Posts Tagged ‘South African National Halaal Authority’

SANHA thrives on the representation and support of the mainstream theological bodies and professional organisations across South Africa. Membership on SANHA is restricted to credible and bonafide Muslim organisations.
SANHA´s membership comprises of leading Muslim Theological bodies and reputable, professional Muslim organizations. It is a founder member of the World Halaal Council and has links with certifying bodies across Africa as well as globally.

Membership is categorised into the formal and Associate categories. Formal membership requires active participation and representation on the board whilst Associate membership is of an honorary nature.

The following are formal members of SANHA

SANHA Members

* Association of Lawyers and Accountants for Islamic Law [AMAL]
* Central Islamic Trust
* Council of Ulama, Eastern Cape
* Crescent of Hope SA
* Darul Ihsan Islamic Services Centre
* Darul Waqaf Islamic Trust
* Durban Muslim Traders Association
* Gauteng Halaal Traders Association
* Islamic Medical Association
* Jamiatul Ulama (South Africa)
* Jamiatul Ulama, Western Cape
* Majlisud Da’wah wal Islaah
* Minara Chamber of Commerce
* Northern Cape Halaal Board
* South African Muslim Restaurants Association



Please forward the list of unanswered questions on the Muslimality site to these formal members of SANHA

The Muslimality Team is still awaiting official responses from public Ulama bodies and institutions whose sole function is to serve the public such as the various Jamiat organisations, Islamic community radio stations, Halaal certification bodies etc. in South Africa.

It must be pointed out that we have no problem supporting any Islamic public organisation in particular, we do however have a great problem when supporters of these public organisations blindly assume and labour under the misconception that these institutions are not accountable to the South African Muslim public.

We have time and again openly requested official responses from the aforementioned organisations and have made numerous calls for simple, clear-cut, academic responses.

If any reader of Muslimality is able to source official answers to the questions posed from the respective organisations, we humbly request you to post these in the comment section to this or any other relevant post and you will be contacted accordingly Insha Allah.

N.B. : We are not looking for emotionally-charged responses nor responses which side-stepped the issues at hand. We have no interest in hearing from the aforementioned institutions unless their responses are of an academic nature substantiated by clear-cut, authenticated, authoritative Islamic Juristic Principles.

We urge every single Muslim who is living in South Africa and concerned with the situation of Islam in South Africa to merely copy and paste the questions we have provided in an email to the respective bodies and if you receive any response from them, please forward the response to us via the comments facility below.

Jamiat Fordsburg


Jamiat KZN


SANHA (South African National Halaal Authority)


Submitted by Ahmed Laher

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 SANHA’s 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 SANHA’s stance on various issues that are very pertinent to the consumers of the poultry certified as Halaal by SANHA:

I have been monitoring the raging debate that has brewed over the past few years on the issue of SANHA (and other Halaal certification organizations) declaring the mass slaughtered commercial poultry (emanating from the likes of Rainbow, Early Bird etc) as Halaal.

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 Shari’ah 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 SANHA’s 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 SANHA’s 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.
However SANHA has chosen not to post any of my questions posed on their website to date for reasons best known to SANHA.
Perhaps the questions are too controversial and too probing for an organization that is supposed to “provide full accountability and transparency to the Consumer” and would get the public to think twice before consuming SANHA certified products??)
My Questions are as follows (listed in no particular order of importance or priority):
(I once again urge SANHA to individually answer each question below directly rather then to issue ambiguous and lengthy narrative on general issues)

Question 1
Re: The Islamic Shari’ah system of thabah

From my very basic and layman’s 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):

Islamic Method
1.    Knife not to be sharpened in front of animal
2.    Birds must not see another being slaughtered
3.    Birds must face Qibla
4.    Tasmiyah to be verbally recited (audibly for each and every bird being slaughtered)
5.    Birds to be taken to death with dignity (appropriate restraining method etc)
6.    Birds to be treated humanely (no stunning etc)
7.    Birds to be slaughtered with ease & given water to drink before thabah
8.    Birds must necessarily be Healthy and disease free
9.    Good overall hygiene standards
10.    4 vessels to be cut (minimum 3)

UN-Islamic Method
1.    Knife sharpened in front of animal
2.    Birds slaughtered in full view of the other animals (to the extent that blood spurts from one slaughtered animal to others around it)
3.    Birds face any direction (total neglect in ensuring that birds face Qibla when slaughtered)
4.    Tasmiyah not prerequisite (on the basis that Tasmiyah is in all Muslims hearts or just being ignored or “forgotten” on a repeated basis!)
5.    Birds dragged & shackled up-side down on mega conveyor belts at high speed
6.    Poultry stunned / electrocuted
7.    Poultry slaughtered in motion at fast speed
8.    Birds from the time they are born to the time they are put to their unceremonious death are a product of cruelty that extends throughout their 36 day to 40 day lifespan (live their entire lives in very confined space, fed massive doses of antibiotics and growth stimulants, literally live in and eat their own filth and feaces, broken bones / bruises/ blisters are a norm, feet rotting from the exposure to feaces and the resulting ammonia burns, etc etc …. These are just the tip of the iceberg).
Can the birds actually be Healthy and disease free??
9.    Before removing any impurities from inside the stomach, poultry immersed into very hot filthy water to facilitate the feather peeling process.
10.    Less then 3 vessels being cut

(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)

Question 1.1
Is SANHA of the view that that the Islamic method of slaughter detailed above is a correct method?
(Are all ten points correct?)
Are there any other necessary or important points that may have been overlooked?)

Question 1.2
Does SANHA regard any of the points listed under Islamic Method (above) as menial or trivial or just not important?

Question 1.3
What is SANHA’s view of the UN-Islamic method of slaughter detailed above?

Question 1.4
The 10 points listed under Un-Islamic method … are they correctly stated as Un-Islamic practices?

Question 1.5
Are these (the UN-Islamic methods listed above) practices that go against the grain of Rasullulah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) teachings?

Question 1.6
Is SANHA of the view that Muslims must necessarily refrain from all the Un-Islamic method listed above?)

Question 1.7
In the large poultry plants that SANHA certifies Halaal (Rainbow, Earlybird etc), is the system of Thabah FULLY in keeping with the Islamic Method or in keeping with the UN-Islamic method (as detailed above) or is the system in keeping with a little of both (some aspects in line with the Islamic Method and some in line with the UN-Islamic Method)?

Question 1.8
In the event that the poultry certified as Halaal by SANHA is more in keeping with the UN-Islamic method above (or even if certain aspects are in keeping with the UN-Islamic method above) then what exactly is SANHA doing to ensure that the chicken plants conform to proper Shari’ah compliance so that the Halaal certification is actually worth the paper it is written on and that the poultry certified as Halaal are done so properly and entirely in line with Islamic methods?

