GMWA + HMC = Merger
I hope inshallah this email finds you in good emaan and health. Alhumdolillah we in the UK have two well known Muslim bodies in the Halal Monitoring Committee http://www.halalmc.co.uk/ (HMC) and GMWA's Halal FoodGuide (http://www.foodguide.org.uk/index.php run mainly by Mufti Sacha and Mufti Abduallah). Why dont these two merge. I know there's a difference on stunning between the two but couldn't that be dropped by GMWA purely cause its doubtful which GMWA accepts also (and its ONLY Freemans that they ok the stunning for). Dropping something for the greater good/benefit of all and help strengthen the "Halal" cause.
Both their websites already have links to each others info hence why not merge. Mufti Sacha's knowledge on halal/haraam is probably unmatched in the UK and HMC's organisation model, certifying process, offices/inspectors around the UK (and their slowly emerging into markets abroad) it all makes simple sense - HMC needs to expand into those areas that are non-meat i.e snacks, confectionery, etc and GMWA could fulfil the main intention it was built on to have a reliable halal certifying body recognised throughout the UK (soon overseas also inshallah) run/overseen by ulama and professionals.
Yes before HMC existed the stunning practice was almost impossible to avoid in the UK now with HMC being around for the past few years hence the market for non-stunned meat amongst UK Muslims has increased many many fold (*mentioned report here*). In light of this wouldn't it now make a common sense approach to also view stunning as best avoided as there's an easily available alternative now in the UK (and its increasing year after year) - non stunned meat.
Canada's Jamaitul Ulama HMA has also used HMC as their model for their own Halal certifying body. France also has very similar as does SANHA of South Africa and America's IFANCA. Evening the UK's HFA have a non-stunning procedure which they didn't have before but due to the huge demand now in UK (and it being easily available in the UK) have changed their criteria - though personally I do not have as much faith in HFA as I do in GMWA/HMC.
GMWA has very good connections amongst a lot of major brands since I can remember (mashallah back since 1993!) and HMC has a very good/trusted certifying policy, organisation model, offices/inspectors around the country etc - it makes perfect sense for both models to work more closely for the benefit of future generations of UK Muslims. HMC recently held a few Halal Awareness events in Leicester separate one were held for the public, ulama (in which approx 90 scholars attended) and one for those involved in the food industry. Having one single solid strong ulama run organisation makes it much easier for us all and just strengthens us across the whole market.
The present and future generations of UK Muslims would benefit hugely (it'll also makes things clearer for them) if they both just merged or at the very least worked much more closer together then they currently do.
"If theres anyone knowing any reason that these two shouldn't be joined in holy matrimony let them speak now or forever hold their peace" - LOL.
but jokes aside it does sound perfectly logical and beneficial through and through. -
Grateful for your comments
In the Name of Allah, the Inspirer of Truth.
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Jazakallah for your query.
The GMWA Foodguide has by the Fadhl of Allah, been operating since October 2001. The Foodguide is not run by Mufti Yusuf Sacha Mz.
Mufti Yusuf Sacha heads the Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence, which is totally independent of our organisation. That said, we refer extensively with both HMC and Mufti Yusuf Sacha when we need to, so in short, we are all working together.
If you wish to contact Mufti Yusuf Sacha, his contact details as below:
Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence
Mufti Yusuf Sacha
68 Broomsdale Road
We are not aware of any reputable Ulama working for HFA, hence unable to accept their verification. The nature of food certification is such that it requires the overseeing of qualified and reputable Ulamaa.
Rulings on Stunning
It is highly inappropriate for you to refer to our jurisprudential rulings on stunning as "doubtful" and should be "dropped". These are jurisprudential technical matters based on the works of erudite 'Ulamaa. I stress these are not rifts of any kind, as Ikhtilaaf between 'Ulamaa are a special Mercy for this Ummah. In matters of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) a very clear distinction has to be drawn between what is Halaal/Haraam.
When passing a ruling of the Halaal or Haraam nature of a chicken, a Mufti will examine whether all the conditions of Islamic slaughter are met or not. Once he is satisfied, he will deem the animal to be Halaal for consumption, regardless of whether the animal has been raised or slaughtered in an inhumane way. However, as for the issue of declaring the final status of an animal as Haraam because of unethical issues - this principle is not used in Fiqh as it is an external issue and not something which can affect the actual Halaal status of an animal.
HMC and Freemans
As far as mergers go, organisations which operate independently, tend to be far more successful. As long as there are veritable Ulamaa operating such institutions, Insha-Allah the public will benefit. Working together for the greater good, is desired, with the help of Allah SWT.
We pray to Allah to accept our paltry efforts and others who Masha-Allah are making immense efforts, and consequently forgive and grant us Najaat (salvation).
And Allah knows Best
Wa Alaykumussalaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh
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