While halal foods have earned quite a following over the years and a halal Chinese restaurant or any other establishments serving halal foods have become easy to find nowadays, many still do not fully understand the true essence of halal foods.
In fact, the word halal is wrought with numerous distorted interpretations and baseless misconceptions.
While some myths seem too preposterous, some have the tendency to accept it as true especially if they don’t have sufficient knowledge on the matter to begin with.
Make your experience in a halal Chinese restaurant (or any establishments serving halal for that matter) even more enjoyable by debunking some of halal food’s most prevalent myths.
The word halal means “hocus pocus”
If you think this myth is too absurd to be true, then you are right. Unfortunately, it’s sad to note that some people actually believe halal foods have magic spells.
One of the first things a Muslim learns is shahadah (it means there is no other god but Allah, the One God). That means meats that are sacrificed (and permissible to eat) for human consumption must not be sacrificed or dedicated in the name of anyone else other than God.
While unknown to many, idol worship and magic spells are prohibited in Islam. Likewise, food that is dedicated to another name other than God is also prohibited.
Also, contrary to what some may believe, halal foods are also not dedicated to the prophet Muhammed. While revered as the last prophet, halal foods are not dedicated to him.
Halal foods are not clean
While often baseless, it is unfortunate to discover that some people perceive halal foods as unclean.
While not true for all, some claim to have horrible experiences with halal restaurants or meat markets.
However, what many fail to factor in is the fact that their negative experience might be attributed to the food handling among the restaurant crew or the differences in the food presentation. In essence, the fact that it’s halal food has nothing to do with it.
Bottom line is, the negative impression should not be associated with the tenets of Islam or the essence of halal food.
Also, Islam has guidelines in place when it comes to cleanliness both in the public and private realm so you are assured adherence to those guidelines are observed especially when it comes to halal foods.
Halal slaughter is merciless / barbaric
Understandably, some people have issues with meat that is ritually slaughtered or sacrificed. Others on the other hand have issues with slaughtering any animals for food as a whole and may even regard the act as barbaric.
In Islam, Muslims are not mandated to eat meat, but aren’t prohibited from doing so either.
The Islamic way of handling the slaughter of an animal is actually humane as it is for the consumption and nourishment of humans.
When it comes to dhabiha (ritual of slaughtering animals), the following key points are observed:
- Animals need to be provided a clean and humane life. This includes proper food (no animal parts, only products that are natural for them), sufficient space for them to roam around, clean air, and kind treatment (no abusing, kicking, or mishandling animals in any shape, way, or form).
- Prior to bringing the animal to the slaughter house, giving it some water and calming it down (stroking, petting, or talking are typical) is recommended. Also, animals that are to be slaughtered should not see other animals being slaughtered as it might make them nervous.
- Animals must be slaughtered as swiftly as possible using a sharp knife and not anything that would be painful for the animal. That means beating, shooting, or clubbing the animal is prohibited. Allah’s name is also recited over the animal prior to the slaughter to indicate that the sacrifice is made in his name and no one else’s.