What is Halal?
- Halal Food
We will look at two important topics before we start talking about the food there are allowed and forbidden and the concept of Halal food or food and religions and faiths:
1: The importance of food for the body
2: The connection between the soul and the food
1: The important of food for the body
Allah says in chapter 80:24 “Let the human look at his food”, there is no doubt That food I an important yet an essential part of everyone’s life, that without out it, human being would not survive. Food gives the human body energy and nutrition’s that allows him to grow, develop, become healthier and active so he/she could work, play, think and learn and advance as he/she gets older. Such human development will only be possible with food, when a person deprives himself of food that essentially would lead to sickness, Diseases And ultimately death as a result of hunger.
The body needs a variety of these 5 things to have a balanced healthy body: Nutrition’s, protein, Carbohydrate, Fat, Vitamins and minerals So the body could stay healthy and productive, if these are not given to the body in the amount it requires it will cause imbalance in the body.
What we feed our bodies will ultimately manifest itself on our intellect. The food that we eat effects our mood swing, our abilities to think, our activeness and laziness and everything else that is related to our mental state and that’s why it’s said “a healthy mind in a healthy body” , thus the more the body deprival itself of these 5 things the worse the bodies will become and so will the intellect.
From this analysis ,we get to understand how important it is for us to have A specific and healthy diet to eat, and that we cannot eat whatever we desire as it will have catastrophic impact on your meatal health, and that’s why we began with the verse that says let mankind look at what they eating.
Islam As One of the major religions in the world has set the guidelines of what we should and should not eat, based on the harm and benefit that the body will get, and so did other religion set guidelines for their flowers, and not even religions but even what we call dietitians today try to provide a specific health plan or meal plan for people to maintain healthy body.
Thus, by understanding the effects of food and the importance of it, we understand why religions and faiths have emphasized and gave specific directions and guidelines to its followers to follow and uphold.
2: The connection between the soul and the food
The effects of food Is not only limited to the body but in fact It has a deeper effect on the soul and the spiritual state of a person. This is something that has been talked about, discussed and analyzed by scholars back in the olden days and even doctors today in the medical field. Certain foods give a boost to the spiritual state of a person or Vis versa.
The medical labradorites in our current day has been able to analyze food and break it down to its natural sources and ingredients and Special qualities and its chemical Signature, however when it comes to its Spiritual effect It has not been able to understand or see the link between the two.
We do understand that certain foods if a person eats he becomes happy and other foods he eats it makes him sad and so on and so forth yet such discovery has not been made by Medical science today however prophets And the Infallibles have informed us of How certain foods effect The soul, For example in Islam It tells us that drinking blood makes a person heart becomes hard, less merciful And he wouldn’t even Care If he ends up killing one of his own kids, Same with the drinking alcohol it has certain traits on the soul, or eating pork for example.
We see the link between the two and we can feel it but it’s not something that we can put under the microscope, we will only know that because such knowledge is considered to be from the god which God has revealed to us through his messengers.
Therefore, god when sending his messengers, he gave them specific teachings in regards to food and what can and cannot be consume, and even religion that don’t have prophets we still see that they have strict food guide, and that what we will discusses in the second lesson.
- FOOD AND RELIGION
Food behaviors are influenced by economic and cultural factors as much as religious conceptions
In the four Major Abrahamic religions, God has prescribed certain foods that people cannot eat and Indulge In, some of which Has been laid down by the creator himself and some has been made by the followers of these religions, so let us look at them one by one and see what kind of limitations on food Has been placed in these religions starting with Judaism.
Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Jewish practice is the special diet. The food Jewish people are permitted to eat is known as, “Kashrut” which comes from the Hebrew root Kaf-Shin-Reish, meaning fit, proper or correct. It is the same root as the more commonly known word “kosher,” which describes food that meets these standards. (Which means “fitting” or “correct”)? The Kashrut Laws cover the type of animals a Jew can eat; how they are prepared; the prohibition of consuming blood and certain forbidden fats and sinews; the prohibition of consuming flies and insects, the mixing of meat and milk and many other aspects of diet and food preparation.
Christianity did not develop elaborate dietary rules and customs. This probably grew out of the controversy between the Judaizing and Hellenizing branches of the church during the earliest years of Christianity over whether or not to observe Mosaic food laws.
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.
Rulings of Foods and Drinks (Arabic:باب الأطعمه و الأشربه) is a title of a chapter in jurisprudential sources. The chapter deals with the rulings about foods and drinks. However, various rulings about foods and drink are discussed peripherally in other chapters such as hunting and slaughtering, tahara (purification), hajj and transactions.
Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. In reference to food, it is the dietary standard, as prescribed in the Qur’an. The opposite of halal is haram, which means unlawful or prohibited. In general, every food is considered halal in Islam unless it is specially prohibited by the Qur’an or the Hadith.
In Islamic jurisprudential sources, foods are generally divided into two groups: foods that are obtained from animals, foods that are not obtained from animals.
1- Animals: Explanation of rulings about the foods that are obtained from animals requires categorizing and knowing the religiously edible and religiously non-edible animals (eating whose meat is forbidden). Animals are divided into three categories:
Land animals: Those are divided into two kinds:
1- Domestic animals
2- Wild animals: Those are divided into two according to their food:
2-Animals that have canine teeth and are considered as carnivorous
Marine animals: According to some Islamic sects there is no need to subdividing this category; however, in Imamiyya jurisprudence they are divided into: fish and non-fish; and fish are divided into: scaly and non-scaly, each of which has a specific ruling.
Birds: Birds are divided into: birds with claws and birds without claws.
- b) Non-animals: Foods that are not obtained from animals are mostly plants. However, other subjects such as dirt and nijasatare discussed in this section; although the rulings about such a things are discussed under two broader topics: “non-edible things” and “Khaba’ith” (the impure).