Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government has imposed a statewide ban on the "production, storing, distribution, and sale of halal certified edible items" after an FIR was registered in Lucknow on November 17. The FIR accused several organizations, including Halal India Private Limited, of certifying products as 'Halal' to increase sales among the Muslim community. The complaint alleges that these organizations cheated customers by providing Halal certificates for financial benefits.
Understanding Halal: A Brief Overview
Halal, an Arabic word meaning 'lawful' or 'permissible' in Islam, pertains to objects or acts sanctioned by Islamic jurisprudence. In dietary terms, it refers to food that adheres to specific guidelines outlined in Islamic laws. Practising Muslims follow these guidelines to distinguish between halal (permissible) and haram (forbidden) foods.
Criteria for Halal Foods
Halal foods must meet strict criteria related to the source and processing of the food. For land animals, specific conditions include non-predatory behavior, bifurcated hoofs, and a specific method of slaughter known as the Zabiha method. Birds of prey are considered haram, while aquatic creatures must meet certain criteria to be classified as halal.
Halal Certification and Its Importance
Halal certification ensures that a product or service is suitable for consumption by Muslims. It is essential for trading purposes, especially in the food industry. Apart from food products, various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and consumer goods, may seek Halal certification for greater acceptance among Muslim consumers.
Halal Certification in India
Unlike Gulf nations, India does not have an official regulator for halal certification. Third-party bodies like Halal India and Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust provide certification to companies, products, or food establishments. While India lacks a centralized authority, guidelines for the export of halal-certified meat and its products exist, issued by the Commerce Ministry.
Controversy in Uttar Pradesh Leads to Ban
The ban in Uttar Pradesh follows controversy and an FIR accusing organizations of exploiting Halal certification for financial gain. The government's decision aims to address concerns raised in the complaint and ensure that products are not certified as Halal to attract specific religious groups for commercial purposes.