Halal Certification Services (HCS) (EU) is an experienced and world-wide recognized and respected certification company providing assessment, auditing and training services.
HCS(EU) based in Germany is assisting ingredients, food products, pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturers to cater the halal market needs.
HCS(EU) is a member of World Halal Food Council and is officially recognized from renowned bodies from around the world such as MUI (Indonesia), JAKIM (Malaysia) and MUIS (Singapore).
Starting off with a detailed explanation of Halal and non Halal, the following chapters will allow you to understand the concept of Halal dietary laws. Furthermore it will elaborate on the restrictions which are in place.
Apart from that you will also find the respective references from Qur'an and Hadith, which should help you to understand the concept of Halal and Haram. An explanation of the most important terms shall make your dealing with Halal certifying body an easier task.
We have also included a list of commonly named Haram (forbidden) things.
When we go through what is lawful and permitted to humans, we evidently come across the words “Halal” and “Good”. Halal (حَلاَلً , ḥalāl , Halaal) is an Arabic term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is widely used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law (Sharia).
Interestingly nowhere in quran does it state that it is permissible only for muslims, rather all human-beings are invited to eat food which is halal (permissible, lawful), pure and good for health. That means it is hygienically and toxicologically free from all sorts of hazardous agents, and hence is good and safe for consumption.
Haram (Arabic: حرام) (often Haraam) is an Arabic term meaning "forbidden". Haram is anything that is prohibited by the faith. Its antonym is halal.
The religious term haram can be applied to:
“Haram” means ‘unlawful’ or ‘prohibited’ according to Islamic Law.
“Najs” regards foods that are themselves ‘impure’ and that cannot be cleaned.
“Mashbooh” means ‘suspected’. If Halal food consists of that which is deemed a suspected or unlawful (Haram) ingredient, the item becomes wholly unlawful.
“Tayyeb” is synonymous with ‘purity’ and ‘quality’, that which is safe and wholesome. Muslims are religiously mandated to consume only Halal and Tayyeb.
Thus most foods are considered to be Halal unless found to be or containing doubtful or Non-Halal ingredient(s)
A term from the Quran. It refers to the People who received Divine Scriptures and is a reference to the Christians and the Jews.
The proper name of GOD, The Creator. ALLAH is a single being with no partners.
Compounds that delay or prevent oxidation of foods. Examples are BHA, BHT and citric acid.
Butylated Hydroxy Anisole. It is an antioxidant. BHA is Halal.
Butylated Hydroxy Toluene. It is an antioxidant. BHT is Halal.
An extract from Irish Moss, which forms a gel in food systems. It is used as a food ingredient. Carrageenan is Halal.
The major protein in milk. It is used in the manufacture of most cheeses. It may be Halal or haram, depending upon the enzyme used to produce it.
A semi-viscous sweet syrup containing chocolate, sugar and other ingredients. It is used in making candy, drinks and other chocolate flavored foods. Chocolate liquor is non-alcoholic and is Halal, unless there is contamination with haram ingredients.
A group of chemical compounds used in liquid foods to remove cloudiness due to suspended matter.
A white crystalline chemical called potassium bitartarate.
Several bacteria and other microbes used singly or in combination to bring about fermentation in several foods. They are used in the manufacture of fermented milks, cheeses and fermented meat products.
Fatty substances containing glycerol and two fatty acids. Diglycerides can be made from animal or vegetable fats and they are used as an emulsifier in food products. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way or from plant sources, they are Halal. Otherwise they are haram. Currently, it is best to look for products using only 100% vegetable diglycerides.
A chemical substance that keeps fats (or oils) dispersed in water or water droplets dispersed in fats (or oils). Emulsifiers are used in foods containing both fats (or oils) and water. Examples of emulsifiers are lecithin and mono and diglycerides. Emulsifiers can be made from animal or vegetable sources. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way or from plant sources, they are Halal. Otherwise they are haram.
Protein substances found and formed in all living cells. They bring about chemical reactions inside and outside the body, without being consumed themselves. They are extracted from animals or microorganisms and are utilized in the food industry to manufacture cheese and other products. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way, from plant sources or from microorganisms, they are Halal. Otherwise they are haram. Currently, it is best to look for microbial enzymes.
A derived protein of animal origin. It is made from the skins, bones and connective tissues and used in desserts and as an additive in a variety of food products. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way, it is Halal. Otherwise it is haram. Unless a product containing gelatin is certified Halal or says Halal gelatin, it is most likely haram and should be avoided.
Good Hygiene Practice
Genetically modified foods (GMF) are foods derived from genetically modified organisms. Genetically modified organisms have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering, using a process of either Cisgenesis or Transgenesis. These techniques are much more precise than mutagenesis (mutation breeding) where an organism is exposed to radiation or chemicals to create a non-specific but stable change. Other techniques by which humans modify food organisms include selective breeding (plant breeding and animal breeding), and somaclonal variation.
A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.
Good Manufacturing Practices are guidelines that outline the aspects of production and testing that can impact the quality of a product.
