Page 20 - SHD1920_11Sept
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Understanding Halal food
In the preparation and handling There has been a misconception with by the Fatwa Committee, due to the
of Halal food, one must take the following into due consideration:
1. Sources of Halal Food
I. Animals
Animals can be divided into two categories namely:
a) Land Animals
b) Aquatic Animals
All land animals are lawful as food, except the following:
a) Swine, and all products and
ingredients derived from swine;
b) Land animals that are not slaughtered according to Shariah
c) Carnivorous animals with fangs,
such as lions, tigers and bears;
d) Birds of prey with sharp claws,
such as eagles;
e) Land animals that are not
slaughtered according to Shariah
f) Animals that eats carrion, such as
g) Food immolate unto idols;
h) Animals that are considered  lthy
or that people  nd repulsive, such
as mice,  ies and bat;
i) Animals that are forbidden to be
killed, such as ants and bees.
Aquatic animals are those that live in water and cannot survive outside it, such as  sh. All aquatic animals are Halal except for those that are poisonous, intoxicating or hazardous to health.
In addition to that, the following are also considered non-Halal:
a) Blood;
b) Animals that live both on land
and in water, such as frogs and salamanders.
the Halal status of crabs. The popular belief is that certain kinds of crabs are non-Halal since it can live both on land and water. This is not true as crabs can either live on land or water, but not both. Land crabs cannot survive long in water and aquatic crabs cannot survive long on land. Hence, crabs do not belong to the category of animals that can survive on both habitats: land and water. That being the case, all crabs are Halal, as long as it is not poisonous or harmful to humans.
II. Plants
Just like aquatic animals, all types of plants products are Halal except for those that are poisonous, intoxicating or hazardous to health.
It is imperative to note that although plants are generally Halal, it is important to know how it is being prepared. Truf e, for example, is Halal in its raw state. However, the process of extraction is doubtful due to the common use of either hogs/pigs or dogs to sniff and then extract the truf e from the ground. Likewise for Vegetarian food: all types of plants in its raw state is Halal, however, if it is prepared using non-Halal ingredients, the food becomes non-Halal.
III. Drinks
All kinds of beverages are Halal, except those that are poisonous, intoxicating or hazardous to health and that are mixed with Najis such as alcoholic beverages and  avouring wines.
Muis is of the view that non-alcoholic wine, beer or the likes are considered non-Halal. This is based on a fatwa
following reasons:
1) Even though the products
contain low alcohol content (less than 0.5%) and/or have zero alcohol content and/or have its alcohol removed, the process of manufacturing the products is similar to the manufacturing of alcohol (khamr1). Thus, it is Haram even though the small amount of alcohol in the products does not cause an individual to be intoxicated.
2) The products are being marketed in a manner that is similar to alcoholic beverages. Islam forbids an event that has resemblance or events that can lead to Haram activities, even though, in its’ natural state, is permissible. This is aligned with a principle in the Sharia’ known as sad al-zari’ah2.
Thus, products that meet the  rst or second criteria or meet both criteria are considered non-halal for Muslims consumption.
1 khamr – An intoxicating drink containing ethanol & other components such as methanol, acetaldehyde and ethyl acetate which is produced by fermentation of carbohydrates or drinks containing ethanol and/or methanol as ingredient.
2 Sadd al-dhara’i‘means, literally, “blocking the means”, i.e. to undesirable ends, in other words, forbidding what is likely to lead to the haram. The basis of this principle is contained in the Qur’an where Allah says: “Do not swear at those who call on other gods than Allah, so that they will then swear at Allah in enmity, without any knowledge. ....” (Q.6:108). Allah has thus made it haram to swear at the gods of others, to avoid them cursing back at Allah. Another example usually highlighted by our past scholars like Imam An-Nawawi, is the issue of accepting and giving gifts for officials. Even though the act of giving a gift itself in essence is virtuous, hence permissible, scholars clearly discouraged those holding on to official posts to accept gifts from the public, as it could be perceived as a bribe. Please refer to: al-Asyqar,Sulayman ‘Abdullah, al-Wadih fi Usul al-Fiqh, (Amman: Dar al-Salam, 2001) 159.

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