The decision in Uttar Pradesh to ban products certified as "halal" has stirred debate on whether it's permissible to impose such bans based on religious certifications. The term "halal" originates from Arabic, meaning permissible or acceptable in Islamic dietary guidelines. It's used to denote what's lawful or allowed according to Islamic principles. Conversely, "haram" signifies what's forbidden or unlawful.
In the context of food products, halal certification involves specifying how animals were slaughtered, processed, and if their meat is permissible according to Islamic laws. There's a distinction between halal and other methods of animal slaughter, notably "jhatka," which is common among Hindus and Sikhs and involves a quick beheading of the animal.
However, the debate goes beyond meat products. Medications often contain gelatin derived from pork, making them problematic for some Muslims to consume. Halal certification for medications ensures they comply with Islamic dietary laws.
Halal certification is typically issued by private organizations recognized by Islamic communities worldwide, not by any official government body. Entities like Halal India conduct lab tests and audits before certifying products. This certification is crucial for products exported to Islamic countries, ensuring acceptability.
In Uttar Pradesh, the recent ban came after an FIR filed by a member of a youth organization alleging certain companies used halal certification to boost sales, causing public sentiment issues. Consequently, the government banned products with such certifications and initiated legal action against organizations issuing halal certificates unlawfully.
The ban has raised discussions about the authority to impose restrictions based on religious certifications and their impact on commerce and societal sentiments.