Islamic and Jewish dietary laws compared

Islamic and Jewish dietary laws compared

The Islamic dietary laws ("Dhabiha Halaal") and the Jewish dietary laws ("Kashrut") are both quite detailed, and contain both points of similarity and discord. They share a common root: a Jewish code of laws found in Leviticus and an explanation of the Islamic code of law found in the Koran.

ubstance classification


* Swine are prohibited in kashrut and Haram (not permissible in Islam). [] []
* Many animals permitted in kashrut are also dhabiĥa halal, such as bovines. [] []
* Kashrut and dhabiĥa halal guidelines both generally forbid the consumption of amphibian animals, such as frogs. [] Fact|date=February 2007
* According to kashrut, almost all insects are not kosher. The few kosher insects are specific types of locusts and grasshoppers which are seldom eaten today. [] It is also a consensus among Muslim scholars that most insects are forbidden except for locusts [] [] .
* Kashrut states that kosher aquatic animals must have scales and fins. some Shia and Sunni Muslims also believe that only fish with scales and fins are Halal [] . But many others believe in the interpretation that suggests that all creatures from the ocean or the sea are considered Halal. [] [] However, according to Jewish oral law all fish that have scales have fins, thus making all fish with scales kosher and thus the law being essentially the same dhabiĥa halal [] [] [] .


* For a substance to be dhabiĥa halal, it must not contain alcohol of any kind. The strictness of this with regard to the presence of extremely small quantities of alcohol in cooked foods depends largely on individual commitment and interpretation. Except for grape wine and grape juice (which must be manufactured under Jewish supervision), Kashrut allows any sort of alcohol, as long as it has no non-kosher ingredients (including any unsupervised grape extracts). [] []
* The list of animals forbidden by kashrut is more restrictive, as kashrut requires that, to be kosher, mammals must chew cud as well as have cloven hooves. Dhabiĥa halal requires that an animal have cloven hooves as well. Thus, various animals such as the camel are permissible as per dhabiĥa halal, but not according to kashrut. [] []
* Unless prepared according to a special process, the hindquarters of cows, sheep, goats, and other ruminants are not generally considered kosher. [] Dhabiĥa halal contains no such restriction regarding the hindquarters.Fact|date=April 2008
* Kashrut prohibits shellfish such as lobster, shrimp, clams, and oysters [] , while there is debate among Muslim scholars regarding the status of shellfish; however, most Muslims consider all fish; including most other piscivorous, but otherwise non-carnivorous seafood, halal and do eat shellfish. Exception is the Hanafi school of thought. Fact|date=June 2007


Dhabiĥa is the method used to slaughter an animal as per Islamic tradition.
Shechita is the ritual slaughter of mammals and birds according to Jewish law.


* Both, shechita and dhabiĥa, involve cutting across the neck of the animal with a non-serrated blade in one clean attempt in order to sever the main vessels. [] []
* Both require that the spinal cord be avoided during slaughter. [] []
* Both require draining the blood of the animal. [] []
* Any adult, sane Jew who knows the proper technique can perform shechita [Maimonides' Code, Laws of Shechita 2:12] . Similarly, Dhabiĥa, can be performed by any "adult sane following the rules prescribed by Shariah" (which are saying "Bismillahu Allahu Akbar".) [] . Some Islamic authorities, though, state that dhabiĥa can also be performed by Jews []


