Page 13 - issue_1

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The Islamic Bulletin
Volume I No. 1
Page 13
Al-Halal (The Lawful)
Halal is the Arabic word which, in general, means ‘al-
lowed’ or ‘lawful’. Most diets and foods are considered to
be Halal unless they are specified in the Holy Qur’an or
Hadith as otherwise. Human beings cannot change the
unlawful (Haram) into Halal (lawful). It is also unlaw-
ful to make the Halal (lawful) into Haram (unlawful).
Al-Haram (The Unlawful)
Haram is the Arabic word which, in general, means ‘prohib-
ited’ or ‘unlawful’. In Islam, Haram foods are meant to be
unlawful. They are: pork and its byproducts, alcohol, meat of
dead animals, meat of the animals slaughtered in the name
other than The Almighty, blood, any intoxicating drugs, etc.
If a Muslim uses any of these Haram products, he would be
committing a sin. In some exceptional cases, a Muslim may
use the Haram foods. It is permissible if they are consumed by
mistake or if he is in danger. If there is no other food available
except the Haram, then it is permissible to use it to survive onl
Read The Labels
The law requires that food manufacturers provide ingredient
information on the food labels. That makes our job easier. All we
need is to read the labels carefully. To be sure, ingredient labels
are not the most readable part of many food packages, and they
may not always contain sufficient information to determine the
Halal status of a product. But reading food ingredient labels is
the first essential step in that direction. As you read the labels,
especially look for the following ingredients. They deserve a
hard look:
A Partial List of Haram Ingredients:
Bacon: A side of a pig meat (pork) after removal of the spare
ribs and after being cured dry or pickled.
Cholesterol: A type of fat always of animal origin. If extracted
Zabiha animal, it is Halal.
Di-glyceride: Emulsifier. If of animal origin, it should be
avoided till the animal source is known.
Gelatin: Usually of animal origin, mostly from pig. If the
gelatin source is plant then it is Halal.
Mono-Glycerides: If the source is animal origin, then it is
Glyceryl: It could be from an animal source, plant or syn-
thetic Glycerol-Stearate origin. If the source is animal, it is
Hormones: Usually animal hormones are used to human be-
ings. Find out the source before passing a judgment.
Lard: Fat from swine, particularly found in the abdominal
cavity. This is totally Haram to be used!
Pepsin: A digestive enzyme of the gastric juices usually ex-
tracted from pig’s stomach. Absolutely Haram!
Renin Rennet: A protein enzyme used in the preparation of
cheese for curdling the milk. If the source is a Zabiha animal,
then it is Halal.
Animal Shortening: Fat and oils of animal origin.
Lard Shortening: A purified internal fat from the abdomen
of pig.
Vegetable Shortening: Fat and oils of plant origin. As long as
the word ‘pure’ or ‘100%’ is not used with vegetable shorten-
ing, there is no guarantee that the animal fats are not added
to the extent of 5 - 15%.
NOTE: Labels do not usually say whether of animal or plant
origin. Inquiries can be made by simply writing to the food