ASSALAAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH Alhamdulillah was-salatu was-salaamu 'ala rasoolillah. All thanks and praise is to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we ask that HIS blessings and peace be upon HIS Messenger, Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam.
Mariam Majeed is the newest addition to the IFANCA technical team. She received her B.Sc. degree in nutrition from the University of Illinois at Chicago in December 2006, graduating with honors. She has completed internships at Children's Memorial Hospital, St. James Outpatient Diabetes Center, as well as the University of Illinois Hospital at Chicago. After her internships she passed her examinations to become a registered dietitian and served as the clinical and outpatient dietitian at Rush North Shore Medical Center in Skokie for more than a year.
In July 2008, Mariam joined IFANCA as a food technologist for food ingredient review amongst other responsibilities. Mariam chose to come to IFANCA to focus on helping the Muslim community and to learn more about the field of food science and the food industry. She has been a Sunday school teacher at the Muslim Education Center in Morton Grove for 5 years and a counselor for the MCC Muslim Youth Camp for girls for 3 years. As far as hopes for the future, Mariam envisions that Muslims will consistently question the source of their products and through their demand for halal-certified products will further their availability. She speaks English and Urdu.
IFANCA has received a number of questions regarding cosmetics. In response to these questions, IFANCA asked its religious advsors to address some of the more common questions. Shaikh Jaafar Al-Quaderi, IFANCA Religious Advisor discussed the following questions:
Are Muslims permitted to use cosmetics and beauty products?
The use of cosmetics and make-up that have been determined to be halal is permissible for women to wear if it is done in a manner that does not attract undue attention. When make-up is done in a manner that makes a person self-confident and pleasant; and does not convey the impression of bad taste or negligence when it comes to appearance, it is permissible. But wearing excessive make-up that attracts undue attention from others is not allowed. And GOD knows best.
Is it permissible to pray while wearing nail polish? How about performing wudu (ablution) and then applying nail polish? Is it permitted to pray if the wudu remains unbroken?
It is lawful to pray with nail polish on if one paints one's nails after making wudu provided that the polish itself does not contain anything impure or forbidden by Sharia (Islamic Law). However, if one makes wudu after nail polish has been applied, the wudu would not be complete because nail polish keeps water from reaching the organ (nail) that needs to be ritually cleansed. And GOD knows best.
Are Muslims allowed to use creams and other skin care products? And can a Muslim make wudu after applying cream?
Creams, lotions and similar products are modern versions of oils to keep the skin healthy and pliable and to prevent dry skin. So there is no prohibition against the use of such products as long as they are free from unclean ingredients. As far as making wudu or ghusl with these products on, there are two types of products: one that leaves a perceptible layer on the skin and the other that washes off easily. The first kind, such as lipstick, sticks to the body and leaves a perceptible layer on the skin, which prevents water from getting to the skin or the organs that should be washed during wudu or ghusl. It must be removed for the wudu to be complete. The second kind is a cream or color which does not leave any perceptible layer on the skin but becomes part of the skin like henna or oil that doesn't prevent water from reaching the skin. It is not obligatory to remove such oils or lotions before one makes wudu. And GOD knows best.
How about the use of facial medicine like anti-aging creams or anti-wrinkle products or even plastic surgery? Are those permitted in Islam?
There is no harm in using halal products that help revive and beautify the skin, especially if there is a need for doing so. But using this medicine should not include shaving the beard or removing the hair of the eyebrows as these are forbidden by sound evidence. In addition, it should not have any known bad side effects or be harmful itself. Similarly, plastic surgery which involves changing the normal body formation simply for the purpose of beautifying oneself, is not allowed. It is permissible however, when it is done for the correction of a defect. And GOD knows best.
Dr. Ahmad Sakr, IFANCA Religious Advisor and a Scientific scholar addressed the following question:
How can I select halal products?
