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Is Salami Halal or Haram?

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Salami is a famous Italian cuisine and it is a cured sausage comprising fermented and air-dried meat. In Italy, Salami refers to any type of salted meat. Salami is not only popular in Italy but also in every region of the globe including the UK.

In ancient times, various food preservation methods like curing and drying were used for preserving food items like meat, fish, and vegetable. As Salami involves curing, drying, and fermentation so the recipe was also well known to our ancestors. Historically, the use of Salami by the Romans is well-documented.

Ingredients of Salami

Traditionally, Salami is produced from pig’s meat but nowadays, a variety of meat like beef, poultry, lamb, and even horse is used for making Salami. The common ingredients of Salami include:

How Is Salami Made?

For making Salami, cure the meat and take a certain proportion of lean and fat. Then add the cure and flavoring agents. In most cases, the flavoring agents are grains, breadcrumbs, nuts, garlic, and some herbs. After chopping the meat, stuff it in clean and elongated casings. Usually, animals’ intestines are used for the casing. Finally, leave the encased ground meat for days or months for fermentation and drying up.

Keeping in view the popularity of Salami across the globe, it is worth pondering whether the delicacy is halal or haram? We have researched this question and here is what we have found.

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

Like its clear guiding principles for all aspects of human life, Quran has clear injunctions when it comes to whether a food or a certain act is halal or haram.

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 are haram. And also, if you slaughter any halal animal and dedicate it to others than Allah, it is haram.

Is Salami Halal or Haram?

If Salami contains pig’s meat then it is haram. Unlike pig meat, horse meat is halal in Islam but it is undesirable (makrooh) to eat. So, better avoid eating horse Salami too.

But if Salami consists of beef, lamb, or poultry then you must consider its casing. Oftentimes, the casing makes the animals’ intestines. Like pig’s meat, pig’s intestines are also absolutely haram. While intestines of halal animals are also in the grey shade (makrooh) and therefore are undesirable to consume. (Source: https://musjidulhaq.com/2015/09/06/non-halaal-parts-in-the-bodies-of-halaal-animals/)

So, if you make Salami from the meat of a halal animal but its casing from the intestines of a halal animal then it is advisable not to eat it. On the other hand, a Salami may become halal if you use a synthetic casing. Very often, the synthetic casing is consists of beef collagen, pig hides, or plant-based vegetarian substances. The synthetic casing made up of plant products or beef collagen is halal while those manufactured from pig hides are haram.

How to Make Halal Salami?

From the above discussion, in most cases, Salami is haram. But you can still enjoy halal Salami. For halal Salami, you must follow the Islamic slaughtering method (Zabihah) and use only halal ingredients.

The Halal Slaughtering Process (Zabihah)

According to Islamic tradition, the halal slaughtering process (Zabihah) consists of the following steps.

(Source: http://animalscience.tamu.edu/wp- content/uploads/sites/14/2016/01/Halal-Foods.pdf)

Halal Ingredients

Likewise, following the Zabihah process, all of the ingredients used in Salami must be halal. Avoid using the pig’s meat or haram and undesirable (makrooh) parts of a halal animal. Rather, use a synthetic casing made up of plant-based substances. Similarly, the flavoring agents must be halal like herbs, grains, nuts, and garlic. Follow these guidelines and be on your way to enjoying halal Salami.

Conclusion

Holy Quran and Sunnah are the two primary sources of guidance for all of the Muslim populace. So, in light of the Quran and Sunnah, Salami if consists of pig’s meat and intestines are absolutely haram. However, all of its ingredients must be halal and follow the Islamic Zabihah method for a halal salami.

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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