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Response on the furore on halaal

 

By The Editor on July 30,2010

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sir,

It is with great sadness that news has reached us of the controversy on the halaal issue in the beautiful country. Swaziland became an independent sovereign nation 26 years prior to our liberation and played a monumental role in our freedom struggle in South Africa. We owe the Swazi nation an unrepayable debt for this unyielding support so that all the people of the rainbow nation enjoy the fruits of freedom today.

Therefore and in light of the above, we find it a bitter twist of irony that some individuals in Swaziland are regressing with this debate which is not only futile but serves to polarise communities.

Accept
 
If it is a deliberate effort on their part then it would be indefensible. However, if this controversy is fuelled by ignorance, then both Swazi Muslims and non Muslims must accept the blame for failing to reach out to each other in a spirit of brotherhood. Since Islam accounts for 1.2 billion Muslims, a fifth of mankind; are the government in over 50 countries of the world; make up the majority of the African continent and trade with the world in banking, oil etc, it is logical to understand their thinking on halaal.

Although in Christianity one can eat any meat sold in the market without investigation as stated in the Bible in Corinthians 10:25, as a service to the Swazi people South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA) puts forward the following information to help ‘demystify’ the situation.

Unlawful

Halaal food is necessary for Muslims, while non-Muslim who consume halaal food will benefit from the same nutrition since halaal food production process, must according to the Islamic law, not contain unlawful (haraam) and have nutrition (tayyib).

Haraam Foods were ruled unacceptable in revelations to the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), one of the line of prophets revered in Islam, which includes Abraham (peace be upon him) and Jesus (peace be upon him).

The laws as they were revealed to Moses, along with other rules on health, are set out in the Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. They were further clarified in the final Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which is documented in the Qur’an, the foremost of Islam’s Holy books.

Slaughtered

The meat of pigs and carnivorous animals was ruled unacceptable, removing a substantial risk of disease. Carrion, and birds that feed of carrion (like vultures), were not to be eaten, and the same is true of birds that hunt prey, reptiles, rodents, insects and other creatures associated with filth.

Those animals that could be eaten were to be slaughtered in such a way as to get rid of the blood, a major carrier of microbes.

The Islamic method of killing an animal is to swiftly cut its throat, so that the blood runs out and does not congeal in the veins. That is why animals that have been strangled, or beaten to death, or died in a fight or accident cannot be used for meat.

So although Muslim slaughtering may seem coldly precise, there are firm procedures to ensure that the animal does not suffer unnecessarily. The method must be immediately effective. According to Islam, the deeds of those who consume unlawful foods and drinks will not be accepted by God and hence the seriousness with which Muslims approach this subject.

Salvation

Muslims are commanded in Divine Scriptures, the Noble Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to ensure harmony and contribute towards a peaceful society.

They are told in the Holy Quran in Chapter 5 Verse 85

"And nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say ‘we are Christians’, because among these are men devoted to learning…"

The constitution of the Church, Lumen Gentiam of the Vatican II in Chapter 16 takes cognisance of this when it states;

‘But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place among these are the Muslims, who professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the One and Merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.’

In this spirit of brotherhood we urge all Swazi citizens to seek peace and prosperity towards national priorities rather than being divided through misunderstandings and sensational journalism.  

Ebi Lockhat

SANHA SA

Public Relations Officer

 

 

 

 
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