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Flag Bezant January 18, 2011 7:01 PM EST

From the Halal Monitoring Committe:


"...statistics show that over 90% of Halal labelled meat and poultry in the  UK is in actual fact, doubtful."


 


www.halalmc.net/about_hmc/industry_probl...


www.halalmc.net/about_hmc/need_monitorin...


How accurate the HMC's claim is, I don't know, but I see their point. Nowadays even KFC has "halal" venues. A Muslim friend of mine went to a buffet labeled "halal," and upon enquiring with the staff, found that they didn't serve pork, though they did serve haram meat.


Looking at the U.S., "halal" certifications seem far less prevlant. But I  notice that kashrut certifications are very common, and that although  the Jewish community has different standards of kashrut, "kosher" seems a compartively airtight legal definition in the US.


Is there a need, as HMC claims, for a universal authority that has a legal monopoly on halal certification, in the UK and the US?

Flag rocketjsquirell January 19, 2011 4:27 PM EST

There is a simple solution, if you doubt the authenticity of a Halal certification, simply buy kosher products. All kosher products are Halal.


Although there are now several Halal butchers in my area, many of the observant Muslims still buy most of their meat from the local kosher butchers.  (The local kosher butchers do not carry goat, so if Muslims want goat they have to purchase it from one of the Halal butchers)   

Flag BDboy January 20, 2011 1:05 PM EST

This is a often debated issue in many Muslim communities. More in western countries where Muslims from different countries and cultures lives in same neighborhoods.


I have two observations.


<> I was told if a Muslim seeks "Halal"[trnaslate permitted] food and someone sells him/her non-halal food, the seeker (Of halal) is safe. Those who sells fake halal product will be punished by God.


<> It is also brings a often debated topic of "Halal" and "Dhabiha". There are Muslims who feels meat prepared by Jews and Christians [ People of the book or Ahl-al-Kitab] are all halal for Muslims. There are others who feel the animal has to be slaughtered [Dhabiha]"Proper Islamic way" to be considered as "Halal".


 

Flag icechamp31 January 23, 2011 9:47 AM EST

That is kind of scary that 90% could be fake in Britian.  I reverted only a few months ago and am not strict about eating only halal meat since I did not want to waste the meat that I had in my freezer already.  Although I have cut out all haram products and don't eat anything with pork and alcohol.  But still once I get settled I will start going to halal shops and eat halal meat at home and it would be devastating to me that the supposedly halal meat I am eating is not actually halal. 

Flag BDboy January 24, 2011 9:06 AM EST

Jan 23, 2011 -- 9:47AM, icechamp31 wrote:


That is kind of scary that 90% could be fake in Britian.  I reverted only a few months ago and am not strict about eating only halal meat since I did not want to waste the meat that I had in my freezer already.  Although I have cut out all haram products and don't eat anything with pork and alcohol.  But still once I get settled I will start going to halal shops and eat halal meat at home and it would be devastating to me that the supposedly halal meat I am eating is not actually halal. 




 


>>>>>> Welcome to our family!


I do not think 90% of them are fake. Once you start getting to know the shopkeepers, you can eventually find out what they are up to. The masjid you go to may offer some help in this regard as well.


Take your time and learn about Islam as much as possible. We have a small welcome forum here as well.


If there are any concerns or questions, let us know.


May peace and blessings be unto you.

Flag Abdullah. January 27, 2011 8:03 AM EST

Jan 23, 2011 -- 9:47AM, icechamp31 wrote:


That is kind of scary that 90% could be fake in Britian.  I reverted only a few months ago and am not strict about eating only halal meat since I did not want to waste the meat that I had in my freezer already.  Although I have cut out all haram products and don't eat anything with pork and alcohol.  But still once I get settled I will start going to halal shops and eat halal meat at home and it would be devastating to me that the supposedly halal meat I am eating is not actually halal. 




 


Salaam Icechamp and welcome to islam brother!


there are now many shops with certified halal authorities approving them, such as the hmc [halal meat certification]; just look out for the signs on the shop windows or inside the shop


 


there is a hadith where some companions of the prophet Muhammad [saw]? came to him and said that some people give them meat as gifts [or shares of sacrifice etc] but they dont actually see them being slaughtered in a halal way [i.e they [the recipients] have not witnessed it being slaughtered in the halal way] the prophet [saw] replied to them, 'say bismillah [in the name of ALlah] and eat it'


 


now I dont want to derive any fiqhy opinion from that, but basically I think we need to have a  degree of trust when Muslims claim something to be halal... for if we want to verify everything beyond doubt, life could be too hard for us, so if i was you my friend, i would not worry about it that much


 


hope this helps


Salaam

Flag Teed February 2, 2011 3:46 AM EST
Doesn't the Koran say that it is permissible to eat Haram food when that is the only way to avoid starving? This may be a bit of a stretch, but it seems to me that when you eat Haram food believing it to be Halal you're eating of the food is unavoidable, in much the same sense. If you believe that eating Halal is an essential part of your spiritual path, I think you need to be reasonably rigorous in making sure that the food really is Halal. The Medieval Christian writers spoke of seven virtues, one of which is Prudence (i.e. careful practical intelligence.) If you've got good evidence that a particular food item is not Halal, you have a moral obligation to use your common sense and wisdom to weigh that evidence carefully. But there has to be an outside limit as to how much time you should spend doing that kind of research. We also have other obligations as a citizen, husband, father etc. that should not be compromised by compulsive attempts at certainty. I think this is pretty much Abdullah's point. Nice to see we finally agree about something.

