KARACHI - Scientists and religious scholars have said that it is the need of hour to spread Halal awareness especially among consumers, and employees who control food and non-food products.

They were speaking at the one-day International Seminar-Cum-Training Workshop on “Halal Food and Non-Food Science, Management” held at the LEJ National Science Information Center, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi on Tuesday.

Director ICCBS Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary inaugurated the seminar from his keynote.

Dr Hani Mansour Al-Mazeedi from Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR), Kuwait, Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Bhanger of ICCBS, Prof Dr Syed Ghulam Musharraf (ICCBS), Yasmeen Khanum of Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority, CEO SANHA Pakistan Mufti Yousuf A R Khan, Shariah Advoiser SANHA Pakistan Mufti Shoaib Alam, and CEO, Halal Foundation Pakistan Moulana Naeem Shahid also spoke on the occasion.

Prof Iqbal Choudhary, in his speech, highlighted some key challenges in Halal testing paradigm, and said that no universal agreement on the interpretation of Halal and Haram, and Mukrooh in different school of thoughts of Islam is the key issue in halal labeling.

The large Halal testing laboratories exist only in non-Muslim countries, which shows that current Halal testing services are dominant by non-Muslims, who have little understanding and appreciation, as well as sensitivity of the concept, he stated.

Dr Al-Mazeedi, the Kuwaiti scholar, said that products imported from non-Muslim countries may contain components or passed through a method of manufacturing that are contrary to Islamic law

Critical components of religious nature in food and non-food products are Alcohol, Najis materials (dead, insects, urine, substances), ingredients of animal origin such as: animal tissues (flesh, bone, skin), plasma (blood), gelatin, fat, glycerin, fatty acids, amino acids, enzymes (rennet in cheese, media used in microbial cultures), and composition of DNA (nucleotide), he said.

Khanum discussed the role of PSQCA in Halal standards, and said that as the national standards body, PSQCA is mandated to develop, implement, and coordinate standardization activities in Pakistan. Moulana Naeem Shahid said that Halal lifestyle is the center of a wheel of attitudes and relationships, a person develops certain dimensions of his personality based on the relations with self.