Is This Meat Halal? A Bone to Pick with Halal Market and Restaurant Owners.

As everyone probably knows by now, I'm a big advocate of eating halal meat. According to the scholars that I follow all meat that is eaten must be slaughtered in the manner of zabiha. Thus halal meat is synonymous with zabiha meat, and they are one and the same. Having said that, I have to say that I have become all but disenchanted with some of the halal restaurants and meat markets in my area.

Firstly, let me say that I am not accusing any of the restaurant owners here or any where else of intentionally selling meat that is not halal. On the contrary, you should always give your Muslim brother the benefit of the doubt unless you have incriminating proof. However, I will say that I have had some unpleasant dining and shopping experiences that could have been easily avoided if the owners of these establishments had taken some very basic and simple precautions. Here is an actual scenario that has happened to me. Now this was years ago when I was pregnant with my youngest child. I rarely eat lunch meat; it's just not my thing. My husband likes it however, so after work he proceeded on to a well known halal meat market in our area. He called me from the market and asked did I want anything. This time I had a taste for some roast beef so I asked my hubby to bring a small amount back for me. I made myself a sandwich with it and I have to say that I killed it. Weeks later while having a conversation with some of the sisters in my community, I was talking to them about how great the roast beef sandwhich was that I had eaten a few weeks ago. "Roast beef?", my sister questioned me. "Where did you get roast beef from?" I named the market that we were all familiar with and shopped at. "That roast beef isn't halal," they said. I felt as if I would turn green with illness. "What?" "What do you mean it isn't halal." "All of the meat there is halal, isn't it?" I inquired. "No, you have to be careful, because not all of the meat there is halal", my friend and sister explained. "Wow, so how did you guys find out that the roast beef wasn't halal?", I asked. Both of them admitted that they had bought it once or twice themselves, and didn't find out until it was mentioned by someone else, or that they had over heard the butcher telling someone else that it wasn't halal. Ya Allah! There was no sign mentioning that the meat wasn't halal meat, and to add insult to injury the non-halal roast beef was sitting right next to the halal mortadella.

Immediately after having this conversation with the sisters, I called the meat market to speak to the owner. I was pretty upset. I asked him about the roast beef and he admitted that it wasn't halal. I asked him why didn't he have some kind of sign, so that people could distinguish the halal from the unhalal meat? He replied, "that's not necessary, every one knows that the roast beef isn't halal." "Obviously, not everyone knows this, or else my husband who only eats halal meat would not have bought it", I retorted angrily. "What if people come to your market from another city?" I asked. "How on earth are they going to know that your roast beef is not halal, when there is no sign saying otherwise, and it's sitting right next to halal cold cuts?", I argued. Now I know, I know, I probably shouldn't have been so upset, but I was pregnant and very unnerved at the fact that I had digested some unhalal meat at the hands of this person, especially while I was pregnant. So any way to make this long story shorter, I was unable to convince this man to put up a sign, for his meat. He did apologise, Ma'shallah and I've since forgiven the incident. However this sort of thing happens often. I've been in similar situations at other meat markets and restaurants as well.

Scenario goes like this, you've been going to your favorite halal spot ordering a gyro or chicken dinner, and then one time you go there and order what you've always ordered, only to over hear or have a friend tell you, "you know the gyro isn't halal anymore." You're practically in a state of shock! "Since when?", you ask. Then you may get any number of answers, "oh since last month when the owners changed hands, or "yeah they did that about two months ago, he said they were losing money so they had to change things up." "Ya Allah!", you think why couldn't they have at least let every body know this?

In conclusion, I believe as a business person it is your job to keep your customers as happy as possible. Keep things honest and keep your customers informed. I just really have a problem with halal store and restaurant owners flippantly changing up their halal meat products from halal to unhalal, or to be more specific zabiha to non-zabiha meat without informing their customers in a major way. I shouldn't have to hear it through the grapevine, that your meat is no longer halal. It's quite easy to make signs and post them. Then train your butchers to inform every one that there has been a change in the status of the meat. Make your customers happy and they will repay you with continued service, and word of mouth marketing.


  1. Please Visit to see the halal restaurants and other halal related information's in your city

  2. Jazakallah khayr for posting this resource. Remember however that this article is about when a change in the meat's status arises. While they may be listed as a halal meat market, many of these business owners do not inform sites like these of their changes. That is the problem that this article is addressing.
    There is also another site which lists halal establishments in each city, state and country as well.