HALAL and Haram

By Moulana Nazeer ul Hassan Thanvi;

Halal (lawful) definition

The term “Halal’’ means permitted or lawful in Islam, it describes anything that is permitted to use or engage in. They can be goods or acts that are allowed according to the Islamic Law. Halal is the opposite of Haram.

“They ask you as to what is allowed to them. Say: the good things are allowed to you, and what you have taught the beasts and birds of prey, training them to hunt; you teach them of what Allah has taught you, so eat of that which they catch for you and mention the name of Allah over it, and be careful of Allah; surely Allah is swift in reckoning.” Qur’an (5:4).

Haram (unlawful) definition

“Haram” is an Arabic term that defines anything that is prohibited according to the Islamic law. Every deed or act that violates Allah’s (God) the Almighty, rules is a sin. (May Allah the most Merciful, forgive us and all Muslims). Allah (The Most Praiseworthy) has given us countless goods and allowed us to enjoy the beauties of this world that He has created. He has prohibited several things like:

Associating Allah (SWT) with a partner (Shirk)

Disbelieving Muhammad (PBUH) and other Prophets (Peace Be Upon Them)

Lying, stealing, fortune telling, adultery, raping

Pork-based product, intoxicants, alcohol and by-products

“Therefore eat of what Allah has given you, lawful and good (things), and give thanks for Allah’s favour if Him do you serve.” Qur’an (16:114).

What is Halal Certification?

Halal Certification is a recognition given to different products that are permitted to use according to the Islamic law.

To receive Halal Certification certain criteria must be fulfilled.

Example for ‘’Meat’’:

Muslims are allowed to eat meat only if the following conditions are met during the slaughter of the animals (fish and locusts are excluded):

The slaughter man has to be a Muslim.

Before the slaughter, the slaughter man must invoke the   Name of Allah (SWT), by reciting “Bismillahi, Allahu Akbar” or at the least “Bismillah”.

He must immediately slaughter the animal after the recital without any significant delay.

The knife must be extremely sharp in order the animal does not suffer during the slaughter.

He must sever the following arteries:

Trachea windpipe, Oesophagus artery, both Jugular Veins.

If by any reason it is not possible to sever all of them, the slaughter man must sever at least three of them in order to render the meat halal.

He must conduct the slaughter process manually and swiftly. The knife must not be lifted before the cut is complete and the cut must be below the Adam’s apple.

Halal Animals are: All domestic birds, sheep, goats, all cattle breeds, camels, rabbits, all types of bucks, fish, locusts.

Haram Animals are: The consumption of the following animals is against the dietary laws of Islam. Likewise, any ingredient or product derived from them or is contaminated with them, also is prohibited for a Muslim to consume, as described by the list below:

Meat of swine (pig) including all it’s by products.

Meat of an animal that was not blessed with the name of Allah (SWT) at the time of slaughter.

Animals killed in a manner, which prevents their blood being fully drained from their bodies.

Meat of dead animals (carrion).

Meat of animals that were strangled or beaten to death.

Meat of animals that died due to falling from a height.

Meat of animals that were gored to death by a horn.

Meat of animals that were devoured by wild beasts.

Mules and Asses.

Carnivorous animals with fangs, example: lions, dogs, wolves, tigers, etc.…

Birds of prey, example: falcons, eagles, owls, vultures, etc…

Reptiles, snakes, crocodiles.

Pest’s example: rats and scorpions.

Insects excluding locusts.

Unlawful Organs of Animals Slaughtered as Halal:

Flowing Blood

Male reproductive organ

Female reproductive organ



Gall bladder


Translated verses of the Quran

“O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He whom ye worship” (2:172).

“He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (2:173).

“O ye who believe! Fulfill your undertakings.The beast of cattle is made lawful unto you (for food) except that which is announced unto you (herein), game being unlawful when ye are on pilgrimage. Lo! Allah ordaineth that which pleaseth Him” (5:1).

“Forbidden unto you (for food) are carrion and blood and swine-flesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that which hath been killed by (the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, saving that which ye make lawful (by the death-stroke), and that which hath been immolated unto idols.

“And (forbidden is it) that ye swear by the divining arrows. This is an abomination. This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, fear Me! This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you and have chosen for you as religion Al-Islam. Whoso is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin: (for him) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (5:3).

“They ask thee (O Muhammad) what is made lawful for them. Say: (all) good things are made lawful for you. And those beasts and birds of prey which ye have trained as hounds are trained, ye teach them that which Allah taught you; so eat of that which they catch for you and mention Allah’s name upon it, and observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is swift to take account” (5:4).

“This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when ye give them their marriage portions and liven with them in honour, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whoso denieth the faith, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter” (5:5).

“And eat not of that whereon Allah’s name hath not been mentioned, for lo! it is abomination. Lo! the devils do inspire their minions to dispute with you. But if ye obey them, ye will be in truth idolaters” (6:121).

From the Hadith: 1. “On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allah said: “Allah the Almighty is good and accepts only that which is good. Allah has commanded the Faithful to do that which He commanded the Messengers, and the Almighty has said: “O ye Messengers! Eat of the good things, and do right..” (Quran 23:51). And Allah the Almighty has said: “O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you..” (2:172). Then he mentioned [the case of] a man who, having journeyed far, is dishevelled and dusty and who spreads out his hands to the sky [saying]: O Lord! O Lord!-while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully, so how can he be answered!” (Muslim).

  1. “On the authority of Abu Ya’la Shahddad ibn Aus, the Messenger of Allah said: “Verily Allah has prescribed proficiency in all things. Thus, if you kill, kill well; and if you slaughter, slaughter Twell. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters” (Muslim).
  1. “In an incident narrated by Rafi’ bin Khadij, the Prophet told Muslims who wanted to slaughter some animals using reeds, “Use whatever causes blood to flow, and eat the animals if the Name of Allah has been mentioned on slaughtering them…” (Bukhari).
  2. “Narrated Abu Thalaba: Allah’s Messenger forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs (Bukhari).


5.Narrated Ibn Umar: The Prophet cursed the one who did Muthla to an animal (i.e. cut its limbs or some other part of its body while it is still alive (Bukhari).


6.In a Hadith, Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentions, ‘Verily Halaal is clear, and verily Haraam is clear. And between them there are certain doubtful matters many people are unaware of, therefore, who stays away from doubtful matters he has protected his Deen and honour. And who gets involved in doubtful matters, he would fall into Haraam.’ (Bukhari; Muslim). (The author, Imam Nazeer ul Hasan Thanvi is a prominent religious minister in Australia an advisor of Religious Affairs of Halal Expo Australia).

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