What is halal?

The term “halal” comes from Arabic and essentially means “permissible, clean”. Considerable importance is attached to this term in the Islamic faith. According to Islamic law, any acts that are permissible and in keeping with Islamic canon are deemed “halal”. All impermissible acts are grouped under the term “haram”.

Islamic jurisprudence subdivides acts into exactly five categories:

  • Fard (obligatory)
  • Mandub (recommended)
  • Halal (permissible)
  • Makrooh (disapproved)
  • Haram (forbidden).

These provisions are governed in the Koran and in the Sunna and faithful Muslims comply with them. Obviously, there are also provisions with respect to food.

Of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, ca. 700,000 live in Austria, 5 million in Germany, and ca. 45 million in Europe. For industry (food, beverages, cosmetics, clothing, etc.) and its suppliers as well as for food marketers (restaurants, plant, school, and kindergarten cafeterias, catering companies, hotels, airlines, banks, etc.), this gives rise not only to the need but also to the business opportunity to market commodities and services that both conform to the religious laws of Muslims worldwide and fulfill the country-specific legal requirements.