Whether you are a Muslim, or you’re cooking for a friend/family member who is Muslim, it is really important to remember that they have specific dietary requirements. Particularly when it comes to meat, you need to double-check whether or not it is halal. Turkey often seems like a safe bet, but we thought we’d take some time to explore whether turkey is halal and if it is safe to eat for Muslims.
Let’s get into it:
What is the process to create halal meat?
In Islam, animals that are not from the sea (like crabs and prawns) must adhere to the halal method of slaughter. This requirement extends to various land animals. This will include poultry, cows, goats and even camels (they are eaten in many places around the world). The general guidelines for Dhabihah, the prescribed method of slaughter, are as follows:
- The slaughter must be carried out using a sharp blade to ensure a swift and painless death.
- The incision should be made across the throat, allowing the blood to drain from the animal.
- The animal itself must be in a healthy condition and permissible to consume (pork is not permissible for example).
- Animals should not be facing each other during the slaughtering process.
- The individual performing the act must be of sound mind and possess the necessary competence.
- The recitation of Tasmiya (“Bismillah”) and Takbir (“Allahu Akbar”) by the Muslim slaughtering the animal is a vital aspect of the process.
These guidelines ensure that the consumption of meat aligns with the principles of halal. By adhering to the prescribed method of slaughter, Muslims affirm their commitment to the proper and permissible consumption of animals in accordance with Islamic teachings.
Is Turkey Forbidden or a Safe Bird to eat?
The answer to whether Turkey is Halal is yes, so long as the correct process has been followed, then Muslims can safely eat turkey.
Turkeys differ from birds like eagles and hawks, as they lack talons and are not classified as ‘fanged beasts of prey.’ Which is an important distinction for Muslims.
According to the criteria outlined in the Quoran and other Islamic texts, this distinction deems turkeys permissible (halal) for consumption. To ensure absolute clarity on the matter, we have further researched various sources to shed light on the halal status of Turkey.
What Do The Scholars Say about it?
According to Maulana Moinul Abu Hamza, turkey meat, like other poultry, is considered halal as long as it is slaughtered in accordance with Dhabiha. The Maulana suggests that Muslims can take advantage of potentially lower prices during the Christmas period, but cautions against celebrating or emulating non-Muslim festivals, as it would be considered sinful.
The response provided by Maulana Moinul Abu Hamza was reviewed and endorsed by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah, a qualified Alim, Hafidh, and Mufti. With their approval, we can say that turkey is halal.
However, it is important to note that for any animal, including turkey, to be considered halal, it must undergo the proper Islamic slaughtering process. This requirement applies to all permissible land animals, excluding those from the sea.
So, the answer to whether the turkey is halal is: yes, so long as the correct procedure and blessings have been completed during the slaughter of the animal. If you’re unsure, then most supermarkets label their meats with Halal safe badges (similar to the way organic certified is added) or you can go to a qualified halal butcher who will ensure that the meat is permissible for a Muslim to eat.