Halal catering and halal food are a growing point of interest among foodies in Singapore. Discover the meaning of the word “halal,” its religious implications, and its general rules. Then find out how you can enjoy this healthy style of food yourself as well as providing a halal buffet for guests at your next event.
Two Important Words
In Arabic, the word “halal” means permissible or allowed. It’s not just used with reference to food, although that is one of the more common ways to use the term; the word can be used of anything that Islamic law permits. Things that are banned or not permitted by Islamic law are called “haram.” With reference to beverages, the Koran outlaws any intoxicating drink or substance, such as alcohol.
Forbidden Methods of Death or Slaughter
In the Qu’ran or Koran, the consumption of blood, pork, or dead or decaying animals is “haram,” or forbidden. Anything that died from a fall, from being pierced or gored, from strangulation, from a beating, or from sacrifice may never be eaten.
Also, if someone kills an animal in the name of a specific deity besides Allah, that animal’s meat may not be consumed, according to the Koran.
In order for an animal’s meat to be halal, or permitted, it must be one of the allowed species as specified in the Koran, and it must be killed in a specific way.
A Muslim, speaking the name of Allah, must quickly slice the animal’s throat, using a sharp knife so that the death is as fast as possible. The person slaughtering the animal may stun the creature first to make the job easier, as long as the blow does not cause death.
The Proper Procedure after Death
After its death, all the blood must be drained out of the body. Various organs must be removed, including the reproductive organs, bladder, gallbladder, and pancreas, which are all unclean and inedible under Muslim law.
Animals Forbidden by Their Characteristics
There are further restrictions when it comes to the types of animals that may be eaten, aside from the manner of their death. Birds of prey and carrion birds are not permissible, and neither is any creature that flies but isn’t a bird (a bat, for example). Followers of Islam generally do not consume mules, donkeys, or horses, although their meat is not technically forbidden. No animals with tusks, fangs, or canine teeth are allowed for Muslims.
All reptiles and insects fall into the category of forbidden food, with the exception of locusts. They are permitted because John the Baptist ate them during his lifetime.
Fish and Seafood Rules
Halal regulations become a bit less clear when it comes to seafood. Many Muslims consume prawns and shrimps, but not crab or lobster; however, there are Muslims who follow a different interpretation of and consume those seafood items. Any fish with scales is allowed, but creatures like swordfish, marlin, and shark are forbidden, along with a few other types of sea life. A Muslim may only eat a sea creature if it was alive when it was taken from the water.
Health Benefits of a Halal Diet
Aside from the religious aspect of a halal diet, halal food may actually be better for human consumption. Halal animals are typically raised on vegetarian diets, and they are not given antibiotics or growth hormones. When they are slaughtered, the process is as fast and humane as possible, and the blood is completely drained, which flushes out toxins and bacteria. Because of this, there is a growing surge of interest in halal food and halal catering in Singapore.
Halal Catering in Singapore
If you’re interested in procuring a halal buffet or other halal catering services, contact us at Eatz Catering. As a Singapore caterer certified by MUIS to provide halal food, we will be happy to offer delicious fare for your upcoming event.