dietary laws

Islamic dietary laws

''This is a sub-article to Hygiene in Islam, Healthy diet and Food and cooking hygiene.
Islamic dietary laws provide a set of rules as to what Muslims eat in their diet and other areas.


Islamic jurisprudence specifies which foods are halāl (lawful) and which are harām (unlawful). This is based on rules found in the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. Other rules are added to these in fatwas by Mujtahids with various degrees of strictness, but they are not always held to be authoritative by all. According to the Quran, the only foods explicitly forbidden are meat from animals that die of themselves, blood, the meat of pigs, and animals dedicated to other than God.(Quran 5:3)

Healthy diet

A healthy diet is considered important in Islam, although what constitutes such might not be necessarily in consideration of Western standards. Some Muslim scholars consider an excess of eating is a sin due to an interpretation of the following verse in the Qur'an:

The following authentic hadith (saying of the Prophet) also states:

Food and cooking hygiene

Food and cooking hygiene is an important part of Islamic dietary laws.

Zabihah: Islamic slaughter

Zabihah is the prescribed method of ritual slaughter of all animals excluding fish and most sea-life per Islamic law. For such a method the animal must be slaughtered by a Muslim or by the People of the Book (Christian or Jew), while mentioning the name of God (Allah in Arabic). According to some fatwas, the animal must be slaughtered only by a Muslim. However, some different fatwas dispute this, and rule from the Qur'anic position, according to verse 5:5 of the Qur'an, that an animal properly slaughtered by People of the Book (Jew or a Christian) is dhabiha. Thus, many observant Muslims will accept kosher meat if dhabiha options are not available. Other main references in Qur'an include 2:173, 5:3, 5:5, 5:90, 6:118, 6:145, 16:115.

If there is doubt to anything being regarded as halāl or haram, Muslims are generally advised to refrain from consumption until clarification or permissiveness is given by another Muslim learned in Fiqh.

Animals for food may not be killed by being boiled or electrocuted, and the carcass should be hung upside down for long enough to be blood-free. Different rules apply to fish; for instance, fish with scales are always halāl, while it has been debated whether shellfish and scaleless fishes, such as catfish, are halāl, haram or makruh (prohibitively disliked).

Food certification

Due to the recent rise in Muslim populations in the United States and Europe, certain organizations have emerged that can certify dhabiha food products and ingredients for Muslim consumers. The Muslim Consumer Group is an example of an organization that places certification labels such as the H-MCG symbol to identify the dhabiha status of different edible and non-edible consumer products.

Prohibited food

Some animals and manners of death or preparation can make certain things haram to eat, that is, taboo food and drink. These include what are regarded as unclean animals.

Dead Animals

In Islam, there is a prohibition against the eating of dead animals. According to Islamic Fiqh (Jurisprudence), this includes animals that die by drowning, fire, electrocution, trauma (e.g. "roadkill"), or by boiling while alive. (Permitted) animals must be killed by conscious slaughter or by hunting to allow (the most) blood to flow. The exceptions to these rules are generally creatures from the sea, which may die while in open air.


In Islam, alcoholic beverages — or any intoxicant — is forbidden, but alcohol is allowed to be used for medical and other purposes, for example industrial and automotive use.


Eating or drinking blood and its by-products is forbidden.


Consumption of carnivores is prohibited. However, piscivorous animals (animals that consume only fish), are not considered carnivorous.


Consumption of omnivores, such as pigs, monkeys, humans and dogs, is prohibited.


Pork and products made from pork are strictly forbidden from consumption and handling in Islam.
Gelatin made from porcine skin or bones, which makes up roughly 50% of the supply of gelatin on the market is forbidden.

Gelatin made from other animals, for example, fish, is acceptable. Kosher gelatin comes from certain fish to avoid the Kashrut prohibition against mixing meat (fish is not considered meat) and dairy in the same meal. Therefore, gelatin in food items certified as Kosher is halāl, as it is from fish. However, it is typical to use algal sources of thickeners, in the home or in commercial products, to ensure they are halāl.

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