Islam is a monotheistic religion that emerged and was formed in the 7th century on the Arabian Peninsula.
It is the second world religion, after Christianity, in terms of the number of believers.
The word Islam means humbling oneself or submission to the will of God.
The prophet of Islam and God’s – Allah’s – Messenger is Muhammad ibn Abd Allah (570-632).
His task was to proclaim faith in one God among the peoples of the whole world.
Dogmas of faith:
- faith in Allah – the Only God (absolute monotheism),
- faith in prophets,
- faith in angels,
- faith in Holy Books,
- faith in the Judgment Day,
- faith in Destiny.
The Pillars of Islam – obligations mandatory for every believer:
- shahada – profession of faith,
- salat – canonical prayer five times a day,
- sawm – fasting during Ramadan (the ninth month according to the Muslim calendar),
- zakat – alms in the amount of 2.5% of annual income,
- hajj – pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Quran is the holy book of Islam, containing God’s revelation given to the Prophet Muhammad (saw) through the archangel Jibril (Gabriel).
The Quran is organized in 114 surahs (chapters), subdivided into ayats (verses). The Quran contains all the major principles of Islam.
The Sunnah (Arab. tradition) is a collection of information on the conduct of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), including his statements and opinions about religion and everyday life. The Sunnah consists of hadiths – stories of the Prophet’s conduct. The Sunnah is a model for all Muslims.
The Quran and the Sunnah are a source of Muslim law and theology.
HALAL – HARAM
Islam is a religion that regulates all the aspects of believers’ life. It determines what is allowed, and what is prohibited, the terms are respectively halal and haram. They refer to the actions, behavior and thoughts of a Muslim. According to the Quran, they include also principles of nutrition and indicate what can be eaten and what cannot.
The basic religious terms halal, haram, najis and mashbooh refer to various areas of life and conduct. Below we present short definitions and examples related to the food industry.
HALAL – that, what is permitted;
Halal food sources:
- land animals – cloven-hoofed animals (e.g. cattle, sheep, horses), poultry, rabbits, hares; these animals must come from ritual slaughter;
- fish and seafood – fish with scales, non-predatory; creatures that can only live in water;
- milk – only from allowed animals;
- fruits, vegetables and cereals.
HARAM – that, what is forbidden;
- land animals – pigs and all raw materials derived from them, wild boars, predators, pests;
- fish and seafood – fish without scales and predators, e.g. eel, creatures that can live in water and on land, e.g. crocodiles, frogs;
- ethyl alcohol, any alcoholic beverages;
- intoxicants and poisonous substances.
MASHBOOH – uncertain, doubtful; the status of particular product is not clear, without precise analysis it is not possible to clearly determine whether it is allowed or prohibited;
- flavors and aromas;
- fatty acids;
- enzymes, for example rennet.
NAJIS – ritually unclean things, prohibited, for example:
Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah, and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars. (5.3)
They ask you, what has been made lawful for them. Say, “Lawful for you are [all] good foods and [game caught by] what you have trained of hunting animals which you train as Allah has taught you. So eat of what they catch for you, and mention the name of Allah upon it, and fear Allah .” Indeed, Allah is swift in account. (5.4)
O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah ], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist? (5:90-91)
And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess. (6:141-142)
Then eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And be grateful for the favor of Allah, if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit] – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (16:114-115)
English translation: www.quran.com