The Concept Of Halal And Halal Food Certification Process In Malaysia: Issues And Concerns
Roshana Shirin Asa
GRA, International Islamic University Malaysia
Ida Madieha Abdul Ghani Azmi
Department of Civil Law, Ahmad Ibrahim KuIliyyah of Laws, International Islamic University Malaysia
The process of halal certification is dependent on the construction of what is deemed to be falling within halal parameters set by the Quran and Sunnah, being the two primary sources of Shari’ah, and supplemented with juristic opinion and issuance of fatwa by national religious authorities. In Malaysia, the authority responsible for halal certification is JAKIM while the authority responsible to provide rulings on halalness is the National Fatwa Committee. This article examines the guiding principles for the concept of halal in the Quran and Sunnah and the collection of fatwa on food products by the National Fatwa Committee. Together, the three sources constitute the yardstick to the implementation of halal in Malaysia. Using content analysis, the article analyses the meaning and construct of the three primary sources and examine the issues and concerns arising from the implementation of halal certification process in Malaysia. The article also highlights the views of Yusuf al Qaradhawi, being the most prominent scholar on the underlying principles of what constitute of halal and haram. The article concludes that whilst the Quran has outlined the general principles for the determination of halalness, there is a considerable need for guidance from the religious bodies in the form of fatwa on any recurrent issues pertaining to food products and processes.
Keywords: Concept of halal, Halal certification, National fatwa, Juristic views