'Halal' Food is Not Just About 'No Pork' (Part 2): Halal vs. Pork Free, by Ridzuan Ong

Bismillah. This is a sequel to our previous Part 1 on the topic: 'Halal' Food is Not Just About 'No Pork'. While going through some of the gazillion Instagram posts and reels, there was one that pretty much aligns with the purpose of this post. A muallaf (Muslim revert), Ridzuan Ong, who apparently owns the Sambal Lalapan restaurant at Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang, shares the difference between what is meant by 'Halal' and 'Pork Free'. This is a must-know for all, especially to our bosses who may think that it is okay to belanja his staff at some 'pork free' place.

Sambal Lalapan restaurant. Source: Sambal Lalapan Klang (Hidangan Asli Jawa)

Here's the video that perfectly sums up it all:


Since the translation is in Chinese and Malay, we'll provide an English version here (partial):

Some people do not understand the difference between 'Halal' and 'Pork Free'. So, sometimes, some bosses would want to pay (e.g. for a lunch or team building exercise) for their staff and the restaurant that they choose to go to is 'pork free'. (The problem is,) they think that 'Pork Free' is 'Halal'.

(Therefore,) what are the differences between the two?

In actuality, 'pork free' just means the absence of pig meat, whereas the definition of 'Halal' according to the teachings of Islam simply means that which Allah allows. This is what 'Halal' means. It's not just about having no pork.

Actually, the definition of 'Halal' is this - it has already been explained in Al-Qur'an very clearly. 

(So,) what is 'Halal'? For example, animals such as chickens, ducks, goats, and cows, whereby during the slaughtering process, they would have been executed in the name of Allah. And the whole slaughtering process is very detailed. Therefore, (such slaughtering) should be done by a Muslim. - THIS is Halal.

In addition, in the Qur'an, the meat of a swine (pork) is forbidden for consumption, blood is ever more so forbidden, and the meat of animals that have been slaughtered not in the name of Allah is forbidden. Therefore, this is (what is meant by) Halal.

A translation of the specific part of the Qur'an relating to the forbidding of consuming certain items/things:

{إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلۡمَيۡتَةَ وَٱلدَّمَ وَلَحۡمَ ٱلۡخِنزِيرِ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ بِهِۦ لِغَيۡرِ ٱللَّهِۖ فَمَنِ ٱضۡطُرَّ غَيۡرَ بَاغٖ وَلَا عَادٖ فَلَآ إِثۡمَ عَلَيۡهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٌ}

他只禁止你们吃自死物、血液、猪肉、以及诵非安拉之名而宰的动物;凡为势所迫,非出自愿,且不过分的人,〔虽吃禁物〕毫无罪过。因为安拉确是至赦的,确是至慈的。
[拜格勒:173]


English translation:

He has only forbidden you to eat carrion, blood, swine,
and what is slaughtered in the name of any other than Allah.
But if someone is compelled by necessity -
neither driven by desire nor exceeding immediate need - they will not be sinful.
Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 173)

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