Can Christians eat Halal food? It’s definitely a valid question. And let me tell you, you even eat halal food without noticing it. Yes!
I’m a believer and a strong-hold advocate of Jesus’ teachings. And yes, it’s tremendously hard to walk in the path of light. But today, I want to share something with you that I have contemplated, reflected on, and embraced. It is the halal food of our Muslim brothers and sisters.
I also eat halal food. I absolutely enjoy it. And as a Christian believer, I highly recommend that you eat halal food as much as you can. But first, what exactly does the term “halal” mean? Why should I even suggest eating halal food to you? What does this halal have to do with you as a Christian? What is its significance to you? These were also my previous questions.
What is the meaning of Halal?
Halal or sometimes spelled as hallal or halaal is an Arabic word that means “permissible” or “allowable”. Halal is something that is allowable and tolerable in respect of our God Almighty. Halal can be food or action. Halal is something good, modest, and moral. While the opposite of Halal, the Quran says it’s Haram or which simply means forbidden.
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What is Halal Food?
Halal food means permissible food according to Islamic law. To have certified halal meat, it cannot be a forbidden cut (such as meat from hindquarters) or a swine (pork). The slaughter of a halal animal is called “Zabihah” and below are the guidelines to follow:
- Allah’s (God’s) name must be uttered during slaughter.
- The tool must be very sharp to ensure humane slaughter.
- The animal must be slit at the throat.
- The animal must not be unconscious.
- The animal must be hung upside down and allowed to bleed dry. Eating blood is haram.
- These steps must be accomplished by a Muslim or the People of the Book (Christian or Jew.) Many observant Muslims find kosher meat acceptable too.
- The animal must have been fed a natural diet that did not contain animal by-products.
Stunning requirements right?!
Why Christians must eat Halal food?
I was amazed and moved when I found out the requirements in order to make meat halal. The fact that it is required to bless the produce in God’s name before slaughtering, it was moving. As a Christian, you will love it when someone has prayed over the meat that you will eat even before you buy it from the market and cook it. You will appreciate it when the animal meat comes from a slaughterhouse that makes sure of humane butchery. No decent person would want to buy meat that came from a cruel slaughterhouse. Will you?
Shall we support businesses that abuse animals and kill them painfully? Do you want to consume double dead meat? Will you eat a product that has poor quality due to the torture of a psychopathic butcher?
I cannot tolerate nor imagine myself supporting such an attitude and cruelty. I would prefer permissible meat which allows me to perform my faith as a Christian, as a Believer. I think it’s fair enough that we agree on this concept – allowing yourself to enjoy consuming healthy produce while still at service to our God Almighty.
1 Corinthians 10:23,31 “Everything is permissible,” BUT not everything is helpful. Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.
It may sound confusing because of the phrase ‘everything is permissible’ but the key pointer here is that we must do everything for God’s glory. “Everything is permissible” means we have freedom. We have liberty. Now with this liberty, we also have the responsibility to make sure that our choices advocate God’s honor.
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What does the Bible tell us regarding meat consumption?
Leviticus 11:1-47 tells us that we only must eat clean meat rather than unclean meat. Because Deuteronomy 14:1-29 tells us “..you are a people holy to the Lord your God..” “You shall not eat any abomination.” A man was created in the image of God, therefore 1 Corinthians 10:31, tells us that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Leviticus 19:26 also tells us that “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it.” While in Acts 15:29, advises us to abstain from blood. Leviticus 11:7 specifically mentioned, “And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you.”
These are just a few verses from the Bible telling us the same law. The law was given to Abraham and Moses which the Jews strived hard to follow the same. The same law given to Mohammed. Peace be upon all of the Prophets! No wonder why, in Zabihah, the steps given must be accomplished by a Muslim or the People of the Book (Christian or Jew). Apparently, even before Muslims are following this, it was already imposed on us Christians.
What’s in it for us as Christians?
I believe that it’s our duty as Christians to follow the law. Jesus said based on Matthew 5:17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.” If we are true followers of Christ then it’s our duty to also fulfill the law bestowed by God, one of these is what to eat or whatnot. As a Christian, following the law means worshiping and remembering our God Almighty.
I wrote and shared this blog not to question nor ask you to convert to any religion or change you. My humble aim is to shed light and share what I have discovered in my research about the truth. I’m struggling, but I’m working hard to fulfill what is right, modest, and that can glorify our God Almighty. I’m more than happy to have you on this journey. I pray and hope that this will help you contemplate. As your sister in faith, it is my duty to care for and encourage everyone to remember God in all that we do.
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Reference: The Kitchen
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