HALAL FOODS IN SINGAPORE

Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. In reference to food, it is the dietary standard, as prescribed in the Qur’an which is the Muslim scripture. The opposite of halal is haram, which means unlawful or prohibited. Halal and haram are universal terms that apply to all facets of life.

There is a sizeable Muslim community in Singapore which means that there is an abundance of halal food available all over the island. Islamic dietary laws define which foods are halal.Halal foods are lawful and permitted to be eaten by those observing Islamic teachings. Some animals and manners of death or preparation can make certain things haram to eat, that is, taboo food and drink.

It is necessary to put the Halal logo in restaurants where the food is halal, in addition to "noalcohol”or pork products being served. The pig has a cloven hoof that is completely split is considered unclean for the Muslims. They shall not eat of their flesh and shall not touch their carcasses; they are considered unclean to eat.

In Sunni Islam, if the slaughter is carried out by jugular slice, animals slaughtered by Christians or Jews is considered halal. The slaughter is carried out following the name of the God. It is indicating that you are grateful for God's blessings. It is mentioned before slaughter that the purpose is of permissible consumption.

In industrial slaughterhouses, chickens are killed prior to scalding by being passed through an electrified water-bath while shackled. To render the animal unconscious before being killed, current is applied either across the brain or the heart. This method can be used for sheep, calves and swine.

The method by which halal meat is produced causes severe suffering to animals and that it should be banned immediately. It is argued that the method of slaughter without prior stunning leaves the spinal cord intact, so the capacity to feel pain is until death.

While many things are clearly halal or haram, there are some things which are not clear. Such items are often referred to as mashbooh, which means doubtful or questionable. Further information is needed to categorize them as halal or haram. These terms are commonly used in relation to food products, meat products, cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, and food contact materials.

In general, every food is considered halal in Islam unless it is specially prohibited by the Qur’an or the Hadith. By official definition, halal foods are those that are:

 

1.Free from any component that Muslims are prohibited from consuming according to Islamic law or Shariah.

2.Processed, made, produced, manufactured and/or stored using utensils, equipment and/or machinery that have been cleansed according to Islamic law.

It is mentioned in a Hadith that the prayer of a person is rejected by Allah if the food consumed is prohibited or haram. All foods are considered halal except the following which are haram:

 

·Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants

·Non-Halal Animal Fat

·Enzymes* (Microbial Enzymes are permissible)

·Gelatine* – from non-Halal source (fish gelatine is Halal)

·L-cysteine (if from human hair)

·Lard

·Lipase* (only animal lipase need be avoided)

·Non-Halal Animal Shortening

·Pork, Bacon / Ham and anything from pigs

·Unspecified Meat Broth

·Rennet* (All forms should be avoided except for plant / microbial /

·synthetic – rennet obtained from halal slaughtered animal is

·permissible).

·Stock* (a blend of mix species broth or meat stock)

·Tallow* (non-Halal species)

·Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals

·Foods contaminated with any of the above products

 

If the origin of these ingredients is not known, foods containing ingredients such as gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, and flavours are questionable. Animals such as cows, veal, lamb, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, ducks, game birds, bison, venison, etc, are considered halal, but they must be prepared according to Islamic laws in order for their meat to be suitable for consumption.

Fish and seafood are generally acceptable for Muslims but as always check first, as there may be a personal dietary preference or allergy. The preparation of the fish or seafood should not include alcohol or wine, or anything considered haram. In cases of necessity, prohibited things may become permissible (halal) for the duration of the emergency or nee, as Islam puts a priority on life over death.

Muslims are supposed to make an effort to obtain the best quality nutritionally. Muslims eat to maintain a strong and healthy physique in order to be able to contribute their knowledge and effort for the welfare of the society.