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Halal: Insights & Uttar Pradesh's Certification Ban



  Dec 01, 2023

Understanding Halal



Halal, an Arabic term, means 'permissible' in the context of Islamic law. It is often used to describe food and drink that are allowed for consumption under Islamic dietary guidelines.

Key Aspects of Halal:

1. Food and Drink: Halal food must not contain any components or be processed with equipment contaminated with certain prohibited substances like pork, alcohol, and blood.

2. Meat Processing: For meat to be halal, specific methods of slaughtering are followed. The animal must be healthy at the time of slaughter, and the name of Allah (God) must be invoked during the act.

3. Ethical Considerations: The process emphasizes the animal's welfare, requiring a swift and humane method of slaughter to minimize suffering.

4. Lifestyle and Products: Halal also extends to other aspects of life, including personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and financial services, ensuring that all practices comply with Islamic principles.

Halal certification, provided by various organizations, assures consumers that products comply with these standards. This certification is particularly important in global trade, especially for exporting to countries with significant Muslim populations.

Halal Certificate Ban in Uttar Pradesh: Overview

The Uttar Pradesh government's ban on the manufacture, sale, storage, and distribution of halal-certified products, effective from November 18, has raised significant concerns and debates.

Reasons for the Ban:

Allegations of Forgery: A BJP youth wing office-bearer lodged a complaint in Lucknow accusing halal certifying bodies of issuing forged certificates, allegedly to boost sales among Muslims and creating social animosity.

Government's Stance: The state government claims the action is in line with the law and fair trade practices, despite perceptions of targeting the Muslim community.

Issuance of Halal Certificates:

Certifying Bodies: The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind’s Halal Unit and the Halal Shariat Islamic Law Board issue halal certificates. They are accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies.

Scope of Certification: The Shariat Islamic Law Board can certify food products, while the Jamiat’s unit is restricted to meat.

Reaction to the Ban:

Opposition from Agencies: Agencies like the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind criticized the government's action as hasty and lacking prior notice, considering it an infringement of fundamental rights.

Exploring Legal Options: These bodies are contemplating legal action, emphasizing their adherence to government regulations and transparency in operations.

Impact on Export Products:

Exclusion from Ban: The ban does not extend to halal-certified export products. Halal certification is mainly for export purposes, with the Jamiat's unit focusing on meat exports.

Misconception Clarification: The Jamiat clarified that they do not certify vegetarian products for domestic use, countering misconceptions about their practices.

Government's Subsequent Actions:

Temporary Relief: Retailers were given a 15-day period to withdraw halal-certified items from shelves.

Recall and Repackaging: Manufacturers who received certification from non-certified organizations were instructed to recall and repackage their products.

This ban reflects complex interplays between commerce, religious practices, and regulatory frameworks, with significant implications for businesses and communities in Uttar Pradesh.


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