The Halal حلال Concept
Halal food refers to any food that is permissible to eat according to Islamic teachings. This includes any food that does not fall under the category of Haram (or forbidden). All foods and beverages in Islam are Halal EXCEPT for those explicitly forbidden in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
In the Qur’an, Allah SWT says:
“O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.” (Al-Baqarah : 168) • “O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.” (Al-Baqarah : 172)
While travelling, you may discover many types of different delicacies that you may not have heard of. So it’s important to ask the ingredients before you eat! So which or what types of foods and drinks are unlawful (Haram)?
Alcohol Ibn ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Every intoxicant is Khamr and every intoxicant is forbidden. He who drinks wine in this world and dies while he is addicted to it, not having repented, will not be given a drink in the Hereafter.
[Sahih Muslim 2003a]
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said that he met Zaid bin `Amr Nufail at a place near Baldah and this had happened before Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) received the Divine Inspiration. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) presented a dish of meat (that had been offered to him by the pagans) to Zaid bin `Amr, but Zaid refused to eat of it and then said (to the pagans),
“I do not eat of what you slaughter on your stonealtars (Ansabs) nor do I eat except that on which Allah’s Name has been mentioned on slaughtering.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 5499]
All carnivores and winged creatures which have claws (birds of prey, hawks, falcons, etc) Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) prohibited the eating of all fanged beasts of prey, and all the birds having talons.
[Sahih Muslim 1934a]
Narrated Ibn `Umar: The Prophet (ﷺ) prohibited the eating of donkey’s meat.
[Sahih al-Bukhari 5522]
Blood, pork, dead animals He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit] – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful
(Al Nahl : 115)
Having said that, during darurah (extreme difficulty), there are exceptions to the rule. What is illegal becomes permissible in the case of necessity, but only under two conditions:
1) Unable to find anything with which to meet that necessity (needs) except haram thing. eg: A starving person who is not able to find anything to eat but dead meat.
2) The haram thing should provide for the necessity (needs). eg: A person is choking and all he has is a cup of wine. But he should cease drinking after the choking has stopped.