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Comparison of Dhabiha Halal and Kashrut

Comparison of Dhabiha Halal and Kashrut

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The Islamic dietary laws
Islamic dietary laws
Islamic dietary laws provide direction on what is to be considered clean and unclean regarding diet and related issues.-Overview:Islamic jurisprudence specifies which foods are ' and which are '...

 (Halal) and the Jewish dietary laws
Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér , meaning "fit" Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed...

 (Kashrut; in English, kosher) are both quite detailed, and contain both points of similarity and discord. While both are dietary laws of Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

, they have different roots: an explanation of the Islamic code of law found in Islamic tradition and a Jewish code of laws found in the Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....



  • Swine is prohibited by both sets of laws.
  • Many animals permitted in kashrut are also halal, such as bovines.
  • Kashrut forbids and halal strictly forbids the consumption of amphibians such as frogs.
  • Almost all insects are not kosher. The few kosher insects are specific types of locust
    Locusts are the swarming phase of short-horned grasshoppers of the family Acrididae. These are species that can breed rapidly under suitable conditions and subsequently become gregarious and migratory...

    s and grasshopper
    The grasshopper is an insect of the suborder Caelifera in the order Orthoptera. To distinguish it from bush crickets or katydids, it is sometimes referred to as the short-horned grasshopper...

    s which are not eaten today in most communities, since it is unknown which species is permitted (the exception being the Yemenite
    Yemenite may refer to:*Yemenite, a person from Yemen*Yemeni Arabic, dialect of the Arabic language*Yemenite step, an Israeli folk dance step originating from Yemen*Yemenite Jews...

     Jews, who claim to have preserved this knowledge). It is also a consensus among Muslim scholars that all insects are forbidden except for locusts.
  • To be kosher, aquatic animals must have scales and fins. Most Muslim schools of thought adhere to the interpretation that all creatures from the ocean or the sea are considered halal. Hanafi
    The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

     Sunnis (who comprise the majority of Muslims) follow essentially the same laws as Kashrut, believing that only fish with scales and fins are halal. Shi'ites also follow this, but make an exception with some crustaceans; shrimps and prawns are halal). According to Jewish oral law all fish that have scales have fins, thus making all fish with scales kosher and rendering the law essentially the same as dhabiha halal.
  • Gelatin is only permissible if it comes from a permissible animal (usually kosher gelatin comes from the bones of kosher fish, or is a vegan substitute).
  • Cheese is permissible so long as the rennet
    Rennet is a complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach to digest the mother's milk, and is often used in the production of cheese. Rennet contains many enzymes, including a proteolytic enzyme that coagulates the milk, causing it to separate into solids and liquid...

     used to make the cheese is permissible.


  • For a substance to be halal, it must not contain alcohol
    In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

     of any kind. However, there is a difference drawn between the addition of alcohol to foods which is absolutely forbidden, and the small quantities that naturally become present - such as orange juice. Except for grape wine and grape juice (which must be manufactured under Jewish supervision), Kashrut allows the consumption of any sort of alcohol, as long as it has kosher ingredients (including any unsupervised grape extracts).
  • The list of animals forbidden by kashrut is more restrictive, as kashrut requires that, to be kosher, mammals must chew cud
    Cud is a portion of food that returns from a ruminant's stomach in the mouth to be chewed for the second time. More accurately, it is a bolus of semi-degraded food regurgitated from the reticulorumen of a ruminant. Cud is produced during the physical digestive process of rumination, or "chewing the...

     as well as have cloven hooves. Dhabiha halal only requires that an animal survive on grass and leaves. Thus, various animals, such as the camel
    A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

    , are permissible as per dhabiha halal, but not according to kashrut.
  • Kashrut prohibits shellfish
    Shellfish is a culinary and fisheries term for exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates used as food, including various species of molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Although most kinds of shellfish are harvested from saltwater environments, some kinds are found only in freshwater...

    , such as lobster
    Clawed lobsters comprise a family of large marine crustaceans. Highly prized as seafood, lobsters are economically important, and are often one of the most profitable commodities in coastal areas they populate.Though several groups of crustaceans are known as lobsters, the clawed lobsters are most...

