What is Halal?

I was standing in Bonnie’s kitchen during our Halloween celebration and I was asked if the party pies were Halal? They were. Then someone asked me, ‘What is Halal?’. I didn’t really know what to answer.

So I did some research.

I was surprised to learn that Halal holds more meaning than just to describe certain meat.

“It is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law… It is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted” Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV).

Coming back to food, Halal is basically all food that is not prohibited by the Qur’an (the Muslim religious text). What I found especially interesting was that animals have a prescribed way of being slaughtered so as to be Halal food. It’s about honouring life in both humans and animals and offering respect to the animal in question.

Back to Bonnie’s kitchen. Bonnie’s embraces the beliefs of all people and attempts to make these beliefs visible and accessible. Halal food is served at functions. Vegetarians and vegans are also catered for and Aboriginal foods are often included in the menu at large events. I feel this is really important so people feel included but I also feel it is important that people understand the philosophy behind the belief.

My research highlighted to me that I feel more supportive of other people’s beliefs knowing the philosophy underpinning the belief and also more able to support the belief in practical ways. It is for this reason that I urge everyone to have a read of the following link. It is an easy read and explains Halal to Non-Muslims.

“Once you understand and appreciate other people’s cultural backgrounds, then you can also connect with them more.” Anonymous

Written by Sandra

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