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What Is a Halal Barbeque?

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  • Written By: Ray Hawk
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Images By: Mikey, Aleksandar Todorovic, Orhan Çam
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2017
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Halal barbeque is a form of outdoor meat grilling preparation that is done in accordance with Islamic dietary law. This includes both the type of meat being prepared, the method in which the animal was killed, and how it is prepared prior to actual cooking. While halal dietary rules are flexible in cases of an emergency where no other food is available, principles of Dhabihah, or ritual slaughter, must otherwise be followed or the meat is considered forbidden, which is referred to as haraam.

Dhabihah forbids the consumption of all types of pork by followers of Islam, as well as any remaining animal blood. This is in opposition to traditional barbeque. which often involves cooking raw pork, with halal barbeque setting itself apart from such a practice. Other categories of animals that are forbidden food sources under Islamic law include birds of prey and other carnivorous animals, as well as any form of land animal that lacks external ears such as reptiles and amphibians.

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Halal barbeque also requires that the meat not be obtained from an animal that was already dead through whatever means. A ritual killing of the animal must be carried out where Allah or God's name is pronounced during the process and the creature's throat is slit with a sharp knife to make the death as quick and as painless as possible. Other restrictions on the slaughter include that the animal must be conscious during the killing and that it be bled completely dry afterward before being butchered.

The Islamic people allow that the person doing the slaughtering for halal barbeque be a member of The People of the Book instead of Muslim. This includes all religions that base their faith on a revealed scripture, such as Jews, Christians, or Sabians, who are considered another offshoot of the patriarch Abraham. This precept allows for Christian or Jewish people who live among Muslims to prepare animals for consumption that meet with Islamic law, as long as they are slaughtered in the name of God. Such a practice has also made Jewish kosher meats an acceptable substitute for halal barbeque with meat prepared by Muslims.

Like kosher foods, halal barbeque tends to have a higher quality on average than traditional meats due to the rules that must be followed for the halal diet. This includes the fact that any animals raised for their meat must be sustained on natural feed free of animal byproducts such as animal fats, which reflects similar kosher restrictions. Certain other special types of meat from sanctioned animals are also forbidden as halal barbecue or in other halal meals as well, including the hindquarters of animals. Other exceptions to overall Dhabihah rules for animals include that they do not extend to camels, insects like locusts, or fish and other sea life, which in most cases cannot be prepared in the traditional halal-certified manner.

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