The Challenge Of Upholding The Sanctity Of Halal In The Era Of Globalization.

Islamic set rule and law on all yarn matter in touch of human action. Objective of Islamic law was to protect human benefit

to living in world or afterworld or both. To realise the objective, Allah did outline for human being what is good and bad, Halal and Haram which should emphasized by man. Halal refers to that which the Creator has made lawful. God’s word, which means: “So eat of the lawful and good food which Allah has provided for you. And be grateful for the Graces of Allah, if it is He Whom you worship.” (Surah 16: 114). Halal means permitted and

recommended by the Islamic law. Haram is the opposite, meaning unlawful and refers to what is forbidden. These two parameters have been designed for health, safety and benefit of all mankind regardless of age, faith and culture. In the Holy Quran, God commands Muslims and all of mankind to eat of the Halal things: “O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). Verily, he is to you an open enemy.” (Surah 2: 168). Stating that all things are originally wholesome, Halal is a guideline to distinguish from harmful, intoxicating or, otherwise, Haram goods. Non-Halal or Haram goods are thus prohibited or strictly forbidden to Muslims.


“Consumption on Halal products is not restricted to followers of Islam.” (Amanda Suriya Ariffin, 2007). Products that are produced with Halal certification are readily acceptable by Muslim consumers as well as consumers from other religions. This acceptance is due to the

wholesomeness concept of Halal, which covers not only the Shariah requirement, but also the hygiene, sanitation and safety aspects. “Nearly 1.8 billion Muslims around the world as well as some non-Muslims are fueling the Halal food industry, generating sales of $2.1 trillion annually.” (Zaahira Muhammad, 2009). Halal certification is a powerful marketing tool for both the Muslim and non-Muslim producers, as there are an increasing awareness on the part of Muslim consumers all over the world on their obligation to consume Halal food. The thesis statement of the paper is that “the challenges of upholding the sanctity of Halal in the era of globalization are to meet the Muslim concept of Halal, to obtain recognizable Halal certification and Halal standard and to develop alternative ingredients to replace non-Halal ingredients in Halal products”. The first challenge of upholding the sanctity of Halal is to meet the Muslim concept of Halal. The Muslim’s wholesomeness concept of Halal food covers the lawful requirements of the Syariah law (law of Islam) and the requirements for good food, in terms of hygiene, sanitation and safety. “The word Halal means the area of Islamic way of life that focuses on aspects of

Halalan Thoyyibah that is purity, cleanliness and health living.” (Salawati Haris, 2010). To achieve the wholesomeness concept, both aspects need to be adhered to and implemented together. As said by Datuk al-Syeikh Haji Abdul Halim Abdul Kadir: “Thoyyibah include two cases; physical and spiritual. It must be in line with shariah (not contradictory) and combined with sincerity to Allah.” (Salawati Haris, 2010). Failure in any of it will cripple the wholesomeness concept of Halal food. Halal products are fast gaining worldwide recognition and become as a new benchmark for safety and quality assurance. Islam has introduced the concept of slaughter, whereby a naturally Halal animal would have to be properly slaughtered prior to consumption. “Halal slaughter (Dhabiha) is defined as the act of killing, by an eligible Muslim, of animals which are Halal for consumption through a single severance of the major arteries as well as the oesophagus and trachea in the neck region using a sharp knife.” (Info Halal, 2009). The act of slaughtering is to ensure the quality of meat and to

avoid any microbial contamination, which basically covers the thoyyibah part of Halalan Thoyyibah. For example, a dead but un-slaughtered animal is normally associated with disease. Most disease originated or carried in the animal’s blood. Therefore, slaughtering is mandatory to ensure the complete drainage of blood from the animal's body, thus minimizing the chance of microbial infection. “The Islamic (Halal) method of slaughter can be described as the animal has to be lawful to eat, alive, healthy, to be slaughtered only for the reason of food, in the name of the Creator, Allah

