I apologize for using your website to pose questions to a 3rd party (SANHA).
However, I have posed most of these questions previously (via email and via the Q&A section of SANHAs website) to SANHA in the near past and SANHA have by and large kicked the ball into touch, or have given superficial answers or in most cases completely neglected to even answer the questions that I posed that I am of the view are most pertinent to the Halaal certification of the poultry in question. None of my previously asked questions have been posted on SANHAs website despite SANHAs website being the initial medium i used in posing the questions.
Hence i urge SANHA once again to answer the questions below and to post same on SANHA’s website and in so doing allow the Muslim Community of South Africa that SANHA represents to receive the Full Accountability and Transparency that SANHA claims to provide.
The following has been emailed to SANHA on the 11th December 2010 and I wait in anticipation for a detailed response from SANAH (addressing each question directly and individually:-
—– Original Message —–
Dear Mr EBI Lockhat
OPEN REQUEST TO SANHA TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS BELOW (TO EACH QUESTION INDIVIDUALLY & DIRECTLY) RE THE POULTRY THAT SANHA CERTIFIES AS HALAAL AND TO RESPOND TO OTHER QUESTIONS RELATED TO SANHAs BUSINESS
Submitted by Ahmed Laher (by email)
Date: 9TH December 2010
Re: Halaal certification granted by SANHA to large commercial poultry plants (and other Halaal related issues)
Since SANHA is (or claims to be) a NGO that is representing the Muslim community of South Africa and since “SANHA is the ONLY Halaal certifying organization that provides full accountability and transparency to the Consumer” (quotations direct from SANHAs website representations) This is an Open Request for SANHA to provide full accountability and to answer the following questions and educate the general public on SANHAs stance on various issues that are very pertinent to the consumers of the poultry certified as Halaal by SANHA:
I have read with interest both sides of the story and I am of the view that SANHA (amongst other certifying bodies) has a lot of questions to answer and owes especially the Muslim (and for that matter Non-Muslim) public a detailed explanation and direct and straightforward answers to the questions below that I have posed. This is especially so as it seems as though there are a number of irregularities that are condoned in the issuing of Halaal certificates that are in conflict with Islamic Shariah and that are in conflict with ordained Islamic Methods and that are in conflict with basic animal rights and that are in conflict with basic human rights and that are conflict with the way human beings must necessarily conduct themselves (humane methods, humane systems, dignity) in the treatment of any animal.
I also confirm that I am not aligned to nor affiliated with any organization or body and am asking these questions in my personal capacity. I also hasten to add that as I am exposed to a large spectrum of the Muslim community from all walks of life I have found that the questions that I have are at the very tip of many consumers tongues and that the public at large deserves a direct, specific and detailed public response from SANHA. (I state my non alignment to any organization or body as SANHA often automatically assumes that any perceived criticism of its systems and certifications stems from De Deur and/or The Majlis or that it stems from some sort of conspiracy theory).
I must add at this point that I have posed most of these questions previously (via email and via the Q&A section of SANHAs website) to SANHA in the near past and SANHA in its responses has by and large kicked the ball into touch or given superficial answers or in most cases completely neglected to even answer the questions that I posed that I am of the view are most pertinent to the Halaal certification of the poultry in question.
Admittedly, SANHA has invited me to meet with and discuss my questions with their Theological Director to avoid a trial by correspondence which I am happy to do but due to my schedule currently I am not in a position to schedule such meeting in the very near future. Nevertheless, I am also of the view that my questions are very basic, are straightforward and are very relevant and that SANHA should be in a position to give the public answers and proper explanations to the questions and not hide behind the guise of wanting to avoid a trial by correspondence(and to do this swiftly as the answers to my questions should be elementary to SANHAs Theological department). The intelligence of the general public should not be underestimated, as if SANHA addresses my questions individually and sticks to answering the questions directly then the public will absorb the information and if a trial by correspondence arises due the public needing to be further enlightened then SANHA as a organization that ultimately derives its income from the pockets of the public should indulge the public and answer any further queries that the public has. I remind SANHA that, SANHA claims to be representing the Muslim community of South Africa on all matters pertaining to the general application of the term Halaal with specific reference to Islamic dietary laws and that SANHA further preaches the following; Pass on all information to as wide a circle as possible. I urge SANHA to practice what it preaches and to actually live by the doctrine of its own utterances.
(I have also requested to SANHA that the questions that I posed to SANHA be loaded onto their website Q&A section as this is the forum that I first used in raising the majority of my queries.
