There are slaughter houses and grocery stores advertising Zabiha/halal meat with certifications of authenticity of Halal from multiple organizations and ulama.
In order to avoid sin or lose Baraka, how should one navigate through the Halal certification labyrinth?
بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم
الجواب حامداً ومصلياً
Allāh ﷻ instructs mankind:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
“O people, eat of what is lawful and clean in the earth and do not follow the ways of Satan, for he is your avowed enemy.” (2:168)
يَا أَيُّهَا الرُّسُلُ كُلُوا مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحًا ۖ إِنِّي بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ
“O Messengers! Eat of the pure things and perform righteous deeds. Verily, I am Well-Acquainted with what you do.” (23:51)
In a lengthy ḥadīth narrated by Imām Muslim , Rasūlullāh ﷺ has also emphasized the importance of consuming ḥalāl foods.
The challenge facing Muslims living in a non-Muslim country is that there is no central body that can regulate and standardize the ḥalāl certification industry. In order to navigate the “labyrinth”, two things are needed.
- Knowledge of what makes something ḥalāl
- Trust in the credibility of a certifier
In order to gain knowledge about ḥalāl food (at least in regard to meat), this book is highly recommended:
The Islamic Laws of Animal Slaughter: A Discussion on the Islamic Laws for Slaughtering Animals & a Survey of Modern-Day Slaughtering Methods: Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Amir A. Toft: 9781933764016: Amazon.com: Books
Further knowledge can be sought from local scholars.
In order to ascertain whether a certification is reliable, you should refer to local scholars/imāms whom you trust. Ask them about certain products and if, based on their knowledge of the certifying agency, they recommend them or not.
A Final Note
It is necessary to always keep in mind that Islām stresses acting with wisdom and in a spirit of unity, not division. As mentioned earlier, due the lack of one standard, centralized certifying body, there will be differences of opinion amongst people about consuming certain products. These differences of opinion must be respected, and no one should be condemned or vilified. Allāh ﷻ tells us:
وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ
“Fitnah is greater than killing.” (2:217)
والله تعالى أعلم وعلمه أتم وبه التوفيق
And Allāh knows best.
Muftī Mohammed Wahaajuddin bin Salauddin