* The actual requirements of the slaughter in terms of which vessels must be severed and which must be kept intact are different. Shechita requires that the "trachea, (esophagus), the carotid arteries and jugular veins" be severed [] . There is no conclusive answer as to exactly which vessels are required to be severed as per dhabiĥa but according to the Islamic rules, the two big veins on both sides of the neck should be severed, but it is agreed that "most of the four veins" must be severed [] .
* Today, as a matter of practicality, Shechita is only performed by a licensed, well-trained slaughterman known as a "shochet" [] . (While no rule specifies the gender of a "shochet", they traditionally have been male) [ [ Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 1:1 gloss] ] . While dhabiĥa slaughter is generally performed by an experienced individual, it is still common in certain parts of the world for families to butcher their own meats.
* "Theoretically", in the unlikely event that a minor or mentally ill Jew slaughters an animal, the Shechita would be considered valid after-the-fact if the proper technique was used [Maimonides 2:12 and commentaries ad loc] . The strictness of Dhabiĥa's requirement regarding an "adult, sane" slaughterer is under debate in an identical situation, because there is no primary Islamic source which addresses this specific scenario [] . However, this is unlikely to occur, and so does not constitute a major difference.
* Dhabiha requires that God's (see Islamic Concept of God) name be pronounced before each slaughter [] . Some Muslims have accorded meat to be halal but not necessarily dhabiha i.e Kosher meat is considered halal by Muslims and meat slaughtered by Christians. This is according to the Hadith: "it is narrated by Al Bukhari from Aisha the Prophet Muhammad's wife, that some people came to him and said, Oh God's Prophet, some people bring us meat and we do not know if they pronounced the name of God on it or not, and he said pronounce you the name of God and eat." Dhabiha meat by definition is meat that is slaughtered in the shariah manner and the name of God is said before the slaughter. In Shechita, a blessing to God is recited before beginning an uninterrupted period of slaughtering; as long as the Shochet does not have a lengthy pause, interrupt, or otherwise lose concentration, this blessing covers all the animals slaughtered that period. This blessing follows the standard form for a blessing before most Jewish rituals ("Blesséd are you God ... who commanded us regarding [such-and-such] ," in this case, Shechita). The general rule in Judaism is that for rituals which have an associated blessing, if one omitted the blessing, the ritual is still valid [see Maimonides Laws of Blessings 11:5] ; as such, even if the "shochet" failed to recite the blessing before Shechita, the slaughter is still valid and the meat is kosher. [Maimonides Laws of Slaughter 1:2 and commentaries ad loc]

Miscellaneous comparisons


* After slaughter, both require that the animal be examined to ensure that it is fit for consumption. Dhabiĥa guidelines generally say that the carcass should be inspected [] , while kashrut says that the animal's internal organs must be examined "to make certain the animal was not diseased" [] .
* Both sets of religious rules are subject to arguments among different authorities with regional and sect-related differences in permissible foodstuffs.
* Strictly observant followers of either religion will not eat in restaurants not certified to follow its rules.
* Meat slaughtered and sold as Kosher must still be salted to draw out excess blood and impurities. A similar practice is followed in some Muslim households, but using vinegar. This is done to remove all surface blood from the meat, in accordance to Islam's prohibition against eating blood.


* During Passover, there is an additional set of restrictions, requiring that no chametz (sour-dough starter or fermented products from the five species of grains) be eaten. This has no parallel in the laws of dhabiĥa halal. []
* Kashrut prohibits mixing meat and dairy products, which may not be consumed or prepared together. Dhabiĥa halal has no such rules. []
* In Judaism, the permissibility of food accompanies a vast corpus of secondary factors. For instance, vessels and implements used to cook food must also be kept separate for dairy products and meat products. If a vessel or implement used to cook dairy is then used to cook meat, in addition to the thus contaminated food becoming non-kosher (according to various situation-specific rules), the vessel or implement itself can no longer be used for the preparation or consumption of a kosher meal. Depending on the material properties of the item (e.g. if it is made of metal or of clay, if it is one piece or has joins etc. etc.) it may be rendered permissible ("kashered") by certain procedures or it may be irretrievably contaminated. In general, the same policy extends to any apparatus used in the preparation of foods, such as ovens or a stovetop. Laws are somewhat more lenient for modern cooking apparatuses like microwaves, although this depends greatly on tradition (minhag) or individuals' own stringent practices ("chumrot"). As a result of these factors, many Conservative and Orthodox Jews cannot eat dishes prepared at any restaurant that is not specifically kosher, even if the actual dish ordered uses only kosher ingredients. This level of stringency does not have an analog in Dhabiha Halal.

ee also

* Bans on ritual slaughter
*Difference between Halal and Dhabiha
* Jhatka hindu ritual method of slaughter to mimimize pain

External links

* [ Laws of Judaism and Islam concerning food]


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