Empower halal market, says State Mufti

Izah Azahari

A knowledgeable person who practises his knowledge will be safe, and if he is a knowledgeable person who does not practise his knowledge he will not be saved by Allah the Almighty.

This was said by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned while delivering a plenary lecture entitled Ilmu dan Amal Penentu Kebitaraan Ummah at the launching of the 12th Borneo Islamic International Conference (KAIB) and 2nd Borneo International Halal Showcase (BIHAS) at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Berakas yesterday.

The State Mufti said that the term kebitaraan or excellence is substituted with the word ‘safety’, which would read as ‘The knowledge and practice of determining the safety of the Ummah’. This is because knowledge and practice are sources of safety and it is important than excellence.

The State Mufti said that ‘safety’ here is truly safe, and will bring lasting happiness in the hereafter. He said there are four categories of people who will enter heaven without hisab. These people are (holy) Imams, pious men who practise their knowledge, penitent youth and women who are obedient to their husband.

He said that the conference also presents the theme ‘Empowering Borneo Halal Market’ for the 2nd BIHAS exhibition, which is important for us to empower the halal market as halal is a sacred, blessed and safe matter.

The Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan. PHOTO: CHONG YUN FATT
State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned speaks during the event. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI

“We don’t want it to just be halal to an extent, in today’s world, many things are halal. There are halal promotion, halal commercials, halal advertising (halal sweetener), halal mask and so on,” said the State Mufti.

“We should not be involved in all of this as it is not the kind of halal that we want, as there is only ‘one’ type of halal that we want, which is ‘Halal Syar’ie’, halal that abides by the Islamic law.” The State Mufti said that this is the kind of halal that we wish to empower and market. The event yesterday is hoped to become a platform for the efforts in finding the exact methods of ‘Halal Syar’ie’.

The State Mufti emphasised that we should not view it as something easy or consider the matters of administration and management work on halal/haram lightly.

“It is a huge responsibility, especially for the Daulah Islamiah, the Islamic government. The work is difficult and demanding that requires extraordinary attention and firmness from anyone,” said the State Mufti.

In relation to this, the State Mufti added that Muslims should not take this matter lightly and prayer is the khazanah of Allah the Almighty.

Allah the Almighty encourages Muslims to pray.

Allah the Almighty will only accept prayer if food consumed is halal. If the food consumed is haram or subhah, our prayers are rejected.

The State Mufti said that halal food is the saviour from the fires of hell and the catalyst of mustajab prayer. Taking on events of Imam Asy-Syafi’e on eating plenty, it is apparent that halal food can also be medicine or an antidote.

“I hope that no one will belittle this opinion of Imam Asy-Syafi’e. True, it is not in Al-Quran or hadiths, it is a mere opinion, but this kind of opinion comes from believers, especially Imam Asy-Syafi’e, so it can be as ‘intuition’,” he explained.

The State Mufti said that we are currently living in an era of chronic illnesses with widespread diabetes, increasing coronary heart diseases, kidney diseases, cancer and the like, and all of this has yet to be looked into by people as to whether or not any of these diseases are possibly caused by non-halal food.

“If this is true, then Imam Asy-Syafi’e was ahead of his time when he said, ‘I do not eat for fullness, O Ahmad, but I eat for medicine, for your food is halal’,” said the State Mufti.