Question 1.9
Or, is SANHA of the view that no more needs to be done for the plants to conform to proper Shari’ah compliance as SANHA’s system is perfect?

Question 1.10
If the answer to 1.5 above is that more needs to be done to conform to Shari’ah compliance then what exactly are the aspects that SANHA has in mind that SANHA is addressing? That SANHA needs to address? And how is SANHA addressing these?
(And why has SANHA not addressed these decades back already?)

Question 1.11
Which Mazhab does SANHA follow / prescribe to? (Hanafi? Shafi? Maliki? Hambali?)

Question 2
Re Facing Qibla when slaughtering

SANHA is on record to have recently stated (with regards to the poultry that it certifies):
“SANHA has not taken a survey to determine whether plants slaughter areas are Qibla facing or not and therefore cannot comment on this. However, whilst facing the Qibla is a desirable act, in terms of the Shari’ah inability/failure to do so does not render slaughtered animal/birds Haraam”
(The above was stated in an email to me by SANHA on the 21st October 2010 by SANHA’s EBI Lockhat)

The above begs the following comments and questions:

Question 2.1
It is rather obvious and can most definitely be inferred from SANHA’s official statement above that SANHA places either no importance or at best very little importance on the fact that animals (poultry especially) need to be facing the Qibla when slaughtered. The extent of SANHA’s nonchalance on this issue is summed up by SANHA’s statement that “SANHA has not taken a survey to determine whether plants slaughter areas are Qibla facing or not “ (this in SANHA’s own words).
By stating that “SANHA has not taken a survey…..” i think it is fair to assume that SANHA does not even know whether their Halaal certified poultry face Qibla when slaughtered and does not even take cognizance of this very important requirement. This is despite the fact that SANHA has been certifying these poultry for years now.
It actually boggles the mind to have been informed by SANHA that SANHA has not even bothered to determine whether the plants slaughter areas are Qibla facing or not, despite the fact that hundreds of millions of birds have “passed through SANHA’s hands” over the years and been certified Halaal!

For purposes of clarity I repeat SANHA’s EBI Lockhat’s narrative to me:
“SANHA has not taken a survey to determine whether plants slaughter areas are Qibla facing or not and therefore cannot comment on this. However, whilst facing the Qibla is a desirable act, in terms of the Shari’ah inability/failure to do so does not render slaughtered animal/birds Haraam”

My question is:
Why this senseless, cavalier and reckless neglect of this very important aspect of slaughtering?

Question 2.2
Now Ulema are of the view that in a plant/s where mass slaughter takes place and on a continuous basis, day after day, month after month and year after year, and where the issue of the slaughtered poultry facing the Qibla is totally ignored and totally dispensed with then such poultry will be Makrooh and that this is a highly detested act.

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”?
(PS. Some Ulema are even of the view that such an act renders the bird Haraam)

Question 2.3
SANHA states that “whilst facing the Qibla is a desirable act, in terms of the Shari’ah inability/failure to do so does not render slaughtered animal/birds Haraam”.

My question to SANHA is do you have an inability to ensure that your slaughterers have the birds face Qibla whilst slaughtering?
Does SANHA simply fail (is there a failure) to take this necessary step of ensuring that the birds face the Qibla whilst being slaughtered?
(I am trying to ascertain if there is an “inability” here, and if so why? Or a “failure”, and if so why?)

Question 2.4
Does SANHA actually believe that all chicken that are slaughtered should be facing the Qibla when slaughtered?

Question 2.5
2.5 (a)
If yes (to 2.4 above),… what is SANHA’s understanding? Why and on what basis must the chicken be slaughtered whilst facing the Qibla?
2.5 (b)
If no (to 2.4),… again why and on what basis must poultry be slaughtered on a continuous basis in the millions year after year and not be facing the Qibla?

Question 2.6
What is SANHA’s view of the following comments (2.6-A &2.6- B)?

2.6-A) It is incumbent for all chickens to face the Qiblah when being
slaughtered. This is a Sunnatul Muqqadah requisite. It is not
permissible to abandon it (especially purposely).

2.6-B) In terms of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
instruction, it is necessary to face the animals towards the Qiblah.
The fact that it is a command of Allah Ta’ala should be sufficient to
convince a Muslim of its imperative importance. Sahaabah would abstain
from eating the meat of an animal which had been slaughtered while
it was not facing the Qiblah.

Question 3
Re: Stunning

Almost all (or ALL) the commercially slaughtered chicken (that are certified Halaal by SANHA) are stunned prior to slaughter.
My research, purely from a layman’s perspective shows that Stunning (prior to slaughtering) is highly detested by respected Ulema around the globe (past and present) and by respected non Muslim Western Scientists as well and that Senior Ulema and Pious Predecessors have, across the board, ruled against this practice.
I have posed the question to SANHA in the recent past asking SANHA what alternatives are SANHA looking at (instead of stunning)?
SANHA’s response to this question was:-
“SANHA acknowledges the different viewpoints on the position of stunning but are of the view that controlled stunning in commercial abattoirs may be considered.
Senior Ulema and pious predecessors have laid down the rules for acceptance of commercial slaughter based on their interpretation of public need decades prior to the formation of SANHA.”

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?
SANHA’s response to this question was:-
“Where controlled stunning is applied, the stun is of a reversible nature and such bird will not die as a result thereof. If however, there are birds which may have died either pre or post stunning, such birds are removed from the line and disposed of accordingly.”
(SANHA’s above responses were emailed to me on the 21st October 2010 by SANHA’s EBI Lockhat)

Based on SANHA’s responses and stance on stunning I make the following comments and ask SANHA to respond to the following questions:

Question 3.1
SANHA’s comment above insinuates that Senior Ulema and Pious Predecessors have “condoned” or deemed acceptable the act of stunning (of poultry prior to slaughter) and SANHA says that Senior Ulema and Pious Predecessors have laid down their rules for acceptance of commercial slaughter decades back.

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;
SANHA states that it is SANHA’s view that ”that controlled stunning in commercial abattoirs may be considered”.
On exactly which Senior Ulema’s and Pious Predecessors authority (or Fatwa, or advises) have SANHA subscribed to the view of accepting stunning?

Question 3.2
Can SANHA provide some Shari’ah evidence of SANHA’s contention of ‘acceptability” of stunning?
Or to be a little more clear, can SANHA provide some Shari’ah evidence that there is room for the fact that “controlled stunning in commercial abattoirs may be considered”?

