Is eel halal

Food regulations in Islam

You are here: Home> Nutrition> Food Culture> Food Regulations in Islam

Figure 1: Fatih Mosque in Essen

The social change is also reflected in seminar houses and other accommodation providers: Muslims are increasingly being welcomed among the guests. In Islam there are food regulations that the believers must observe. We express our respect for other religions by dealing with the dietary rules and accommodating guests as much as possible.

In Islam there is no one higher organization or church, but numerous schools of law, Muslim associations or even individual scholars who can also take different positions on the menu. When in doubt, it is always easiest to speak to customers and ask which products are accepted.

Halal and Haram

Halal (helal in Turkish) comes from Arabic. It means "what is permissible, permitted, and permitted". The opposite term is haram, "the inadmissible, forbidden and not permitted". Food regulations are mainly taken from two sources: The Qur'an (Koran) is the holy scripture of the Muslims and is considered the literal revelation of God (Arabic Allah) to the prophet Mohammed. The Sunnah (Arabic custom, tradition) contains deeds and quotations of the Prophet. There is a broad consensus among Muslims that anything that is not forbidden (haram) by the Qur'an or the Sunnah may be consumed. If something is unclear, a scholar (Âlim) can clarify whether something is already haram or still halal. The Commission of the Codex Alimentarius describes general Halal guidelines. In its introduction, however, it restricts the fact that the dietary regulations described there may differ from the teachings of some Islamic schools.

In sura 5 (Suretul Maide) verse 3 it says: "You are forbidden to do things that are dead, and blood and pork, and what is invoked about anyone other than the name of Allah; that which has been strangled, that which has been beaten to death, that which has fallen or pushed to death and that which predatory animals have eaten apart from what you have slaughtered (...). But whoever is compelled by famine, without sinful inclination - Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."

The following products, which are not allowed, can be found in several sources:

All foods that are made from or contain pork;
Meat from animals that live both on land and on water, such as crocodiles, turtles and frogs;
Carnivorous animals with fangs such as lions, wolves, bears or tigers;
Dogs and monkeys,
Birds of prey z. B. eagles, vultures and hawks or similar birds;
Land animals without ears such as snakes;
Poisonous animals,
Pests z. B. rats, millipedes, scorpions or similar animals;
Animals that are generally considered to be repulsive such as maggots, lice and flies;
Animals that are not allowed to be killed in Islam such as bees, ants and woodpeckers;
Everything intoxicating (drugs and alcoholic beverages). Products that have been deprived of alcohol, such as non-alcoholic beer, are also considered haram.

In order that products do not become spiritually impure (nadjis), they must not be contaminated by things that are considered haram during transport, storage or production.


However, meat is only allowed if the slaughter was carried out according to the Islamic rite. The slaughter of vertebrates without stunning (slaughtering) is only possible in Germany for religious communities Exemption allowed. A compromise was found between centuries-old traditions and modern animal welfare: the animals are first stunned and then their throats are cut with a cut. The trachea and esophagus as well as the most important arteries and veins in the neck area are severed. This is supposed to be done by devout Muslims and the animal has to bleed out completely.

According to a court ruling by the European Court of Justice on February 26, 2019 (judgment in case C-497/17), meat in which an animal has been ritually slaughtered without prior stunning is not allowed to bear the European organic logo. The reason given in the court's press release was that the slaughter without stunning did not meet animal welfare standards. The aim is to reduce animal suffering as much as possible through stunning. The court did not see this as guaranteed by a precise neck cut in a ritual slaughter [1].

fish and seafood

→ Fish and seafood are generally considered allowed. Fish with scales and fins, on the other hand, are accepted by all Muslims. Fish without scales (e.g. eel), but are rejected by some believers. Opinions on mollusks (molluscs such as snails, mussels and cephalopods) and crustaceans (crustaceans) also differ.

Plant-based foods

Plant-based foods suitable for consumption can be used.

Declaration of alcohol

For beverages with an alcohol content of more than 1.2 percent by volume, the alcohol content is labeled → food labeling. Alcohol is also declared for foods that contain alcohol as a flavoring ingredient, such as sweets, pastries and ready-made meals.
However, if the alcohol is produced through fermentation, as is the case with juices or kefir, the label does not provide any information. The same is usually true when the alcohol is used to dissolve flavors. For some foods, the label says that the flavors are dissolved with ethanol. Likewise, it does not have to be declared if the alcohol is used as a cleaning agent during manufacture.