My spiritual path is Vajrayana Buddhism and we are given many different kinds of spiritual practices to choose from. We have teachers who are celibate monks who don't drink alcohol, and "House holder" Yogis who raise families, drink and otherwise remain part of . But everyone agrees that if you make a commitment to a spiritual practice, you should take it seriously and follow it to the letter. I salute all Muslims who have the self-discipline to choose and follow through the most rigorous aspects of Islamic practice.

We Vajrayana Buddhists, are however, fairly lax about whether or not our practices come from "false" prophets. We believe that sincere and pious devotion to a "false" prophet is better than a twisted misinterpretation of any "true" prophet. We have a story about a Tibetan Merchant whose mother asked him to bring back a relic of the Buddha's from India. He forgot to bring the relic, so he found a dogs tooth in a skull by the road, wrapped it in a silk scarf and told his mother it was one of the Buddhas teeth. She was delighted,and she and her friends prayed to it every day. Eventually the tooth began to radiate a powerful spiritual light. The point of this story is it was the faith and motivation focused on it that made the tooth holy, not it's history of belonging to Buddha or a dog. I think that this is equally true of dietary practices followed by many religions, and I have no doubt that many Muslims have benefited from the devotion required to follow the rules of Halal.
Flag bOB February 2, 2011 2:12 PM EST
First and foremost folks need to understand the difference between Halal and Zabiah.  Halal is a much wider range (people of the book) and Zabiah is only that which Allah's name has been mentioned when slaughtering.
 
Flag Agnosticspirit February 2, 2011 7:23 PM EST
To the OP: Not so sure there should be a universal/worldwide governing body over halal food, but it's truly a shame when argri-business and monopolistic corporations engage in out and out FRAUD with false advertising and labeling. 

Remember the kerfluffel a few years ago when McDonald's had to admit they used protein (beef) flavoring in the oil used for french fries? Hindus and vegetarians in general were rightly upset because McD's advertised the falsehood that vegetable oil only was used in their fries.

I don't do kosher or halal but I do purchase organic/biodynamic produce and limit my proteins and dairy to free range, organic feed, non GHMO crap injected into livestock. It would be very upsetting to discover that a company who claims to raise livestock in equitable conditions is no better than a factory farm.

I completely sympathize with those who shop for halal foods and expect truth in labeling. 
Flag Masuma February 4, 2011 2:59 PM EST
I would like to correct the brother or sister who posted comments on 19JAN stating that the easiest solution if a person is unsure if the meat they are eating is halal would be to have Kosher meat. This statement is completely wrong and I urge my fellow brothers and sisters not follow this as you will be ending up eating Haram meat. Halal meat is that meat which has been slaughtered with Islamic rites where verse of holy Quran is recited on animal before slaughtering. Kosher meat is only free from pork and its derivites but it is certainly not slaughtered with Islamic rites therefore to suggest this an al alternate is completely false. 

May I request that Beliefnet should correct such false statements so that people are not misguided. 

  
Flag Bezant February 4, 2011 8:19 PM EST
Welcome to Beliefnet and the discussion, Masuma, it's a pleasure.

I know a few Muslims who feel kosher meat is acceptable if necessary, and if I'm not mistaken some Muslim authorities rule the same in certain contexts (i.e., if halal meat is unavailable). So there are clearly different opinions on the matter.

Kosher by-products (e.g., jello, sweets) are surely helpful in the US, but not a convenient option in the UK, where kosher products are rare even in large cities.

Vegetarian certifications are common, but these do not cover utensils/equipment's contact or exposure with haram products; however, it seems from the comments below that as long as  Muslim sincerely tries to observe a halal, the possibility of commiting an error is ok (and real).

Feb 4, 2011 -- 2:59PM, Masuma wrote:

I would like to correct the brother or sister who posted comments on 19JAN stating that the easiest solution if a person is unsure if the meat they are eating is halal would be to have Kosher meat. This statement is completely wrong and I urge my fellow brothers and sisters not follow this as you will be ending up eating Haram meat. Halal meat is that meat which has been slaughtered with Islamic rites where verse of holy Quran is recited on animal before slaughtering.




