To those who follow the Messenger (saw), Allah Ta’ala prescribes what is acceptable, forbids what is blameful, makes good things lawful and prohibits bad things. The Qur’an and the Sunnah order us to consume only lawful food. Doubtful food is also forbidden. That is because consumption of doubtful food leads to what is haraam (unlawful).
The Holy Prophet (saw) has stated: “What is halal is evident and what is haram is also evident. Between these two are doubtful things. Whoever protects himself from doubtful things will safeguard his religion and his honour. And whoever recommends doubtful things will without doubt fall into haram.” (Sahih Muslim)
While lawful food is mandatory, is there a need for research about everything thing that we eat? The answer depends on doubts that we can entertain about our environment or the product to be consumed. Vegetables, fruits and fish are halal products for consumption and therefore there is no need to verify whether they are lawful or not.
A research concerning plantation or the fertilizers used therein is insignificant and shows a lack of knowledge in the science of halal. However, if, during the industrial processing of a product, there are risks of contamination by haram ingredients, than that product will be classified as being doubtful. Therefore, a doubtful product cannot be consumed, as confirmed in the hadith previously mentioned of Muslim Shareef.
Vegetarian dishes prepared with wine or dishes filled with haram meat cannot be consumed. Certain of these dishes are probably contaminated by haram products. Vigilance is required in hotels and restaurants, whether big or small, at market stall holders and in airline catering. Whenever the Prophet of Allah (saw) was in the presence of doubtful food, he would never consume it without an enquiry.
From a narration of Abu Dawood, Hazrat Anas (ra) reports that once some old dates were presented to the Prophet of Allah (saw). So he began to verify and opened the fruits and removed worms from them. However, if there is an environment where one can obtain halal products the need for carrying out an enquiry will not even arise. The best era was that of 14 centuries ago, at the time of Prophet Muhammad (saw).
The Prophet (saw) has stated: “The best of men are from my time. And then those of the generation that follows them.” (Mustadrak). Therefore, the best of eras did provide an environment that was healthy, with standards and values, and therefore with acceptable norms for zabah (slaughter) and halal food consumption. That situation confirms very clearly the verses which affirm that halal norms were well respected.
That glorious era has since elapsed. Today, we live in a global world. Raw materials are available in a world market. Science ahs complicated our food situation, as ingredients used therein leave no trace. Hence, it is important to enquire into each and every product that we consume.
The Halaal Research Committee acts with the objective of establishing norms for halal in our local industries and in our farms. Our ultimate objective is to establish halal norms so that our market becomes prominent in halal products and so that the need for enquiry arises no more. Mauritius could thus become renowned as a “halal hub.”
However, to achieve such an objective, your co-operation is needed. Before making any purchase, carry out a verification of the contents of the product. For that purpose, we provided you with a “Guide of Ingredients” which can be obtained free from Islamic libraries or from mobile number 7921333. We ask you to be vigilant and to contact us by phone or by sending an sms before consuming any doubtful food.