South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)


January 2018 : Rabiul Aakhir 1439

Life is all about choices, decisions and outcomes with consequences of pain and pleasure, regrets and happiness. Decision-making is not an inherent trait of every human being, but a skill that is learned. Some decisions become so routine that they can be made “automatically”, as they accord with your previous thought process.  Then there are major life-changing decisions, consequences of which have a profound impact on your life. Decisions such as finding a spouse, deciding on the institution where you wish to further your studies, purchasing a home or a motor vehicle, a career path change or relocating to another town or country are a few that come to mind.

For these major impact events, one has to gather as much information, seek counsel from those in the know and apply a logical thought process to forecast and reach the best conclusion. The timeless and proven best method to meet the expectations is the “ticking all the right boxes” which is check marking each and every important factor to reach the most ticked one.

Almighty Allah has made man the highest of His creations and blessed him with intellect to make decisions on our journey of ultimate return to Him. Beyond the obligatory five pillars of Islam for Salvation, the consumption of and dealing in Halaal whilst abstaining from Haraam ranks highest. This great blessing allows one to apply our intellect and make decisions for good in this world and Salvation in the Hereafter. Can there be any greater decision to be taken for this outcome?

Over the centuries, Islam has spread to almost every country on earth and Muslims account for a quarter of mankind increasing the demand for Halaal. There is no single structure worldwide that speaks for or regulates Halaal for all on compliance and obedience to Islamic law which is the main concern of every practicing Muslim.

The task of an independent third party quality assurance is undertaken by over a hundred localised non-Governmental agencies, individuals and a handful of Islamic States. With globalisation, differing standards and competing interests of various bodies, a critical examination of the integrity of the organization, the bona fides of its membership, track record, sincerity, dedication and integrity of its officials will help you reach the best decision. Work through the checklist below and follow the organisation that ticks all the right boxes.

  1. Is Halaal certification their only dedicated and specialist activity?
  2. Is it registered and operates on a non-profit basis without diverting any of its income to other causes such as social welfare, private schools etc. at the expense of the primary Halaal certification and monitoring service?
  3. Does it publish and present its audited financial statements for public record?
  4. Does the organization hold Annual General Meetings open to the public and not just privately for its staff and officials? Has one been held in the last 12 months?
  5. Does it publish a list of all its Halaal certified establishments together with contact details in line with the principles of transparency and accountability?
  6. What is the staff complement and is it adequate to monitor and regulate plants and outlets certified.
  7. Is the organisation professional, competent and thorough in its certification procedures and systems?
  8. Has its procedures and standards been successfully audited and approved by or on behalf of reputable Muslim Government departments
  9. Does it play an active role in the promotion and preservation of Halaal at both local and international levels?
  10. Is the organisation aligned and associated with global initiatives to standardise and harmonise Halaal certification criteria?
  11. Does it have a record of pursuing and taking vigorous action against fraudulent practices and misuse of the term Halaal?
  12. Does it have a national footprint with offices and logistical support representation in the major cities and the formal support of scores of community organisations nationally?
  13. Is it easily accessible to the consumer, responds timeously to queries and keeps all stakeholders regularly updated via publications, radio, social media, public meetings, trade exhibitions and seminars?
  14. Does the organization tap into collective independence and righteous leadership of the Ulama at both Executive Management and Operational staff levels?


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