Is Corned Beef Halal or Haram?

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Corned beef, also known as salt beef, is a brisket of beef treated with salt. The term corned beef comes from medieval times when grains such as barley were known as corn. To make corned beef, you treat beef brisket with salt granules, known as corns.

The brisket comes from the lower breast region of the cow, and this meat is full of connective tissues. Corned beef is an essential ingredient in a range of cuisines across the globe, but this corned beef is most popular in Europe, including the UK.

Most of the time, this brisket of beef is treated with a salt nitrate blend, after which the beef turns pink. On the other hand, if the beef is treated with common salt, it turns grey. Usually, a host of spices and sugar are also added at the time of treatment.

corned beef haram halal

As corned beef is an essential ingredient in a range of cuisines in the UK, it is also consumed by UK Muslims, but have you ever wondered whether it is halal or haram. This blog will discuss whether corned beef is halal or haram, so keep reading.

How to Make Corned Beef?

For making corned beef, take a flat cut of brisket. Now take 2 cups of water, salt, sugar, curing salt, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries, juniper berries, and bay leaves into a pot and boil the solution until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Then, pour the mixture into a large bowl and add 4 cups of ice water.

Now place the brisket into a bag and pour the cool brine mixture into the bag. Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 6-7 days. After 6-7 days, rinse the brisket, and your corned beef is ready.

Islamic Principle of Halal and Haram

Muslims around the world seek guidance from Quran and Sunnah for leading their lives according to Islamic teachings. These two primary guidance sources contain timeless principles that modern Muslims can follow without any hesitation.

Allah (SWT), in Surah Al Baqarah, has clarified the halal and haram food for Muslims.

He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.(Quran 2:173) 

(Source of above-cited Quranic Verse: https://quran.com/2/173?translations=84,17,95,101,22,20)

This Quranic verse is the guiding principle for distinguishing halal food from haram in Islam. According to this verse of the Holy Quran, carrion, i.e. dead meat, the blood, and swine (pig) meat, is haram. And also, if you slaughter any halal animal and dedicate it to others than Allah, it is haram.

In addition to these haram foods, some parts of halal animals are also either haram or undesirable (makrooh) to eat. These haram or undesirable parts include:

  • Flowing blood (Absolutely haram)
  • Male genitals
  • Female genitals
  • Testicles
  • Bladder
  • Gallbladder
  • Glands
  • Haraam marrow (Spinal marrow)
  • The two muscles of the neck that stretch up to the shoulders
  • The blood from the liver
  • The blood from the spleen
  • The blood that comes out from the meat after slaughtering
  • The blood from the heart
  • Bile, i.e. the yellow fluid from inside the gallbladder
  • The nasal fluid, which is present mainly in sheep
  • Anus
  • Tripe
  • Intestines
  • Sperm
  • The transforming of sperm into blood
  • The transforming of sperm into flesh
  • The transforming of sperm into an animal that dies without slaughter

(Source: https://musjidulhaq.com/2015/09/06/non-halaal-parts-in-the-bodies-of-halaal-animals/)

Though the blood is absolutely haram, there may be differences in opinion among jurists and mujtahids of different Islamic schools of thought. Therefore, it is advisable to seek guidance from an established scholar of your school of thought before making any final decision regarding eating the above-stated parts of a halal animal.

Is Corned Beef Halal or Haram?

Usually, corned beef is brisket, brisket comes from cows, and cows are halal animals. Therefore, brisket is halal as long as they follow the permissible hand slaughtering method.

In the UK, cattle are pre-stunned before slaughter. Also, you must ensure that a mature Muslim slaughters the cattle while pronouncing the name of Allah. You should seek the guidance of an established Islamic scholar on the issue of slaughtering pre-stunned animals.

To Sum it Up

Holy Quran and Sunnah are the two primary sources of guidance for all Muslim populace. So, in light of the Quran and Sunnah, the brisket source must be halal like the cow is halal and follow the Islamic Zabihah method.

However, before taking a final decision, it is of utmost necessity to seek guidance from an established Islamic scholar who can make an informed decision based on the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.

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