The Halaal System of Pakistan (An Overview)

| 12/12/2017 | Reply

By Mufti Yousuf ‘Abdur-Razzaaq Khan

The history of Halaal Certification in Pakistan is not very old. However – Alhamdulillah! – Today, Pakistan is in a position to play a pivotal role in the world of Halaal.

In 1996, the first Halaal draft, consisting of only a few pages, was prepared. It was officially reviewed in 2010 and in the last 7 years, two very important standards were prepared and included in the Halaal System. In Pakistan, the standards are prepared by a National Standardization Body – the Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) – which includes a dedicated committee tasked with preparing the Halaal standards. This committee has a team of near about 45 members, who comprise professionals and experts in every field of life. Since the basis of the Halaal Standards is the Shari’ah, there is a team of 8 to 10 dedicated Muftis who diligently perform their roles.

Another very special feature of this committee is that all the members pull their weight and put in their time and effort completely voluntarily (with no remuneration), with the sole intention of pleasing Allah d. Therefore, each member presents his view an opinion with complete personal freedom. An additional praiseworthy aspect of this organization is that it never attempts to force any policy upon its members. Instead, it merely plays the role of a guide and aide.

Alhamdulillaah! For the last 7 years, I have been a member of this committee and I am currently the vice chairmen of the Halaal Standardization Committee (NSC Halaal). To my knowledge, I can safely say that there may not be another committee like this anywhere else in the world, which boasts members who possess the kind of credentials that are required of them to serve the Halaal industry according to the Shari’ah.

The Current Halaal System is Divided into Two Sections:

  1. Standard for Halaal System of Manufacturer.
  2. Standard for Halaal Certification Body’s.

The Halaal Certification Body applies the PS: 3733 to the manufacturing company while the State Organization, The Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) applies PS: 4992 to the Halaal Certification Body’s. Since the private sector started offering this service in Pakistan before the government did, the government has allowed them to continue offering this service while keeping a check on them by means of a system called “accreditation”. Remember, accreditation has not yet been declared compulsory in Pakistan and has been left optional. However, once the Pakistan Halaal Authority Act is ratified and passed and the moment this organization is operational, there is a possibility that accreditation will become compulsory.

An Introductory Review of PS: 3733[1]

This standard applies to any and every organization or company that plays any part in the production and preparation of foodstuffs and beverages, at whatever stage of the production process that may be. This standard is prepared with the support of the following international standards with regards to administrative matters:

  • ISO/IEC Guide 2, Standardization and Related Activities — General Vocabulary,
  • CODEX STAN l, General standard for the labelling of Prepacked foods,
  • CAC/RCP l, Recommended international code of practice, general principles of food hygiene,
  • CAC/RCP 58, Code of hygienic practice for meat,
  • ISO 22000, Food safety management systems – Requirements for any organization in the food chain,
  • ISO 22005, Traceability in the feed and food chain – General principles and basic requirements for system design and implementation,
  • ISO 9001, Quality management systems — Requirements.

With the guidance of our local Muftis, we also drew from the MS 1500 (Malaysian Standard) as well as the SMIIC Halaal Standards with regards to matters pertaining to the Shari’ah.

This Standard Comprises Two Main Sections:

  1. The Shar’i Laws as a Standard
  2. Administrative Standards
  • Clause 3 contains all the Shar’i terminologies such as the definitions of Halaal, Haraam, Najis, Makrooh-e-Tahreemi, Makrooh-e-Tanzeehi, Mashbooh, Haraam Animals, Haraam Birds, Carrion, Haraam beverages, Terrestrial and Aquatic Animals etc.
  • It also discusses the various types of slaughter, the method of slaughtering, animal rights, all the stages the animal passes through from the farm to the abattoir.
  • The fact That Mechanical Slaughter, all kinds of Stunning is prohibited, let it be clear that such meat may also not be imported into the country.

These definitions and regulations have been discussed in Clauses 3 to 9. Thereafter, from Clauses 9 to 13, administrative issues are discussed.

