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Halal and Haram Fact Sheet

Australia is a multicultural and multi-religious country with a diverse population with


varied traditions. Of particular significance to Muslims is the consumption of Halal
“lawful” and avoidance of Haram “unlawful” food and drink. Quite often, Australian
manufacturers and food outlets are either unaware of Halal and Haram food and drink
requirements, or they are unfamiliar with the significance of such food as held by
Muslims.

In the context of daily food intake, any foodstuff that causes or has the potential to
cause any negative effect to the mind, spirit, integrity and health, is Haram. The habitual
consumption of Haram foods may be manifested by the exhibition of impure spirit,
unsound mind, impairment of personal character and unhealthy body. The following
Fact Sheet provides a brief introduction to Halal and Haram.

Halal

Halal can be translated as "permitted, allowed, authorised, approved, sanctioned, lawful,


legal, legitimate or licit”. In the Holy Koran, Allah commands Muslims and all
mankind to eat Halal food or drink. Halal food or drink must conform to the Islamic
dietary laws as specified in the Koran.

For a product to be Halal it must be as a whole and in part:

1. Free from any substance or ingredient taken or extracted from a Haram animal or
ingredient;
2. Made, processed, produced, manufactured and/or stored by using utensils,
equipment and/or machinery that has been cleansed according to Islamic law; and
3. Free from contact with, or being close to a Haram substance during preparation,
making, production, manufacture, processing and/or storage.

The following products are Halal:

• Halal animals slaughtered according to Islamic Rites


• Milk (from cows, sheep, camels, and goats)
• Honey
• Fish
• Plants, which are not intoxicant
• Fresh or naturally frozen vegetables
• Fresh or dried fruits
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• Legumes and nuts like peanuts, cashew nuts, hazel nuts, and walnuts
• Grains, such as wheat, rice, rye, barley, and oats.

Haram

Haram is defined as "not permitted, not allowed, unauthorised, unapproved,


unsanctioned, unlawful, illegal, illegitimate or illicit”. When used in relation to food or
drink it means that it is not permitted and unfit for consumption by Muslims.

The concept of Haram in Islam has very specific motives, namely:

a. To preserve the purity of religion


b. To safeguard the Islamic mentality.
c. To preserve life.
d. To safeguard property.
e. To safeguard future generations.
f. To maintain self-respect and integrity.

A product is considered Haram if it as a whole or in part contains, or if it comes in to


contact with:

1. Animals not slaughtered Zabihah


2. Animals who died by strangulation, a blow to the head (as in clubbing), a
headlong fall, natural causes (carrion), or were maimed or attacked by another
animal.
3. Animals having protruding canine teeth such as monkeys, cats, and lions
4. Pig, Dog, Donkey or Carnivores.
5. Amphibious animals such as frogs, crocodiles, and turtles.
6. Undesirable insects such as worms, flies, and cockroaches
7. Birds of prey with talons such as owls, and eagles.
8. Alcohol, harmful substances, poisonous and intoxicating plants or drinks.
9. Blood

The Zabihah Procedure (Slaughter according to Islamic Rites)

The animal is put down on the ground (or held it if it is small) and its throat is slit with
a very sharp knife to make sure that the 3 main blood vessels are cut. While cutting the
throat of the animal (without severing it), the persons must pronounce the name of
Allah or recite a blessing, which contains the name of Allah, such as "Bismillah Allah-
u-Akbar”. The Halal ingredient must not be mixed, or even come into contact with
Haram materials. The act of slaughtering is to ensure the quality of meat and to avoid
any microbial contamination. For example, a dead but un-slaughtered animal is
normally associated with disease. Most disease originated or is carried in the animal's
blood. Therefore, slaughtering is mandatory to ensure the complete drainage of blood
from the animal's body, thus minimising the chance of microbial infection. Zabihah is
compatible with the overall concept of cleanliness that is always emphasised in Islam.

Department of Health and Human Services, Multicultural Health and Wellbeing


3rd Floor Peacock Building 90 Davey Street, Hobart, 7001
GPO Box 125, Hobart Tasmania, Australia 7001
www.dhhs.tas.gov.au
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For further information about Halal, please visit www.halalaustralia.com


For Halal Outlets in Tasmania, please follow the link INSERT LINK
For a complete list of Halal products available in Australian supermarkets, please email
mail@icnsw.org.au

References

Mouelhy, Mohamed El (2004) www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~waleed/isoc/hh/whatis.htm


The Australian Federation of Islamic Council (2004) www.afic.com.au/halal.htm

Department of Health and Human Services, Multicultural Health and Wellbeing


3rd Floor Peacock Building 90 Davey Street, Hobart, 7001
GPO Box 125, Hobart Tasmania, Australia 7001
www.dhhs.tas.gov.au