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South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)  

In Deep Water

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No. 24 Dhul QaŽdah 1429 :: November 2008
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A community broadcaster in the Western Cape, "The Voice of the Cape", uncorked an interesting programme last week which left many listeners shaken and stirred.

The General Manager of a chain of sea food restaurants stated on air that although 40 to 60 percent of his clientele on average were Muslims and this rises to 90% on the weekends he, "could not go completely 100% Halaal" due to "the cosmopolitan nature of the surroundings and serving of alcohol".

Muslims are well aware of the Quranic injunctions backed up by the teachings of our Prophet (Peace be upon him) that strictly forbids any interaction with alcohol and other intoxicants. The prohibition is at every level from consumption to production and trade.

Muslims are living witnesses to the wisdom of this teaching by the overwhelming evidence of the ill-effects of alcohol on individuals and society who accept and encourage its consumption. A writer described this as the "worst drug of them all". The Noble Quran itself labelled it as "an abomination" and "Satans handiwork!".

However, it is unfortunate and an indictment on the community, that with the current lifestyle trends a degree of compromise and complacency has crept in whereby Muslims no longer shun outlets serving alcohol. Patronage of these outlets and in particular seafood restaurants and coffee shops is not viewed as a transgression since it is rationalized that no alcohol is used in the food preparation.

This is in flagrant violation of the ShariŽah (Islamic Law) position described below:-

Hazrat Umar (radhiallaahu anhu) narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) saying, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day must not sit at a table at which khamr is consumed."

(Reported by Ahmad; al-Tirmidhi also reports something similar to it.)

It is also reported that the rightly-guided Caliph 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-Aziz used to flog not only those who drank but those who sat with them as well, even if they were not themselves drinking.


It is best to prepare dishes in the confines of your blessed homes with the best of ingredients with your own hands and served in an atmosphere of peace and harmony.

Where there is a need for whatever reason to eat out then one should seek outlets certified by a reputable national organisation that never certifies any outlets serving alcohol locally or approves this internationally.

It is also incumbent for certifying authorities to make available lists of outlets certified by themselves that give the Muslim diner alternate choices. What can be the motive of certifying outlets but then refusing details of these?

Islamic media in the interest of their readers and listeners should insist on this information which is not always forthcoming.


A list of SANHAŽs certified establishments is available on our website


Your constructive comments, criticism and feedback is truly appreciated


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