Question 3.3
I further ask SANHA to enlighten the public on which Senior Ulema and which Pious Predecessors have and had laid down the rules for acceptance of commercial slaughter of poultry in the manner that SANHA certifies Halaal now or decades back (and please give some references in this regard so that we may review the Ulema’s and the Predecessors detailed rulings that ratify, or that “rubber stamp” exactly the systems and procedures of commercial chicken slaughter that SANHA certifies Halaal)?

Question 3.4
Can SANHA produce even one single Ulema who can categorically state that:
• It is permissible to slaughter without facing the direction of the Qiblah (the way SANHA does and condones).
• It is permissible to stun pre slaughter (the way SANHA does and condones)
• It is permissible to immerse the chickens in scalding water  (the way SANHA does and condones)
• It is permissible to hang the chickens upside down and slaughter in
motion on a tremendously fast-moving conveyor belt (the way SANHA does and condones)
• It is permissible to  plunge the slaughtered chickens into the
filthy, feaces and blood filled  scalding water (sometimes while there are still
signs of life in the chickens) (the way SANHA does and condones)

(I’d 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)

Question 3.5
I have researched (to the best of my ability the Fatwa’s of Senior Ulema and Pious predecessors on this stunning issue and I have found that ALL the Senior Ulema and Pious predecessors (whose Fatwa’s and comments I have access to) seem to be unanimous in ruling against stunning and (at best) detesting the stunning of animals (especially Poultry) prior to slaughtering.

(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.)
Essentially I am saying that (from my research) I have confirmed that current Pious and well respected Senior Ulema of today and of yester-year have very strongly ruled against the stunning process.

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:
– (for those who are not aware, Mufti Taqi is a very learned Aalim of international repute and standing)
Mufti Taqi Usmani concluded his Fatwa with the following ruling:
“Due to these reasons, it is not correct in terms of Shari’ah to render an animal unconscious before slaughter. “

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 animal’s 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 animal’s 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 Shar’i requirement of slaughter (i.e. the discharge of flowing blood).

d. If the amount of blood discharged is reduced due to the animal’s 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 Shari’ah.

e. If the person undertaking this way of slaughter believes it to be a less stressful and painful method than the prescribed Shar’i 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 ‘.
(Ref: Imdadul-Fatawa, Vol. 3, P. 605-8 and Ahkamuz-zaba-ih, P. 55-6)

Due to these reasons, it is not correct in terms of Shari’ah 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 Shari’ah’ to describe this practice (of stunning).
Also refer to Imdaadul Fataawa Page 406 Vol.3 for further proofs of Hakimul Ummah’s ruling of impermissibility 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 Usmani’s 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:
The above Fatwa of Mufti Taqi Usmani, who is undoubted a brilliant Aalim of repute and standing, can be checked and confirmed with him. His contact details are:
Personal email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Contact No’s for Mufti Taqi at Darul Uloom Karachi (best to call Mufti between 12h00 and 13h00):  011-9221-5043499, 011-9221-5042705, 011-9221-5040923)
Mufti Taqi will also comment on Hakimul-Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaih)’s comments and point you to the written proofs of such comments. Mufti Taqi will also detail to you the views of his illustrious father Mufti Mohamed Shafi as well as other illustrious Aalims from whom he has 1st hand heard of their utter detest of this non Shari’ah act of stunning]

I have also read extensively some of Darul Uloom Deoband’s works and Darul Uloom Karachi’s works all of which concur with Mufti Taqi’s Fatwa and Hakimul-Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaih)’s views and rulings that the act of stunning is against Shari’ah (refer to Fatwa’s issued by the Ifta departments of these Darul Ulooms).

In light of SANHA’s comment and I once again quote your EBI Lockhat;
“SANHA acknowledges the different viewpoints on the position of stunning but are of the view that controlled stunning in commercial abattoirs may be considered.
Senior Ulema and pious predecessors have laid down the rules for acceptance of commercial slaughter based on their interpretation of public need decades prior to the formation of SANHA.”

Now my question to SANHA is:
I am really keen on hearing from SANHA exactly whom (amongst today’s Senior Ulema as well as decades back) has refuted the Fatwa (and rulings) of the abovementioned great luminaries on the issue of Stunning? And what their reasoning and basis is for refuting and negating the abovementioned Fatwa of Mufti Taqi and the rulings of Maulana Ashraff Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaih) and other giants of the Muslim world like Mufti Mohammed Shafi??

Question 3.6
With regards to the Fatwa quoted above (of Mufti Taqi Usmani) does SANHA even understand the learned Mufti’s ruling?
Can SANHA perhaps please comment (individually on each of points a,b,c,d,e of Mufti Taqi’s Fatwa above) and educate us on SANHA’s understanding of the Fatwa and on whether SANHA takes note of and accepts Mufti Taqi’s Fatwa….. (Or not?)
(SANHA in deeming stunning acceptable surely thinks that the learned Mufti Taqi has erred in his ruling’s?? and by default that Darul Uloom Ifta departments of Deoband and Karachi have erred as well… and have got it wrong???)

Question 3.7
In detail, what is SANHA’s exact reasons for accepting stunning? (Especially as SANHA always proclaims to lean on the side conservatism, e.g. on the gelatin issue etc where SANHA preaches a rather safe then sorry approach)

Question 3.8
SANHA’s following comment refers;
“Where controlled stunning is applied, the stun is of a reversible nature and such bird will not die as a result thereof. If however, there are birds which may have died either pre or post stunning, such birds are removed from the line and disposed of accordingly.”
(Above by EBI Lockhat in an email dated 21st October 2010)

It is now established from SANHA’s comment above that birds that die pre stunning or post stunning are “removed from the line”

Question 3.8.1
What are the quantum of birds that die pre stunning and are removed from the line?

Question 3.8.2
What are the quantum of birds that die post stunning and are removed from the line?

Question 3.8.3
What are, in general, are the causes of death of birds that die pre stunning? (Could these birds be unhealthy in the 1st place and hence just falling down dead? Could they be treated inhumanely and be dying as a result thereof??)

Question 3.8.4
What are, in general, the causes of death of birds that die post stunning? (Could these birds perhaps be dying as a direct result of the stunning??)

Question 3.9
Please explain how exactly birds that die post stunning are removed from the line pre slaughter?
[Removed by whom? When? At what point? Perhaps removed by the same slaughterers who are already tasked, and stressed, with slaughtering birds at extremely high speed?]

Question 3.10
How exactly is a (dead) bird that dies post stunning (pre slaughter) differentiated from a live but effectively unconscious / comatose bird (for purposes of removing the dead birds from the line?

Question 3.11
SANHA claims that:
“the stun is of a reversible nature and such bird will not die as a result thereof”

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 we’re left with 1000 (out of a 1000) “healthy” birds??

Question 3.12
If the survey is done as per 3.11 above and a few birds actually die (or just one) then what would SANHA’s view be of the obvious contamination between (so called) Halaal birds and those that cannot be Halaal due to dying pre slaughtering as a result of the stunning?

