Halal and Haram
Bismillah ir rahman ir raheem
“Dear brothers and sisters,
It has been brought to our notice that in Sri Lanka there is a problem about Haram and Halal. It seems that there is an organization called "The Jameeathul Ulema" which is issuing certificates of Halal and taking money from people to do so. They have built up a nice business because all the big companies have to get this certificate from them on the payment of a big fee if they have to successfully market their product in Sri Lanka!
The problem here is that this Halal certificate is not only for beef, mutton or chicken but extending to all commodities which are in use in Sri Lanka even things like chocolates, milk food, cordials, clustered, Ice cream, Jelly, perfume and also things like tooth brushes and soap are all coming under this Halal certificate. This has sent the prices of goods up as the production cost also includes paying the Jameeathul Ulema to grant the certificates.
This has lead to the majority of the community in Sri Lanka to protest that the price of goods have escalated and it is very hard for consumers during this difficult times to survive with such an increasing in prices.
The Sri Lankan Muslims in general a few years ago were only used to Haram and Halal where the meats were concerned and did not have to look into the other items which these people are now giving certificates for.
Earlier the Muslims in Sri Lanka somehow found their meats and bought those from Muslim butchers, but today badly influenced by the Jameathul Ulema phony ideas of Haram and Halal have been seemingly put into their minds and are made to believe that many items, other than meat, are also Haram by Jameathul Ulema.
We think that most members in the Jameathul Ulema do not even believe in Saints and Sheikhs and have a Wahabi bent of mind.
All that they understand is to make the Laws of Shariah, stricter and stricter. It has now come to a precarious situation in Sri Lanka because their view on Haram and Halal are creating apprehension in the country and many fear that there may be disturbances and demonstrations in Sri Lanka due to these imprudent acts of these people.
What makes us think that all the meat we buy from the supermarkets with the Halal Certificate on it are really Halal? This certainly is not the case. How can one issue a certificate for goods that are not looked into at the time of sacrifice? Once these Halal Certificates are released for one year or two, the certificate holder may sell under such a certificate. How do we know that after the certificate was issued, that these certificate holding companies are still fulfilling the conditions for it to be Halal? If it is to be Halal, then the certificate should always be issued after the sacrifice and not about future sacrifices. From what we gather about Halal chicken is the fact that that there is a ‘recording’ and a ‘machine cuts’ the necks of the chicken. IS THIS HALAL? and according to whose opinion is this Halal?
Everything here appears to be a big fraud now. However, we should not look into all these when there is a quandary between us and peace is threatened. By such actions, we are putting ourselves and our families in danger because of some of these foolish Muslim leaders who are trying to create laws for the whole community.
Let us now look at what our Sheikh has got to say on this issue.
When people used to ask Moulana Sheikh Nazim about such things such as Halal and Haram, he used to say, if in doubt, one may say, "Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem" and eat because everything happens to be the creation of Allah Almighty and he knows best but not the Jameathul Ulema.
We do not live in a Muslim country and, therefore, even to have the butchers selling Halal and the country allowing them to do so should be looked at with appreciation, but the Jameathul Ulema has been issuing certificates, on payment of course, for many food and grocery items. They fill their pockets and, therefore, lecture the general Muslim community in the country that ‘all these things are Haram and that they should not eat it’.
It is not a case that we do not recognize and agree to the Laws of Allah Almighty as regards Halal and Haram are concerned. We would like to see that everyone uses Halal items for their everyday life, but as we live in a non-Muslim country we should not be antagonizing the majority of the country by forcing our views on them.
Furthermore, even in the interpretation as to what Halal and Haram is, there are many views, apart from Jameathul Ulema's sole opinion. In the present day, things should be even more lenient than before as there is a Hadith to say that, “ the laws during the last days will be made 100 times more lenient than the times of the Prophet (Sal).”
There are more important things in Islam that one can focus, as for an example following a Sheikh and about Tariqats; also looking into the poverty aspect of the hungry and the poor in this country are more important than trivia like this. The people who reject following the Sheikh is far away from the truth than a person who uses a soap, which according to the Jameathul Ulema is not Halal. This is our point. Allah Almighty does not impose burdens on the Ummath (humanity). Where meats are concerned there is a general rule as to what is permitted. This is ok, but to extend the Haram - Halal concept to all other items or every other item in a supermarket is certainly not the intention of Islam.
Moulana Sheikh Nazim says that ‘if you are living in a majority non Muslim country you should try to live in peace with the majority community without antagonizing them’. The main purpose should be to try to live in a way that will not give problems to other people. But these people from the Jameathul Ulema do not believe in Sheikhs anyway. There is a big disbelief on their part. Still, they go on informing people about small things and make the Ummeth ( humanity) carry more and more burdens.
The Tariqat people in Sri Lanka also are faced with this Jameathul Ulema who are against Sheikhs and the essence of Islam which is sainthood. They also have to put up with ‘these scholars’ as they happen to be ‘ ruling elite’ in Sri Lanka as far as the Muslims are concerned.
It is high time that the Muslims in Sri Lanka realize that these so called ulemas cannot guide our community properly.
How can they guide us when they not even believing in Sheikhs or the spiritual side of Islam. All they know is to advise people "don't eat this and don't eat that, we will give you certificates eat only that."
The Muslims should realize that this is only money spinning venture and not be fooled by this. Let Muslims say Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem and eat if they are in doubt about something. Please stop creating trouble in the country and putting the entire Muslim community in danger, who are innocent.
Today people hate Taliban. They hate them because for little or no reason they try to degrade Islam by making the laws most stringent without taking into account the hadith that all actions are judged by the intention.
Allah Almighty does not impose hardships on people. Neither does He impose hatred in people. Islam is built on love and understanding and on logical reasoning so as to make the community of Muslims into better human beings and not into bigots. Take for an example the Taleban in Afghanistan or Pakistan even today, they are creating a bad name for Islam. Islam is the most tolerant religion in the world as there are only preferences when you consider the fact that all actions are judged according to one's intention and not according to the letter of the Law.
Leniency was always espoused rather than harshness and strictness. After all, there is much more in Islam than just following laws. The Wahabis don't know that. They think that Islam is only following laws. Laws are there to make your spiritual life easier and for you to get even closer to Allah Almighty not to make people hate each other. A person who does not believe in spiritually has missed the spirit of Islam. That is why he focuses only on the laws and not on spirituality.
The Wahabis know no spirituality. So what are they left with? Only with the laws. So, progress for them is to make the law stricter and stricter unlike those who believe in spirituality and the saints who believe that they reach closer and closer to Allah Almighty.
May Allah Almighty guide us and lead us to the truth. Ameen.