Should Christians Eat Halal Food? What is Halal?


A few years back I really got into lamb. see Costco use to have theses preseasons cuts of lamb that were amazing. and they made you feel fancy because a whole sprig of rosemary was sticking out of it. well, one day what looking for the price I noticed theses symbol. This something I had never seen before. This is something I should look into.

This is the symbol used to show when a food is halal certified.

What is halal?

Hala is defined as Arabic for “denoting or relating to meat prepared as prescribed by Muslim law”. It is frequently applied to permissible food and drinks under Muslim law. It seems very similar to the term kosher, which is a Hebrew word used to describe food that Jewish laws permit.
Halal foods are foods that are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines. According to these guidelines gathered from the Qu’ran, Muslim cannot consume the following:

  • pork or pork by-products
  • animals that were dead prior to slaughtering
  • animals not slaughtered properly or not slaughtered in the name of Allah
  • blood and blood by-products
  • alcohol
  • carnivorous animals
  • birds of prey
  • land animals without external ears

These prohibited foods and ingredients are called Haram, meaning forbidden in Arabic.

Should Christians eat halal?

Well, first we need to come to a conclusion about the dietary laws of the Bible. In an earlier post, I come to the conclusion that we don’t need to follow the dietary laws for salvation but we should follow them for the healthiest holiest life possible.

With that figured out, let’s look at the list of what is considered not halal, meaning Muslims do not eat this.

  • Pork – not allowed via the Bible (Leviticus 11:7-8)
  • Animals Dead Prior – not allowed via the Bible (Leviticus 11:24-25
  • Blood – not allowed via the Bible (Deuteronomy 12:23)
  • Carnivorous Animals – not allowed via the Bible (Leviticus 11)
  • Birds of Prey – not allowed via the Bible (Leviticus 11:13-19)

Now we get to the more interesting qualification

  • No External Ears – First nowhere in the bible is this used to describe anything. I had to look up a list of animals that have no external ears. In researching this basically is saying don’t eat reptiles. Which is also stated in the Bible in Leviticus 11:29-31.
  • No Alcohol. But my personal conclusion is that its okay for a Christian to drink. There are some asterisks to that statement so I suggest you watch this video to get the full story. But because this is a personal choice from Christian to Christian I think we can chalk this up to being an area we will agree to disagree.

Now we get to the big one.

The Halal slaughtering process

Just for the sake of semantics, I am going to use the word slaughter throughout this description. This is just to stay consistent and is not to add a positive or negative light to this process.
Before we start I want to just give my personal options on this process. I find this way of slaughtering animals to be very humane and really focuses on the animal’s well being prior to being slaughtered. A majority of this process I think should be done any time an animal is slaughtered so that we can use it as food.

This is how Halalcertifcation.com explains the Islamic slaughtering method:

  • Animal must be alive at time of slaughter
  • Slaughtering must be done with a sharp knife (no machines) by cutting the windpipe, food tract and two jugular veins in one cut. It is even customary to not have the animal see the knife prior to slaughtering
  • Slaughtering must be done by a Muslim slaughtering done by a non-muslim will not be halal
  • The name of Allah much be invoked (mentioned) at the time of slaughtering by saying bismillah Allahu akbar (translated means ” in the name of Allah: Allah is the greatest.”)
  • Slaughtering cannot be done where pigs are slaughtered.

Let’s go through this process

Animals must be alive prior. Sounds good, we basically went over this when we talked about not eating dead animals a few min ago. So it seems like we are good there.
How the animal is slaughtered with the knife is very similar to that of the kosher method. We are still going well.

Must be done by a Muslim. Luke 6:31 tells us to “do to others as you would have them do to you” and Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:39 “to love our neighbor as yourself”. So no reason to discriminate.

The name of Allah must be invoked. This is where my biggest question came from. Who is Allah? Is Allah the same as the God of the Bible?

I had to do some research. All the sources I am about to use are linked in the description. I tried to get views from every side the Christian side the Islamic side and bipartisan side.

These are my findings and comparisons.

Christians believe God is the father the son and the holy spirit holy trinity
Muslims believe God is God, singular no son no parents, singular

Jesus – son of God
Jesus – messenger of God

Jesus died on the cross for our sins
Jesus did not die

The Bible is the word of God and “the truth”
The Bible is true unless the Quran says differently

 

You can see these are some very big differences. I mean it seems like 4 of the main foundational points of Christianity are not shared with Islam.

I don’t see where you can make the claim they are the same God. The most telling being that the God of the Bible, the Christian God has a son.

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17

I read this as God saying Jesus is His Son. Where Muslims don’t believe that Jesus is the son of God so Allah there God cant be the same God of the Bible.

Just on this one difference, which I pointed to a few other ones prior, I don’t see how you can think that the God of the Bible is the God of the Quran.

I really think most of this comes to a translation problem. This is really the only thing that makes sense to me. I think that when the Bible was translated into Arabic, the word God was translated to Allah because it was the only word in Arabic that made sense to use.

There are multiple words throughout the Bible that when being translated into different languages something gets lost in translation.

So thats just one of the reason why I believe that Allah of the Quran is not the same as God of the bible.

We were warned

“But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience.” 1 Corinthians 10:28

“You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.” Acts 15:29

In the NIV translation which you just read, the word sacrificed was used. Sacrificed means to offer or kill for religious reasons. In some translations, it says don’t eat food offered or connected to idols.

But what is an idol? An idol is an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. Well If Allah is not God of the Bible, then he would fit into this description.

Also, why would this be in the Bible if it wasn’t going to be something that we were going to have to deal with in our life?

Hopefully, this opens up the conversion of this topic. My hope is that I explained everything to do with the Islamic religion correctly and respectfully. My goal here is not to attack the Islam religion at all. I think that we just have some differing opinions on things and thats ok.

So with everything I have research I have to come to the conclusion that Christians should not he Halal food.

My final thoughts

“You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.” Deuteronomy 13:4

Some translations say respect instead of fear. I would rather air on the side of caution and not eat halal food out of respect for God.

 

 

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