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Difference Between Kosher and Halal

halalKosher vs Halal

Most of the time it is seen that Muslims and Jews tend to believe that Kosher is similar to halal and vice versa. In linguistic terms, both the terms kosher and halal are almost similar. Kosher is a Hebrew word that means proper or fit and Halal is an Arabic word that means permissible. However, kosher and halal are two different entities that have 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 Holy Bible and Torah and Halal is mentioned in Quran.

First of all lets see the difference in 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 Sachet, to slaughter animals. The Sachet is specially trained for slaughtering and no other Jew can perform this task.

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

While Islam law considers 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 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. Where as 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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  1. Thank you for writing this, but several of the claims about the Kosher laws are incorrect:

    1. The kosher slaughterer is called a “Shokhet,” not a Sachet, and does not have to be a rabbi.
    2. Jews of Sefardi (Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, or North African) descent do, in fact, eat the hindquarters of kosher animals. It is only Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews who do not.
    3. Kosher animals must have split hooves and chew their cud, so you are correct about rabbit being non-kosher, but birds are kosher if they are not birds of prey and there is a tradition of eating them. Thus, wild hens, duck, and goose are kosher so long as there is a tradition of consuming them.
    4. For enzymes to be kosher, they must come from a kosher animal killed through ritual slaughter. For example, the rennet in cheese must be kosher rennet or the cheese is not kosher.
    5. There are strict and complicated laws regarding wine and grape juice, and thus both require kosher supervision (done by a mashgiach, who may or may not be a rabbi) in their production.

    Thanks for the article!

    • dave how do you get kosher cheese from a dead cow…sorry even you arent always correct

    • Many thanks to all contributors for sharing your extensive knowledge on the subject. I am always interested in learning more with regard to the bigger picture from all sides.

  2. Thank you all for providing good knowledge…

  3. Another important point is that both Muslims and Jews are strictly not allowed to eat pork, but for by-products of pigs, as mentioned in the article:

    “Muslims look out for 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.”

    An easy example would be:
    Gummy sweets made from pig gelatin is not Halal, but may be considered Kosher.

    It seems there are four types of kosher gelatin in the food products but none of them meet the Islamic dietary requirements and considered NOT Halal.

    (Apologies, I am neither Muslim not Jew, but just happen be interested in this topic. Do correct me if I’m wrong).

    • Pork gelatin based sweets are not kosher.
      If they were then there would be no need for kosher Haribo (regular Haribo is made of pork gelatin).
      There are some rabbis who argue that the pork originating substance has goen through such a transformation that it can be considered non-meat but most do not subscribe to this belief.
      I’m an observant Jew who keeps kosher.
      Interesting feature. Some good points made.

    • sorry man.pork based anything is not kosher..hahhahaha

      yes they make exceptions based on non knowledge..such as candies or medicines..but if specifically asked or TOLD that a food contains a pig product ….

      it is then deemed nonkosher and no halal

      even rabbis and muslims admit you cant be 100% kosher..its the spirit of the law not the absolute law that matters to them

  4. Thé koran actually says Muslims are to eat the same foods in the Torah And only allowed to eat pork free from sin if it’s a life and death matter, I also see that it says no sea crawling creatures or animals found dead are to be eaten unless you hunted them.

    What’s strange is on Wikipedia it lists what foods are forbidden to Muslims but does not post the sections of the Koran saying the same food that was made lawfull for you in the Torah is lawfull again in the Koran.! With the exceptions mentioned in the article to do with alcohol and slaughter rituals

    • whats strange about it..in todays world SOME muslims and jews would riot over being told that if its ok for one…. its ok for the other

    • Hello

      Eating meat (i mean wilfully killing of any being) is itself biggest sin. Guys, pls open up your eyes. You see the world and see the conflicts and killings (esp in mid-east). In this age of suffering, why you want to kill so many animals to fill your appetite. Pls dont do this as you see how innocent people are killed in iraq and syria by terrorists, left and right. pls remember “what we sow is what we reap” . Pls be kind to all and even your Gods will be happy , really. Long live all souls.

  5. So to the rest of the world Halal and Kosher is almost the same. Both eaten by religious fanatic

    • @Jan Rasmussen:

      What a narrow-minded commentary !
      Not all Mulims are fanatic, and not all jews are fanatic.

      Both religions have been used for attacks and terror,
      but all other religions have been used for that too.

      If we talk about the regular human being an the way it treats his surroundings and fellow man,
      i can see a lot of good things in both religions and among other religions too.

      I am neither a jew, nor a muslim, nor something else -
      and still i have so much respect not to judge them.

    • kosher and halal mean healthy….

      many millions of non religious worldwide practice both forms and some combinations of both

      probably 10 times more nonjews practice kosher in the tune of a 100 million worlwide and probably anothert 100 milion non muslims practice halal….

      i doubt someones 70 year old grandma in burma is a fantic

  6. Does that mean that Jews can’t eat pizza with meat? And I notice that the pizza has salami on it so no pizza for the Muslim’s either.

  7. I’m a Muslim. All seafood is halal. Even the ones that crawl! There is no halal slaughter necessary for seafood.

  8. Just to clarify this more. Muslim soni consider that all kind of sea food is Halal but Shia muslims consider only shrimp and fish with scales.
    Also i would like to add that during slaughtering alive cattle or bird the following should be pronounced ” Bismilah allah Akbar”. Which means in the name of god the greatest. This is like taking a permission from god that we are ending a life of an animal he created for us to eat and live.
    Also during slaughter process the direction should be toward holy Kaba in the holy city of mecca “Qible direction”

  9. Veganism has been the best choice for me. It has worked well for me when I cook for friends who are of varied religions.

  10. One important point that no one mentioned is the difference in method of slaughter. Kosher slaughter must be “humane”. Administering electric shock to an animal prior to shehitah [kosher slaughtering] is prohibited, because it incapacitates the animal and renders the animal unfit to eat. It is forbidden to eat the meat of such an animal. The prohibition extends, as well, to administering an anesthetic, in the form of a drug and the like, since it may endanger the health and life of the animal and render it not kosher prior to shehitah.)

    1.Kosher slaughtering commandment applies equally to cattle, to animals, and to fowl. A limb torn or cut from a living animal is forbidden. An animal that is not slaughtered, but dies of itself, is prohibited.

    2. Only one who is knowledgeable in the laws of slaughtering and proficient in its practice, and who is a believing, pious Jew, may act as a slaughterer (shohet) in performance of the commandment. It is the prevalent custom that the shohet must receive written authorization from a recognized rabbinical authority attesting to the aforesaid qualifications.

    3. Shehitah must be done by means of a swift, smooth cut of a sharp knife whose blade is free of any dent or imperfection.

    4. Shehitah entails severing the trachea and the esophagus in accordance with the oral tradition, which requires that five improper procedures be avoided, lest they invalidate the shehitah and render the animal unfit to be eaten. They are (a) hesitation or delay while drawing the knife, (b) excessive pressure or chopping, (c) burrowing the knife between the trachea and the esophagus or under the skin, (d) making the incision outside the specified area, and (e) laceration or tearing of the trachea or esophagus, which would result from an imperfect blade. An animal or fowl that is improperly slaughtered (or, as already noted, that is not slaughtered, but dies of itself) is considered carrion (nevelah) and unfit for food.

    Also the hindquarter is prohibited. Sephardim will eat parts of the animal that Ashkenazim won’t because they painstakingly remove the parts that are indeed difficult to remove.

    There is more but I’ll stop here. Kosher slaughter is very different than Halal slaughter .

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