What is Halal?

Halal Meat FAQs

What is permissible for a Muslim to eat?

“And eat of the lawful and good (things) that Allah has given you,

and be careful of (your duty to) allah, in whom you believe”


Halal is the Arabic word meaning “permissible”.  Halal meat is any meat that Muslims are allowed to eat based on the teachings of the Quran and Sunna.

1.  What can’t I eat?  What is considered haram to consume?

Meat that was dead before being slaughtered.

Blood of any type.

The flesh of swine.

Alcoholic or intoxicating drinks.

Any animal that has been sacrificed to any being other than Allah (SWT)

Meat of a strangled animal, or one that is killed by blunt force.

Meat that has already been eaten from by wild animals.

2. What has to happen when you slaughter an animal for it to be considered halal?

For meat to be considered halal the following requirements must be met:

Requirements for the person preforming the actual slaughter:

1. That they be of Muslim faith.

2. That they follow one of the 2 religions of the book (Jews or Christians).


Requirements of the instrument with which the slaughter is performed:

1. That the object used to slaughter the animal have a sharp blade. It is narrated in Sahih Bukhari: On the authority of Abu Ya’la Shaddad bin Aws (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan (proficiency, perfection) in all things. So if you kill then kill well; and if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.”

2. That the instrument is not made of bone or the claw of a hawk.


Requirements for the animal being slaughtered:

1. That it is a permissible type of meat, allowed by the rules of Islam.

2. That the animal is not sick, and in good health.

3. That the animal is alive at the time of the slaughter.


3. What does USDA certification of Halal mean?

The USDA does not regulate the halal slaughter process. Slaughterhouses asking for religious exceptions find their own Islamic cleric to legalize the process. You may find that this process varies from one place to another, but all Halal slaughter follows the non-disputed methods above.

4. What about other Halal Meat requirements?

At American Halal Meat our specialty is finding Halal meat products at an affordable price for the Muslims in the DC, VA and MD area. For more information on the actual slaughter process and the different points of view on this issue, please check out our links tab.