The central code for existence in a Muslims’ life is the Shari’ah.
Divine and sacred, it is the law of Allah, the Creator of all and permeates
the life of Muslims. The sources of this law are:-
(i) The Noble Quran.
The primary source as revealed to the final Prophet, Muhammad (Peace be
upon him) over one thousand four hundred years ago, preserved unchanged and
without corruption in its original and pristine form.
(ii) The Sunnah
This is the second primary source of the Shari’ah (law) and consists of the
sayings and deeds of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him). It is regarded
both as explanatory and complementary to the text of the Quran.
Juristic opinion of learned Ulama (Theologians)
Through a measured and meticulous process, decisions arrived by Ulama
through consensus, analogical deduction, personal reasoning, public
interest, legal presumptions and customs with final sanction which cannot
go contrary to the Divine primary sources above.
Today, after fourteen hundred years, Islam has spread to almost every
country on earth, and Muslims are of all hue and nationalities, speak many
languages and account for a quarter of mankind.
Without a single cohesive institution such as the Rightly Guided Caliphate
of previous times, it progresses by adherence to the Shari’ah.
With the Noble Quran immutable and the Sunnah sacrosanct, it is this
secondary source of Juristic opinion that sees differences in opinions and
rulings in various part of the world. This in no way implies a “holier
that thou attitude”, and that one’s rulings are superior to
others but are accepted with humility, in a spirit of brotherhood and unity
on the premise that the inheritors of the knowledge of the Prophets (Peace
be upon them), the esteemed Ulama of that locality have made the decisions
in the best interest of Islam for their respective communities.
Dietary laws are not exempt from this and rulings differ on issues such
as the use of gelatine from Halaal and non-halaal slaughtered animals,
methods of slaughter etc. In the case of poultry there are discrepancies
with some accepting machine slaughter, others accepting slaughter by the "People
of the Book" and some who accept a single recitation of
the Tasmiyah (incantation) at the start of the process. Then there is the
question of supply and demand where stocks are imported from various
countries with reliance on a certificate issued by a certifying body or an
individual of the exporting country.
In keeping with the decision of its pious predecessors SANHA,
does not accept mechanical slaughter of poultry. A member of a group who
are under the patronage of the Majlis who themselves oppose all commercial
slaughter, in a document to Rainbow Farms stated that “you can
by all means boost your production by even introducing machine
slaughtering” and that “the majority of Muslims
will be happy”. Any such moves will be opposed.