Roger M. Othman
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). Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!
It has been a busy and challenging year for us and perhaps for you, the Halal consumer, as well. With increasing recalls of meat and other products; lawsuits against food producers and restaurants and efforts to alter animal products and bring them to your plate, it is sometimes difficult to know what to eat and what to avoid. Judging from the variety of email inquiries we receive, the challenge is global. Halal consumers here in the USA and Canada, in the UK, France and across Europe, in Egypt, the UAE and across the Middle East, in South Africa, Nigeria and Morocco, in Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and throughout Asia and in Australia; all are asking what products are Halal and what products must be avoided. In fact, it is not just Halal consumers who are asking questions; we also receive inquiries about Halal from University Students writing papers or studying Islam; from school Administrators sourcing Halal suppliers so they can start a Halal meal program in their Dining Halls; from Muslim students assisting the Administrators source Halal products and from processors and distributors interested in providing Halal products. To help everyone involved in the Halal food industry, we are listing the IFANCA Halal Certified Products in this issue. We hesitated to do this for a long time because we were concerned the list would be misinterpreted. However, after long deliberation, we have decided to list the products to help consumers make educated choices. Please read it carefully since the Halal certified products are not available in all regions of the world. Similar products in different regions may not be Halal certified. In some cases, only specific products supplied by a given company are Halal certified, not all of their products. We trust you will use the list within the guidelines provided. The products are also listed on our website, www.IFANCA.org.
Also in this issue, we have tackled a couple of the difficult issues consumers face as they shop for Halal products. The questions on alcohol and enzymes are among the most frequently asked questions we receive. While it may not be possible to discuss all the concerns on these topics in one article, we have made a serious effort to address the issues and explain the chemistry as well as the fiqh. We have also included an article explaining the basis Islamic Scholars use to make decisions concerning Halal and Haram.
Finally, a lot of the mail and communications we receive include complements and good wishes. We decided to share a few of those comments with our readers. You will see them mixed in among the articles. We thank everyone who has shared a comment, asked a question or made a suggestion to us. We are on this journey together and your involvement helps all Halal consumers.
And our closing supplication is “Praise be to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta’ala, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds”. [RMO]