S.W.T and not for any other reasons (it has be well-fed, not thirsty handled and move gently and individually). The slaughter-man must be in possession of a clear mind and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, trained in the job, with an awareness of what he is doing. The act of slaughter starts by pronouncing tasmiyah (Bismillah Allahu Akbar), to take His permission and in order to make the slaughter-man accountable and responsible and to give compassion and mercy to the animal during this act.” (Info Halal, 2009) .As described in the Quran: “And why should you not eat of that (meat) on which Allah's Name has been pronounced (at the time of slaughtering the animal), while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity? And surely many do lead (mankind) astray by their own desires through lack of knowledge. Certainly your Lord knows best the transgressors.” (Surah 6: 119). This awareness should be spread to non-Muslim as this practices compatible with the overall concept of cleanliness that is always emphasized in Islam. Apart from ensuring the cleanliness of foodstuffs, instance of pork and blood are forbidden. The Quran says: “He has forbidden you only the Maytatah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., on which Allah's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is OftForgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah 2: 173). Islam also prohibits the usage of

any materials that are detrimental to spiritual or mental well-being of a person, such as alcoholic drinks and drugs. Since Islam has always encouraged its followers to choose Halal, wholesome and clean foods, “briefings through seminars and courses for understanding the relation of Halal and standard accounting procedures by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) to industry being undertaken to improve knowledge on Malaysia Halal certification. In addition, JAKIM also take the initiative for user understanding in efforts to improve the quality of Halal certification.” (Zawanah Muhammad, Haji Munir Haji Md. Salleh and Abdul Muhaimin, 2008). Nowadays, Muslims face a host of modern-day Halal issues less pervasive in the past. Many issues revolve around food production and development using modern science and technology. The utilization of new synthetic additives like melamine, ingredients and hormones has created questionable Halal status to this advancement. One of the examples happened in our poultry industry. Prof Dr Wan Mohtar Wan Yusoff said: “in term of biological sciences, poultry in the market now is completely changed the nature of natural chicken example like ‘bertelur sebiji, riuh sekampung’.” (Faizal Riduan, 2010). He said: “the chicken poultry industry has developed as the industry develops ‘Asimo’ robotic which that can be programmed. As Muslims, it is dangerous because the chickens we eat are not actually like chicken. It only takes a physical form, but not nature as a livestock chickens.


In other words, the chickens are more like mentally disabled.” (Faizal Riduan, 2010). “Halal is a concept that emphasizes on hygiene and safety.” said Dato’ Hajjah Sheila Majid. (Halal skincare range specially formulated for the people of the world, 2009). “Halal must free from irradiated raw materials.” (What is Halal?). Therefore, “the use of dangerous chemicals such as parabens, benzoate, sodium laurel sulphate, hydroquinone or many other colourings or alcohol” (Halal skincare range specially formulated for the people of the world, 2009) are not suitable in cosmetic. It may cause dangerous sideeffects of these toxic chemicals. The second challenge of upholding the sanctity of Halal is to obtain recognizable Halal certification and Halal standard. The food industry is an evergreen industry and Halal food is the latest trend in the world market. “Market for Halal products is not limited to Muslims and Muslims countries alone. Countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa even have a low Muslim population but still have the potential to contribute to the global Halal trade.” (Zawanah Muhammad, Haji Munir Haji Md. Salleh and Abdul Muhaimin, 2008). Demand for Halal food is estimated “to be worth USD2.1 trillion annually of at least 1.8 billion Muslims.” (Ruzanna

Muhammad, 2009). According to British Standards Institution, “a standard is a published: ‘specification that establishes a common language, and contains a technical

specification or other precise criteria and is designed to be used consistently, as a rule, a guideline, or a definition’.” (THE ISO STANDARDS GLOSSARY, 2008). “A standard is basically a published document that defines specifications and procedures to ensure that a material, product, method or service meets its purpose and consistently performs to its intended use.” (Ruzanna Muhammad, 2009). “The Halal industry is now worth billions but there are still no international standards and best practices, making it a complex area to navigate for companies trading Halal goods globally.” (The Halal Journal, 2008). Currently, there are several Halal certifying agencies in the world that run by individuals or a small group of individuals with no accountability to the Muslim consumer. “As mentioned, Halal certification is carried out not only by local government authorities but also by various Islamic centres and organisations which further complicate matters.” (The Halal Journal, 2008). Each certifying agency has its own Halal Standard causing confusion, deception and at times fraud. According to Khairy Jamaluddin, World Halal Forum chairman: “One of the reasons why the Halal industry cannot grow faster, despite rising demands for Halal products worldwide, is because there is no consensus on a Halal standard. Each country has its own certification body, which leads to disagreements over animal feed, slaughtering methods, packaging, logistics and other arising issues.” (The Halal Journal, 2008).


