Kosher vs Halal

I believe some of you must be ever heard about these words; Kosher and Halal. Both words has powerful meaning for two groups, Moslem and Jewish. Moslem knew Halal as their basic standard to eat foods. Foods with Halal certified made moslem feels more secure to eat. Kosher has the same meaning.

Halal

Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. The opposite of halal is haram, which means unlawful or prohibited. Halal and haram are universal terms that applied to all sides of life. However, i’m gonna use these terms only in relation to food products, meat products.

While many things are clearly halal or haram, there are some things which are not clear. Further information is needed to categorize them as halal or haram. Such items are often referred to as mashbooh, which means doubtful or questionable.

All foods are considered halal except the following (which are haram):

  • Swine/Pork, Lard, Dog, Blood and its by-products
  • Animals improperly slaughtered (moslem has rules to slaughtered animals) or dead before slaughtering (corpse)
  • Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants
  • Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals
  • Foods contaminated with any of the above products

Basically, Qur’an has explained about Halal and Haram. In some of the books in Qur’an 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] (QS Al Ma’idah 5:3)

or

“And do not eat of that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned, for indeed, it is grave disobedience.” (QS Al An’am 6:121)

There are so many surah (verses) that explained about Halal related to foods and drinks. What had been written in Qur’an has been proven medically and Scientific.

Kosher

The Hebrew word Kosher means “fit.” The kosher laws define the foods that are fit for consumption for a Jews. The opposite of Kosher is Trayfah or Trefa. The kosher laws were commanded by Jewish’s God in the Sinai desert. The basics of these laws is written in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.

Similar with Halal, Kosher guides Jew about the foods the can eat or not based on Talmud. In my opinion, Kosher is more complicated than Halal. Some of the food has rules how to be ate, which foods can be paired with (eg, Milk is must not combine with meat and can only be eat together with timing period).

I’m gonna share some verses about Kosher in bible:

“Yet these you shall not eat of those that chew the cud or have the hoof split in two: the camel, the hare, and the coney, because they chew the cud but divide not the hoof; they are unclean for you.” (Deutronomy 14:7)

or

“But all that have not fins and scales in the seas and in the rivers, of all the creeping things in the waters, and of all the living creatures which are in the waters, they are [to be considered] an abomination and abhorrence to you.” (Leviticus 11:10)

Different and Dissimilar

This Please keep in mind that Halal and Kosher is different. There are some foods that Haram for moslems but include in Kosher Foods and vice versa (eg, wine is Haram for moslem but is Kosher). And to be reminded, Kosher Meats may comes from Halal Animal but not slaughtered in the name of Allah (Jews thought that slaughterhouse is filth and their God’s name is holy so they do not slaughtered by the name of their God)

That differences led to a very broad implications in the context of kosher food. Alcohol-containing beverages such as wine, which by Islamic teachings clearly haram, among Jews still allowed a certain amount. Please be aware of the implications. Make sure if you travel abroad, you clearly understand of this differences.

My Opinion

After i gathered some information about both words, i can see both word has the same purpose to their believer/followers. But at some point i wouldn’t say that Halal is the same with Kosher. In Indonesia, i’m familiar with Halal, not Kosher. But if you lived in foreign country such as America, you will find Kosher Certificates in mostly their market or restaurants. Because of the similarity of those two words, some Jews promotes that Kosher Foods are Halal for moslems. And if there is Kosher Certificate then it is safe to be ate or consumed. (This does seems like a new propaganda in western).

In America, Kosher Foods has more consumers than Jews itself. That’s because Kosher foods also consumed by moslems and Advent Christian. The Jews tried to introduce a kosher food to every corner of the world, with the main target Moslems. So the bargaining position of kosher certification is increasing in the eyes of the producers of food.

The Jews wanted the Moslems to eat kosher foods, but they themselves do not want to consume kosher foods. (Quite ironic isn’t?) They also intends to popularize the term kosher in international trade.

So, whatever your religion is, you better know which one is fit and allowed by your law.


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