Question 3.13
SANHA’s words above where SANHA says that:
“ ……….stunning in commercial abattoirs may be considered.”
are very ambiguous.

What exactly is SANHA saying / suggesting?
On whose authority?
Following exactly whose Fatwa’s and who’s rulings … (please give some references to these Fatwa’s and rulings)?

Question 3.14
During SANHA’s “pre-planned” site visits / inspections to one of the plants Mufti Elias asked the supervisor to immerse his hand into the “stunning water” where the tiny birds that consumers consume are stunned. The supervisor refused.

Why did he refuse?
(he, the supervisor, told Mufti Elias that it would “kick”  him or shock him)
(if the stunning would “kick” a 80kg’s+ mountain of a man then what would it do to a tiny 1kg bird??)

Question 3.15
SANHA states that;
“Senior Ulema and pious predecessors have laid down the rules for acceptance of commercial slaughter based on their interpretation of public need decades prior to the formation of SANHA.”

Question 3.15.1
What (or who) exactly is SANHA’s definition of Senior Ulema and especially of Pious predecessors?
[My understanding of the term “Pious Predecessors” is that when the term ‘Pious Predecessors’, i.e. Salf-e-Saaliheen, is mentioned, it refers to the Ulema, Sulaha, Fuqaha and Auliya of the three initial eras of Islam , which are known as Khairul Quroon (the Noblest Ages).] Is this correct??

Question 3.15.2
There is not a single personality from the Salf-e-Saaliheen who condones what Sanha is saying and doing (refer to 3.4 above).
Can SANHA cite the name of a single Faqeeh or Aalim from
among the Salf-e-Saaliheen who had contended the permissibility of
pre-slaughter injury (stunning)?

Question 3.15.3
Irrespective of SANHA’s understanding of who the Pious Predecessors are can SANHA cite tangible evidence that the Pious Predecessors have “laid down the rules” for acceptability of;
•    slaughter without the direction of the Qiblah,
•    stunning pre slaughter,
•    immersing the chickens in blood filled scalding water with its intestines and feaces still inside,
•    hanging the chickens upside down and slaughtering in motion on a tremendously fast-moving conveyor belt…..
•    etc etc etc?

Question 3.16
Could SANHA comment on each of the following points/comments/facts (3.16.1 to 3.16.6);

Commercially killed chickens are electrocuted – electrically stunned by dragging their heads through a trough of electrified water. This cruel infliction of injury prior to slaughter is Haraam. Every kind of pre-slaughter injury is Haraam. The Shari’ah is emphatic on this prohibition.

Many die as a direct consequence of the stunning. Here is abundant
evidence for this. Innumerable dead chickens are thus slaughtered. All these dead chickens are certified ‘Halaal’ by the halaalizing bodies.

Even if we had to assume that the stunning does not kill the chickens, but renders them motionless, then too, the act of pre-slaughter stunning is Haraam. It is in flagrant violation of the Shari’ah.
It is therefore not permissible to consume chickens which are killed/slaughtered in a system which has in entirety displaced the
divinely-instituted Islamic system of Thabah.

Regardless of the effects being ‘reversible’. The Shari’ah can never accept a system even if devised by Muslims, if such system displaces the system which was revealed to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) from Allah Ta’ala. It is tantamount to kufr for Muslims to reject and displace the Waajib holy system of Islam and to substitute it with a system in which cruelty is practiced, and which system displaces Allah’s system.

Undoubtedly all true Ulema reject as Haraam pre-slaughter stunning, and every pre-slaughter infliction of injury to the animal.
Numerous non-Muslim experts in this field too reject stunning and point out its harms.
When Islam rejects every  act of injury before slaughter and when Allah Ta’ala has ordained a system of Thabah for the Ummah, then it is contumacy and flagrant transgression to aver that ‘controlled stunning’ or ‘controlled infliction of injury’ is  acceptable.
(Note that: A person’s personal view unsubstantiated by the evidence of the Shari’ah is devoid of substance in Islam.)

The laws of Islam are sacrosanct. These laws and systems are revealed. They came from Allah Azza Wa Jal to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It is Haraam and tantamount to kufr to delete, change or displace these laws, ways and methods with systems invented, especially when the Shari’ah is explicit in prohibiting pre-slaughter injury.

Question 4
Re: Immersing into hot water for de feathering

A practice that is prevalent here at all the major slaughter plants is that the poultry, very shortly after being slaughtered, are immediately (before removing any impurities from inside the stomach) immersed into hot (either Very hot or Scolding Hot or Boiling hot) water to facilitate the feather peeling process.

I recently asked SANHA the following question:
Are any birds that SANHA certifies Halaal subjected to de-feathering in boiling hot  (alternatively very hot) water whilst still alive (resulting in a possibility of such bird dying by drowning)?

And SANHA responded (with a very curt response as follows):
“No! And the allegation of  boiling water being used is a blatant untruth”
(above response by EBI Lockhat of SANHA on 21st October 2010)

As far as this is concerned my questions are as follows:

Question 4.1
Exactly how long after slaughter are the birds immersed into hot water in the various large plants that SANHA certifies (please give the shortest period and the longest period)?

Question 4.2
What is the water temperature normally set at in these water tanks wherein the birds are immersed to facilitate the feather peeling process?

Question 4.3
Irrespective of the temperature of the water, are the birds immersed into the hot water with all their impurities and insides still in the stomach and in the bird?

Question 4.4
How often is this water changed?

Question 4.5
Is there any chance whatsoever (even 1 iota of a chance?) that the birds are immersed into the water so quickly after slaughter that there may well be birds that are not yet totally dead when immersed,… resulting in these birds dying of drowning?

Question 4.6
Muslim scholars are of the view that when birds are immersed into hot water en mass with their impurities and insides still in the stomach and inside the bird that a very real possibility exists that the meat absorbs such impurities and such meat is rendered Nijis/Napaak.

Western scientists too carry the view that such a practice results in impurities being absorbed into the meat.

What is SANHA’s view?

Question 4.7
Darul Uloom Deoband has ruled as follows:
“(Fatwa: 190/31/TL=1431)
If chicken is put in hot water without taking out impurities inside its stomach to an extent that the impurities are absorbed in the meat, so the chicken turns impure (najis/napak). Therefore, the chicken should not be put in hot water without taking out the impurities.
Allah (Subhana Wa Ta’ala) Knows Best
Darul Ifta, Darul Uloom Deoband “

My understanding of the above is that the IFTA Department of Darul Uloom Deoband have definitely “considered” that the immersing of chicken into hot water with its impurities still inside the stomach could well result in such impurities being absorbed into the meat turning such meat impure (najis/napak).
We obviously are aware of the fact that any meat that is impure, that is najis/napak is Haraam meat (just like pork which is napaak and can never be Halaal).

