What does halal mean?

The word ‘halal’ literally means permissible- and in translation it is usually used as lawful. The antonym to halal is haram, which means unlawful or forbidden.

The Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trusts’ (MJCHT)’s rules for halal are based on Islamic Shari’ah or Islamic Jurisprudence.  A known factor and an understanding is that Muslims consume halal food and in particular halal meat. 

Muslims must ensure that all foods (particularly processed foods), as well as non-food items such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are halal.

Frequently, these products contain animal by-products or other ingredients that are not permissible for Muslims to eat or use on their bodies. Foods which are not considered halal for Muslims include blood and intoxicants such as alcoholic beverages. A Muslim who would otherwise starve to death is allowed to eat non-halal food if there is no halal food available. Doubtful things are to be avoided.

Basic determinants that render something Haram (Unlawful/Prohibited)

  • The pig (e.g. ham/gammon), all its derivatives, including its blood and excretions
  • The dog, all its derivatives, including its blood and excretions
  • Alcohol, how little or how much of ANY alcoholic drink or beverage
  • Blood, flowing or congealed blood