    , shrimp
    Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

    , clams
    CLaMS is a modular chemistry transport model system developed at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. CLaMS was first described by McKenna et al. and was expanded into three dimensions by Konopka et al....

    , and oysters. Sunni (non-Hanafi) interpretations of halal permit the consumption of all seafood. Hanafis follow exactly the same laws as Kashrut, believing only fish with fins from the oceans are permissible, whereas shellfish, lobsters, etc. aren't. However, there is some difference of opinion amogst some Hanafis about the permissibility of shrimp. Shia interpretations (following Ja'fari jurisprudence
    Ja'fari jurisprudence
    Jaʿfarī school of thought, Ja`farite School, Jaʿfarī jurisprudence or Jaʿfarī Fiqh is the school of jurisprudence of most Shi'a Muslims, derived from the name of Jaʿfar as-Ṣādiq, the 6th Shi'a Imam...

    ) also prohibits the consumption of shellfish (with the exception of shrimps and prawns).


Shechita is the ritual slaughter of mammals and birds according to Jewish dietary laws...

 is the ritual slaughter of mammals and birds according to Jewish law. Dhabiha
is, in Islamic law, the prescribed method of ritual slaughter of all animals excluding camels, locusts, fish and most sea-life. This method of slaughtering animals consists of a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck, cutting the jugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides but...

 is the method used to slaughter an animal as per Islamic tradition. Shechita requires that an animal be conscious and this is taken to mean the modern practice of electrical, gas, percussive stunning before slaughter is forbidden. Most Muslim authorities also forbid the use of electrical, gas, percussive stunning. However, other authorities state that stunning is permissible so long as it is not the direct cause of the animal's death. Fatwa on Stunning Animals at organic-halal-meat.com


  • Both shechita and dhabiha involve cutting across the neck of the animal with a non-serrated blade in one clean attempt in order to sever the main blood vessels.
  • Both require that the spinal cord be avoided during slaughter.
  • Both require draining the blood of the animal.
  • Any sane adult Jew who knows the proper technique may perform shechita. Similarly, dhabiha can be performed by any "sane adult Muslim… by following the rules prescribed by Shariah". All Islamic authorities, though, state that dhabiha can also be performed by Peoples of the Book (Jews and Christians).


  • Dhabiha requires that God's name be pronounced before each slaughter. (see Islamic Concept of God). Some Muslims have accorded meat to be halal but not necessarily dhabiha; in other words, kosher meat is considered halal by Muslims. This is according to the Hadith: "[I]t is narrated by Al Bukhari from Aisha (R.A) the Muhammad's blessed wife, that some people came to him (saw) and said, Oh God's Prophet, some people bring us meat and we do not know if they pronounced the name of God on it or not, and he (saw) said pronounce you the name of Allah (swt)(God)and eat." Dhabiha meat by definition is meat that is slaughtered in the shariah manner and the name of Allah is said before the slaughter. In Shechita, a blessing to God is recited before beginning an uninterrupted period of slaughtering; as long as the shochet does not have a lengthy pause, interrupt, or otherwise lose concentration, this blessing covers all the animals slaughtered that period. This blessing follows the standard form for a blessing before most Jewish rituals ("Blesséd are you God ... who commanded us regarding [such-and-such]," in this case, Shechita). The general rule in Judaism
    Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

     is that for rituals which have an associated blessing, if one omitted the blessing, the ritual is still valid [see Maimonides Laws of Blessings 11:5]; as such, even if the shochet failed to recite the blessing before Shechita, the slaughter is still valid and the meat is kosher.
  • There are no restrictions on what organs or parts of the carcass may be eaten from a Halal-slaughtered and -dressed animal; as long as it was slaughtered and prepared according to the rules of dhabiha halal, the entire animal is fit for consumption by Muslims. However, Kashrut prohibits eating the chelev
    The Hebrew noun chelev is the term given to some kinds of animal fats in Judaism.The fat of animal sacrifices is subject to specific regulations in the Hebrew Bible....

     (certain types of fat) and gid hanosheh (the sciatic nerve
    Sciatic nerve
    The sciatic nerve is a large nerve fiber in humans and other animals. It begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock and down the lower limb...