Recently, “the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) directed six companies to immediately stop issuing the Halal certificate and logo to food traders and outlets in Selangor.” (BERNAMA, 2010). Director of JAIS, Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi said: “the six companies were Bahtera Lagenda Sdn Bhd, Islamic Food and Research Council, SAS-H Consultancy, Perak Religious Officer Association, Halal Food Council S.E.A and IFANCA International.” (BERNAMA, 2010). The Selangor Islamic Council (MAIS) decision banning Halal logos issued by private companies is correct and to ensure that they adhere to Islamic law. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said: “this was because the issuance of Halal logos by the companies had raised doubts among Muslims. Companies that did not follow procedures fixed by JAKIM and state Islamic councils will encourage others to do the same.” (BERNAMA, 2010) Although this ban on ‘privatised’ Halal logo decision is made by JAIS and not by JAKIM but at least it would be a mild warning to other private companies to become more efficient in giving and monitoring the food outlets issued with the Halal certificate and logo as was done by JAIS and the JAKIM. Taking into account the increase of Halal product market, the development of the International Halal Standard is very crucial to address the uncertainty and the many unresolved question of the industry. It is thus important to uphold the integrity of Halal for the benefit of the industry and consumers at large. Therefore, various efforts have been made to make it happen. With mission: “to propagate the benefits of Halal and elevate it as

the standard of choice,” (Vision & Mission, 2010) the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance) “develop the International Halal Standard – a single standard to unify the fragmented industry and ensure global Halal integrity.” (The Halal Journal, 2009). IHI Alliance’s goals were also endorsed by the former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In his keynote address at World Halal Forum 2008, Abdullah said, “My government has formally endorsed the function and aspirations of the IHI Alliance. I understand that the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), through the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), is also committed towards making IHI Alliance a strong, credible and respected global Halal authority.” (The Halal Journal, 2009). Also His Excellency Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, the Chairman of the international forum said: “the standards will be tabled at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) committee meeting and at the Islamic Chambers o f Commerce and Industry (ICCI) general assembly.” (Media Launch, 2009). “When the large majority of products or services in a particular business or industry sector conform to International Standards, a state of industry-wide standardization exists. The economic stakeholders concerned agree on specifications and criteria to be applied consistently in the classification of materials, in the manufacture and supply of products, in testing and analysis, in terminology and in the provision of services. In this way, International Standards provide a reference framework, or a common


technological language, between suppliers and their customers.” (Discover ISO, 2010). Another Halal related issue in our community is about product labeling. The non-Muslim have all right to produce Halal products as long as they comply with Syariah. However, founder and chairman of the Islamic Manufacturing Practice said: “it about time to introduce Halal logo for Muslim products and Halal logo for non-Muslim products by JAKIM to distinguish products of Muslim and non-Muslim. Muslims should be given a fair choice to fulfill their religious lifestyle. Like in Brunei, Muslim Halal logo is green while non-Muslim, yellow.” (Faizal Riduan, 2010). Because according to him: “the branding of Halal by non-Muslims are intended to mislead the Muslim and can lead to suspicious lawful status.” (Faizal Riduan, 2010). There are much more Halal issues continuously arise such as abuse of using Halal’s logo, proper hygienic aspects unpracticed at processing premises and exploitation of expired Halal certification. On creating greater awareness on the Halal’s logo issue especially for the Muslims, JAKIM is organising the 1 Malaysia 1 Halal Campaign. Initiative aimed at “increasing the awareness of the general consumers that only Halal certification and Malaysia Halal logo issued by JAKIM and/ or State Islamic Religious Council (MAIN) is being recognized by the government.” (1 MALAYSIA 1 HALAL CAMPAINGN, 2010). The rationale behind the 1 Malaysia 1 Halal campaign, JAKIM wants to make Muslims aware of the Halalan

Thoyyibah concept and to encourage them to buy products with the Halal Malaysia logo. With the continued efforts to establish Malaysia as the ‘Global Halal Hub’, JAKIM and Halal Industry Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (HDC) have created Halal directories that can be access through internet, or SMS. Recently, “HDC has created an iPhone application which can be the direction and guide to every premises and restaurants that have Jakim’s Halal certification.” (Kosmo!, 2010). The third challenge of upholding the sanctity of Halal is that Muslim community needs to face right now is the existence of doubtful resources in foods, medicines and other daily needs items. A practicing Muslims prevents himself from consuming doubtful things. Any food or drink which lies within the grey area and does not fall clearly under the Halal or non-Halal category is classified as Syubhah. There is a hadeeth hat was reported to have said: “The Halal is clear and the Haram is clear. Between the two there are doubtful matters (shubuhat or Mushtabihat) concerning which people do not know whether they are halal or haram. One who avoids them in order to safeguard his religion and his honor is safe, while if someone engages in a part of them he may be doing something haram, like one who grazes his animals near the hima (the grounds reserved for animals belonging to the King which are out of bounds for others' animals); it is thus quite likely that some of his animals will stray into it. Truly, every king has a hima, and the hima of Allah is what He has prohibited.” (Reported by al-Bukhari' Muslim, and others; from al Tirmidhi. Mushbooh ... what does it mean ?”. 2007).

