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South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)  

Be Just ... even unto your Enemy !

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No. 17 Rabi al-Thaani 1429 :: April 2008
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Q: Why does SANHA not declare products Haraam or refuse to certify them if they originate from countries that oppress Muslims, invade their land and / or express anti-Muslim sentiments ?

A: The Almighty Allah says in the Qur'aan, "O you who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just, that is next to piety, and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do." (al-Maaidah : 8)

Thus no matter how much we may be offended by certain entities, their deeds and policies, the Quraan's command remains the same – testify to truth irrespective who the parties are. The sublime example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a shining testimony to this. The incident of him ruling in favour of a Jew in a dispute with a Muslim is well- known. He did not rule on the basis of political or religious affiliation, but on the facts of the matter based on TRUTH & JUSTICE.

The wars with the Romans started during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who prophesied its final conquest eight centuries later. Yet the noble Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) wore a ROMAN outer robe. 800 years of bloodshed was not a reason to declare Roman products Haraam. Similarly wars with the Persians and Jewish tribes of Arabia did not render their products Haraam. The crops of the Jews of Khaybar were exported to Madinah.

The Halaal status of a product is determined by the Law of Allah. Extraneous circumstances, however deplorable, do not make a product Haraam.

"Why should you not eat of (meats) on which Allah's name hath been pronounced, when He hath explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you?" (al-An'aam:119)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his illustrious Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) understood this. Those who wish to declare substances Haraam when they are not, in fact contradict these noble examples and the Quraan itself. Abdullah bin Salaam (may Allah be pleased with him) wished to abstain from camel meat on the basis of his prior Jewish belief. Upon this, verse 208 of al-Baqarah was revealed,

"O you who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of Satan; for he is to you an avowed enemy."

The authority to legislate the lawful (Halaal) and unlawful (Haraam) is vested in the Almighty Allah alone as quoted above. No human being irrespective of their financial status, nobility, piety or profession, position in Government, whether king, peasant, butcher, baker, religious leader or a certifying body can usurp this right. It would be akin to ascribing a partner to the Almighty Allah and places one outside the fold of Islam.

SANHA's mission is bound by this Divine ordinance and it presents relevant information accordingly, to enable the public to make informed choices in keeping with their own religious responsibility. It cannot and will not trade this injunction for political expediency from whatever quarters and even if it may be unpalatable to some.

In the case of the sacred land of Palestine which is home to Masjid al-Aqsa, the third most holiest site in Islam, we shall never recognize its occupation and we pray for its liberation. Anyone who is not affected by the sufferings of our Palestinian brethren is at best, weak in faith. Whatever actions our Ulama and leadership suggest should be followed and encouraged within the bounds of Shariah.

What cannot be condoned is injustice and changing the Law of Allah.


Your constructive comments, criticism and feedback is truly appreciated


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