Muslims are advised to always read product labels before buying any cosmetic or personal care products. The permission to use personal care products and cosmetics depends on the origin of their ingredients. If these ingredients are pure then they are permissible, so long as their use does not cause any harm, either health related or social. However, if they are composed of impure substances like porcine collagen, gelatin or hydrolyzed animal protein, or other similar impure constituents, they are prohibited. And GOD knows best.
IFANCA has certified a number of cosmetic and personal care products, including products manufactured by Aloe Corp., Sunrider Manufacturing, Tom's of Maine and USANA Health Sciences. All halal-certified products are listed on IFANCA's website. IFANCA makes sure that companies receiving halal certification adhere to the required halal guidelines.
Beijing Provided Ample Halal Food Outlets During The 2008 Olympics
Up to 10,000 Muslim athletes, coaches, officials and tourists from around the world were in Beijing during the Olympic games this summer and many descended on Beijing's largest Muslim neighborhood of Niujie Street. The section, with about 12,000 Muslims, dates back more than 1,000 years. The Niujie Mosque has been standing since 996 AD. Recognizing the need for halal food, China had approximately 2000 halal food outlets made available, said Wu Shixiong, deputy director of the municipal people's congress, in a report to the legislature's standing committee on Wednesday.
According to him, the city government had set side 32 million yuan (4.7 million U.S. dollars) to open halal food outlets in transport hubs, such as the Capital Airport and the Beijing West Railway Station, and to upgrade food processing facilities in major Muslim catering businesses.
The supply of lamb and beef to all halal food outlets could be traced through the supply chain to the origin, said Wu.
The municipal government had selected 12 of the city's 70 mosques as main reception venues for Muslims, equipping them with Arabic signs and barrier-free facilities. Translators were at hand at mosques during the Games.
Not much later China held its first halal product exhibition in Yinchoan from September 8-13, 2008 with producers from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, China, Thailand and Indonesia. Pharmaceutical, food and garment factories presented their halal products to China. In this meeting, agreements were signed in tourism, issuance of halal certificates, and and trade researching development with Iran and lslamic countries by ICRIC's manager and associates.
On the flip side, TSSE is not ready to launch halal standards for halal food. TSSE president Tahir Buyukhelvacigil nonetheless stated that, "The halal food market has reached almost US$50 billion in size. We should take action to meet the increasing demand for halal food." TSSE is working to follow global halal food developments.
Letter: Assalamu Alaikum, I was hoping you could tell me if Kandesn® nail lacquer is halal - as it is listed on your website, and if you could send me the details of any halal nail polish? Jazak Allah Khair. Izzy from England
IFANCA Response: Wa alaikum assalaamu wa rahmatullah Izzy. All products listed on our site have been certified halal. The certification refers to the absence of haram ingredients and the manufacture according to required Islamic guidelines. In that respect, the Kandesn products listed are halal certified.
If you are referring to the general use of cosmetics, the certification does not address that. For those issues, you should consult your local Islamic Scholar or Imam. For example, if you are asking about the general use of nail polishes in Islam, the halal certification does not address that. The use of cosmetics in general, is permitted in the home with your family. For this purpose, we have certified cosmetics which meet the Islamic requirements. This is not an endorsement for using cosmetics in unacceptable situations. We hope this clarifies any concerns you may have. And God knows best. Wassalaam.
Editor’s Notes: Letters may have been edited for length and clarity.
Mark Your Calendars - Two Upcoming Halal Food Conferences
The 3rd International Halal Food Conference is being organized by the Islamic Food Council of Europe (IFCE) to be held on November 21st, 2008 in Brussels, Belgium. The theme of the conference is: Towards Promoting Halal as the Premium Quality Brand. The venue of the conference is the Sheraton Airport Hotel. For information or registration contact: Lal Shahbaz Khan or Mohamed Sadek. Click here for a registration form. Click here for the announcement. The conference is co-sponsored by IFANCA as the 10th International Halal Food Conference.
The 11th International Halal Food Conference will be organized by the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America to be held in Chicago on Monday, April 20 and Tuesday, April 21, 2009. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.