Difference Between Kosher and Halal

Kosher vs Halal

The difference between Kosher and Halal mainly comes from them belonging to two different religions. Halal is a concept that is very popular and known to even non-Muslims all over the world. It is about what is fit and proper for Muslims and pervades all aspects of life. In this article, though, we would restrict ourselves to food and what and how Muslims can consume it, especially meats. Not many people know that, like Muslims, there are rules and regulations in Judaism too regarding food consumption. These rules and regulations are similar to Halal. It is a concept called Kosher. There are many similarities between Halal and Kosher, though there are glaring differences that will be discussed in this article.

What is Halal?

Halal food is the food that is acceptable for the Muslims to eat. Muslims avoid eating pork. It is considered Haram, which is the opposite of Halal in Islam. There are also rules as to how the animal to be consumed is to be slaughtered. For starters, the rule says that a Muslim person has to kill the animal, and there should be a prayer to the God before the animal is killed. Among Muslims, it is mandatory to remember and pray to the almighty, the Allah, before sacrificing the animal. One, who slaughters, renders ‘Bismillah, Allahu Akbar’ every time before he slaughters an animal. This is nothing but invoking the name of God before the act.

Halal also describes the stroke of the knife to be applied to the neck of the animal, to give it death in a less painful manner. Dhabh is the act of slaughtering. Dhabh requires one swift move to kill the animal by a man or a woman who is Muslim. However, if the hand rises before Dhabh and returns immediately to complete the process, the meat of the animal so slaughtered is still Halal for Muslims. There should be no blood inside the animal. It has to be drained out before the animal can be eaten by Muslims.

Difference Between Kosher and Halal

Some animals are allowed to be slaughtered in Islam such as rabbit, hens, goose, or even ducks. In Islam, all wines and alcohols are considered Haram as intoxicating substances are prohibited from consumption.

What is Kosher?

Kosher is the set of rules and regulations Jews have to follow when they are consuming food. Pork is not accepted by Jews too as it is not kosher. There are methods to follow when killing an animal if it is to be kosher. For starters, a Jewish person has to do the killing. Praying the God before the animal is killed is not a compulsion in case of Shechita. Shechita is the Jewish way of slautering the permitted animals in a religious and humane way. A Jew just needs to remember the name of God once in a day, and not necessarily before every slaughter. Kosher also describes the stroke of the knife to be applied to the neck of the animal, to give it death in a less painful manner. In the case of Shechita, the act has to be one swift and uninterrupted move for the meat to be labeled Kosher.

Kosher vs Halal

After the animal is killed, the blood has to be fully drained from the meat for it to be consumed. In Judaism, animals such as chicken, goose and duck are prohibited. The meat of these animals is non-Kosher. When it comes to alcohol, wines are considered kosher in Judaism.

What is the difference between Kosher and Halal?

• Definition of Kosher and Halal:

• Halal is what is accepted for a Muslim, according to Muslim dietary laws.

• Kosher is what is accepted for a Jew, according to Jewish dietary laws.

• Prayer:

• Rendering of God’s name is essential in Islam before slaughter.

• Praying to the God is not necessary in Judaism.

• Slaughtering Process:

• The process of slaughtering the animal is called Dhabh by Muslims.

• The ritual is called Shechita by Jews.

• Both Halal and Kosher require drawing of the blood from the meat before consumption.

• Meat:

• Meat such as chicken, goose, duck, camel, and rabbit are accepted as Halal.

• Meat such as chicken, goose, duck, animals with hooves that have split in two and eat cud are not accepted as kosher.

• Pork:

• Both Muslims and Jews avoid eating pork.

• Alcohol:

• Alcohol in any form is prohibited in Islam.

• Alcohol is allowed in Judaism as in the forms such as Kosher wine.

• Fruit and Vegetables:

• Fruits and Vegetables are considered Halal.

• Fruits and vegetables are kosher only if there are no bugs in them.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Halal turkey slices by Christopher Forster (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. Kosher wine by Milchig (CC BY-SA 3.0)