Sunday, 29 July 2012

Preparation for Ramadan 1433H in Haramain

Ramadan 1433H Messages and
Preparation for Ramadan in Haramain

Dr. Mozammel Haque
Makkah al-Mukarramah: On Thursday, the 19th of July, 2012, the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia, which held a meeting at its Summer headquarters in Taif, declared Friday, 20 July, 2012 as the first day of the Holy month of Ramadan according to information it received from regional courts based on several witnesses who sighted the Ramadan crescent. Throughout the world, Muslims are welcoming, both physically and spiritually, the month of Ramadan. May this holy month bring barakah, and Allah's boundless mercy upon the believers and harmony and tolerance for the world.

King Abdullah and Crown Prince
Greet Muslims on Ramadan
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and the Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, deputy Premier and Minister of Defence congratulated the Muslims in the Kingdom and the rest of the world on Friday on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan – the month that all hearts and souls longed for so as to seek Allah’s reward and mercy.

In a joint address read out by the Minister of Culture and Information Abdul Aziz Khoja, the King and the Crown Prince said, “In this blessed month, in its days and nights, the noblest Islamic values are spread. The big sympathizes with the small, the rich supports the poor and the entire society shows mercy and affection bringing out the radiant image of Islam and how it shaped the Ummah and how its civilization was established stressing on justice, tolerance and mutual support.”

The King and the Crown Prince prayed to Allah the Almighty to unify the Ummah according to the teachings of religion and make the advent of this holy month an opportunity to build our nations and societies on the basis of compassion and brotherhood.

British Prime Minister wishes
Ramadan Mubarak to Muslims
The British Prime Minister David Cameron has marked the start of the Holy month of Ramadan, sending his warm wishes to Muslims in the UK and overseas. Mr. Cameron said: “As the holy Islamic month of Ramadan begins, I want to take this opportunity to send my warmest wishes to Muslims in Britain and across the world.

“During this hugely important time of prayer and fasting, we are reminded of the importance of charity and compassion. These are values and traditions at the heart of Islam but shared by those of all faiths in Britain.”

The British Prime Minister also said, “At a time of great change and uncertainly across the world, I am proud of the role Britain plays on the international stage to help those less fortunate through our aid budget and work with our allies and friends.”

“So let me wish everyone peace, happiness and unity during this special time and say Ramadan Mubarak,” said British Prime Minister.

British Deputy Prime Minister
Nick Clegg wishes Ramadan Mubarak
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and British Foreign Secretary William Hague wished British Muslims “Ramadan Mubarak”.

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said, “As the British Government does all it can to work with the international community to help the people of Syria, citizens of all faiths and none are united in the spirit of hope and solidarity as they watch the awful events unfold.”

“This spirit will be particularly apparent during Ramadan.” Mr. Clegg said he was inspired by the generosity, self-discipline and attention to family shown by Britain’s Muslims, saying their role in society “cannot be exaggerated”.

British Foreign Secretary sent
Warm wishes to Muslims
British Foreign Secretary Mr. William Hague said, “As the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins I send my warm wishes to Muslims in Britain and across the world: Ramadan Mubarak. British Muslims will join millions of other people around the world in this special period of reflection, contemplation and consideration of others.”

Mr. Hague said, “Ramadan is also an important time for friends and family to gather and remember those less fortunate.

In his Ramadan Message, Mr. Hague said, “The values of charity and compassion that are central to Ramadan are shared by Muslims and non-Muslims alike” said British Foreign Secretary and added, “They have particular poignancy and significance in the light of the suffering of people of all religions in Syria today.”

Mr. Hague said, “I hope the year ahead will be one in which we will see peace, security and stability restored in Syria.”

Dr. Neseef’s Ramadan Message
I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef, former Secretary General of the Makkah-based Muslim World League and the present Secretary General of the Cairo-based International Commission for the Council of Dawah and Relief (IICDR) at his office in Jeddah and I requested him what is his message for the Muslim community in this blessed month of Ramadan.

Dr. Naseef said, “Everybody knows that the Ramadan is the occasion when people get closer to Allah the Almighty and seek His Guidance and His Blessing and they spend the month in all kinds of worships and good deeds hasanats. They asked Allah the Almighty to make this Ramadan better for everybody and help the people who are harassed and aggressed upon in this month so that they can come out from this misery situation. Insha Allah, there will be better situation for everybody.”

