Muslim foodies are always on the lookout for popular fast food chains with Halal-friendly items on the menu. After all, when you’re hanging out with friends, you want to know what you can and can’t eat. Chick-Fil-A has been a popular topic lately, and it’s leaving many people asking, “Is Chick-Fil-A Halal or no?” Maybe at one time Halal Chick-Fil-A existed, but finding it would be a challenge—one that your grumbling belly probably doesn’t have time for.

The short answer is no, Chick-Fil-A is not Halal. Now for the longer explanation.

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Photo by Brad Stallcup on Unsplash

Is Food Served at Chick-Fil-A Halal?

There has been a mix-up throughout the years. Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sunday to “rest and worship if they choose,” as the founder intended. Since the business hours and some other practices are based on religion, Muslims throughout North America questioned if the food was Kosher or Halal or something else.

Sadly, it would appear that while some distribution centers that supply Chick-Fil-A with ingredients are Halal, the restaurant chain itself is not.

Why is Chick-Fil-A Not Halal?

One of the reasons Chick-Fil-A is not considered Halal is interpretations of the ayah in the Ahlul Kitab (People of the Book) about food. Some believe that it means that Muslims can eat food that has been slaughtered by Jews or Christians, but this depends on what you believe.

Others feel that it isn’t necessary to recite Allah prior to taking an animal’s life. Many people, on the other hand, do believe the practice to be essential to what is Halal.

However, the main reason Chick-Fil-A is not Halal is because, while they do use Halal chicken in some places, that chicken is mixed in with non-Halal chicken. We will discuss more on this in a moment.

Additionally, attempts from sites like Halal Guidance to contact Chick-Fil-A asking whether their chicken is Halal all ended with Chick-Fil-A representatives saying no.

Are There Any Menu Items That Are Halal?

In the event your friends decide to go to Chick-Fil-A for food, not all hope is lost. There are a few items on the Chick-Fil-A menu that are considered Halal-friendly. While this is based on your own judgment and tolerance, you can decide on the following:

  • Waffle potato chips
  • Side salad
  • Fruit cup
  • English muffin
  • Hash browns
  • Waffle cut potato fries

Again, you might want to check the local Chick-Fil-A menu to see what is included in these items or if there is anything else you can get. Alone, these choices aren’t really enough to be called a meal. You can always order a few things to keep you from getting too hungry then have a Halal meal later on.

Also, remember that some items could have cross-contamination. What might seem like a good choice could end up being cooked with something that isn’t Halal-friendly.

How Did The Rumor of Halal Chick-Fil-A Begin?

In the past, it was true that Chick-Fil-A did serve Halal chicken at some of its locations. This was more or less uncovered at a Baltimore, MD ICNA 2015 convention. There was a Chick-Fil-A across the street from the convention that was serving Halal chicken. Once the word spread, the entire convention lined up, wrapping around the block.

Turns out, that location in Chick-Fil-A was sourcing its chicken from certified Halal vendors nearby. Soon, that specific Chick-Fil-A was so popular with Muslims that many would drive from 3 or 4 states away to get a taste of it.

Now, a few other Chick-Fil-A locations are serving Halal chicken, such as a Chick-Fil-A in Houston, TX. That said, the company itself is not deciding to choose Halal distributors. It is the chains. At the corporate level of the business, it was decided that chain owners choose where to get their chicken.

Unfortunately, most of the chains using Halal chicken might also be using non-Halal meat. They may even be mixing the chicken together during the preparation and cooking process.

Is Chick-Fil-A Using Halal Chicken?

As mentioned above, Chick-Fil-A is using Halal chicken at some locations. Not all locations. You would have to call every Chick-Fil-A in your respective area to find out if they have Halal-friendly items. Depending on how desperate you are for chicken, doing so might be worth it.

Additionally, it seems that Chick-Fil-A is unwilling at this time to fully transition to using only Halal vendors. Messages received from representatives have stated repeatedly that they won’t certify their menu items as Halal due to their “diverse customer base.”

Are There Any Halal Chick-Fil-A Substitutes?

Seeing how Chick-Fil-A isn’t Halal, let’s look at some franchises and chains in the US that do serve up Halal food. If you are lucky enough to have one of these chains near the local Chick-Fil-A, you could potentially grab a meal from another place while your friends pick up their chicken sandwiches.

Here are your options:

  • Pizza Hut – in some US states, the UK, and Muslim countries, you will find Halal-friendly items on the menu
  • Paradise Biryani Pointe – 36 locations throughout the US serve 100% Halal food
  • Kennedy or Crown Fried Chicken – NY, NJ, PA, and MD, as well as smaller towns along the East Coast
  • The Halal Guys – serving up 100% Halal food in 37 locations throughout the US
  • Krispy Krunchy Chicken – there are locations owned by the Islamic Society of Washington that serve Halal meals
  • Elevation Burger – the corporate headquarters has confirmed that all burgers served at the restaurants in the US are Halal
  • Subway – while more locations in the UK are Halal-friendly, you might find some locations near you serving Halal

You can also visit the local Middle Eastern restaurant for take out if that is an option.

A Sad Day For Chick-Fil-A Fans

Is Chick-Fil-A Halal? Overall, it’s a no. This has been confirmed through multiple correspondences with the corporate headquarters, as well as many locations throughout the US. That said, you might be lucky enough to live near the Baltimore or Houston location (or an unknown one) that does sell 100% Halal chicken. When in doubt, contact the store and see what they say.

FAQs

1. Does Chick-Fil-A sell pork?

Chick-Fil-A is largely devoted to chicken and doesn’t have any items that are made up mostly of pork. That said, they do have bacon on many of their items. Since there is a possibility of cross-contamination between the chicken, bacon, and other items on the food during preparation, you may want to avoid the fast food chain. Optionally, you can order items that would be prepared away from the bacon, such as prepackaged fruit salads, side salads, and so on.

2. What fast food chains are Halal?

There are many fast food chains that serve Muslims throughout the world. For example, in predominantly Muslim countries, McDonald’s serves many Halal items (this isn’t true for the US, however). Pizza Hut, Crown Fried Chicken, Krispy Krunchy Chicken, Paradise Biryani Pointe, The Halal Guys NYC Food Cart, Elevation Burger, Pizza Express, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (in Canada) may have Halal items at their locations. When in doubt about a menu, it is always wise to check prior to going.

Most of the time, if a chain is owned by a Muslim family or group, you know the food is most likely Halal. If not, they can prepare Halal food upon request.