Meaning of Haram

Haram is an Arabic word meaning forbidden, sinful, or unlawful to consume or act. Haram signifies the association with the bad and harmful. So it is all that is opposite to Halal, especially the haram food. 

In Islamic Shariah, Haram is what is strictly forbidden, and for what the doer may be punished, the abstainer will be rewarded.

What is Haram? 

Similar to the Halal notion, Haram extends beyond food and drink. In fact, it refers to everything (all aspects of life from food to actions and policies) that is not allowed by Islamic law. Allah Almighty alone has the right to declare things as forbidden (Haram) and permitted (Halal). So the reason for heeding and abstinence should be solely to seek the pleasure of Allah Almighty.

Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said,

"The body which has been nourished with Haram will not enter Jannah." (Baihaqy)

Muslims, therefore, must learn the guidelines of the Quran and Sunnah to avoid Haram and consume halal.


Haram Food in Islam

Some foods are explicitly Haram in Islam.


Any living being blood 




Non-permissible animals – Pork  


Animal blood and by-products & the decaying flesh of dead animals 


Human-derived ingredients 


Protein/ Enzymes, etc., extracted from Haram animals 


While seafood falls in the Halal food category, some species are considered Haram. Like Hanafi's school of thought believes shellfish is haram.

Likewise, meat, milk, other dairy products, eggs, dairy cheese, and others are Halal. However, if the animals (cows/chickens, etc.) eat pork feeds or have not been slaughtered according to Zabiha rules will be Haram. Indeed, pork is strictly Haram according to Islamic Law. So these products will become clear-cut Haram.

Further, ingredients derived from haram sources are Haram. In addition, utensils and equipment contaminated with haram substances will make the food Haram.

What is Haram Meat?

In Quran, Allah Ta'ala said, 
"Prohibited for you are: carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, and those upon which (a name) other than that of Allah has been invoked (at the time of slaughter), animal killed by strangulation, or killed by a blow, or by a fall, or by goring, or that which is eaten by a beast unless you have properly slaughtered it; and that which has been slaughtered before the idols, and that you determine shares through the arrows. (All of) this is sin."(Surah Al-Ma'idah – 3)

Further, a Hadith has it like this – On the authority of Abu Ya'la Shahddad ibn Aus, the Messenger of Allah said: 
"Verily Allah has prescribed proficiency in all things. Thus, if you kill, kill well; and if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters" (Sahih Muslim).

So in light of the above verse, the meat of the following animals is Haram.


Pork (pigs, boars, swine, hog) 


Domestic donkeys, mules 


Animals/birds (land and water) killed/ horned by predators  


Animals/birds allocated to idols 


Animals/birds died due to tormenting and other ill-treatment 


Animals/birds stunned to kill 


Animals with fangs/ claws or of prey (Lions, tigers, cheetahs, bears, wolves, cats, dogs)


Birds of prey (eagles, falcons, ospreys, kites, vultures)  


Insects (excluding locusts) 


Reptiles (lizards, snakes, crocodiles)  


Animals that are commanded to kill (mice, scorpions, snakes) 


Some other animals, like monkeys 


Poisonous and hazardous aquatic animals 


Animals/birds died from natural causes, falling from a height, and asphyxiation. 

Even for Halal animals, there are some slaughtering rules to follow to avoid making the meat Haram. Therefore, the meat will either be Halal or Haram, depending on how the animals have been slaughtered in light of the Quran and Sunnah. Animals slaughtered/ dedicated to others than Allah or slaughtered without the name of Allah make the meat Haram.

Muslim Food Restrictions

Muslim dietary patterns can vary depending on the regions and Fiqh they follow. However, Islamic dietary strictures proposed by Quran and Sunnah equally apply to all Muslims.

According to Muslim dietary restrictions, it is completely Haram to include blood as part of one's diet. Also, all other Haram food (mentioned in detail above), pork, alcohol and derived beverages, and all intoxicants and poisons are haram and should not be a part of the diet.


How to avoid Haram foods?

With the prosperity of the Halal industry and modern technology, now it is to identify the forbidden foods yourself. You can buy from Halal-certified brands and look out for Halal logos. In addition, haram foods have e-codes that you can identify and avoid the product. You can also verify the ingredients with a scanner.

However, Haram products, including Haram meat and Haram food additives, are abundant in the market. Also, sometimes it can be challenging for Halal-conscious consumers to ensure a product's permissibility. 

So to keep up with these Muslim food restrictions, Mustakshif provides an authentic and easy-to-use Halal ingredient checker. The scanner will match the ingredient permissibility status according to the Islamic dietary guidelines and indicate whether the product is Halal or Haram.

Why are some food additives and cosmetics Haram in Islam?

If the food additives, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals use the Haram animals' skin, bones, and hair, they will also be Haram to consume.

Alcohol, itself, has prohibition, so it cannot be a medicine drug or part of medications or allowable to use on the body. So groceries, additives, cosmetics, pharmaceutics, and other conveniences (products) with non-Halal products are Haram. Therefore, some Muslim denominations even count alcohol-based perfumes as Haram or doubtful to use.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a Carrion, and
why is it Haram meat?

Carrion refers to an animal that dies of illness or natural causes. According to Zabiha rules, animals must be alive, healthy, and conscious at slaughter time. Therefore, Carrion is considered to be Haram. 

Food prepared by
Non-Muslims Haram or Halal?

According to Islamic discipline, avoiding haram food and consuming only Halal food is obligatory. So as long as the food/ ingredient is Halal, it does not restrict the buying and eating of food items prepared and/or sold by non-Muslims.

Is whey powder Haram?

Whey powder can be Halal if the Whey is from a Halal source like bacteria, synthetic processes, etc. Otherwise, Whey made of non-microbial enzymes and other non-Halal ways is Haram.