From my very basic and laymans understanding the Islamic method of Thabah/Slaughter would entail the following (and these are not an all encompassing list but are some of the very basic and essential tenants):
(If any of the points listed above under both Islamic and Non-Islamic methods are incorrect then please excuse me as I write as a layman and not as an Aalim or a Mufti or a Theological Director and I will be happy if the relevant points are corrected)
SANHA is on record to have recently stated (with regards to the poultry that it certifies):
The above begs the following comments and questions:
For purposes of clarity I repeat SANHAs EBI Lockhats narrative to me:
My question is:
Is SANHA also of the view that continuous neglect and unnecessary failure of slaughtered animals facing the Qibla whilst being slaughtered on a mass scale throughout a lengthy period of time is a detested act and that the birds will be deemed Makrooh? Or is SANHA of the view that it is ok just one of those things
My question to SANHA is do you have an inability to ensure that your slaughterers have the birds face Qibla whilst slaughtering?
2.6-A) It is incumbent for all chickens to face the Qiblah when being
2.6-B) In terms of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
Almost all (or ALL) the commercially slaughtered chicken (that are certified Halaal by SANHA) are stunned prior to slaughter.
I had also recently asked SANHA if SANHA could guarantee that each and every stunned bird is still alive (after stunning) and prior to slaughtering?
Based on SANHAs responses and stance on stunning I make the following comments and ask SANHA to respond to the following questions:
My question here to SANHA is to please enlighten the public on exactly which Senior Ulema and exactly which Pious Predecessors have deemed acceptable the act of stunning of poultry prior to slaughter (and please give some references in this regard so that we may review the Ulema?�?�?�s and the Predecessors rulings 1st hand)?
To clarify my question further;
(Id really be surprised to see even just one recognized senior Ulema comes forth and condones any of the above acts!- which SANHA obviously considers acceptable)
(I am only in a position to research English medium Fatwa and commentary Hence I will not know if any Senior Ulema or Pious Predecessors in Urdu or Arabic medium have accepted and ratified the stunning of poultry prior to slaughter. I do doubt that such ratification exists though.)
I quote below a recent Fatwa issued by Mufti Taqi Usmani on the stunning issue which in a nutshell spells out the evils of stunning (pre slaughter) and the obvious negative consequences:
His Fatwa (the full text) is as follows:-
The practice of rendering animals unconscious before slaughtering, which is carried out in different ways, consists of a number of undesirable and objectionable elements, for example:
a. If this act is such that it causes the animal to lose all its senses and consciousness completely, then there is a risk that it will have caused the animals death before slaughter, especially if the animal was weak or ill.
b. If this act is such that it does not cause the animal to lose all its senses and consciousness completely (such as a mild electrical shock that merely immobilizes the animal), then there is a strong possibility that the animals pain and suffering will have been unnecessarily increased, since the pain of slaughter remains due to its not being unconscious, and the pain and stress of the electrical shock will have been administered additionally without any need.
c. If this act makes the animal weak (compared to its normal and natural condition), and at the time of slaughter the animal is not at its full physical strength, then there is a risk that this will cause a reduction in the amount of blood that will flow from it at the time of slaughter, compared to what might have flowed in the case of the animal being fully conscious and In full possession of its senses and physical strength, and to undertake such a course of action deliberately is to oppose and counter a Shari requirement of slaughter (i.e. the discharge of flowing blood).
d. If the amount of blood discharged is reduced due to the animals weakness, then there is a risk that the remaining (non-discharged) blood will be absorbed into the meat of the animal, and this is an undesirable outcome both from a medical point of view and also according to Shariah.
e. If the person undertaking this way of slaughter believes it to be a less stressful and painful method than the prescribed Shari manner, then this is tantamount to believing an invented method to be superior to a revealed one, and it means that the person believes the revealed method of slaughter to be painful and cruel, which is close to disbelief .
Due to these reasons, it is not correct in terms of Shariah to render an animal unconscious before slaughter.
(The above by Mufti Taqi Usmani, also ratified and endorsed by several senior Ulema at Darul Ifta Karachi).
I have found further (translated) quotes authentically attributed to Hakimul-Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaih) who used the words evil innovation, corruption of faith and against Shariah to describe this practice (of stunning).
[SANHA seems to have a habit of calling for proof of a Fatwa or of quoted text from sources, hence below please find Mufti Taqi Usmanis details from whom SANHA can personally verify his Fatwa and from whom SANHA can obtain countless other references to Senior Ulema and Pious Predecessors ruling against stunning in any form:
I have also read extensively some of Darul Uloom Deobands works and Darul Uloom Karachis works all of which concur with Mufti Taqis Fatwa and Hakimul-Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaihs views and rulings that the act of stunning is against Shariah (refer to Fatwas issued by the Ifta departments of these Darul Ulooms).
In light of SANHAs comment and I once again quote your EBI Lockhat;
Now my question to SANHA is:
It is now established from SANHAs comment above that birds that die pre stunning or post stunning are removed from the line
Is SANHA willing to subject itself to a surprise random and unannounced survey where at one of the plants that it certifies 1000 birds that have been stunned are all one after another removed from the line pre slaughter and then waited on to see in how many of the 1000 the stunning process is actually reversed (as SANHA claims the stun is of a reversible nature) and to check if were left with 1000 (out of a 1000) healthy birds??
What exactly is SANHA saying / suggesting?
Why did he refuse?
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Question ID: 24815