What is SANHA’s view of the above?
(Could the considerations of the Ulema at Darul Ifta Deoband be nonsensical? Could the brilliant and pious minds at the IFTA department of Darul Uloom Deoband all be on the wrong track?)

Question 4.8
The very reputable IFTA department of Darul Uloom Deoband has ruled as follows:
“chicken should not be put in hot water without taking out the impurities.”

The above ruling has been endorsed by ALL the senior Ulema whose rulings I have access to.

My question is;
Based on whose rulings has SANHA considered this practice of immersing into hot water (just stunned/electrocuted and just slaughtered) birds with all impurities, intestines etc still inside the stomach, with Feaces still inside the bird as acceptable?
(Please furnish evidence of the rulings of acceptability of this practice from any senior Ulema)

Question 4.9
During the same site visit (referred to in 3.14 above) Mufti Elias asked the Rainbow supervisor to immerse his hand into the hot water tank (that birds are immersed into immediately after slaughter for de-feathering with their unclean insides etc still in the stomach) and the supervisor refused.

Why did he refuse?
(He said that the water will “burn his skin” and “take his skin out”)
(Is the above not an indication that the water is so hot that impurities from the inside of the bird contaminates the meat??)

Question 5
Re: Line Speed – Of slaughter

I recently asked SANHA the following questions:
“At the poultry plants supervised by SANHA and where chickens certified Halaal,…..
a)…how many chickens are slaughtered per slaughterer per day / or per shift? (on average, during high season, during low season)
b)…can the above be broken down per hour and per minute per slaughterer? (again… on average, during high season, during low season)
c)…simply put, in the “busy” abattoirs that SANHA supervises, what is the average line speed? (and the high season and low season line speeds) “

SANHA’s EBI Lockhat replied as follows (to a,b,c above):
“The number of birds slaughtered at “busy” abattoirs range from 25,000 to 150,000 per shift. The line speed would accordingly vary. However, the number of slaughterers on line are proportionately increased to facilitate higher line speeds which average at 135 – 140 birds per minute.”
(the above response by SANHA’s EBI Lockhat by email on the 21st October 2010)

Clearly it can be seen that SANHA evaded answering my questions (a,b,c above) directly and responded with a very superficial answer.
My questions are very simple and a person with elementary English knowledge should be able to grasp my questions and answer appropriately.

Nevertheless, I once again ask SANHA the following (very simply) and request proper and direct answers this time around:

Question 5.1.1
How many chickens are slaughtered per slaughterer per day / or per shift on average in the high volume plants that SANHA certifies?

Question 5.1.2
How many chickens are slaughtered per slaughterer per day / or per shift during high season (busy periods) in the high volume plants that SANHA certifies?

Question 5.1.3
How many chickens are slaughtered per slaughterer per day / or per shift during low season (quieter periods) in the high volume plants that SANHA certifies?

Question 5.2
SANHA states as follows:
“However, the number of slaughterers on line are proportionately increased to facilitate higher line speeds which average at 135 – 140 birds per minute.”

Question 5.2.1
If the line speeds average 135 – 140 birds per minute, then what are the top end (high end) line speeds during really busy periods? (perhaps 180 birds per minute??, perhaps 160 birds per minute???)

Question 5.2.2
Now that we have established what the line speeds are,… how many slaughterers are there (max. no? and min no.?) active on the line at any one time? And how many birds per minute is each slaughterer slaughtering (during high speed busy time?)?

Question 5.2.3
Briefly, giving key points, what is each slaughterer’s job description? (What exactly are their responsibilities?)
What does each slaughterer (on average) earn per month? And who pays their salaries?

Question 5.3
Do slaughterers slaughter at the rate of around 40 birds per minute? (And this; whilst checking for dead birds, whilst reciting the Tasmiyah for each and every bird, whilst severing the minimum number of vessels required by Shari’ah, whilst “taking a breather”, whilst cleaning their goggles, whilst sharpening their knives, whilst checking for dead birds…. etc etc ….???) (If not 40, then how many? 35? 33? 30? 45? 50?)

Question 5.4
Is Tasmiyah recited by every slaughterer for each and every bird that they slaughter? (even in busy periods when the line speed is at its fastest)

Question 5.5
Is SANHA of the view that Tasmiyah is in the heart of every Muslim, hence no need to read the Tasmiyah for each and every bird slaughtered at high speed?

Question 5.6
Do slaughterers continue slaughtering whilst it is the time for Juma Salaah?

Question 6
RE: Contamination

What if some of the chickens slaughtered at commercial plants are indeed Halaal and others not (that is they are Haraam) for various reasons …. (skipped Tasmiyah, or all vessels not severed, or died as a result of stunning etc…) …. And these chickens are all together (resulting in possible contamination)? What would be SANHA’s view be on the fact that one now has a “mixture” of (so called) Halaal and (definitely) Haraam?

Question 7
Re: Financial Matters

After much external pressure SANHA have recently posted their Financial Statements on SANHA’s website.
However, only an ABRIDGED version of the Financial Statements appears on the website. In essence only superficial information about a NGO (which SANHA is, or claims to be) can be gleaned from abridged Financials. No real meaningful information can be extracted. (it is very much like hosting a Miss Universe contest, televising it across the globe, but having all the contestants don Parda!)

I also understand that the millions of rands in Fee Income that SANHA derives ultimately comes out of the pockets of the consumers, Muslim consumers and Non-Muslim consumers alike (in fact more so, due to population dynamics, a materially greater portion from the pockets of Non-Muslim consumers). The point here is that it is the consumer, the man in the street, out of whose pocket SANHA derives its fees.

Question 7.1
My question to SANHA is:
What was SANHA’s rationale for posting only ABRIDGED Financials on SANHA’s website? (Knowing full well that Abridged financials only disclose “on the surface” numbers, and are very much like a summary of a summary of summary)

(I’d rather that SANHA don’t sing a song about how much more transparent they believe they are compared to other organisations, but rather address the issue of why only disclose ABRIDGED financials rather then FULL Audited Financial Statements?? to the very consumers who fill SANHA’s coffers)

Question 7.2
Who exactly are the ABRIDGED financials targeted toward and what real insight is this target market expected to derive from viewing only ABRIDGED financials?

Question 7.3
I quote below an introductory excerpt from SANHA’s website;

“The South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA) is a national, non-profit-making organization, 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.

SANHA’s membership comprises of leading Muslim Theological Bodies and reputable, professional Muslim organizations of South Africa.

SANHA has been established as a representative authority which promotes professionalism and excellence in the certification of Halaal products.