  • Clause 9 demands that each company should have its own Halaal Manual in which is clearly states its Halaal Policy. All the records should also be prepared and kept in accordance with the Halaal Standard to ensure that the Halaal System is implemented, which would then guarantee the Halaal status of whichever product is being manufactured.

Further on, it discusses the prerequisites which those individuals who will be implementing the Halal System in that particular company or organization need to meet. For example, the one in charge of the Halaal System may only be a Muslim and he needs to be educated in the basic aspects of the Deen and, together with that, he needs to go for training regarding this Halaal Standard etc.

  • All the stages of purchasing the raw materials and ingredients for the final preparation of the product, and right from the storage of the product to its transport should be scrutinized and wherever there is a possibility of the product becoming contaminated or Haraam, all those possibilities should be considered beforehand and a suitable solution should be sought. This is also a demand of this section which is referred to as “????? ???????????” in the Shari’ah.
  • It also calls for an internal audit so that the weaknesses and shortcomings of the organization or company are regularly brought to the fore and a report thereof is presented to top management who will, in turn, immediately take action so that the non-conformance or deficiency can be eliminated before the Halaal status of the product is jeopardized in any way. There is a famous quote of Hazrat ‘Umar bin Khattaab h, who said: “Hold yourselves accountable before you are held accountable – the one who sets his record straight in this world, will have an easy reckoning on the Day of Judgement.”

This is the purpose of internal audits – when the company keeps taking stock of itself, seeks out its own faults and deficiencies and takes the initiative to eradicate them, it will be very easy for them when another organization does an audit since the majority of the shortcomings would have already been addressed and resolved.

  • This system also demands that every possible precautionary measure be implemented, and the company should constantly check to see whether they are achieving the desired results.
  • Great emphasis is placed on cleanliness and hygiene at the facility at which the product is manufactured or prepared, which is also an important demand of the Shari’ah. It also mentions the way the product should be displayed in the market – it should not happen that a Halaal certified product is placed next to a Haraam or impure product. The system offers guidelines in this regard as well.
  • There are also guidelines regarding the packaging and labelling of the product once it is ready for the market. This is done so that the consumer can be fully aware of what he is purchasing, when it was produced, when it expires and, if he is purchasing meat, when it was slaughtered and packaged, what its sell-by date is, which animal it is, which Halaal Certification Body issued its certification etc. This section requires that all such information must be displayed on the packaging.
  • It is the responsibility and duty of the Halaal Certification Body to ensure that it does an audit and inspection of the company which it has certified and that it implements each aspect of this standard.
  • This standard does not allow to use the name, having the sensory profile of a Haraam product, like rum flavor, pork flavor, etc. and shall not be Halaal certified although the ingredients used are Halaal.

An Introductory Review of PS: 4992[3]

This standard stipulates principles and regulations for those organizations which, by assisting the government and utilizing its right to WILAAYAT-KHASS‘AH (limited authority), issues Halaal certification. The following international standards were used while preparing this standard:

  • ISO 9000:200 5, Quality Management Systems – Fundamentals and Vocabulary
  • ISO/IEC 17000:2004, Conformity Assessment – Vocabulary and General Principles
  • ISO/IEC 17021:2011, Conformity Assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit certification of management systems
  • ISO/IEC 17065.2012, Conformity Assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes
  • And services
  • ISO 19011, Guidelines /or quality and/or environmental management systems auditing,
  • ISO 22000, Food safety management systems – Requirements for any originations in the food chain,
  • ISO/TS 22003, Food safe4t management systems – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of food safety management systems.
  • In clause 3, all the terminologies related to Halaal certification are explained. This covers terms like Halaal certification, contract, auditor, experts of Shari’ah and science, Shari’ah, etc. Furthermore, it also explains the different roles of a Halal Certification Body.
  • Clause 4 deals with the limits and boundaries regarding matters like fairness, eligibility, transparency, confidentiality, the various responsibilities of the Halaal Certification Body etc. This clause also comprises a number of sub clauses which discuss Shar’i responsibilities as well as the status of the constitution.
  • Clause 6 covers conditions and prerequisites pertaining to the organization’s structure. One such prerequisite is worth mentioning: The Halaal Certification Body shall be owned, managed and operated by the Muslims. The same applies to the administrative control as well as the over-all running of the organization, both of which may only be done by a Muslim.

