In Arabic, Halal (also sometimes spelled halaal) is a meaning anything that is ‘lawful, legal, licit, legitimate, permissible, allowable, permitted, allowed, admissible, authorized, or acceptable to all aspects of daily life and betterment of social context. Its opposite is haram, which means unlawful or prohibited.
Halal and haram are universal terms that apply to all facets of life. However, generally we use these terms only in relation to food products, meat products, cosmetics, personal care products, food ingredients, and food contact materials.
All foods are considered halal EXCEPT the following, which are haram :
- Swine/Pork and its by-products
- Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering
- Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants
- Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals
- Foods contaminated with any of the above products
Foods containing ingredients such as gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, etc are questionable (Mashbooh) because the origin of these ingredients is not known.