may-june. 2020 | Glam Halal
Asia Pacific News
For or Against? That is the question
With food in abundance, have you stopped for a moment and examined your groceries?
Fifty years ago when our mothers
and sisters stayed at home,
blended their own spices, baked
bread, used fresh vegetables,
slaughtered their own homereared
chicken, purchased meat
only from the Muslim butcher known to the
family, cooked and served wholesome sitdown
family meals, then there would have
been absolutely no need for certification.
Today, the reality is that more women are in
the workplace than at home. The concept of
the family dinner is disappearing from many
homes with many working couples grabbing
their meals on the run. lngredients, ready to
prepare and pre-cooked meals are picked up
at supermarkets and convenience stores,
some of which remain open 24 hours a day.
A proliferation of restaurants too have
mushroomed all aiming for this lucrative
market of the working family with
offerings not only of Halal meals but
facilities such as wudhu (ablution), salaah
(prayer) and family segregation (Purdah).
To meet this explosive growth in food
demand worldwide, fuelled further by globalisation,
Man utilises industrial production
techniques. Some 3,000 substances are deliberately
added to food and drinks to increase
their desirability. Another 10,000 compounds
and combinations of these can be used during
processing, packaging and storing of these
products. Supermarket shelves and freezers
overflow with an astonishing array of foods
from all over the world.
With food in abundance, have you stopped
for a moment and examined the groceries in
your cupboard or the provisions in your refrigerator?
How sure are you that everything is
• Is the red colouring in the kid’s ice lolly
derived from the crushed cochineal beetle
• Does the flour improver in your loaf of
bread contain amino acids derived from
• Have your French fries been coated with
an animal-based shortening?
• Do you know that the crumbing on fish
fillet could be laced with chicken stock?
Does the cheese you relish have a porkderived
• Does the chocolate you crave for contain
• Do you know that the cosmetic cream
you religiously apply daily could contain
human placenta and animal fat stearates?
• Chicken fillets used in your savouries could
be imported from plants that do non-Halal
• The braai sausage casing from your local
butcher could possibly be from sources
in Latin America with dubious Halaal
• A restaurant’s onion and mushroom sauce
can contain white wine and veal stock?
• A hot chocolate sauce can contain rum
• The restaurants signature butternut soup
may contain chicken stock?
• The basting brush you use may be made
from pork bristles?
lf you can state with absolute conviction
that you are aware of the composition of all
the ingredients of a product including the
flavouring, accept the validity of the Halal
certificate issued, you are satisfied with the
monitoring and auditing of the procedures
and processes employed in the Halal chain
including slaughter both locally and abroad,
then by all means you would have no need
for assurance from any Halal body as was the
case 50 years ago.
However, for the rest of us who realise that
it is impossible for an individual to control
or have knowledge of every ingredient and
the manufacturing process, who rely on an
independent third party quality assurance,
there can be nothing but a resounding
YES to Halal certification to safeguard our
The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam
predicted that “There will come a time upon my
Ummah when people will not be concerned about
what they consume. it will not maner to them
whether it is Haraam or Halaal.” It is further
reported, “When such time appears, nane of their
duas will be accepted.” (Al Bukhari)