Halal (meaning lawful or legal) designates any object or action permissible for Muslim individuals to use or engage in, according to Syariah (Islamic law). It is the opposite of haram (unlawful). Halal when used in relation to food and drink, means “permissible” for consumption by Muslims.
Shubhah or Mashbooh means doubtful or suspected, so Muslims should avoid consuming these doubtful items.
Food and Drinks
It is wajib (obligatory) upon each Muslim individual to recognise and differentiate halal food items from those deemed as haram given the matter is considered important in Islam. The verses from the Al-Quran serve as guidelines and are applied by Muslim scholars for their rulings of halal food i.e. to be that which is beneficial and not detrimental to a Muslim and food which is not deemed as haram within the boundaries of the Syariah principles.
Haram meat includes that which comes from land animals that have fangs, are wild, able to pounce on its prey and do not have genes from either dogs or pigs. All insects and birds, which have sharp claws, stoop or strike its prey and devour food or its prey with its feet. Hence, all other land animals which do not fall under these characteristics are halal; provided it is also slaughtered according to Syariah.
Below are the principles and examples of halal and haram food:
What are the relevant verses in the Al-Quran that relate to consuming halal food and drinks?
Verse 172 forbids eating that which is haram and along with it, allows eating that which is halal in all gratefulness to Allah.
Verse (7:157): “[And Allah] makes good things lawful to them and bad things unlawful”
Verses (2:172-173): “You who believe, eat the good things We have provided for you and be grateful to God, if it is Him that you worship. He has only forbidden you carrion, blood, pig’s meat, and animals over which any name other than God’s has been invoked. But if anyone is forced to eat such things by hunger, rather than desire or excess, he commits no sin: God is Most Merciful and Forgiving.”
Verse (5:3): “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.”
Are there effects of eating Halal and Haram products?
Verse 172 from the Al-Quran provides that the eating haram promotes evil instincts, kills the taste of ibadah (worship) and makes the prayer ineffective. In contrast, eating halal generates inner light, creates a distaste for evil deeds, leads towards high morals, and creates a state in which the heart welcomes ibadah and finds the very thought of sin sickening and of course, prayers are answered. Therefore, Allah Almighty has told all his prophets to eat from what is good and do what is righteous:
O Messengers, eat of the good things and do the righteous. Al-Quran (23:51)
This shows that eating and using what is halal plays a vital role in doing what is good and virtuous. Similarly, living by the halal helps the chances of a prayer being answered while living by the haram kills those chances. The Holy Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) has said that there are many people, tired and distressed, who stretch their hands in prayer before Allah fervently calling “O Lord, O Lord”, yet haram is what they eat, haram is what they drink and haram is what they wear, how then, under these conditions, could they hope to have their prayers answered? (The Sahih, Muslim and Tirmidhi as quoted by Ibn Kathir.)