Speaking about his advice to the Muslim community, Dr. Naseef said, “We have to request Muslims to be more sincere, to be more adherence to their religion and to be more realizing that this month of Ramadan is a school of training, guidance and changing.” Dr. Naseef also added, “We are advising them, the Muslims, to be more sincere to Allah the Almighty and appealing to Him day and night and adhering to His Orders and His Commandments. This is the opportunity to seek forgiveness from Allah the Almighty for their sins. So this is the opportunity one should not miss. This opportunity should be availed of by every Individual everywhere in the Muslim world.”

“I hope, this Ramadan will improve the quality of the Muslims Insha Allah,” Dr. Naseef said.

Preparations for Ramadan in Haramain
The Saudi authorities have completed all preparations to welcome the fasting month of welcome. All arrangements are in full swing to cope with the huge influx of pilgrims from all over the world during the upcoming peak Umrah season in Ramadan. About 3.8 million foreign pilgrims had entered the country as of July 1, 2012. According to Hajj Ministry, this is an increase of 400,000 compared to the same period last year.

More than 10,000 civil defence personnel in place
The Saudi government is not sparing any effort to guarantee the safety, security and comfort of the Umrah pilgrims. An emergency plan is in place. More than 10,000 Civil Defence personnel will participate in the implementation of the emergency plan which include foot and vehicle patrols, fire-fighters, rescue teams, first aid operators, inspectors and medical evacuation and rapid intervention teams. This plan is to be implemented in collaboration with 18 ministries, Al-Madinah daily reported.

The Ministry of interior has approved the security plan for the holy month of Ramadan which will see 28,000 security officers mobilized throughout the month. The officers will be in charge of vehicle traffic and will manage crowds of Umrah performers and visitors inside the Grand Mosque. They will ensure that guests of Allah feel comfortable during performing their rituals.

Madinah Haram Area will be tripled
While lauding King Abdullah’s care in serving the Two Holy Mosques and improving the facilities for the growing number of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Sudais described the expansion work of the Prophet’s Mosque as unprecedented. Once the three-phase expansion is completed the Mosque will have a total area of 1.1 million square meters with the capacity to accommodate an additional 1.6 million worshippers. These developments will be realized in a way facilitating the flow of pilgrims and visitors to the Mosque easily and comfortably by ensuring accommodation for them in the area.

In the last 10 days of Ramadan
In the last 10 days of Ramadan, the central area around the Grand Mosque will be converted to a praying area to accommodate the huge number of worshippers.

200,000 people can pray on the ground floor
The General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs has approved this year’s Ramadan plan that will facilitate the arrival of Umrah pilgrims, the Presidency’s head Abdulrahman Al- Sudais said. The plan has taken into account the increase in space thanks to the ongoing expansion Grand Mosque Expansion project of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, allowing over 200,000 people to pray on the ground floor.

Mosque’s open areas are being cooled
The Mosque’s open areas are being cooled by water and basements air-conditioned in addition to ensuring prayer-mats are vacuumed. There are now 150 air-conditioners at the basement of the Haram.

176 Gates of the Grand Mosque in place
176 gates lead to the Grand Mosque, its roof, and the basement, and are kept open and guarded throughout Ramadan by 798 male and female employees.

18 entrances for people with special needs
Apart from this, 18 entrances for people with special needs have been readied. They include the King Abdul Aziz Gate (Bab Al-Malik Abdul Aziz), New Ajyad, Hunain, Al-Safa, Al-Marwah, Al-Qararah, Mazlaqan, Al-Fateh, Al-Madinah, and Al-Umrah gates as well as gates no. 64, 74, 84 and 94. They also include the gates to Al-Arqam, Al-Marwah, Murad, Al-Qararah, and Al-Mazlaqan escalators.

These initiatives were made under the supervision of Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, General President for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, and are being followed up by Muhammad Al-Khuzaim, Deputy General President for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

Wheelchairs are provided to the visitors
Wheelchairs are provided for free and electric ones are available to rent, said Imam Al-Sudais.

New toilets in Ajiad Hospital Area ready
The new toilets at the Ajiad Hospital area is ready for use in Ramadan, in addition to 12,500 new toilets that will be added later, said Imam Abdulrahman al-Sudais.

Arrangements made to keep city clean and
safe and comfort for pilgrims
Makkah’s Municipality made an intensive plan to keep the city clean as well as to ensure the safety and comfort of the pilgrims and visitors. The plan focuses on intensifying cleaning work, monitoring the environment and inspecting markets, grocery stores, restaurants and Ramadan stalls.

