Sunday, April 18, 2021
   
Text Size

Follow SLMuslims on


 

Latest News

  • A country obsessed with racial and religious conflicts
    Sri Lanka, as a nation has been wasting time debating sensitive racial and religious issues for the past several years, without gaining anything. Only thing the country has been witnessing as a result is communities distancing themselves from each other, while portraying a false unity among them. 
    The situation seems to have come to a head with people of various communities being emotionally charged over these issues subsequent to the attacks on three Christian churches and three major tourist hotels by the Islamic terrorists on April 21, 2019, which was also the Easter Sunday.
    The terrorist attacks which caught the nation off-guard demanded united action by all communities and political parties to handle the immediate situation and to prevent future recurrence of...
    Read More...
  • Burqa ban: Security, human rights and male chauvinism
    A few years ago, on a Turkish beach exclusively for women, a bikini-clad woman offered her prayers. The video clip of the woman going through the postures of the Muslim prayer went viral and created a major debate among the Muslims.  Some censured her for not adhering to the dress code for prayers, but others said what mattered was her piety and not the dress.
    Following the release of the Easter Sunday terror attack commission report, Sri Lanka is mulling whether to ban burqa – the Muslim dress that covers a female body from head to toe – and niqab, which only shows the eyes of the wearer, but the issue needs to be looked at from human rights, security and spiritual angles to come to a right decision.
    If at the one end of the spectrum is public nudity, burqa will...
    Read More...
  • South African Muslim bodies seek intervention over burqa ban in Sri Lanka Foreign Minister of South Africa urged to intervene
    South African Muslim organisations have called on the country’s foreign minister to intervene in the proposed Sri Lankan ban on the burqa and closure of hundreds of Islamic schools. This followed the announcement by Sri Lanka''s minister for public security, Sarath Weerasekera, during the weekend that his country would ban the traditional full-face covering worn by some Muslim women because it posed a threat to national security. This was quickly followed by a statement from the Sri Lankan foreign ministry, which said a decision would only be taken on the proposal after consultations and further discussion. The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) has now asked South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor to intervene in the matter. UUCSA had earlier also called for such intervention when...
    Read More...
  • Banning Burqas and Madrasas illegal: Fmr MP
    Former MP M.M .Zuhair said yesterday it would be unlawful to ban Burqas and Madrasas. Issuing a statement, he said some observations and recommendations of the Commission on Easter Sunday attacks are invasive of the absolute protection given to every person under Article 10 of the Sri Lanka Constitution. He said the Commission’s report though good in parts, can be seen as an attempted assault on Islam for the heinous crimes of a dozen suicide bombers. The right to the freedom stated in Article 10 is ‘assured to all religions’ under Article 9. No one, not even Presidential Commissions can invite or promote the State or any limb of the Executive or Judiciary to violate the freedom guaranteed under Article 10.This protection is guaranteed notwithstanding any national security concerns, as the law stands today. In this constitutionally...
    Read More...
  • Pakistan says likely ban on Niqab in SL to serve as injury on Muslims
    The Ambassador of Pakistan to Sri Lanka, Saad Khattak today said the likely ban on Niqab in Sri Lanka will only serve as an injury to the feelings of ordinary Sri Lankan Muslims and Muslims across the globe. In a tweet, the Ambassador said that at today’s economically difficult time due to COVID-19 pandemic and other image related challenges faced by the country at the international fora, such divisive steps in the name of security, besides accentuating economic difficulties, will only serve as fillip to further strengthen wider apprehensions about fundamental human rights of minorities in the country. Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Retd.) Dr. Sarath Weerasekera said today that in addition to banning the burqa, the cabinet proposal would also include banning the niqab which covers the face of the wearer except the eyes. The...
    Read More...
  • යුරෝපයේ රටවල් 8 කින් හිස්බුල්ලාට සහාය
    මානව හිමිකම් වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටින ප්‍රමුඛ නීතිඥවරයකු වන හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා වැනි මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කරන්නන්ට ගරු කරන ලෙස ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජයෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටිමින් යුරෝපීය රටවල් අටක මානව හිමිකම් තානාපතිවරුන් ඒකාබද්ධ නිවේදනයක් නිකුත් කර තිබේ. නෙදර්ලන්තය, ජර්මනිය, එංගලන්තය ස්වීඩනය, එස්ටෝනියාව, ලිතුවේනියාව, ලක්සම්බර්ග් සහ ෆින්ලන්තය...
    Read More...
  • Eight EU HR Ambassadors raise concern over Hejaaz Hizbullah
    In a statement issued today, Eight Human Rights  Ambassadors of Europe including the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden called on the Sri Lankan government to " respect human rights defenders such as Hizbullah". The statement issued by the Ambassadors of the United Kingsdom, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and the Netherlands said that after ten months of Detention, Hejaaz Hizbullah was being accused of speech related offences. Prominent Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department on the 14th of April 2020. He was thereafter accused in the media of various activities related to terrorism. He was thereafter produced on the 18th of February 2021 where the Attorney General informed court that the entire case against Hizbullah was to be based on purported statements made by children. Hizbullah...
    Read More...
  • Circular on burial of COVID-19 victims issued
    The circular containing the guidelines with regard to the burial of COVID-19 victims has been issued, the Health Ministry said. Some key guidelines are as follows, The relatives of the deceased should inform the Director/ Head of the health care institution (Where the death has occurred) of their desire to bury the corpse without delay. The Director of the hospital/ Head of the health care institution should obtain a written request from relatives for burial. The relatives need to provide a coffin in advance. It is the duty of the director/ Head of health care institution to transport the corpse in a coffin provided by the relatives to a designated location in Colombo Institute of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (office of JMO) / BH Welikanda where the corpse will be received by the designated officer. The vehicle transporting the...
    Read More...
  • Muslims to raise concerns over Iranaithivu burial with global bodies
    A leading Muslim organisation in Sri Lanka will this week send an official letter of concern to the global Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Muslim Congress, seeking their intervention to urge the Sri Lankan government to allocate a decent land for the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims. The Daily Mirror learns that the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre, which is a member of the World Muslim Congress will raise serious concerns with the global bodies and will also send a letter to the World Muslim Congress office in Geneva urging for immediate intervention after the government announced that burials of the COVID-19 dead would take place on the Iranaithivu Island, in the Gulf of Mannar. Senior Muslim officials said they were disappointed at the government’s decision to allocate the Iranaithivu Isle for the burials and instead urged...
    Read More...
  • Hizbullah and Madrasa School Principal further remanded
    Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah and Principal of Madrasa School Mohammed Shakeel were further remanded till March 18 by the Fort Magistrate’s Court today. They were earlier remanded under section 2 (1) (h) of the PTA and section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act.   http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Hizbullah-and-Madrasa-School-Principal-further-remanded/108-206945 Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
    Read More...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

