meat markets also exist in Southern Ontario and Metro Vancouver.
Popeye's Chicken in Ontario is mostly not halal-certified (depending on location); however, a legal dispute broke out between a group of 14 Muslim franchisees and the chain over the company's decision to use machine-slaughtered birds. The fourteen Toronto area outlets are instead using hand-slaughtered halal birds, and are suing the company so that they can continue to do so.
Within the People's Republic of China, which has a sizable Hui Muslim minority population, halal food is known as qingzhen (Chinese: 清真; pinyin: qīngzhēn; literally: "pure truth"). Halal restaurants run by Hui Chinese resemble typical Chinese food, except that they do not serve pork. Dishes specific to Hui Chinese are known as Chinese Islamic cuisine.
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