The Need for Zabiha Monitoring
Why do we need Zabiha Halal Certification and Monitoring?
- We do not live in a Muslim-majority population, where it is undoubtedly true that every link in the chain of meat supply is Muslim. In those places, everyone from the butcher to the supplier to the retail store/restaurant owner is Muslim. There is no room from non-Halal in that market and they do proper slaughter.
Where we live, as a small minority of the population, the story is different. See why:
- 1. Since the supply for non-Halal meat is much more than the supply of Halal meat in USA, because Muslims are a small minority of the population at large, non-Halal meat is naturally cheaper than Halal meat.
- A rule of the market it that when is DEMAND IS HIGH and SUPPLY IS LOW PRICE IS HIGH
- 2. Halal meat is sold at a much higher price to the customer, because it costs more in the wholesale market. A savvy business owner has a big opportunity to capitalize on this. He can easily buy cheaper non-Halal meat and sell it for much more by simply putting a Halal label on it.
- 3. So can anyone simply place a Halal label on whatever they like? Yes, and seeing a Halal label is not enough to fulfill our obligation as a Muslim. There is no substantial regulation of the Halal meat market. Some states have very good legislation to prevent this type of cheat and deception but eating Halal is a concern of the Muslims, not the legislation. The generous members of the legislation have done their part by passing such laws (where they have done so). It is now the obligation of the Muslim consumer to report any cheat they encounter.
- 4. It should be clear regarding the meat which is labeled as ‘HALAL’:
- It is based mostly on trust
- Unfortunately, deception is a normal business practice
- There is a great need to have an alternative available to the unmonitored, uninspected, controversial ‘halal meat’ labels prevalent in the market
- 5. There are distributors and suppliers involved in the chain of meat supply. Even if a slaughterhouse is known to conduct proper Zabiha Halal slaughter, by the time it gets to your plate, there are at least two or three businesses involved. Any one weak link in the chain could allow Haram into your stomach!
- 6. The common consumer does not have the legal right to inspect the business premises of any business. Even if they were allowed into the meat cooler, they have no idea about which slaughterhouses or distributors are conducting proper Zabiha slaughter and selling only Zabiha Halal, without any mixing with non-Halal. SBNY takes the legal permission from the business owner to check what is happening inside.
- 7. The Ulama Kiram and concerned consumers of Halal throughout the world, where Muslims live as a minority in the population, have formulated this system of monitoring, to ensure what is labeled Halal is truly Halal.
What is the difference between what SBNY Zabiha Monitoring Committee does and what others do?
- We certify only HAND-SLAUGHTERED BY MUSLIM Zabiha Halal
- We DO NOT certify any machine-slaughtered meat
- WE CERTIFY ONLY WHAT WE CHECK:
- We don’t just certify the meat, we are with it every step of the way. From the slaughterhouse, to the supplier, to the store you are buy from, SBNY checks what they are doing and what you are getting.
- SBNY certifies and monitors the entire chain, from the slaughterhouse to the processing plant, to the distributor to the retail store/restaurant
- If there is any link in the chain which is not monitored by SBNY, the levels after it cannot be certified.
- It is the only way to guarantee you are getting 100% Zabiha Halal meat.
- SBNY regularly monitors the business in the interim of the 1-year certificate it issues. Every year, the certification must be renewed to ensure the terms and conditions agreed upon in the relationship between SBNY and the business is reviewed and rejuvenated.
- Simply issuing a certificate of Halal is not enough. Regular monitoring is necessary because certification simply means that the business was found to meet the requirements of Halal at any one time. What they are doing on a regular basis is not monitored in the interim (if there even is a renewal requirement which does not exist with every Halal certifier).
What’s the objective of this effort?
- Every Halal provider in USA to be independently monitored by a team of expert Ulama Kirams
- Every Halal Sign in USA to have an accompanying “Monitored by” disclosure
- Meat which is labeled HALAL to be labeled “Hand-slaughtered Zabiha Halal” vs. Mechanically slaughtered
- NO Muslim should be deceived in terms of the sources of their meat. They should truly receive what they pay so much for.
- This is a very big and difficult task, considering the locally based effort involved and the vast billion-dollar market of Halal meat. We take the challenge putting our full trust in Allah and exerting whatever ability we are able to.
What is the progress of this great effort so far?
- Currently, 50+ establishments are monitored and certified.
- You can find a store near you at www.SBNY.org and click ‘Certified Businesses’.
- In our area, monitored slaughterhouses are currently running in NJ, MD and VA.
- An approximate 150,000 chicken and 10,000 larger animals per week are produced Zabiha Halal from these facilities.
What can I do to help?
- THE CONSUMER IS THE KING OF THE MARKET! Awareness of the issues and challenges in the Halal market is absolutely necessary. DEMAND your local Halal meat store/restaurant to get this free, no-hassle certification to give you assurance that they are doing the right thing. It is a win-win situation for the honest business owner. SBNY conducts regular awareness programs and promotes certified businesses on the web. It’s free publicity!
A Last Thought…
- Who is responsible for the meat I EAT? Who is responsible to check?