Halal: Food for thought

Local

User Rating: / 10
PoorBest 

By Charundi Panagoda

Halal, a word that has stirred much controversy and tension in the country, is simply Arabic for “permitted,” as opposed to Haram, Arabic for “prohibited.” Under Sharia Islamic law, Halal and Haram designate objects and actions permissible or sinful for Muslims.

More commonly, Halal is a term referred to food items Muslims are allowed to consume under Islamic dietary guidelines. The Quran explicitly forbids Muslims from consuming pork, blood, carrion, alcohol, meat over which God’s name has not been pronounced, animals slaughtered in the name of any other than God and animals that have been strangled or beaten to death, killed by a fall, gored to death or killed by another animal and not finished off by a human.

In order to ensure that food they consume does not contain any Haram products, Muslim communities worldwide rely on the Halal certification, including predominantly non-Muslim countries such as the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Thailand.

In Sri Lanka, Halal certifications are provided by the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU). Established in 1924 as a “non-political, non-governmental national religious institute,” the organisation was incorporated by Act of Parliament No. 51 in 2000. ACJU consists of over 4,000 Muslim theologians (ulamas) and “acts as the accepted authority concerning religious affairs of the [Sri Lankan Muslim] community.” ACJU services include Sharia rulings (fatwa), moonsighting (hilal), advocacy, Islamic banking and Halal certification.

According to the ACJU, Halal certification is a process of “screening” ingredients in food production with the goal of clarifying to the Muslim consumer whether the product is contaminated with any Haram material.

ACJU’s Halal Certification Committee consists of 10 theologians and eight experts from fields of science and technology. The certification is processed through five sectors — abattoir sector which applies to slaughter houses, food premises sector applicable to buildings and areas food is prepared and served such as restaurants, product sector which applies to foods processed and manufactured in Sri Lanka, endorsement sector for foods imported or re-exported and storage sector applicable to warehouses and cold rooms.

Currently, ACJU has given certificates for more than 4,500 products and about 200 organisations. In December 2006, the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) recognised ACJU Halal certifications in a gazette directive but rescinded that directive seven months later. On September 10, 2007, the CAA issued another gazette directive recognising Halal certificates issued by a “recognized body,” but rescinded that directive in February 2008. Chairman of the CAA Rumy Marzook refused to comment due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

Despite allegations, Halal certification from ACJU is voluntary. The organisation issues certificates only if the businesses seek it, President of ACJU M.I.M Rizwe (Mufti) said. The applicants first must submit a letter of request for certification followed by submitting the actual application. After a site investigation, if the Halal Certification Committee approves the application, a certificate will be issued with a service fee. The ACJU conducts announced or unannounced site visits periodically to maintain standards, and certificates must be periodically renewed.

Recently, ACJU has been under fire over allegations of profiteering from Halal certifications. Accusers ask ‘does the ACJU need to issue Halal certificates for everything from soaps to brushes?”

UNP MP Kabir Hashim said if there’s an issue of ACJU’s authority to issue certificates or profiteering allegations, then it’s the “government’s job” to set up a process for transparency and supervision via the Sri Lanka Standards Institute or Muslim Affairs Department.

“I think there is a big misunderstanding regarding Halal certification, it’s not forced on anybody and it’s preposterous to claim Halal certificates are ‘Islamifying’ the country,” he said. “If there are issues the state should supervise, like the predominantly Buddhist Thai government does. I believe mostly because of free market economy and globalisation, many companies need Halal certificates to access certain local and foreign markets.” While some food items can be clearly deemed Halal or Haram, some items are Makrooh, or doubtful or questionable, especially when ingredients are not listed.

For example, many bread products may contain a dough conditioner called L-Cysteine, considered Haram because L-Cysteine is mainly sourced from human hair, duck feathers or according to a manager from its Chinese production company, hog hair. As the final bakery products will not list L-Cysteine as an ingredient, ACJU says Halal certification is necessary to “assure” Muslim consumers.

How necessary Halal certification is for Muslim consumers, however, depends on individual preferences. Some Muslim consumers said their eating habits depended on ACJU Halal certification, others said they were only concerned whether meat and poultry was Halal, and the rest didn’t care either way and ate what they wanted.

 

Courtesy : sundaytimes.lk

 

Login Form