    ), and thus the hindquarters of a kosher animal must undergo a process called nikkur
    Nikkur is the process of making an animal kosher by removing chelev and the gid hanasheh .It is much easier to perform nikkur on the front part of the animal...

    (or, in Yiddish
    Yiddish language
    Yiddish is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken throughout the world. It developed as a fusion of German dialects with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages...

    , porging) in order to be fit for consumption by Jews. As nikkur is an expensive, time-consuming process, it is rarely practiced outside of Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    , and the hindquarters of kosher-slaughtered animals in the rest of the world are generally sold on the non-kosher market.


  • After slaughter, both require that the animal be examined to ensure that it is fit for consumption. Dhabiha guidelines generally say that the carcass should be inspected, while kashrut says that the animal's internal organs must be examined "to make certain the animal was not diseased".
  • Both sets of religious rules are subject to arguments among different authorities with regional and other related differences in permissible foodstuffs.
  • Strictly observant followers of either religion will not eat in restaurants not certified to follow its rules.
  • Meat slaughtered and sold as kosher must still be salted to draw out excess blood and impurities. A similar practice is followed in some Muslim households, but using vinegar
    Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

    . This is done to remove all surface blood from the meat, in accordance with Islam's prohibition of the consumption of blood.


  • During the Jewish holiday Passover
    Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

    , there is an additional set of restrictions, requiring that no chametz
    Chametz, also Chometz, and other spellings transliterated from , are leavened foods that are forbidden on the Jewish holiday of Passover. According to Jewish law, Jews may not own, eat or benefit from chametz during Passover...

     (sour-dough starter or fermented products from the five species of grains) be eaten. However this requirement is specific to the holiday, and nothing to do with the laws of Kashrut. This has no parallel in the laws of dhabiha halal, although it might be seen as a form of fasting
    Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day , or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive,...

  • In general, Kashrut prohibits the mixing of meat and dairy products; consumption of such products or profiting from their sale are also forbidden. These proscriptions are not observed in Karaite Judaism
    Karaite Judaism
    Karaite Judaism or Karaism is a Jewish movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh alone as its supreme legal authority in Halakhah, as well as in theology...

    . Dhabiha halal has no such rules.
  • In Judaism, the permissibility of food is influenced by many secondary factors. For instance, vessels and implements used to cook food must also be kept separate for dairy products and meat products. If a vessel or implement used to cook dairy products is then used to cook meat, the food becomes non-kosher and the vessel or implement itself can no longer be used for the preparation or consumption of a kosher meal. Depending on the material properties of the item (for example, if it is made of metal or of clay, or if it is made in one piece or has joints) it may be rendered permissible ("kashered") by certain procedures or it may be considered irretrievably contaminated. In general, the same policy extends to any apparatus used in the preparation of foods, such as ovens or stovetops. Laws are somewhat more lenient for modern kitchen items such as microwaves or dishwashers, although this depends greatly on tradition (minhag
    Minhag is an accepted tradition or group of traditions in Judaism. A related concept, Nusach , refers to the traditional order and form of the prayers...

    ) or individuals' own stringent practices (chumrot). As a result of these factors, many Conservative and Orthodox Jews cannot eat dishes prepared at any restaurant that is not specifically kosher, even if the actual dish ordered uses only kosher ingredients.

Likewise in Islamic food preparation, the permissibility of food is also influenced by many secondary factors. Apart from the prescribed foods that can be consumed, all food must be Halal and by this, all utensils and kitchens used to prepare food must also be deemed as Halal. Halal utensils and kitchen brings about the meaning that these utensils or place for the food preparation does not get in contact with non Halal items. For instance, cakes prepared using alcohol as an ingredient is considered non Halal. In fact, food cooked in any type of alcohol (although the alcohol burn out during the cooking process) is also deemed non Halal. Kitchens which have been used to prepare non Halal food must be sanitized (samak) according to Islamic principles before it can be used to prepare Halal meals. Kitchens and utensils previously used to prepare non Halal meals is required to be fully sanitized in an Islamic fashion before it can then be used for Halal food preparation.

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