The modern food industry hardly provides information about the manufacturing conditions. It is hardly possible to decide which foods, ingredients or finished products are halal when shopping. It is also practically impossible to use an E-number list to sort out foods with → additives that are considered haram. In order to give the consumer the assurance that food complies with the requirements of the Qur'an and Sunnah, there are Halal certificates. They are awarded by certification bodies such as the EHZ - European Halal Certification Institute, Halal Europe, Halal certificate IIDC Austria, m-haditec GmbH & Co. KG or ECT GmbH Engineering Consulting Trading. With the "RAL Gütezeichen Halal-Lebensmittel" from the Gütegemeinschaft Halal-Lebensmittel e. V., the first foods were awarded in May 2012. This quality association has set itself the goal of developing and ensuring a uniform quality standard for Halal food. It is difficult to judge how strict the detailed specifications are, according to which the Halal seal is awarded. The name of the certifying institute is indicated on some packaging and sometimes also an Internet address is added. In these cases it is possible to check which Islamic authorities (associations, personalities, etc.) are behind it. There are also a number of simple seals that promise "halal", but only consist of the lettering in Latin or Arabic letters. Often there are images of a crescent moon, minaret, mosque or the like. The consumer centers (Federal Association of Consumer Centers and Consumer Associations - Bundesverband eV) point out on the "Food Clarity" website that the "halal" label is not protected by food law in Europe (Halal seal: shopping aid for Muslims?). So far it has also not been possible to adopt rules at European level and to monitor compliance.

Shop halal

Casino supermarkets in France and Tesco and Sainsbury's in Great Britain offer halal products. In Germany the situation is much more difficult. Most of the time, you have to resort to local retailers to find halal-certified products.


Fasting during the month of Ramadan (9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar) is one of the five pillars of Islam. Then Muslims do not consume food or fluids between sunrise and sunset. Ramadan is determined according to the lunar calendar, the year of which is 11 days shorter than the year in the Gregorian calendar. When the sun rises around 5 a.m. and sets after 10 p.m. in Germany in the summer months, this is a logistical problem. But there are certainly ways in which the guests of the Muslim faith can be enabled to have something to eat and drink before sunrise and after sunset.
Special attention would be given to offering dates. There is a tradition of breaking the fast with a date and not eating the meal until after the evening prayer.

Cooking for Muslims

Dishes with fresh fruit, vegetables (also frozen) and fish can be offered without further ado. Noodles, rice, semolina, cereals such as green spelled, legumes, → egg, fresh → milk, yoghurt without gelatine and quark are also possible. Spices are not a problem, as are all vegetable fats and oils and butter. Caution is advised with cheese, because rennet is used for cheese production, which is obtained from the abomasum of young ruminants such as calves. Alternatively, microbial rennet or vegetable rennet substitutes can be used. Many manufacturers offer lab-free alternatives. If it is not declared, simply ask the manufacturers whether the cheese was produced without rennet. → Sugar and → Honey can be used for sweetening. Water, coffee, tea and naturally cloudy juices are recommended as → drinks. Gelatin may have been used as a clarifying agent in clear juices. It is more difficult to choose finished products, which can contain hidden animal products or alcohol from time to time. Make sure you have Halal certification here, as well as meat and sausage products.

→ Book tip

Share with WhatsApp

Interesting links

Consumer Association Federal Association (vzbv) (2004): Buying Guide for Muslims
Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection (2019): Hidden alcohol in food.
Federal Center for Nutrition: Halal: Eating according to the rules of the Koran.
HalalCheck is an APP for smartphones that run on iOS or Android. The application includes a database of foods, medicines, oral and number care products and beverages that are suitable for Muslims. You can search for specific products or browse through the catalog. All products are marked with the traffic light colors: green are products that do not contain any alcoholic or animal additives or ingredients. Red indicates that the product contains alcohol, pork gelatin or meat from animals that are clearly haram. Orange indicates products that are neither clearly halal nor haram.


[1] Court of Justice of the European Union: Meat that comes from ritual slaughter without prior stunning is not allowed to bear the European organic logo. Press release No. 15/19 Luxembourg, February 26, 2019. Accessed on February 27, 2019
General Guidelines for the Use of the Term "Halal", Codex Alimentarius Commission, 1997, last accessed on February 21, 2017
Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection (2016): Halal nutrition. Accessed on February 21, 2017
Daniela Schröder: Food for Muslims: With Allah at the meat counter, Spiegel Online 06.10.2009
Wikipedia article on the topic: Sunna, last accessed on February 11, 2013, 11:56 am
Wikipedia article on the subject: Koran, last accessed on February 11, 2013, 11:57 am
Federal Association of Consumer Organizations and Consumer Associations - Bundesverband e. V. (vzbv): Halal seal: Shopping aid for Muslims? Last accessed on February 21, 2017
VEBU (German Vegetarian Association): Cheese - animal rennet or microbial rennet? Accessed on February 21, 2017
Knowing about ingredients, FOOD TODAY 10/2006
Halal products with the RAL quality mark for the first time, press release from May 7th, 2012
"Hidden animals" in processed foods, press release Vegetarian Association Germany from 01.08.2012
Catering for Muslim guests in private households,, HALAL CONTROL e.K. Testing and certification body for Halal food, last accessed on February 11, 2013
Expert opinion on the Qibla Food Control Standard, prepared by the Institute for Studies in the Culture and Religion of Islam at Goethe University Frankfurt, last accessed on February 11, 2013
Animal welfare, Qibla Food Control, last accessed on February 11, 2013
Martin Affolderbach, Inken Wöhlbrand (editors: What everyone needs to know about Islam, Gütersloh 2011
Professor Heinz Halm: Islam - Past and Present, 2011
Kirsten Kabasci: Experience Islam, 2001

Detailed references

Privacy Policy | Contact | Imprint | Last update: 05.02.2021