It is crucial for the American Muslim community to have a standardized system for halal certification. While earning and eating halal is one of the most pressing concerns for practicing Muslims, the larger community on the West is behind other religious communities in that each Muslim has to be vigilant on their own in order to meet the eating guidelines outlined by the Sharia.
Halal is a word with many meanings and connotations depending on how it is used. Halal in the Arabic language simply means permissible but to Muslims it has far reaching meanings of legitimacy, purity, and adherence to precepts of faith. To the Islamophobic crowd, it is a scary word that triggers Sharia phobia and the fear that “The Muslims are coming”.
Halal and zabiha are two important terms for Muslims, particularly for those living in the West. While they are related, there is a difference in their meaning that is relevant for those looking for permissible food options under the regulations of the Sharia. So what do the terms mean and how do they relate to your food shopping?
One of the principles of Islam is a term called “Ihsan.” Often translated as meaning “perfection” or “excellence,”. It famously outlines the larger purpose of the religious path after “iman” (faith) and “Islam” (the structured religion) in a hadith. This is where the archangel Gabriel visits the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Therefore, as Muslims, we already have our idea of “best practices,”. It is that every practicing Muslim should strive for in their worship and worldly pursuits.