The basis of this prerequisite is the command of the Shari’ah which I will briefly explain.

To Which Branch of Deen Does Halaal and Haraam Belong?

Matters of Halaal and Haraam are related to a branch of the Shari’ah called Diyaanaat. This has been mentioned in various books of jurisprudence written in Arabic.

The jurists explain that matters of Halaal and Haraam relate to the most delicate aspect of Islam, referred to as Deeniyaat (strictly religious matters) in the Urdu language or Diyaanaat in Arabic.

What is Meant by Diyaanaat?

Diyaanaat refers to the rights which are established between Allah d and his servant and which have a purely religious basis. One can also say that it refers to Huqooqullaah (the rights which Allah (has over his believing servants).

If we just cast a cursory glance at PS: 4992, we will see that this standard determines the entire structure of the organization. For example, it states that the organisation shall be a legal entity  and that an individual’s cannot offer this service, the organisation has to employ individuals who are specialists of both the Shari’ah as well as the technical aspects of the Halaal industry, it stipulates the education and training which the auditors need to have, it specifies the correct roles and responsibilities of the organisation and that each responsible person in each division needs to have the necessary skills and experience, it calls for regular training programs for the employees etc. It also demands that an impartial committee should be established which should get together once a year and do a completely impartial inspection of the organisation’s annual activities and present a detailed report regarding their findings. This is done to ensure that the organisations activities remain transparent.

It also determines how an audit should be conducted, how many days the audit should take, which people are eligible to audit which industry, how an auditor’s report should look, who will scrutinise the report and base a decision on it and what the conditions of eligibility of these individuals should be, which factors will lead to a decision being made in favour of the applicant and which factors will lead to a decision made against them, under which conditions the Halaal Certification Body will provide its logo (sign of Halaal testimony) in the event that the application of the applicant is approved, which rights will be reserved between the manufacturer and the Halaal Certification Body and what their legal status will be in the event of a contract being drawn up and signed between the two parties, how long the contract would last and that the certification body will do spot checks and numerous random and unannounced audits to determine whether the manufacturer is really implementing the Halaal system etc.

The Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) will determine whether the above-mentioned standards are being adhered to. In the event that they are being adhered to, it will issue an accreditation certificate in favour of the Halaal Certification Body, which will be internationally recognised, and which would serve as a sign of the eligibility and proficiency of this organisation, globally.

Our organisation has also passed the above-mentioned stages and attained its accreditation. In our experience, we can safely say that it is indeed an excellent system which has the potential of achieving its goals and aspirations.

Conclusion:

At the moment, Pakistan is ready to enter the field of Halaal completely. If our standard does not surpass the international standards, it is in no way less. Once the Halaal Authority Act is passed in the Pakistani Parliament, Provincial Halaal Authorities will also be established in two provinces, Panjab and KPK. It looks like all these bodies will be up and running within the next 6 months, which will be of great assistance to the international Halaal industry together with playing a very vital role in the economy of our country

By Mufti Yousuf ‘Abdur-Razzaaq Khan, CEO, SANHA HALAL ASSOCIATES PAKISTAN

Monday, 1 Rabee’ul Awwal, 1439

20 November 2017

[1] This is the Pakistani Standard specification for Halaal Food Management System requirements for any organisation or company in the food chani (3rd Revision).

[3] PS:4992-2016(R), Pakistan Standard For Conformity Assessment – Requirements for Bodies Providing Halaal Certification (1st Revision).

NB: Other references in this document are written in Arabic and cannot be added.

 

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Category: Asia, Halal Integrity, Shariah Issues

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