The great Halal meat lie we are all being sold by big business

I have personally spoken about the halal meat industry twice whilst delivering the Friday Khutba. The first time I spoke about how I looked at how animals are communities according to Allah and how we must treat them with respect and dignity, this was after the Danish Government had decided to ban kosher and halal produced meat in their country.

The second time was after the mainstream media, in the UK, went full force on the fake story that we are all secretly being fed halal meat.

During both of these speeches I talked about how the meat in the UK which is labelled halal, is simply not. The notion that a baby chicken which is sold at a butcher for a few pounds (£) could be halal is laughable. There is plenty of evidence that shows that the animals are not treated well, there is no consideration to their health and wellbeing and they are killed on a mass scale. This is all because halal meat is a very lucrative business, especially here in the UK, and Muslim and non Muslim businessmen alike are making a lot of money from selling meat labelled as halal.

We the Muslim consumer are also to blame and are complicit in the poor treatment of the animals because we demand the meat at the cheapest possible price. It seems that most people are happy to play along with the halal lie as long as the meat is cheap, very cheap.

But it is good to see that some people are fighting back against this trend and trying to put the principles of the Holy Quran into action;

“The problem with halal is actually a problem that our community created,” he continues. When Muslims began immigrating to the United States, it was too expensive for people to slaughter their own meat. A mass production cycle arose, engendering two problems that, ironically, call the meat’s halal status into question. First is the blessing, which must be uttered by a Muslim, who then cuts the jugular vein himself, letting all the blood drain out. In the world of mass production, this invocation of Allah is often bestowed upon a single machine blade, which then slaughters hundreds of animals, each one deemed halal as long as the blade hasn’t shut off.

The second problem is the way the animals are raised. “We came up with a way to make meat that was cheaper,” Tariq says, but “the animals are treated poorly and the conditions in which they were raised weren’t right.” To the partners, each of these problems on its own is enough to render the meat a far cry from halal. In conjunction, the label is that much harder to justify.

Bassam Tariq runs the ‘Honest Chops’ butchers in New York, and he is bucking the trend of the race to the bottom on prices, and trying to supply real halal meat to his customers.

Happily we also have the organic farm Willowbrook here in the UK doing similar things.

Muslims in the UK make up approximately 5% of the population, but consume around 20% of the meat, this is a disgusting statistic which flies in the face of the behaviour of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Holy Prophet ate so little meat that he could almost be described as a vegetarian, and we must follow his example and reduce our dependance on meat, and demand that animals be treated as instructed in the Holy Quran, with respect and dignity for their whole lives.

2 Comments The great Halal meat lie we are all being sold by big business

  1. VirtualMosque

    Thank you so much for the additional information. More evidence that as Muslims we need to simplify our diet and drastically reduce our meat consumption.

  2. Zahid Aziz

    The following is reported in Sahih Bukhari about the eating habits of the Holy Prophet and his family:

    Volume 8, Book 76, Number 461:
    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    The family of Muhammad had never eaten their fill of wheat bread for three successive days since they had migrated to Medina till the death of the Prophet.

    Volume 8, Book 76, Number 462:
    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    The family of Muhammad did not eat two meals on one day, but one of the two was of dates.

    Volume 8, Book 76, Number 464:
    Narrated Qatada:

    We used to go to Anas bin Malik and see his baker standing (preparing the bread). Anas said, “Eat. I have not known that the Prophet ever saw a thin well-baked loaf of bread till he died, and he never saw a roasted sheep with his eyes.”

    Volume 8, Book 76, Number 465:
    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    A complete month would pass by during which we would not make a fire (for cooking), and our food used to be only dates and water unless we were given a present of some meat.

    Volume 8, Book 76, Number 466:
    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    that she said to Urwa, “O, the son of my sister! We used to see three crescents in two months, and no fire used to be made in the houses of Allah’s Apostle (i.e. nothing used to be cooked).” ‘Urwa said, “What used to sustain you?” ‘Aisha said, “The two black things i.e. dates and water, except that Allah’s Apostle had neighbors from the Ansar who had some milch she-camels, and they used to give the Prophet some milk from their house, and he used to make us drink it.”

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