Halal حلالis an Arabic word meaning permissible. Halal is any object or action which is permissible to use or engage in according to Islamic law, (the Shariah). The term covers and designates not only food and drink as permissible according to Islamic law but also matter of daily life. According to Islamic law, all allowable things, objects, foods & drug or acts called Halal. In contrast, every not allowable things, objects, foods & drug or acts called Haram حرام which means not permissible. There are many clearly halal or haram things, but there are some other things which are not clear. Further information is needed to categorize them as halal or haram. Such items are often referred to as mashbooh, which means doubtful or questionable.
All foods are considered halal except the following which are categorized by Islamic law as Haram or forbidden.
*Swine/Pork and its by-products
*Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering.
* Alcohol, Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants
*Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals
*Foods contaminated with any of the above products
*Any kind of non halal supplement or ingredients made with non-halal meat or by product of such meat are also forbidden.
*If above mentioned items are used in any product such as food, drug or drinks, they will be forbidden for Muslims.
*Foods containing ingredients such as gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, and flavors are questionable (mashbooh), because the origin of these ingredients is not known. Therefore, to declare a product as a Halal, proper certification is essential.
*In a non-Muslim country or in a country or region where Muslims are not in majority one can find that Muslims do not eat most of the foods, meat or drinks without making sure the halal status of such items.
*Producers or Exporters of food & drug and other products for or to the Muslim countries should be aware about the basic Islamic faith, Islamic law regarding the Halal and Haram.
*Certified Halal Mark or Logo is essential in almost all non-Islamic countries to make sure that the food product is Halal or not. Thus Halal Certification is becoming one of the most important issues for the Muslims as they are also living in non-Muslim countries or buying foods and beverages, ingredients from non-Islamic countries.
*Organization of Islamic Cooperation the OIC is a largest platform of Muslim world. Number of OIC members countries are 57 which is a clear sign of strategic importance of the world's most growing religion. Knowing about Halal & Haram is a key to understand food and daily life culture of Islamic countries and their peoples.