Common Terms and Definition in Halal

Shariah Law

Shariah law is Islamic law that governs not just religious rituals, but aspects of day-to-day life in Islam.

It is based on the Al Quran (i.e. holy book of Islam) and Al Hadith (i.e. traditions of Prophet Muhammad, Messenger of Allah).

Modern Muslim jurists often define Shariah law as divine law.
There are four school of thoughts in Sunni Islam – Hanafi, Maliki, Hambali and Syafi’i. MABIMS countries are of the Syafi’i school of thought.

Halal

An Arabic term which means “permissible” or “lawful”.
Thus, anything deemed Halal by Islamic law is permitted to act upon, or to consume.

Halal Food

It means food and drinks that are permissible for Muslim consumption and:

  • are not harmful to health;
  • does not contain or contaminated by non-halal parts or products;
  • prepared in accordance to Islamic law or halal guidelines;
  • prepared using equipment not contaminated by non-halal substances or products.

Najs

It is an Arabic term which means ‘filth’, hence, non-permissible for consumption as per Islamic law.

Najs covers substances, products, objects and animals such as dogs, pigs, urine, blood, vomit, pus, excrement, placenta and khamar (alcoholic beverages and intoxicants).

Slaughtering

As per Islamic law, all four countries (MABIMS) adhere to these guidelines; that the slaughter act:

  • Severs the trachea (halqum)
  • Severs the oesophagus (mari’)
  • Severs both the carotid arteries and jugular veins (wadajain)

Competent Authority

Competent authority is the agency entrusted by the respective government to carry out specified work as per prescribed requirements.

Food

Any substance intended for human consumption. It could be:

  •  processed;
  • semi-processed;
  •  raw.

It also refers to substance used to manufacture, prepare or treat the substances or products intended for human consumption.

Halal Certificate

A certificate, issued by a competent authority that states that a product / service / activity fully complies with the Halal requirements of Islamic Law.

Halal Certificate Mark

A Halal Certificate Mark is the mark of authority to indicate that a product is approved by the said competent authority, and confirms to the requirements of said Halal standard.

Resources

Halal Accreditation and Certification Bodies

JAKIM – DEPARTMENT OF ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT MALAYSIA

JAKIM is a Malaysian Government institution which has established Malaysia Halal logo and implemented Halal Certification System. Issues Halal certificate for local and export markets. Monitoring and enforcement of halal guidelines.

MUIS – ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS COUNCIL OF SINGAPORE

Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Muis), also known as the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, is the Islamic authority in-charge of Muslim affairs in Singapore. Muis advises the President of Singapore on all matters relating to Islam in Singapore. Among other things, Muis provides Halal Certification services and regulates Singapore Halal industry.  Under the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA), Muis is vested with the sole legal powers to issue Halal certificates in Singapore.

SMIIC – THE STANDARDS AND METROLOGY INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC COUNTRIES

The Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC), as a sound mechanism for harmonization of standards among the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) countries and for preparation of new ones, aims at realizing harmonized standards in the Member States and eliminating technical barriers to trade and thus developing the trade among themselves. It shall establish certification and accreditation schemes for the purpose of expediting exchange of materials, manufactured goods and products among Member States beginning with mutual recognition of certificates.

ESMA – EMIRATES AUTHORITY FOR STANDARDISATION AND METROLOGY

ESMA was Established as the sole Standardization B​ody in the UAE under the Law No. 28/2001. The Board of Directors chaired by H.E. Dr. ​Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, the Minister of State​ in the UAE is comprising representatives of the ​main parties involved in the standardization of the UAE. The Board is the dominant affairs and lay down its policy and adopting all the suitable procedures to ensure efficient performance to its assignments.

GAC – GULF ACCREDITATION CENTRE

The Governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) approved the establishment of the Gulf Accreditation Centre, in order to provide reliable services to destinations conformity assessment of laboratories and points of inspection and certification bodies in all Member States, including supporting the GCC joint action and to facilitate trade and to support the industry and the national economy in the Member States and support the implementation of the legislative system Gulf to adjust the products in the Gulf market and the application of procedures and rules of conformity in the Member States the center.

Halal Related Agencies and Bodies

MALAYSIA
HDC- HALAL INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) is a developmental body that is unique in its own right. The Malaysian government established HDC in September 2006 because it realises the potential of the Halal business. HDC is the only government-mandated company in the world tasked with coordinating and developing the national Halal industry and reporting directly to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) of Malaysia.

DSM – DEPARTMENT OF STANDARDS MALAYSIA

STANDARDS MALAYSIA play active role in assisting Malaysia to accelerate Halal industry by developing Malaysian Standard on Halal Food (MS 1500) also helps industry leaders in development and promotion of Malaysia’s Halal Standards and continually to develop and update Malaysia Halal Standards. The Department of Standards Malaysia (STANDARDS MALAYSIA) is an agency under the ambit of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI)