Difference Between Kosher and Halal


Main Difference

Kosher and halal relates to food law and are point of concern for Muslims and Jews. Some people think both are means for same type of food but reality is different from this perception. There are many differences between kosher and halal. The main difference between kosher and halal is that kosher is that food that may be used according to halakha, a Jewish term stands for kosher in English. While halal is any object or food that is allow to be used according to Islamic law.

What is Kosher?

Kosher stands for those foods that are permitted to use according to Jewish law, halakha, means kosher in English. A food that is permitted according to Jewish law is called ‘halakha’ and that is not in line with Jewish law is called ‘treif’ meaning torn. The reason why some foods are not kosher is that some animals include the presence of ingredients derived from nonkosher animals or from kosher animals that were not slaughtered in a ritually proper manner, a mixture of meat and milk, wine and grape juice/derivates produced without supervision. However, every law of kosher can be broken when human life is at stake. According to B. Yoma 83a: “We have agreed in the case of saving a soul he may be given to eat even unclean things, until his eyes are lightened from death.”


What is Halal?

Halal is any action or object that is permitted by Islamic law to use or engage in. This term is not restricted to food and drink only but also all matters of daily life. A term ‘Mubah’ is also used in Islamic law that mean ‘permissible’ or ‘allowed’ according to Islamic law. Islam clearly states that everything is permissible to use or engage in unless it is clearly prohibited by the Islamic law. Against halal there is term ‘haram’ that mean those goods, products or actions clearly forbidden by Islam to do. Most common example of haram in food and drink is pig meat and alcohol. Moreover, for meat purpose, animal must be slaughter by invoking the name of Allah most commonly by saying ‘Bismillah’ (‘In the name of God’) and then three times ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘Allah is greatest’).


Key Differences

  1. Kosher is a term for permissible acts in Jewish law. Halal is also a term for permissible act in Islamic law.
  2. Kosher is limited to the slaughtering of animal while halal is a wider term that contains the slaughtering of animal and also mattes of daily life.
  3. Kosher comes from Torah while halal comes from Quran.
  4. In kosher there is no need of prayer or special word for slaughtering while for halal slaughtering it is mandatory to say ‘Bismillah’ (‘In the name of God’) and then three times ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘Allah is greatest’).
  5. In halal, meat and dairy can be consumed together while in kosher these can’t be consumed together.

Comparison Video

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Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson