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A Guide to Halal Food Selection
by HALAL FOUNDATION
(Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America. P.O. Box 425, Bedford Park, IL 60499)
Disclaimer : This list was prepared by the organization mentioned above. The MSA is not able nor qualified to make any fatawas on Halal or Haram. Any questions should be addressed to the Halal Foundation or some other qualified individual(s).
"Oh people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good" (Quran)
For a product to be Halal(lawful) for Muslim consumption all its ingredients should be Halal. Follow the following list:
Halal : Halal is a Quranic term which means allowed or lawful. Halal foods and drinks are permitted for consumption by Allah-the Supreme Law Giver. Eating Halal is obligatory on every Muslim.
Haram : Haram is a Quranic term which means prohibited or unlawful. Haram foods and drinks are absolutely prohibited by Allah. Eating Haram is forbidden for every Muslim.
Mushbooh : Mushbooh is an Arabic term which means suspected. If one does not know the Halal or Harm status of a particular food or drink, such a food or drink is doubtful. A practicing Muslims prevents himself from consuming doubtful things.
Prophet(s) Muhammad is reported to have said:
"Halal is clear and Haram is clear; in between these two are certain things that are suspected. Many people may not know whether those items are Halal or Haram. Whosoever leaves them, he is innocent towards his religion and his conscience. He is, therefore, safe. Anyone who gets involved in any of these suspected items, he may fall into the unlawful and the prohibited. This case is similar to the one who wished to raise his animals too close to a restricted area, so that the animals may step into that area. Indeed for every landlord there is a restricted area. Indeed the restriction of Allah are the Haram." (Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)
Here are some tips for eating halal:
1. Make sure that the products you buy have ingredients on their labels. If a product doesn't have a label with ingredients, DON'T buy it.
2. Always check the ingredients. You might want to print and keep the list of ingredients to avoid, listed in the "Ingredients" section of our web site. If one of these ingredients are found in a product, don't buy it.
3. Don't buy any meat products from the supermarket. Try to buy all your meat from a halal meat store.
4. Try to avoid fast-food restaurants such as McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc. It might be true that some of their products are okay, but it is better to stay away and be safe.
5. If you get a halal/haram list, make sure it is recent. There are many lists in circulation which are outdated and give out incorrect information.
6. Be especially cautious in buying the following products: cheese, cheese flavour chips, cakes, cookies, french fries, candies, soups (may contain meat), sauce (may contain meat), margarine, yogurt, etc. If you are not sure about a product, ask us and we'll try to help you the best we can.