Muslim Dietary Restrictions: Everything You Need To Know [GUEST]

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Dur-e-Sabih provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. Her educational background in  Accountancy helps her in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development, finance, and digital marketing.  

Many people’s lives are shaped by their religious beliefs; that’s why in some instances, dietary guidelines or what someone eats may differ significantly according to religious beliefs. Like many other religions, the Islamic faith prescribes specific dietary guidelines for its followers on what to eat.

According to Muslim dietary law, there are two types of food and drink: permissible (halal) and not permissible (haram). These rules bond followers together and establish a sense of identity within the Islamic community.

Diets that adhere to Halal standards are governed by the dietary regulations prescribed by the Muslim faith. Simply put, a Halal diet emphasizes consuming pure and healthy foods while abstaining from certain foods.

Today we will outline a comprehensive guide to the diet guidelines in Islam on what to eat, what not, and how one can confirm if the food they eat meets the halal standard.

What Are Halal Dietary Guidelines?

Muslims follow a set of dietary rules called “halal,” an Arabic term meaning “permissible.” These rules dictate which foods and drinks are allowed for Muslims to consume and are based on teachings from the Qur’an and the Hadith.

One of the main principles of halal is that all foods and drinks must be free from any substances considered haram (forbidden). Among these ingredients are pork and its products, animals not slaughtered in accordance with Islamic guidelines (Zabiha), alcohol, and other things.

Regarding specific foods, halal dietary rules allow for various options. Most fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and legumes are halal.

Meat from animals that have been slaughtered in a specific way, known as “Zabiha”, is considered halal (more on that later). This includes meat from cows, goats, sheep, and chickens.

It is important to mention that due to the diverse culture and ethnicity of Muslims worldwide, people enjoy a wide range of foods depending on their region and culture.

Something eaten in one country may not be quitepopular in another, like someone in South Asia may enjoy spicy and fried items while the same thing in Europe or America may not be that popular and they may like bland and simple food.

This can be observed during Ramadan when Muslims fast between prayer times from Fajr (Dusk) to Maghrib (Dawn), and everyone prepares their traditional dishes to keep and break the Fast.

Remember, halal dietary rules are not the same as kosher ones followed by Jews. While it is true that there are some similarities, there are also some significant differences.

Haram Dietary Restrictions

Islam prohibits the consumption of certain foods and beverages. Among them are:

  • Products made from pork
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Meat from animals that have not been slaughtered with accordance to Islamic laws
  • Land animals without external ears, including carnivores and birds of prey
  • The presence of blood in any product

Any food that contains ingredients derived from one or more of the substances described above is haram. Muslims also encourage eating in moderation to avoid overeating and wasting food. Food wastage has also been deemed haram in Islam.

Halal Food Certification

Muslims can easily identify halal meat and poultry by referring to many organizations that offer halal certification on their products. Restaurants will also display halal meat certifications when they offer certified halal meat.

Muslim consumers can generally determine whether packaged items follow halal guidelines and are lawful to consume. Such as, some food packages that contain the designations halal, vegetarian, or vegan are acceptable.

Many ingredients, such as gelatin, lard, and alcohol, are not considered halal, so if any food contains such listed ingredients, avoid them at all costs.

Commercially Prepared Meats

When Muslims are uncertain about how their meat was slaughtered, they abstain from eating meat. Also, they emphasize the importance of properly bleeding the animal since otherwise; it would not be considered healthy for consumption.

Others believe one can eat commercial meat in predominantly-Christian countries as long as one pronounces Allah’s name when eating it (except pork, obviously). Muslims can eat the food prepared by Christians and Jews according to the Quranic verse (5:5).

In recent years, major commercial meat manufacturers have set up certification processes to ensure that their products comply with Islamic dietary regulations. Muslims may find properly slaughtered meats labelled “halal certified” in much the same way Jews can identify kosher foods at the grocery store.

Slaughtering of Animals (Zabihah)

Islam places a great deal of importance on how animals’ lives are taken to provide food. Life is sacred in Islamic tradition, and killing is only permitted with the permission of God for one’s legitimate need for food.

Muslim butchers slit their livestock’s throats swiftly and mercilessly, reciting, “In the name of God, God is Most Great” (Quran 6:118–121).

Animals should not be subjected to any form of suffering before slaughter and should not be able to view the blade. There must be no blood on the knife after a previous slaughter, and it must be razor-sharp. Before consumption, you must drain all the blood from the animal.

This process is known as Zabihah for preparing halal meat for eating. Fish and other aquatic meat sources are all considered halal, and these rules do not apply to them.

How To Follow A Halal Diet?

To facilitate the process of adhering to a Halal diet, there are several things you can do:

●      Read Labels Before Consuming Any Food

Learning to read labels is important to determine whether a product is Halal. Halal diets allow you to easily check the ingredients on a product’s label to see if any are prohibited.

●      Check for Halal certification

Whenever in doubt, you can look for a seal of Halal certification on the product. The Halal seal guarantees that the product has been certified by an organization recognized as a reliable source of information.

●      Avoid Food and Drinks That Have Pork and Alcohol

Keeping a Halal diet on track is as simple as avoiding pork and alcohol. Halal diets do not allow these two ingredients, so you can easily avoid them.

●      Prepare Meals At Home

Cooking at home is the most effective way to ensure you consume Halal foods. As a result, you can control what ingredients are put into your food.

Conclusion

A Halal diet follows the guidelines set by Islamic law and is a simple way to eat. Muslims can ensure they eat healthy and lawful food by adhering to a Halal diet.Halal diets can be challenging for new Muslims, but they can be achieved with some effort.

Cooking at home, reading labels, and seeking halal certification will ensure that everything you eat is Halal. We hope this article helps you understand Muslim dietary guidelines.

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Dua genuinely believes that our relationship with food should not be complicated. She likes to focus on eating in moderation and listening to your body but this, of course, will be different from person to person and body to body.

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