What is halal?

Food is man's basic need. Without food it is not only difficult but quite impossible to survive. Man must, therefore eat food in some form or another. Whatever man regularly eats can be divided into two broad categories, namely vegetables and meat, both of which are abundantly available.

As far a vegetables are concerned, there has never been any objection to the consumption by human beings of this Divine "creation". This is because vegetation around us does not appear to possess life. Yet there is some sort of life in it. Had it not been so, plants and trees would neither grown nor borne flowers or fruits.

Whereas on the issue of consuming meat, there has been a difference of opinion everywhere and in every community. However, since the day the world came into existence, religion has been guiding man as to which animal is lawful and which is unlawful for his consumption. From the time of the prophethood of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), a guideline has been provided for all humanity, which will remain valid until the Day of Resurrection. It is up to human judgement to accept or reject it.

But nowhere in the world can Muslims ever turn away from Islamic guidelines on the slaughtering of animals.

Islam has described pure things as lawful. Allah says: O people: Eat what is lawful and good on earth. And do not follow in the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you an avowed enemy.
(The Holy Qur’an 2:168)

Basically there are four things forbidden, as laid down in this Divine edict:

"Believers! Eat the good things that We have provided for you. And be grateful to Allah, if it is Him you worship. He has only forbidden you dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name has been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced to this by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor the transgressing of due limits, then is he guiltless. For Allah is Forgiving, and Merciful."
(THE HOLY QUR’AN 2:172-173)

These same four things have been described again in the chapter entitled Al-Maidah, and by way of elaboration six more times of animals have been mentioned in Surah Maidah.
Forbidden for you (for food) are dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked the name of other than Allah, that which has been killed by strangling, or by violent blow or by a headlong fall, or by being gorged to death, that which has been partly eaten by a wild animal, unless you are able to slaughter in due form and that which is sacrificed on stone altars.


In addition to this, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself described the domesticated donkey as unlawful. (Bukhari)

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) also forbade the eating of the flesh of "sloughed beats and cleaved birds".


In another tradition, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) described fish and locusts as lawful, saying that the sea water is pure and the dead being in it are lawful. (Ahmad Ashab-e-Sunan)

That is why we may eat fish without killing them ourselves.

Pak Butchers meat and poultry is slaughtered according to Islamic Shariah Law and is done through a 100% Zabiha process.

Halal is considered legitimate and lawful as per the Islamic beliefs, and is believed to be largely a humane method of animal slaughter. The Muslims strongly follow the teachings of Quran, and as per the Quran, all living beings should be given respect and kindness - thus, while slaughtering, it is ensured that the animal does not undergo grave pain and suffering.

Halal is a kind and merciful way of slaughtering animals. As per the Shariah, Muslims should only consume Halal meat, and every slaughter factory must comply with the conditions imposed by the Halal certifier.

In Zabiha, several animals like the horse, locusts and various sea creatures are considered bad, and are prohibited by the Islamic law. In this way, animals are slaughtered with a swift and deep cut, using a sharp knife which cuts the jugular vein of the prey. It is the most lawful way for consumption of meat, and is based on the various commandments of the Islamic conditions. The conditions described in Zabiha are followed strictly by Muslims.

According to Halal regulations, slaughtering is intended to be done in such a manner that it causes minimum pain and suffering to the animal. In these modern days, the process of stunning is acceptable as long as the animal does not die before the time of Zabiha.

Zabiha is considered as the most appropriate and correct way to slaughter animals for consumption as per the prescriptions in the Quran. Zabiha is the way that defines how the animals must be slaughtered in a humane way.

Having said that, most Muslim slaughterhouses feel it is safer and better practice not to stun animals before slaughter so that there is no chance of ‘dead before Zibiha’ in meat production, especially in the case of Chicken, as the Chicken is much weaker than the Lamb, Goat or Beef animal. There are several views on this subject.

We are certified under the strict Halal certification standards of the Halal Monitoring Board.

Pak Butchers personally visit every supplier that they deal with and can guarantee the process of Halal Zabiha, they also take a delegation of local Muslim leaders, Imams and the community to their chosen slaughter houses. If this is of interest to you, you may email us to join the next delegation.

  • The person who slaughters the animal must be a mature and sane Muslim, and understand all the rules and principles of the Halal way of slaughtering. Islam forbids the consumption of the meat of animals which are killed while any other name is recited other than the name of Allah. By reciting the name of Allah during slaughter they seek god’s permission to kill the animal for sustaining life.

  • The slaughter is to be approved by several religious authorities. Another condition is that when the slaughter is done the animal should be facing Qibla, which is the direction where Mecca is located.


Zabiha restricts the slaughter of several animals, as they are considered unlawful. Halal means anything which is lawful and permissible as per the laws of Islam. So Zabiha may be considered a form of Halal which ensures that very animal is slaughtered in a humane way, and complies with the Islamic beliefs.

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