It’s not too often that I receive direct questions about what halal food is or what’s entailed in the processes that bring halal food to the table. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad thing, but I would hope that if people don’t understand it then they would look to credible sources to get a truthful and thorough explanation.
That’s not always what happens, unfortunately.
What does surprise me is the level of misunderstanding that takes place when something as prominent as halal isn’t understood for what it truly is. Wrought with assumptions and distorted interpretations about what encompasses halal food, it can really be the reason why some people won’t ever want to try halal food—and I don’t want that to happen.
I’m not sure I even want to know where these notions are born, but there are several quite serious assumptions that I’d like to clear up in a fairly simple way.
These myths have come to me by way of readers who are at a loss for how to respond to some of the shocking ‘beliefs’ that people have about what is involved in bringing halal foods to the table, particularly meats.
In a series of three posts entitled Myths About Halal Food, I’ll set out to dispel notions on topics surrounding where halal food comes from, how it is slaughtered and how it is handled. These post aren’t meant to be comprehensive of all the nuances of halal or even a thorough explanation of what constitutes food as halal; instead I simply want to de-bunk some of the myths that are often associated with halal food, in an effort to set the record straight and shed some light on a dietary set of guidelines that have been around for a very long time and that are actually quite beneficial to humans, animals and the environment.
I hope in doing so that people are encouraged to look deeper into the details of the rites, rituals and reasons why billilons of people around the world adopt a halal diet.
There are many great resources written by scholars and of course the Holy Qur’an and the books of Ahadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him) which are the primary origins of halal dietary guidelines. One should look for those editions in which the context is expanded upon to provide a historical background and explanation and not just text where the reader is left to self-interpret the material.
What are some myths you’ve heard about halal food? How would you respond to them? If you have any questions about halal food, ask them here and I’ll do my best to get you an answer.
Update: Links to Articles in the Series