The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Muslim dietary laws

Muslim dietary laws provide a set of rules as to what Muslims eat in their diet. These rules specify the food that is halal, meaning lawful. They are found in Quran, the holy book of Islam, usually detailing what is unlawful, or haram. The main references include 2:173, 5:3, 5:5, 6:118, 6:145, 16:115, to name a few. There are some more rules added to these in Fatwas by Mujtahids with various degrees of strictness.

Islamic law prohibits a Muslim from consuming alcohol, eating or drinking blood and its by-products, and eating the meat of a carnivore or omnivore, such as pork, monkey, dog or cat. For the meat of an animal to be halal it must be properly slaughtered by a Muslim or a Person of the Book (Christian or Jew), while mentioning the name of Allah; for instance, the animal may not be killed by being boiled or electrocuted, and the carcass should be hung upside down long enough to be bloodfree. By some Fatwas, however, the animal has to be killed only by a Muslim. However, some other Fatwas rule that, according to the Quranic verse 5:5 that declares that food of the People of the Book is halal, the slaughter may be done by a Jew or a Christian. Thus, some observant Muslims will accept kosher meat.

Some of these traditional dietary restrictions may have been created to prevent trichinosis, which can be caught from undercooked pork, and other similar diseases.

Last updated: 02-11-2005 09:24:28
Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55