|Since his creation, man has realized that he has been favored by his Creator. Allah has granted him the latent qualities which allow him to impose his supremacy over his environment. With an unlimited ambition, man makes use of his abilities to perfect his living conditions. Unfortunately, his main objectives are comfort, luxury and progress.
Nowadays, man found another tool to satisfy his fantasies: technology. In this way, he uses modern technology to satisfy his imposing and worldwide demands. Technology has become indispensable to meet the needs of an ever-increasing population. Mass production makes people dream because profits are as huge as mountains. Long ago, treasure hunt was front-page news, but today, it is the quest for the most competitive productions at lesser cost but with bigger profits.
The challenge of industrialists is to satisfy the great (public) demand. Nowadays, the poultry market is hot news. Just think, the big chicken farms slaughter some 30 000 units daily (which represents 10 hours of work). This means that every chicken is killed in less than 2 seconds. During that short time, Bismillah has to be recited while 4 jugular veins are cut. This impossible exercise will last several hours! The Halal Research Committee wishes to sound the alarm bell in order to inform people that these chickens are not guaranteed to be halal.
In this modern world of treasure hunt which industrialization has become, it is necessary to point out that these industrialist treasure hunters are, often, blinded by their returns on investment and thus violate consumer rights. They keep themselves busy utilizing most competitive raw materials in order to maximize their profits. From this stand point, they do not care about the religious principles of Islam or of any other religion. Yet, there are so many consumers (who are fervent practitioners of religion) who require these produces to some honesty in this matter.
There are many people who make a mockery of socio-religious symbols. Untruth and deceit become their shield and politics their bribe. In this way, they hide their criminal designs.
The ears do not often hear what they are cooking up in their secret formula. They make use of their commercial right as cover in order to violate human rights.
Do you know that certain producers make use of cysteine (which is derived from human hair) to render snacks tasty? Some also use pork and still others use animal enzymes without bothering to forewarn vegetarians and believers and devout people.
In the United States, vegetarians had sued a well-known Fast Food Company. Do you know why? Because that company was dipping its French fries in beef fat. And it was that secret greasing which made the fries crispier! The Vegetarians, faithful to their principles and feeling themselves betrayed, had taken legal action against the company. They were right in doing so because French fries are a vegetarian dish. Why had they not warned the public? Over there, the vegetarians are very adamant about their favorite food. Are we like that here in Mauritius?
And if ever that fast food company acted in the same way here in Mauritius, would not that be an act of betrayal towards our public? Isn’t it important for consumers to know at least what kind of food they are given to eat? Hasn’t the time come to put a stop to such an excessive onslaught on our integrity and our freedom to consume what is halal or licit?
In view of the chaotic situation in the region of the Mascareignes, the Halal Research Committee is warning people to beware of the consumption of food of doubtful nature, especially in restaurants and fast food centers, for the following reasons:-
1. The source and origin of the chicken is not guaranteed halal (75 % of chicken on sale in the market are not guaranteed halal).
2. The secret formula often contains animal enzymes.
3. Pastry brushes are made of pig bristles.
4. There is a great likelihood that there has been cross-contamination of the products with alcohol.
5. Cheese may contain pork gelatin.
6. The French fries may be seasoned with animal fat.
7. The grease used in the product s may have come from animal fat.
Beware! Because the consumption of food of doubtful origin leads towards haram. The Holy Prophet (saw) has said: Halal and Haram are clearly established. Those who save themselves from doubtful things will have their faith and honor preserved. Whereas those who encourage what is doubtful will without doubt fall into haram. (Sahih Muslim)
Very often, one is tempted by taste and the packaging and in this way one consumes food of doubtful origin. For example, a product that is labeled halal may nevertheless contain ingredients of a doubtful nature. So what should dwe do? The hadith clearly tells us that consumption of food of doubtful origin leads finally to haram.
That is why it is better to eat what is halal and refrain from what is doubtful. With some precaution, we shall thus be able to ensure that our duahs (supplications) are accepted and our salah (prayers) are safeguarded. The consumption of a doubtful menu involves the risk of non-acceptance of duahs and ibaadats. On the Day of Judgement, only one currency will be valid to attract Allah’s grace upon us: our good deeds. So let us preserve them by starting to consume food that is pure and halal.