Hadith are narrations originating from the words and deeds of the Islamic prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). Hadith are regarded by traditional schools of jurisprudence as important tools for understanding the Qur'an and in matters of jurisprudence.
The Arabic word “Halal” implies that which is “lawful” for consumption by Mankind.
One of the Islamic school of thought founded by Imam Abu Hanifah. Among the four established Sunni schools of legal thought in Islam, the Hanafi school is the oldest. It has a reputation for putting greater emphasis on the role of reason and being slightly more liberal than the other three schools.
The Hanafi school also has the most followers among the four major Sunni schools. (Both the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire were Hanafi so the Hanafi school is still widespread in their former lands).
Today, the Hanafi school is predominant among the Sunnis of Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China as well as in Iraq, Mauritius, Syria, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia in the Balkans and the Caucasus. It is also followed in large numbers in other parts of Muslim world.
Hanbali is one of the four schools Madh'habs (rites) of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. The jurisprudence school was started by the students of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal.
Hanbali jurisprudence is popular in the Arabian Peninsula.
“Haram” means “unlawful” or “prohibited” according to Islamic Law.
Ijma' is an Arabic term referring ideally to the consensus of the ummah (the community of Muslims, or followers of Islam).
A saturated fat derived from pork. It is used in frying oils and bakery products. Lard is haram and any products containing lard are haram.
An emulsifier comprised of glycerol, two fatty acids, phosphoric acid and choline. It is extracted from egg yolks, soybeans or animal fats. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way, from plant sources or egg yolks, it is Halal.
Otherwise it is haram. It is best to stick to products that are Halal certified or contain vegetable lecithin or soya lecithin.
something which is makruh is a disliked or offensive act (literally "hated"). Though it is not haram (forbidden) and therefore not a sin, a person who abstains from this action will be rewarded. Muslims are encouraged to avoid such actions when possible. This is one of the degrees of approval (ahkam) in Islamic law.
The Maliki madhhab is one of the four schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam.
It is the third-largest of the four schools, followed by approximately 15% of Muslims, mostly in North Africa, West Africa, United Arab Emirates, and some parts of Saudi Arabia.
An Arabic word meaning suspect or questionable. Mashbooh items can be produced from Halal or Haram sources. When the specific source is not known, the items are suspect or questionable.
Fatty substances containing glycerol and one fatty acid. Monoglycerides can be made from animal or vegetable fats and are used as emulsifiers in food products. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way or from plant sources, they are Halal. Otherwise they are haram. Currently, it is best to look for products using only 100% vegetable diglycerides.
“Najs” regards foods that are themselves “impure” and that cannot be cleaned. There are 3 differenciations:
Najs Mughallazah = Severe filth
Najs Mukhaffafah = Light filth
Najs Mutawassitah = Medium filth
An enzyme extracted from animal stomachs, especially pig stomachs, and used in the production of cheese. Pepsin is haram.
The Divine revelation to the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him. The Quran is the source of wisdom and law for Muslims.
An enzyme extracted from the 4th stomach of calves and used in the production of cheese. If the calves are slaughtered in the Islamic way, it is Halal. Otherwise it should be avoided. Microbial rennet is Halal.
The Shafi‘i school of fiqh is named after Imam ash-Shafi‘i. The Shafi‘i school is followed throughout the Ummah and is the official madhab of most traditional scholars and leading Sunni authorities. It is also recognized as the official madhab by the governments of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia. In addition, the government of Indonesia uses this madhab for the Indonesian compilation of sharia law.
It is the dominant madhab of Syria, Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Chechnya, Kurdistan, Egypt, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Maldives, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia.
It is also practised by large communities in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia (in the Hejaz and Asir), Israel, the Swahili Coast, Mauritius, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan (by Chechens), and in the Indian States of Kerala, Karnataka (Bhatkal,Mangalore and Coorg districts) , Maharashtra (by Konkani Muslims) and Tamil Nadu.
The second largest school of the Sunni branch of Islam in terms of followers, the Shafi`i madhhab is followed by approximately 29% of Muslims worldwide.
Sharia refers to the "way" Muslims should live or the "path" they must follow. Sharia is derived from the sacred text of Islam (the Qur'an), and Traditions (Hadith) gathered from the life of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
There are different interpretations in some areas of Sharia, depending on the school of thought (Madh'hab), and the particular scholars (Ulema) involved. Traditionally, Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) interprets and refines Sharia by extending its principles to address new questions. Islamic judges (Qadi) apply the law, however modern application varies from country to country. Sharia deals with many aspects of life.
A blend of fats and/or oils used in baked products. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way or from plant sources, it is Halal. Otherwise it is haram. Currently, it is best to look for products using only vegetable shortening.
A long chain fatty acid found abundantly in most saturated fats. It can also be synthesized. It is used to make functional chemicals and metallic stearates (sodium stearate, potassium stearate, etc.) for a variety of food applications. If made from Halal animals slaughtered in the Islamic way or from plant sources, it is Halal. Otherwise it is haram. Currently, it is best to look for products using only vegetable stearates.
