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Halal Not Enough?

ImageWith all the hormones and other chemicals used these days, a Halal label is simply not enough – we need organic Halal meat, they argue.

Image

Is Halal not enough anymore?

Some Muslims have pioneered the idea that Halal food doesn't cut it anymore. With all the hormones and other chemicals used these days, a Halal label is simply not enough – we need organic Halal meat, they argue.

When people talk about organic food, they usually mean food that is produced without the use of typical pesticides, artificial fertilizers or any other "untraditional" methods. But the assumption upon which these Muslims base their argument seems to be the following: that organic food is better than "non-organic" food in the first place.

While some previous studies have given some questionable leeway for organic food advocators to make the aforementioned assumption, a recent study shows that there is no significant nutritional difference. Quoted from ScienceDaily.com: "New research in the latest issue of the Society of Chemical Industry's (SCI) Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture shows there is no evidence to support the argument that organic food is better than food grown with the use of pesticides and chemicals."

Agreed, a study is a study, and in the future, some other study may find evidence to argue in favor of either organic or "non-organic" food. However, in the meantime, Muslims probably do not have enough reason to advocate one over the other in the name of Islam (meaning that it is stretching it a bit too far to claim that "non-organic" doesn't meet Halal standards). Muslims should focus more on those principles which are certain to be Islamic guidelines. In the matters of food and drink, it would be more spiritually conducive for Muslims not only to evaluate what they eat, but why and how much they eat as well.

The Holy Messenger (peace be upon him and his family) is narrated to have said, "An offspring of Adam has not filled a container worse than his stomach, and if he must do so, then one third is for his food, one third is for his drink, and one third is for his self (not to fill)."

The purpose of eating should be to gain strength to serve Allah the Exalted. With the Month of Sha'ban at hand and the holy month of Ramadan approaching quickly, fasting is one of the most effective ways to train ourselves in this regard.

The Prophet is also narrated to have said, "Eating little is the (true) worship." Some meanings behind this are that when one tames his/her desire to eat, it also helps in controlling other desires. Generally speaking, when one teaches him-/herself to say "No" in response to the vices of anger, desire, and imagination, the power of intellect becomes the true governor – allowing justice to be served.

Without a doubt, Muslims should strive to be up to par on the knowledge of what benefits or harms human beings from the physical aspect. Even more importantly, we should struggle to apply the principles which bring us closer to their Lord – in every aspect.

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  • Zahara

    Good article, but I thought it would be longer to discuss whether or not these foods prepared with pesticides and chemicals have long-term effects on health. I’m sure there are studies out there regarding this question.