To nurture professionalism, perfection and excellence in the process of certification, monitoring and promoting Halaal products in accordance with the dictates of the Shari’ah (Islamic Law).

Since its establishment in 1996, SANHA has received overwhelming support from both the consumer and the broader industry role players who longed for a cohesive, uniformed approach in the certification of Halaal products.

In a short span of time, SANHA has accredited more than a thousand establishments.

In a survey conducted by a major corporate company in over 50 companies, 92% of surveyed business voted in favour of SANHA. We strive to promote SANHA in the Halaal industry thereby providing an excellent and professional service to the industry and a guaranteed assurance in preserving the right of the Halaal-conscious consumer.

To develop and implement effective control and monitoring systems thereby guaranteeing to the highest possible standards that products labeled “Halaal” are truly Halaal compliant. “

SANHA also claims on its website as follows and I once again quote:
“SANHA is the ONLY Halaal certifying organization that provides full accountability and transparency to the Consumer”

Question 7.3.1
Does the disclosure of only ABRIDGED financials (rather then detailed audited financials) not amount to “SELECTED ACCOUNTABILITY”? (Rather then the “FULL ACOUNTABILITY” that SANHA claims it provides to the consumer)

Question 7.3.2
In light of the fact that SANHA represents “the Muslim community of South Africa” and in light of the fact that SANHA “provides full accountability and transparency to the Consumer” (quotations in SANHA’s own words) and in light of the fact that SANHA fills its coffers from the pockets of Muslim and Non-Muslim consumers (from the man in the street who acquires the products that SANHA certifies) my question to SANHA is:

Will SANHA publish (in a national medium) Full and Comprehensive Audited Financial Statements (for the last 3 Financial years) to the Muslim community that it claims to represent? To the Non Muslim community it derives its fees from? And in so doing will SANHA start to provide the “full accountability and transparency” it claims to provide?

(YES or a NO? ….. as the public are intelligent enough to deduce from a YES or a NO answer the modus operandi of SANHA)

Question 7.3.3
I have recently asked SANHA to disclose the monthly salaries (total cost to SANHA) of their top 6 employees.

SANHA’s EBI Lockhat responded (by email on the 13th October 2010) that SANHA “believes that it exceeds the bounds of transparency and infringes on the privacy of the persons concerned”.

I remind SANHA that SANHA runs a NGO (and NOT a trading entity for profit), that SANHA’s fees and the earnings of all its employees comes out of the pockets of Joe Public, and that when senior officials accept “a seat” at a organisation like SANHA and are in a public position representing consumers at large and deriving their income from the pockets of the public then such officials cannot enjoy the privileges of privacy that are availed to private entrepreneurs.

Hence, I once again ask SANHA to disclose the full detailed packages of all its senior employees (not just the top 6) so that there is indeed the “full accountability and transparency” (that SANHA claims, and not just selected accountability).

Will SANHA be accountable to the consumers who fill their coffers and disclose? or not?

Question 7.3.4
When pressed on the issue (of why SANHA should disclose it’s full financials, and the earnings of it senior employees and when SANHA were questioned and asked some very basic information based on their abridged financials) and reminded that SANHA is a NGO and not a private trading entity, SANHA’s EBI Lockhat (by email on the 4th November) responded that “ It is a liberated and democratic South Africa, people have the freedom to live and trade wherever they choose, unlike the situation that prevailed in the apartheid era”.

My question (and at the same time comment to SANHA is):
Please analyse your EBI Lockhat’s response above to being asked some simple questions and once and for all to come clean and tell the public whether SANHA sees itself as a “Trading” entity for gain (of its senior employees and decision makers) or as an NGO (that represents the consumers that it derives its income from)?

Question 7.3.5
What % of SANHA’s total income (of R8million+ last financial year) is derived from certifying as “Halaal” poultry in South Africa at slaughtering plants?

Question 7.3.6
Jacob Zuma recently commented that “Transparency is a critical part of increasing the public’s understanding of the role of NGO’s and their work”

What is SANHA’s understanding of the above as far as financial accountability is concerned?

Question 7.4
Does SANHA (or any of its executives or senior employees) receive any income / fees / royalties / license fees etc from any source (related to the Halaal certification SANHA issues) that are not  clearly reflected (as Income) in the Income in the Income section of its Income Statement (of its audited Annual Financial Statements)?

Question 7.5
Does SANHA accept that ultimately SANHA’s fees and income are paid out of the pockets of the man in the street, out of the pockets of consumers (Muslim and Non Muslim consumers alike)?
(I am saying here that every entity that sells SANHA certified products would factor in the price of certification and would build such price into its product cost of sales structure and would ultimately recover such costs in its selling price,…. Sometimes even marking up such costs even further to the end consumer)

Question 8
Who does SANHA represent?
I recently asked SANHA whether representatives of the general public (not persons or organisations cherry picked by SANHA) would be given the opportunity to inspect the plants SANHA certifies….

SANHA’s EBI Lockhat replied by email (on the 21st October 2010) that SANHA “make no claim to represent every single Muslim in South Africa or habour such desire…..”

Whilst SANHA on its website states:
“The South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA) is a national, non-profit-making organization, representing the Muslim community of South Africa ….. “

The contradiction above is very clear.

The question is:
Who exactly does SANHA represent? (and under which mandate does SANHA represent those it claims to represent?)

Question 9
Re: Maulana Navlakhi
I understand that Maulana Navlakhi is the Theological Director of SANHA (this was said to me by email by EBI Lockhat on the 13th October: “we extend an invitation for you to sit down with our Theological Director, Maulana MS Navlakhi and pose the question directly to him ……..”).

My understanding is that the position of Theological Director of SANHA is a very demanding position and one that surely requires an immense level of knowledge on Islamic Shari’ah issues across the board.

What exactly are Maulana Navlakhi’s qualifications (qualified Aalim? Mufti?), and at which institutions has he obtained the qualifications that he is accredited with?)

Question 10
Re: SANHA Certified HAM Cheese

I have viewed SANHA’s response (posted on SANHA’s website and published in the Lenasia Sun) on this issue….
SANHA always seems to find a 3rd party to blame for its shortcomings and its mistakes.

Question 10.1
Where was SANHA’s supervision? (Whilst 10’s of thousands of SANHA certified HAM cheese was flying out of the doors of a SANHA certified and SANHA “supervised” plant?)

(Surely SANHA should be manning all dispatch points of the plants SANHA certifies very vigorously!!!???)

What was SANHA’s supervisor at dispatch doing whilst 10’s of 1000’s of mistakes were flying past him? (was he sleeping?, was he neglecting his supervisory responsibilities), or was there no supervision at the despatch at all???)