A white solid fat obtained from cattle, sheep or goats and used in making shortenings and frying oils. If made from animals slaughtered in the Islamic way, it is Halal. Otherwise it is haram. Currently, it is best to avoid edible products containing tallow unless they are Halal certified.
“Tayyib” is synonymous with ‘purity’ and ‘quality’, that which is safe and wholesome. Muslims are religiously mandated to consume only Halal and Tayyib.
The watery part of milk that separates from the curd during cheese making. It is used as an ingredient in many products.If the enzyme used to produce the whey and cheese is Halal, the whey is Halal. Otherwise it is not. It is best to avoid products containing whey unless they are Halal certified.
Thus most foods are considered to be Halal unless found to be or containing doubtful or Non-Halal ingredient(s)
In Islam every action of a person, as an individual, as well as a member of the community depends on the purity of his noble intention, which must be clearly expressed before starting any action. It is utmost important to pronounce the Name of Allah (s.w.t.) before any action and His guidance is sought and expressed accordingly. The performance and completion of this duty towards Allah (s.w.t.) has the highest priority for a Muslim. That is why all actions are carried out in such a way that any possible and/or anticipated mistake must/can be avoided altogether.
It is therefore of utmost importance that everyone involved in the process of production and/or handling with Halal products, must meet and fulfil these stringent demands and undertake all the necessary precautions.
A recognised Islamic institutional authority should take all responsibilities for halal certification services.
The institution itself nominates competent persons, who supervise and conduct audit of the factory, the production sites, and production lines as well as monitoring all incoming raw materials periodically, as required.
The product, the production line and/or factory must be supervised, audited and a rapport is furnished by the competent auditors of the institutional authority certifying (i.e. the Islamic Centre, a mosque). The certifying authority issues the requested “halal certificate,” after studying and discussing the rapport of Auditor, when all necessary halal requirements are fulfilled. Halal Certificate is a religious verdict (Fatwa).
A Halal certificate must always accompany all animal raw materials. This halal certificate should be issued to slaughterhouse, at the spot, on the request of a responsible for such a product by a local Islamic institutional authority (an Islamic Centre or a mosque), which is authorized and legalized accordingly.
For the production of pure and halal food products (for new production factory) a Halal conforming production line should be installed accordingly. A complete separation of the Halal line or a separation of some parts of the factory is necessary to cope with the requirements depending on the situation. The line should be audited and certified periodically through a competent person from an authorized Islamic institutional office.
The quality, safety and hygiene conditions of production processes should be kept strictly controlled. Any cross-contamination should be strictly avoided.
The summary of the above, allows the following conclusion:
Halal food products are the products which are:
Halal certification is a "religious" emphasized quality, food safety and Hygiene certification of any product, stating that, it:
Complies to a set of standard given by Qur'an and Sunnah; Is fit for consumption;
Let me clarify why we don't speak of human consumption only?
Halal is a whole concept. If we want to understand its implementation in the different aspects of life, we would realize that it often goes beyond our common understanding of Halal.
For example if we look into Meat. Everybody knows that only Meat of an animal, which is slaughtered according to the Shariah rulings is considered Halal. Besides that he should also belong to the category of permitted animals.
But going deeper, we realize that only an animal, which is feed properly, meaning with permissible and non-hazardous components, shall be considered for Halal slaughtering.
Halal certification is a voluntary certification attesting any product to be compliant with the Islamic shariah laws.
Some Muslim countries make it obligatory for the incoming goods to be halal certified.
Where not required, it could be a useful and appreciated marketing instrument and an ultimate guarantee to thousands of Muslim consumers with increasing concerns towards food quality and safety.
A halal certified product which bears a third party halal logo gives the consumer the assurance that an independent body has made a thorough analysis of all the used ingredients and has decreed the product to be complaint to the stringent Halal standards.Benefits for the producers:
Once a product meet our standards a halal certificate is issued. Once the product is certified, permission is granted to display the HCS certification logo, on the product packaging and label. This is a valuable assurance that the product is an authentic HCS halal-certified product meeting the highest quality of halal certification available anywhere in the world.
Since 2012, HCS(EU) is educating on-going food technologists on the basics of halal Certification procedure.
Several technical schools and universities all around Germany have included our halal Certification lectures in the syllabus. We have developed a specific lecture for the students which gives them an overview on the critical points, which should be adressed to ensure the food production meets the islamic dietary laws.
The overwhelming response by the responsible teaching staff and the students, has encouraged us to continously enhance and upgrade our educational training programme.
Our training module offers the students an overview on the basic requirements of the halal food production and enables them to understand the implementation of the standard in the food industry.
Starting off with a basic definition of halal and haram and the relevant references in Qur'an and Sunnah, we elaborate which preconditions a raw material should fulfill. Apart from that we discuss the requirments for the procurement and storage of the raw materials, their production, labelling and transport of the finished product.
These students are valuable assets for the future halal industry, as enabling them to understand the key elements of halal production will help the industry to learn from their knowledge and work effectively towards implementation of the halal standards.
Our training programme has become a strong pillar of our halal services