Why Kosher is not Halal

Many people wrongly assume that Halal and Kosher are one and the same. If a product is Kosher certified, it does not mean the product is Halal. The Kosher process differs from what is allowable by the Islamic Shariah. For example, there are Kosher wines and alcohol that Muslims are not permitted to consume. Also, within Kosher there are provisions for “transformation” (Istikhala) meaning that the item is no longer what it once was. For example, pork bone that is processed into gelatin. Something Haram cannot become Halal even though Halal can become Haram.

Another example of the difference between Halal and Kosher is the slaughter process. For Halal meat and poultry processing, the Muslim slaughterman is required to acknowledge God's Creation and to thank God for providing sustenance by reciting a prayer before each and every slaughter with the statement, “In the name of God – God is the Greatest - Bismillahi Allahu Akbar.”

The Shochet, or Jewish slaughterman does not and is not, required to invoke God's name on each animal before each slaughter.

In Halal slaughtering, the entire carcass is utilized. With Kosher slaughtering, only the front fore quarter of the beef carcass is utilized. Within the meat industry, some companies and distributors attempt to claim to sell Kosher hind quarters as Halal beef. The Kosher hind quarters cannot be considered Halal as the Shochet does not adhere to Islamic Law and Halal guidelines and does not pronounce the name of God before each slaughter.

Within Islam, Kosher slaughtering and handling is a respected process. It is important for consumers and food processers to understand the guidelines and differences between Halal and Kosher slaughter. To comply with Islamic guidelines invoking God's name before each slaughter is absolutely essential. The differences between Halal and Kosher slaughter rites must be clear so that consumers are not misled.

Halal and Kosher are similar but yet as different as "vegan" and "vegetarian". In practice, many Kosher consumers consume Halal products and Halal consumers consume Kosher products. Consumers must be informed in order to choose the right products for their needs.