Question 10.2
Why is this product still on supermarket shelves (at 8th December 2010), weeks (and now well over a month) after it was brought to SANHA’s attention?

Question 10.3
Does the party that “erroneously” labeled the product not have enough respect for SANHA to have caused it to recall all the containers in question post haste?, especially as Lancewood is in breach of contract??

Question 10.4
Of what use is SANHA’s contract if companies like Lancewood (even if they have made a genuine error) flagrantly disregard such contracts and do not recall products off the shelves of national retailers when surely SANHA would have called for this a long time back??
(Leading me to ask,… of what benefit is SANHA really to the Muslim community if SANHA’s paying clients whom SANHA certifies have no respect for their contracts with SANHA?)

Question 10 .5
Does SANHA sometimes make mistakes?
Is SANHA sometimes responsible for irregularities that take place?
Is it always the fault of a third party?

If SANHA does make mistakes and is subject to certain internal irregularities please give us some recent (and some older) examples of these…..
(Or is SANHA perfect? As SANHA has previously gone on record to say: “NO

Question 10.6
SANHA claims that in its history only 7 “errors” have been made…

Question 10.6.1
Who identified these errors? (SANHA officials or 3rd parties??)

Question 10.6.2
Where was SANHA’s supervision?

Question 10.6.2
7 instances were discovered.
How many Undiscovered?

Question 11
Re: Mufti Elias
Mufti Elias has gone on record and stated on his website that SANHA’s Theological Director Maulana Navlakhi (uninvited) at Mufti Elias’s home verbally abused Mufti Elias, used choice expletives directed at him by Maulana Navlakhi etc etc…. (This was after Mufti had visited one of the SANHA certified plants and raised some concerns which Mufti had published his website, ). Maulana Navlakhi further declared various Ulema (who are undoubtedly Pious and of substance and standing and are learned — this is my view and I am sure that of many others too) as Kaffirs.
SANHA obviously denies this (I refer SANHA to SANHA’s website where SANHA penned an article “Mufti Elias Sympathy Card Gets Trumped By An Ace”) and further claims that SANHA has a recording of the conversation in question…..

Question 11.1
Is Mufti Elias a liar? (And Mufti Elias’s family as well? who heard the fracas created at Mufti’s home by Maulana Navlakhi)

Question 11.2
If Yes (to 11.1 above), what in SANHA’s view has inspired Mufti Elias to dream up the fairy tales (that he has concocted)? And how would Mufti Elias benefit by this?

Question 11.3
If yes to 11.1 above and if Mufti Elias is indeed lying then his comments obviously call for SANHA to take swift and high level legal action against Mufti Elias (civil and criminal) and for SANHA to submit their original recording to the relevant authorities (so that it can be forensically tested by experts).

Surely SANHA would want to clear its good name and do so by whatever means possible and in the strongest terms.

So, will SANHA lay a charge and will SANHA proceed with civil and criminal action against Mufti Elias?
Will SANHA subject its original recording to forensic analysis?

Question 11.4
If the answer to 11.3 above is Yes then my comment is that this is the right thing to do… and I wait in anticipation…..

If the answer is No then at a bare minimum is SANHA willing to post the recording on its website in its entirety (unedited)? And then hand in the original recording to a recognized forensics lab for analysis?

(After all, SANHA on its website has an open invitation to the public to come and listen to the tape,… so why not just load it onto the SANHA website and make it available to all and sundry to listen to? And take it a step further and have the original recording forensically analyzed?)

Question 12
Re: The (now very Public) SANHA / MJC 233 Page Report
(The report can be downloaded from the SA Muslims Website)

In a nutshell, SANHA had found some very serious problems at MJC certified establishments to the extent the Halaal status of numerous items was not only in doubt or question but rather these items were found to be Haraam by SANHA!
The SANHA report included / recorded the following (among many other irregularities):
a) Well documented evidence was presented of severing just one vein rendering the chickens totally HARAAM according to all Mazhabs.
b) Products containing pork fat, blood plasma, white wine flavour, bacon flavour, blood powder, etc. were marketed with the MJC Halaal label.
c) Confirmed slaughtering by non-Muslim slaughterers.
d) Non-Muslim inspector and staff.
e) Contamination in fridges of Haraam and Halaal items.
f) Non-Muslim wholesaler with no Muslim staff, supplying MJC certified Halaal meat.
g) Haraam or absolutely doubtful imports from Brazil, China, etc., certified Halaal and the list goes on.

My questions are:
Why did SANHA not (post haste) issue a public blitz to the Muslim public informing them that they were consuming Haraam items (though certified as Halaal) at the very moment that SANHA discovered the irregularities? (And thus in the process SANHA became a “co conspirator” and in my view is equally and totally responsible for allowing the Muslim public to consume Haraam)
Did SANHA widely announce to the Muslim public that the products in question were HARAAM as it (SANHA) had conclusively established, and which is confirmed by SANHA’s “Secret, now Not So Secret” Document?
(I am in effect saying that from the contents of the 233 page report it seems as though SANHA knowingly condoned and allowed Muslim consumers to consume Haraam MJC certified products that was discovered by SANHA! What is SANHA’s response??)

Question 13
Re: Revenue generated from certifying large volume commercial poultry Halaal

What would the financial impact be to SANHA’s “bottom-line” if SANHA does not certify any commercial poultry Halaal and if SANHA loses all the revenue / royalties / certificate fees etc it derives from the commercial poultry plants (the likes of Rainbow, Earlybird etc…)?

Would SANHA be in a “net income” situation or a “net loss” situation from a financial point of view?

Question 14
Re: Maulana Moosa Olga Affidavit
(Refer SA Muslims website — article 34 — for a copy of the Affidavit)

The Affidavit issued by Maulana Moosa Olga (consisting of 11 points) is self explanatory:-

Could SANHA please respond to each of the points 4 to 11 individually and let the public know whether Maulana Olga is a liar or not?? (Rather then refer to the very general and superficial “rebuttal” that SANHA has posted on Maulana Olga’s affidavit, my request is that SANHA address each of the points below individually and respond directly by point to Maulana Olga’s statements)

