Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Halaal (Arabic: حلال, also sometimes spelt halal) is the Islamic term for "permissible," similar to the Jewish kosher. The use of the term varies between Arabic-speaking Muslim communities and non-Arabic-speaking ones.
In non-Arabic-speaking countries, the term is most commonly used in the narrower context of Muslim dietary laws, especially where meat and poultry are concerned.
A variety of foods are considered non-Halaal, including: the flesh of swine (pork), blood, and animals slaughtered in the name of anyone but God, carrion, carnivourous animals with the exception of all fish and sea animals, and alcohol.
There is a Halaal method of slaughtering animals, by cutting through the large arteries in the neck to allow blood to leave quicker. Killing the animal in this way is considered both cleaner and more merciful to the animal. The slaughtering of the animal is typically begun with speaking the words "In the name of God, most gracious, most merciful."
The Quranic verse 5:5 declares that the food of the People of the Book. This includes food of both Christians and Jews where no obvious objection to the food exists. Typically though, this is takes as referring to the food of Jews as the dietary laws are similar enough to those regulating kashrut (although less restrictive), that devout Muslims can consume kosher meat and other food products when there are no halaal alternatives, with the exception of kosher products including alcohol.
Sikhism technically forbids Sikhs from eating halal meat, for the same reason that Muslims are prohibited from eating meat 'dedicated to false gods'.
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