Feb 4, 2011 -- 2:59PM, Masuma wrote:


Kosher meat is only free from pork and its derivites but it is certainly not slaughtered with Islamic rites therefore to suggest this an al alternate is completely false.




Kosher meat is more than pork-free meat. It has it's own procedure of slaughter (slitting the throat, as the Islamic) and preparations and post-slaughter handling (draining blood, close inspection of the organs), theological basis, etc. Some animals considered halal (e.g., camel) do not qualify as kosher.

Feb 4, 2011 -- 2:59PM, Masuma wrote:


May I request that Beliefnet should correct such false statements so that people are not misguided.




Just to clarify, because you've just joined. Beliefnet is an open forum for debate where the guidelines permit. Because this is a Discuss Islam board, everything about Islam can be questioned, critiqued, argued, etc. On the community boards, e.g., Islam, these are largely restricted to believers and respectful guests. But even on the community boards there is some room for debate on non-core beliefs.

Flag Bezant February 4, 2011 8:36 PM EST

Feb 2, 2011 -- 7:23PM, Agnosticspirit wrote:

To the OP: Not so sure there should be a universal/worldwide governing body over halal food, but it's truly a shame when argri-business and monopolistic corporations engage in out and out FRAUD with false advertising and labeling.




I agree; I heard that an American company once marketed "organic" chickens because all organisms are organic (have oxygen, carbon). However, it's not always fraud; sometimes proprietors honestly don't know they're making a mistake. A Jewish friend of mine found a restaurant advertising "kosher-style" dishes, much to his amusement.

Feb 2, 2011 -- 7:23PM, Agnosticspirit wrote:



Remember the kerfluffel a few years ago when McDonald's had to admit they used protein (beef) flavoring in the oil used for french fries? Hindus and vegetarians in general were rightly upset because McD's advertised the falsehood that vegetable oil only was used in their fries.




Hence I do not eat McDonalds. They're too dodgy, and I don't believe their 'healthy' campaign. By the way, that sh^t has framaldahyde. I promise if you keep it in a plastic bag for a few months it won't grow mold.

Feb 2, 2011 -- 7:23PM, Agnosticspirit wrote:



I don't do kosher or halal but I do purchase organic/biodynamic produce and limit my proteins and dairy to free range, organic feed, non GHMO crap injected into livestock.



LOL, I understand, but I'm undecided about the effectiveness of these regulations too. My mum and I have stuck to glatt kosher meat for (one of) the reasons that, should it prove faulty, the butcher/company loses integrity.

Feb 2, 2011 -- 7:23PM, Agnosticspirit wrote:


It would be very upsetting to discover that a company who claims to raise livestock in equitable conditions is no better than a factory farm.
I completely sympathize with those who shop for halal foods and expect truth in labeling. 



I agree.

Flag BDboy February 4, 2011 11:09 PM EST

Feb 4, 2011 -- 2:59PM, Masuma wrote:

I would like to correct the brother or sister who posted comments on 19JAN stating that the easiest solution if a person is unsure if the meat they are eating is halal would be to have Kosher meat. This statement is completely wrong and I urge my fellow brothers and sisters not follow this as you will be ending up eating Haram meat.




>>>>>>>> The brother who said it was a "Jewish brother". I do not know what prompted him to give "Fatwa" about a often debated "Islamic" issue but I am going to assume he was trying to "Help".

Having said that, do remember this is often debated issue among practicing Muslims. While I agree it is safe to seek "Zabiha-halal" meat for Muslims but there are good Muslims who consume meat prepared by "Ahl al Kitab" [ AKA Jews and Christians]. Therefore, in most western muslim communities it is known as Halal  and meat produced by Muslims and slaughtered by Muslims are known as Zabiha or Dhabiha-Halal meat.

While you are most welcome to restrict yourself to Zabiha-halal only meat. I would request you not to call other meat "Haram". Because those who consumer meat prepared by Jews and Christians often quote the following verse from the noble Qur'an......


This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,............

                                                [ Source: The noble Qur'an 5:5]


Feb 4, 2011 -- 2:59PM, Masuma wrote:



Halal meat is that meat which has been slaughtered with Islamic rites where verse of holy Quran is recited on animal before slaughtering. Kosher meat is only free from pork and its derivites but it is certainly not slaughtered with Islamic rites therefore to suggest this an al alternate is completely false. 

May I request that Beliefnet should correct such false statements so that people are not misguided. 

  





>>>>>>>>> Hang tight sister. People make all kind of "False" statements about Islam in open forum like it. Be tolerant of their opinions and try your best to present authentic Islam. This is how our last prophet Muhammad (PBUH) tought Islam to a community who lived in ignorance. With amazing grace and openess he tought them love and compassion. Which took them from darkness to light. As followers of prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we have to strive towards that "Straight path".

Do not expect "Others" to correct wrong perception of Islam among non-Muslims [ And Muslims!]. It is OUR job and we have to do it.

May peace be unto you.

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