For your benefit I reproduce below points 4 to 11 from the affidavit:-

4. In the year 2004 at one of our Jamiatul Ulema KZN weekly meetings it was mentioned by the then administrator, Maulana Ahmed Kahthrada that slaughterers from the Rainbow chicken plant at Hammarsdale had complained that they could not recite the Tasmiyah on all the chickens due to the excessive line speed and time duration.
5. It was resolved at that meeting that there was a need for us to make a spot check at Rainbow chicken plant without the knowledge of SANHA. Mufti Zubair Bhayat who was the then secretary-general of Jamiatul Ulama KZN arranged with Yusuf Desai of Stanger to organize access for us to the Rainbow plant as he (Yusuf Desai) was a big buyer of Rainbow chickens. Accordingly, he arranged for us to undertake an inspection. At that time our Council, the Jamiatul Ulama KZN was an executive member of SANHA (South African National Halaal Authority).
6. On the appointed date of the inspection, our delegation included Mufti Bashir Amod of Stanger, Mufti Ebrahim Desai of Darul Ifta Camperdown and myself.
The specific purpose of the inspection was to establish whether the Tasmiyah was being recited on every chicken or not. Our inspection established that:
(a) The line speed was excessive. The speed of the line on which the chickens were shackled upside down was 135 birds per minute.
(b) Three slaughterers were slaughtering. This means that each slaughterer had to slaughter 45 birds per minute.
(c) The slaughterers did not/could not recite Tasmiyah on every bird.
7. Thereafter two ex-slaughterers came to our office, who had resigned due to their conscience troubling them, to lodge the same grievance of their inability to recite the Tasmiyah on every chicken. We wrote down all the details and their testimonies.
8. Moulana Haroon Abbasomar, our then Ameer (President) of Jamiatul Ulama KZN then contacted the Jamiatul Ulama Fordsburg to arrange a meeting with them to sort out the Rainbow chicken issue as the Ummah (Muslim community) was consuming Haraam (non-halaal).
9. Mufti Zubair Bhayat and I then met with the Jamiatul Ulama Fordsburg, including Moulana Navlakhi of SANHA. At this meeting I stated that Rainbow chickens are Haraam (not halaal) on the basis of the testimonies of past and present slaughterers. Moulana Navlakhi was displeased because we did not consult with SANHA, but went as ‘businessmen’ to make the inspection. However, it was resolved at this meeting that there be a follow-up meeting with SANHA.
10. A meeting was then held at O.R.Tambo Airport in the Jamaat Khana (Prayer Room). Jamiatul Ulama KZN was represented by Mufti Ebrahim Desai and myself. The Jamiatul Ulama Fordsburg members were Moulana Ebrahim Bham, Mufti Minty and Moulana M.S.Navlakhi.
11. At this meeting I was immediately asked by SANHA’s Moulana:
“Moulana, do you still declare Rainbow Haraam?”
Before I could answer, Mufti Ebrahim Desai said to Mufti Minty that when a Muslim bears testimony regarding an issue of this nature, a doubt is immediately introduced. Mufti Ebrahim Desai also mentioned that he had personally questioned the slaughterers who had testified in the presence of our other members that they were unable to recite Tasmiyah on every bird.
It was decided at this meeting that a joint visit of Jamiatul Ulama KZN and SANHA be conducted of the Rainbow chicken plant. Sadly, on two occasions the date and time were confirmed with SANHA, but they cancelled the visit.

Question 15
Birds must necessarily be Healthy and disease free to be considered fit for Halaal consumption.

What exactly does SANHA do to establish and to ensure that the birds that are brought to the slaughter plants for slaughtering are indeed Healthy and disease free?

Question 16
Re Competitors
SANHA has an established special committee headed by its Molvi Yusuf Patel, to keep track of its competitors in the Halaal certification trade, viz., MJC, NIHT, ICSA and the Natal Jamiat.

Why the need for such a committee to keep track of SANHA’s competitors, (even to the extent that SANHA may be covertly spying on its competitors)?

Question 17
Coming back to the commercially slaughtered poultry certified as Halaal by SANHA…
The question is:
If Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had been alive today and had he inspected the processes in the poultry industry (i.e. the processes from the birth of the chickens, their living conditions during their short lifespan, their being fed steroids, the injuries they sustain prior to slaughter, the way they are gathered and taken for slaughter, the transportation, the hanging upside down on high speed conveyor belts, the electrocuting / stunning, the immersion with all the filth into scalding hot water etc etc etc etc ….)…
Would he in his infinite wisdom definitely and without any iota of doubt have signed off and ratified SANHA’s Halaal certification of poultry to the likes of Rainbow, Earlybird?

Question 18
Re UNbiased / UNplanned inspections
Why does SANHA not let each Darul Uloom in South Africa select a senior Mufti (just one each), let each recognized regional Jamiat select a senior Mufti/Ulema (just one each), allow the Board of Mufti’s of South Africa select one single Mufti and allow the above persons unfettered access (4 times a year, i.e. quarterly) to inspect the Rainbow / Earlybird plants without SANHA officials escorting them and preparing in advance for such visits?
These inspections can take place at random dates and times.
The independent Ulema can then carry out proper unbiased inspections without any SANHA influence.

Question 19
Re Fees / Charges / Royalties etc…
What is SANHA’s fee structure for issuing “Halaal” certificates?
(Surely SANHA has a “price list”)
Please furnish the standard fees SANHA levies to; Restaurants, Café’s, Butcheries, Food Product Manufacturers, Abattoirs and Slaughter Plants (per bird, per sheep, per goat, per Ox…etc).

Question 20
Re Board Members and Decision Making
Question 20.1
Who are the current board members? (And how long have each of them been in their respective positions?)

Question 20.2
Who elects the board members? (And by what process?)

Question 20.3
Are board members remunerated? (If so, by whom?)

Question 20.4
Can SANHA please comment on 20.4.1 and 20.4.2 below:

“Director at SANHA, S. Mahomedy in a published article on the opinion of the Natal MEC in charge of local government after a special commission of investigation recommended amongst others in a very stern letter, that Mr Solly Mahomedy is” not fit to run any public office for the next 10 years “…! ( Sunday Tribune Herald 2/5/94)”

“Chairperson of SANHA, Sheik Abrahim Essop was labelled a paedophile by the state psychologist in court papers as reported in published articles of Weekend Post & Herald, and is not allowed ‘near children without adult supervision except his own’ and the criminal vile child molesting case  (12 & 15 / 7 / 2000 )”

PS. The relevance of asking SANHA to comment on the above is rather obvious! As the integrity (moral, ethical etc) of the “Seniors” at SANHA for obvious reasons has necessarily got to be beyond reproach (past, present and future) as these persons share the responsibility of Public Halaal!

Question 20.5
Who forms part of the decision making body at SANHA and who are the Ulema whose rulings SANHA follow especially on the certification of poultry?
(Certainly as far as the certification of poultry is concerned SANHA are obviously not following the rulings of any recognised Senior Ulema, nor of any Pious Predecessor, nor are SANHA following strictly Shari’ah, nor are SANHA following ordained, recognised, accepted Islamic method of Slaughter as detailed in Question 1 above. So who’s rulings / Fatwa’s, who’s Shari’ah, who’s methods are SANHA really subscribing to??)

Submitted 9th December 2010
By email
Ahmed Laher