Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Rawhide: Is it halaal?

Among the questions that I am most frequently asked is, "Is it acceptable to chew on rawhide?" In other words, is rawhide halaal? Many of the dogs in my ministry desire to be good Muslims. And so they wonder if it is all right to give in to the temptations of the leathery flesh. Before I get to the answer, let me briefly explain what is meant by the term halaal. In the Quran, it is written, "People of Imaan! Eat of the pure things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah." These pure things are halaal -- lawful under Islamic law. Islamic law also gives clear guidance on which foods are haraam, or unlawful. Pork and pork products are forbidden for all good Muslims. Fortunately, rawhide is almost always made from cattle, which is permissible -- and delicious. And as long as you do not buy from Petco, the rawhide should have been slaughtered by a Muslim, completing the second requirement for halaal food. So, rawhide fans, simply check the label and chow down.