Muslim should avoid questionable ingredients such as stabilizers, emulsifiers, enzymes, gelling agents and any food agents that are derived from uncertain sources such as un-slaughtered mammal animals and pig. Collagens that have been extracted from animal’s bones, skin and placenta always have been used in cosmetic productions. Gelatins that are derived from collagen also are constantly used in pharmaceutical and food industry. “80% of the gelatin produced in Europe is from the pig skin, 15% from the bovine animal skins such as buffalo and cattle and another 5% come from bones of bovine animals and swine, fish and poultry.” (Salawati Haris, 2010). Since most commercial gelatins are obtained from either pigskin or cow hide, there has been considerable interest in finding and using alternative substitutes. Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said: “Halal products need to be scientifically proven to be Halal. This requires extensive research and development initiatives and a quest for alternative ingredients to replace non-Halal ingredients in Halal products. (Zaahira Muhammad, 2009). As a result, academia and industry have been trying for many years to “develop alternatives to gelatin that possess most or all of the unique functional properties of mammalian gelatin.” (Alias, Abdul Karim & Rajeev Bath, 2008). There are efforts and studies to develop gelatin alternatives or substitutes from plant hydrocolloids such as starch/modified starch, pectin, carrageenan and agar. There is a patent “presents the invention of the combination of gellan gum and nu- and/or nu-/iota-carrageenan to provide a

firm, resilient, gelatin-like texture in a gelatin-free gummy confection.” “Gelatin-free gummy confection using gellan gum and carrageenan, 2003). A study by Tuleu et al. “have showed a comparison of hypromellose capsule containing carrageenan as gelling agent and standard gelatin capsules that showed there are no differences in the oesophageal transit of these two types of capsules and the disintegration times were not significantly different. They suggested that the hypromellose capsule containing

carrageenan as a gelling agent can be a practical alternative to gelatin capsules as an oral drug.” (Tuleu et al, 2007). The alternatives for mammal’s collagen also have been developed by research group all over the world. Having the similar properties of mammal’s collagen, fish collagen is a very suitable collagen substitute for Halal consumers. (J. E. EASTOE, 1956). But the challenge is how we can provoke or insist the utilization of this collagen and gelatin substitute in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The study of finding collagen and gelatin substitute is needed to be expanded. Researchers must find the substitutes which can give more advantages whether in term of cost or health benefit to convince people to keep on demanding the application of these substitutes. It is clear that Halal issues nowadays are rising and that’s why the efforts to uphold the sanctity of Halal need to be aggressive. This effort must be taken seriously whether by the Government, consumers, community and

even the manufacturers. We don’t have to look Halal is something that compulsory for Muslim but it can gives the best benefit to all as it is clear that Halal issues recognized safety and quality assurance. “In everything that we do, we always make sure that safety comes first. In the food that we eat, medicines that we drink, and the cosmetics that women used, it is best that they are safe to use to keep away from any allergic reactions or complications that it might cause. Not all food supplements, food, even cosmetics bring or give the best benefit for everybody.” (Why Fish Collagen Peptide Is Safe T Use, 2008). It means the product prepared must be up to the o standards, which also include hygiene. Safety and quality assurance ensure that the Halal products are also clean, safe and well taken care of, with good presentation and served in a proper manner, and of quality for everybody. The enormous potential of the world wide demand for Halal food must be seized by local manufacturers. This is an advantage should these manufacturers comply and adhere to the MS1500:2009 standard.

Manufacturers must take advantage of the reputation and credibility of the Malaysian Halal standards, Halal certification and label, which has received a worldwide acknowledgement and recognition. Furthermore, manufacturers should strive to gain industry leadership in the world Halal market and thus introduce Halal products for customer satisfaction. Manufacturers should be able to establish programs and test markets for introducing and

implementing a Halal category at the store level. Then, earning customer’s trust, ongoing loyalty and of course increased sales and profits.


1. English





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