Kosher vs. Halal?

Kosher is a Hebrew word that means proper or fit and Halal (Arabic: حلالا) is an Arabic word that means permissible. However, kosher and halal are two different entities that have a difference in their meaning and spirit.

Kosher and halal are mainly associated with the food of Muslims and Jewish people. Though kosher and halal are food laws, it also has great significance in other rituals that they both follow in their life. Kosher and halal have their roots in their respective scriptures, Kosher is identified in the Holy Bible and Torah and Halal is mentioned in the Quran.

First of all, let us see the difference in the slaughtering of animals in kosher and halal. Though the slaughtering is the same, Jews, who follow kosher, do not pronounce the name of God on each animal they slaughter. They think that it is wasteful to utter the name of god out of context. They only perform prayers on the first and last animal that they slaughter. Muslims who follow halal rituals always pronounce the name of God on each animal that is slaughtered.

According to halal, any adult sane Muslim can perform the slaughtering of animals. But kosher only allows one kind of Rabbi, called the Shochet, to slaughter animals. The Shochet is specially trained for slaughtering and no other Jew can perform this task. In this picture, a rabbi checks the Shochet knife.

Muslims consider the entire cattle or sheep as Halal if they are duly slaughtered. Jews, on the other hand, consider the forequarter of cattle or sheep as Kosher and the hindquarter are considered non-Kosher.

While Islam law considers the meat of rabbit, wild hens, shellfish, duck and goose as halal, it is not considered fit to eat according to kosher laws.

Muslims look out for a source of enzymes before having them. If it comes from a non-Halal animal, it is prohibited for a Muslim. But kosher has no difference as per enzymes are considered. The Jews consider all Enzymes, even from non-Kosher animals, as Kosher.

According to halal law, all intoxicating alcohols, wines, liquors, and drugs are prohibited. Whereas kosher law allows all wines.

While in kosher foods, dairy and meat cannot be mixed and it is entirely prohibited, Halal permits the mixing of the two.

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