What is Halal?
Halal refers to animal slaughter in conformance with Quran resulting in permissible meat for consumption by Muslims. Halal meat means permissible meat
The animal to be slaughtered
- Quran forbids eating pork.
- The animal must be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter.
- The animal must not be suffering with any ailments or any lacerations.
- The animal must be fed as normal diet
- The animal must not be thirsty and given water before slaughter
- All the 'flowing blood' must be drained out the carcass. Blood is forbidden
- Meat is not Halal if the animal has been killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by falling on head.
- The slaughterer must be a Muslim.
- Slaughterer must be past the age of puberty
- Quran permits Moslems to eat meat slaughtered by Jews and Christians (People of the Book)
The Slaughter house
- Slaughtering must not be done where pigs may be slaughtered
- The animal must be slaughtered in isolation. The animal being slaughtered must not see or hear other animals being slaughtered, or smell the carcass of slaughtered animals.
- Clearly mark the direction to Mecca
- The length of knife must be at least 4 times the diameter of the neck of the animal
- The knife must be sharp without any nicks
- The knife must not be sharpened in front of the animal to be slaughtered
Dedication to God (Tasmiya or Shahda)
The slaughterer will recite Tasmiya or Shahda to fulfill the requirement of dedication. A Muslim is commanded all his deeds in the name of Allah. The slaughterer as a minimum must call out 'Bismillah' intentionally as he proceeds to slaughter the animal.
1. Give water to the animal, so the animal is not thirsty.
2. Lay the animal on the back shackled. The animal must be positioned to face Mecca
3. Slaughterer must say 'Bismallah, Allahu Akbar' (In the name of God, God is Great) intentionally as he starts to slaughter the animal.
4. The slaughter is done by a single continuous swipe of a very sharp blade to the front of the neck. The cut involves windpipe (trachea), gullet (esophagus), jugular vein, and carotid artery without damaging the spinal cord. Following the cut, the animal loses consciousness within three to five seconds due to sudden loss of large amount of blood. The animal may be unconscious, but the heart is still pounding, the body goes through vigorous convulsions as a reflexive action of the spinal chord. This maximizes quantity of blood being expelled.If the spinal chord is damaged, it may lead to cardiac arrest, leading to retention of blood. The death is actually quick with the least amount of pain.
5. Allow the 'flowing blood' to completely drain out of the carcass.
6. After the blood has completely drained out, separate the head from the remaining carcass.6. Clean all the traces of blood. Vinegar may be used in this process