Difference Between Halal and Haram

Halal vs Haram

Halal and Haram are two broad categories into which things have been divided for Muslims according to Islam. Halal is all things that are permissible for Muslims while Haram is all things that are forbidden or illegitimate according to Islam. There is a misconception that Halal and Haram pertain only to foods. This is not so, and the two categories apply not just to dietary restrictions but to all other spheres of life such as speech, behavior, marriage, conduct, and so on. However, it is mainly foods that are thought of when one talks about Halal and Haram. This article attempts to differentiate between Halal and Haram.


All foods that are allowed and considered lawful are called Halal. There are guidelines in Islam pertaining to Halal foods and how they should be prepared. The thing to note is that most foods discussed under these guidelines happen to come from animal origins. This is because plant based foods are mostly Halal and only those plant based foods that contain any intoxicating ingredients are considered Haram. Thus, milk, honey, fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains etc. are considered as Halal. The only water animal that is considered Halal is the fish.

Many animals such as cows, sheep, deer, goats, ducks, chickens, moose etc. are considered Halal but they must be slaughtered by a Muslim and according to Islamic rules that are called Zabihah.

Interestingly, the food of the Christians and the Jews has been considered as Halal in Islam.


Haram means sinful and refers to all things and acts that are displeasing to the Almighty. All things Haram are strictly prohibited by Islam and considered as sin if committed by a Muslim. There is a milder term makruh meaning disliked, but it is Haram that is more commonly used by people while talking. While there are actions, behaviors, objects, foods, policies etc. that are Haram in Islam it is mainly in terms of foods and drinks that the word Haram is used. Meat coming from swine is strictly prohibited in Islam and thus a Muslim cannot consume ham, pork, gammon, bacon etc. He has to stay away from sausages and gelatin also that come from pork. All animals that have not been slaughtered by a Muslim are also Haram on Muslims. Animals that have not been slaughtered in the name of Allah or have not been killed according to Islamic rites are also considered as Haram in Islam. All intoxicating items are Haram, and so are carnivorous animals. Blood is another thing that is strictly prohibited in Islam.

What is the difference between Halal and Haram?

• All things have been divided into lawful and unlawful categories in Islam. This includes objects, actions, behaviors, policies, and food items. It is mainly the foods for which the words Halal and Haram are mostly used.

• Halal foods are those food items that are permissible according to Islam while Haram are foods that are harmful and thus not fit for consumption of Muslims.

• Animals that are not slaughtered in the name of Allah, not slaughtered by a Muslim, and not slaughtered according to Islamic rites are considered Haram.