Halal Guidelines

Halal Guidelines

(by Jami’yyatul Ulama Canada, Canadian Council of Muslim Theologians)

Halal: This is a term meaning something permissible and lawful in the Islamic faith.

Haram: This is a term opposed to halal meaning impermissible and unlawful in the Islamic faith.


The consumption of the following categories are prohibited for a Muslim, likewise any ingredient or product derived from them or contaminated with them are also prohibited in the Muslim diet.

1. Meat of swine (pig) including all it’s by products.
2. Meat of animal upon which the name of Allah was not invoked.
3. Meat of dead animals (carrion)
4. Meat of strangled animals, preventing their blood from flowing.
5. Meat of dead animals through beating.
6. Meat of dead animals through falling from height.
7. Meat of dead animals killed by the goring of a horn.
8. Meat of animals devoured by wild beasts.
9. Carnivorous animals.
10. Birds of prey.
11. Reptiles.
12. Mules and Asses.
13. Pests such as rats and scorpions.
14. Insects excluding locusts.
15. Procreative organs of animals.


1. All types and varieties of alcohol.
2. Blood.
3. Intoxicating drugs.


The following categories are fit for Muslim consumption

1. All domestic birds
2. All cattle
3. Sheep
4. Goats
5. Camels
6. All types of buck
7. Rabbits
8. Fish
9. Locusts

The afore mentioned animals excluding fish and locusts will only be rendered as halal when they are slaughtered according to the following instructions:



The following must be considered when selecting slaughterers:

1. He must be a Muslim of integrity from the ‘Ahlus Sunnah-wal-Jamaah’.
2. He must understand the importance of the responsibility of Halal slaughter and is versant with the rules thereof.


1. A slaughterman with the aforementioned qualities must invoke the name of Allah upon the animal to be slaughtered prior to slaughter by reciting “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar” or at the very least recite “Bismillah”
2. He must immediately slaughter the animal after the recital without any significant delay.
3. The knife used for slaughtering must be extremely sharp so that the animal suffers minimal agony and that the slaughter takes place efficiently and easily.
4. At the time of slaughter all of the following arteries should be cut:

a) trachea (windpipe) b) esophagus (gullet) c) both jugular veins;

In the event of all four arteries not being possible to cut, at least three of the mentioned four arteries must be cut. If less than three arteries were to be cut, the animal will not be rendered as halal.

5. The cut must be conducted manually (i.e. by hand) and carried out swiftly. The knife must not be lifted before the cut is complete and the cut must be below the Adam’s apple.
6. It is heavily advised that the neck should neither be cut off completely nor broken, thus avoiding the severance of the spinal cord.


The issue of stunning is very delicate (whether done by captive bolt stun, electric head stun or electrified water bath), in the sense that there are many conditions and criteria that must be considered. Firstly for reason of the animals' welfare, the act of stunning is extremely disliked and according to some, even reaches the stage of being Haram (non Halal), as it causes the animal unnecessary suffering. Thereafter even more importantly is how it affects the Islamic ruling on the animal as to whether or not it is fit for Muslim consumption.

The Islamic criteria that must be met while slaughtering the animals are clear-cut; any deviation from them will render the animal unfit for Muslim consumption. Amongst the guidelines established for a Halal slaughter is the unwavering fundamental that the animal must be alive at the time of slaughter and the blood must be drained out.

Research by the FAWC in Britain showed that more than 35% of chickens die prior to slaughter due to stunning. It is also proven that a large amount of blood remains in the animal . The animal is also deprived of the effects of blessing/tasmiyyah as it would be unconscious at the time of slaughter.

Also what the CCMT and HMA have taken into account is that there is no pressure from the side of the government of Canada forcing Muslims to adopt such inhumane methods of slaughter. Therefore because of all the negative aspects of stunning, the CCMT and HMA have set a blanket ruling disallowing stunning in any form.

For some astonishing facts and specifics of stunning please click here


1. Pig slaughter is not permitted in the abattoir providing Halal slaughter.
2. Halal slaughter must be conducted in the first shift of the day on a sanitized and cleaned line with sanitized equipment in an abattoir that provides non-halal slaughter along with halal slaughter.
3. All equipment used for cutting, hanging, transporting, further processing must be sanitized prior to halal production.
4. There must be no contamination of halal meat with non halal meat either in the abattoir, processing area/s, freezers, chillers or at the time of packing, loading, unloading and/or transportation.
5. Halal Meat must be stored separately from non halal meats at all times by either:

a) storing in a separate facility or,

b) storing in a separate compartment within the same facility. (this should only be resorted to in extreme cases.)

In the event of halal meat being stored in the same facility as non halal meat the following must be considered:

a) All loose halal meat must be packed and stored in an isolated corner of the facility so that no kind of contact is made with non halal meat.

b) All halal meat must be labeled.

c) The handlers of halal meat must be versed with the issues of contamination and understand halal.

by Halal Foods Department, Jami'yyatul Ulama Canada (CCMT)


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