We’re all aware of certain things that are “halal” or “haraam” from common knowledge. But what does it mean to live a halal lifestyle? How do you know if something is halal or not on your own? As people who want to observe the deen as much as possible, it’s important to live our lives harmoniously rather than conflicting with it. Let’s take a look at the meaning of “halal” and how to live a halal lifestyle.
What we think “halal” means (and what it really means)
Many times, we tend to think “halal” only refers to meat. After all, meat is an important part of our diets, so having halal meat is essential. If you have the ability to know how your meat is prepared, and the choice on how it’s prepared, then the obvious next step is to choose a halal butcher or shop.
Halal, however, really refers to food, drink and other products that are deemed permissible to consume or use under Muslim law. That includes everyday products like soap, toothpaste, lotion, gelatin, and more – anything that you eat, drink or put on yourself. So anything in daily life can be “halal” – the word means “permissible” or “lawful.” Its opposite, “haraam,” means “unlawful” or “forbidden.”
How do you live a “halal lifestyle”?
A halal lifestyle is meant to one of purity, integrity and self-restraint, as opposed to carelessness and inconsistency. When you are aware of the products you are consuming, you can then choose the halal ones. It becomes a habit and over time, it will get easier and you will get better at it.
Some restaurants with fried food will cook their food in lard (pork fat) rather than vegetable oil. You can always ask what is used, or cook it yourself. Other obvious foods include jelly, marshmallows and other sweets with contain gelatin.
Since we already know about halal meat and the fact that pigs, carnivorous animals and birds of prey are not included, we can take this a step farther: excluding any pork-based or pork-derived products, or anything with blood or alcohol in it. In fact, every step of the production process is important, just like the slaughter of livestock.
Check the ingredients label
Some common animal or haraam sources are gelatin, cholesterol, diglycerides (emulsifiers), glycerol/glycerine/glyceryl, hormones, lard, pepsin, rennin/rennet, carcinogenic drugs, and shellac, food glazes and resins (which are derived from insects).
Some cheese are made with rennet from cows. Since these cows are not slaughtered in the halal way, this type of rennet is also haraam. Many are made with vegetable rennet nowadays, however; check the label to be sure.
Buy products you already know are halal
The halal industry is booming as the demand spreads around the world. A halal directory can make it incredibly convenient for you to do your shopping. Now you can enjoy the ease of online shopping that is in line with Muslim values. Whether you need modest clothing, halal food or other products, you have an array of available stores at your fingertips.
A halal directory also makes it easier to sell to customers. These comprehensive guides to halal awareness feature popular, high-quality restaurants, shops and other businesses.
Finally, there are halal hubs online. They are a great way for companies to come together, develop and widen their markets more than they ever could individually. Also, halal hubs online allow companies to form associations, showcase their products, obtain halal certification and special recognition. When you’re involved, the community grows.