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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Halal The Dilemma

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"Dengan menyebut nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah lagi Maha Penyayang"

We always hear about Halal, especially about halal food? Do we know deeply halal products  covering and it effects to our life? So in this article, I will enlighten you about halal definition, it standardisation and it effects to our live.

As to maintain or upgrade our iman or faith daily, we have to make sure everything we do is in line the teaching of Islam. Halal just no covers about food only but it is also related to the money we get. This is because to get food we need money. To get money we need job and how we deal with our job shows the source of everything is halal or not.

In a bigger point of view, The halal industry is estimated to be worth US$500 million, with the number of producers, halal ports and certification bodies growing at an impressive rate every year. The demand for halal products has become a global phenomenal, not only among the muslims, but among the non muslims alike. The unique features of halal which emphasises not only on certain rules of shariah, but also on various prudential and best practices such as cleanliness and hygiene have symbolised the universal value of halal products; hence the demand created for such products has become a global phenomenal, especially in countries where muslim are the majority. It should be noted that though these prudential and best practices in halal production and management are very important, the understanding of principles in dealing with halal matters is of paramount important. 

The concept of halal derives its meaning from basic Arabic word of halal which means lawful and the opposite of halal is haram which is an Arabic term which means unlawful or forbidden. Briefly explained, halal is an act, object or conduct over which the individual has the freedom of choice and its exercise does not carry either a reward or punishment. While haram means all that which Allah has prohibited in definitive terms, and its perpetrator is liable to a punishment is this world or the hereafter.

It is always assumed that every time people talk about halal, they mean only foods and drinks that they consume and clothes that they wear. In actual fact, the realm of the halal extends beyond the obvious references to food and clothes, to cover all matters that relate to human life. Its includes foods, all goods and services, entertainments, finance and commerce, tourism, lifestyle and all aspects of human life that come under the judgement of halal and haram. Hence, its should be noted taht halal issues do not only concern about food, beverages, clothes and family matters. In fact, the word halal connotes the whole life of a muslim, whereby the concept of halal permeated to every aspect of his life.

From the example given it shows that halal covers 360 degree of our life. Food as example, nowadays, many food processing industries depended on various emulsifiers, stabilizers and preservatives some of them derived from haram sources, others harmful and everything that is harmful to human beings are haram.

Besides food, the usage of halal toiletries and cosmetic products should not be ignored. Are we certain that the soap and toothpaste that we use everyday  are halal? So, halal is just not food but also living. It is a concept that encompasses daily living, including speech, behaviours and conduct  and dietary laws. The term is used to describe anything permissible under Islamic laws, in contast to harm that is forbidden including dress and manner.

Taking into account the increase of halal product market, the Malaysian Government intends in Making Malaysia a regional halal hab. Since 2003 JAKIM, The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia is the lead agency in the conferment of the halal certificates and labels at both federal and state level. JAKIM is responsible for issuing the certificates for halal products for export and import, while the state government issue halal certificates for local consumption.

By having this halal certification, it provides a lot of benefits such as consumer confidence where it allows the consumers to make an informed choice of their purchase. As for manufacturer, it also creates competitive advantages whereby manufacturers can use it as a marketing tool to secure bigger market share as halal food is suitable for both Muslims and non-Muslims. At international level, it can enhance the marketability of the products especially in Muslim countries. In terms of quality aspect, it indicates that the food not only fulfills halal requirements, but also strict hygiene practices. Lastly as for the authority, it provides a mechanism to audit and monitor halal products and services.

As for conclusion, understanding the principles on halal is very crucial to serve as general guidelines in determining the lawfulness or otherwise of a particular products or instruments. In actual fact, the shariah principles on halal products are so varied and in certain circumstances, certain principles are more pertinent in certain areas of practice only. Nevertheless, there are principles which are commonly applicable to all areas of halal, like the rule on permissibility and etc. It is ones responsibility to ensure that halal need to be view in a holistic point of view. And adding to that, dealing with principles of halal is not an easy task. This is due to the fact that halal industry falls within the areas of non-worshiping acts, where human understanding and considerations of time, place and people are very crucial determining the ‘halalness’ or otherwise a particular product as it gives a big impact to our personal life. Again, it is just not about food only, but our daily routine. It touches our behavior and conduct and dietary laws.

Is there any question of Islamic Halal and visit


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