Issue No.195 – April 2022 : Ramadhaan 1443

Divine Injunction is sufficient basis to shun and abstain from the flesh of swine (pork) or any of its by-products. The total prohibition of pork is mentioned directly in four chapters of the Noble Qur’aan viz; Chapter 2 – Verse 173, Chapter 5 – Verse 4, Chapter 6 – Verse 145 and Chapter 16 – Verse 115. All the Prophets from Adam, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them all) reinforced the Message by their life examples of shunning pork consumption.

A furore erupted a fortnight ago with the fiasco of the Spar store in North Beach, Durban selling pork boerewors which carried an ICSA Halaal logo and was displayed in the Halaal certified section of the store. It was further reported that the store was operating without any Muslim supervision and oversight. The immediate reaction and tumultuous outcry that followed was understandable given the revulsion and repugnance with which Muslims regard all things pork.

Several queries were received by us following the exposé. We aggregated the questions together with our responses below;

  1. DOES SANHA CERTIFY ANY SUPERMARKET STORES, THE LIKES OF SPAR, PICK N PAY, CHECKERS, WOOLWORTHS, MAKRO ETC. THAT STOCK AND SELL PORK?The highest risk category in Halaal certification in terms of the Shar’iah is the slaughter, processing and sale of meat products, which is intensified with permutations on types of meat, the variety of abattoirs, slaughter procedures, logistics and contamination factors.The greatest obstacle in the Halaal certification of such outlets is the presence of pork and other non-Halaal meats in the common premises. Such situations are hazardous and accidents waiting to happen.The numerous instances of contamination that have been witnessed over the years, highlighted by whistle-blowers and vigilant shoppers, feebly explained away as “human or labelling errors” serve as proof. We aver that under these conditions it is not only impossible but suicidal to grant Halaal certification.

    Accordingly, SANHA does not certify such supermarket outlets mentioned and any other outlet that sells pork and non-Halaal meat

  2. SOME CHAIN STORES HAVE SEPARATE FRIDGES AND FREEZERS FOR HALAAL MEATS. IS IT SAFE TO PURCHASE FROM THESE OUTLETS?Apart from the principle alluded to above, there are a multitude of risks associated with such arrangement. Even with stringent controls, consistent daily monitoring, authorised trained on-site Muslim supervisors and frequent impromptu audits, we aver that Halaal assurance in such instances is most challenging. The prominently displayed Halaal logo and/or certificate on the fridge or freezer does not answer the crucial questions of the processes and logistics employed in managing the supply chain and getting the products to the sales floor.This practice is most prevalent in the Western Cape region and consequently many instances of “labelling errors” involving pork have been recorded which are in the public domain. We have called out to other Halaal certifying bodies to withdraw from certifying such outlets and repeat the call here.SANHA does not certify and give endorsement to any outlet that stocks and sells pork products.
  3. I HAVE HOWEVER NOTICED THAT THESE SUPERMARKET STORES STOCK MANY PRODUCTS, WHICH CARRY THE SANHA LOGO AND OTHER HALAAL MARKS. KINDLY CLARIFY.In a free market, economy businesses are free to stock any product including meat and poultry. This is based on customer demand which itself is an indictment against those that demand it. Stocking Halaal products does not automatically render the store itself as Halaal.With specific reference to meat products, our Ulama strongly discourage the purchasing of meat products from such outlets due to the various reasons cited above. This applies to all meat products regardless of the fact that the products may have a SANHA logo or any other Halaal stamp of approval.Purchase your meat products exclusively from outlets which do not stock pork and non-Halaal meats and are certified by a competent and trustworthy Halaal authority.

    A list of SANHA certified meat suppliers can be accessed on our website

  4. WHY CAN’T SANHA SEND THEIR INSPECTORS TO FIND AND CHECK ON ALL OUTLETS THAT SELL PORK AND HALAAL MEAT?SANHA certifies about 2500 outlets, which have entered into a contractual agreement that requires ongoing oversight in monitoring and maintaining the Halaal program. Our trained inspectors/auditors traverse hundreds of thousands of kilometres annually for site audits as their primary duty.It is impractical to undertake further site visits to thousands of outlets all over the country not certified by ourselves to ferret out and inspect whether they sell pork and Halaal on their premises. As a perspective on the magnitude of such a task, there are approximately 4500 fuel service stations alone in our country. Even our various government departments responsible for food safety, health, trade descriptions and taxation with vast taxpayer resources and backed by legislation are unable to execute the task of constantly monitoring them effectively.We continue, as we have done in our 25 years of service, investigate and act on fraudulent activities and misrepresentation of Halaal as and when such incidents are identified and/or reported to us.

    Ultimately, each individual bears responsibility for what he/she consumes. This responsibility cannot be abdicated or delegated to just anyone not skilled in upholding the amaanah of protecting and preserving the integrity of Halaal for the Ummah and more critically to one who does not subscribe to Islam and uphold its values.