The acting Mayor of Makkah Khaled Al-Hayj, said to the press, more than 8,500 cleaning workers supplied with 676 pieces of equipment will be keeping the city clean and tidy. There will be a number of teams equipped with over 550 pesticide sprays to combat insects and flies, in addition to 181 trash compressors.

Zamzam taps and containers set up
Imam Al-Sudais said that 18,000 Zamzam water taps and containers have been set up all around the Two Holy Mosques

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Ramadan Mubarak from Masjid al-Haram and Balad al-Ameen in 1433H

Ramadan Mubarak from Masjid
al-Haram and Balad al-Ameen
Dr. Mozammel Haque
Makkah al-Mukarramah: The start of the Holy month of Ramadan will be determined on the sighting of the moon later this week. The Supreme Judicial Council of Saudi Arabia called on all Muslims in the Kingdom to sight the crescent of the lunar month of Ramadan on July 19 (Thursday) evening. Ramadan is likely to start Friday after astronomers said the new moon could be sighted Thursday evening. Saudi Astronomer Abdul Aziz Al-Shammari said, “The moon will set this coming Thursday six minutes after the setting of the sun, increasing the likelihood of the new moon being sighted on Thursday.”

Muslims all over the world still stick to the tradition of looking to the sky to start their fasting and ending. The fasting month of Ramadan starts with the sighting of the Ramadan crescent in the horizon with the naked eye. Under the Shari’ah, if the new crescent was seen by any trustworthy person supported by two witnesses his testimony would be documented and the whole nation would accept that testimony. Whatever be the case, the holy month of Ramadan is going to start either Friday or Saturday depending on the sighting of the crescent. This column will come to the reader on Friday, the 20th of July, 2012. So this is the best time to say my readers RAMADAN MUBARAK.

Ramadan Mubarak and Ramadan Greetings from the Masjid al-Haram and the Balad al-Ameen to all of you, especially to all the readers of Plain Truth, MUSLIM VOICE and THE STRAIGHT PATH in the Bangla Mirror Weekly, The Muslim Weekly and EuroBangla Weekly. May this holy month bring barakah, and Allah's boundless mercy upon the believers and harmony and tolerance for the world
I welcome Ramadan, the month of Mercy and Repentance, the month of the Qur’an, of laylatul qadr (the night of power) and of repentance and forgiveness. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the Pillars of the Islamic faith. It was declared an obligatory duty (Fard) in the second year of the Hijrah upon each and every mukallaf (one capable of carrying out religious duties, i.e. a sane adult).

Allah the Almighty made Ramadan fasting compulsory for Muslims. Allah said, “O those who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as were enjoined upon those before so that you be God-fearing.’ [Surah Baqarah, 183]. Literally, Sawm means ‘to abstain’. In the terminology of Islamic law, Sawm means ‘to abstain from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse: with the conditions that one abstains continuously from dawn to sunset, and that there is an intention to fast.’ Therefore, should one eat or drink anything even a minute before sunset, the fast will not be valid. Similarly, if one abstained from all these things throughout the day but made no intention to fast, there will be no fast here too.

Allah the Almighty said in the Qur’an “…And eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from its black thread…” (Al-Qur’an, 2:187) Literally defined, fasting means to abstain “completely” from foods, drinks, intimate intercourse and smoking, before the break of the dawn till sunset, during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year.
Fasting in Islam is based on the lunar calendar and is tied to the sightings of hilal, the crescent, or new moon. Allah the Almighty stated: “They ask you concerning the new moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time… (Al-Qur’an, 2:189). And the Traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Eat until you see the crescent and break not until you see the crescent. If it is cloudy calculate the period of the month.” (Muslim and others).
Fasting in Ramadan is compulsory upon every Muslim, male or female, who has these qualifications, e.g. mentally and physically fit, adult full of age which is normally fourteen and fairly certain that fasting is unlikely to cause any harm, physical or mental, other than the normal reactions to hunger, thirst etc.

The said qualifications exclude the following categories: children under the age of puberty and discretion; men and women who are too old and feeble to undertake the obligation of fast and bear its hardships; sick people whose health is likely to be severely affected by the observance of fast; travellers may break the fast temporarily during their travel; pregnant women and women breast-feeding their children may also break their fast and women in the period of menstruation (of a maximum of ten days or of confinement (of a maximum of forty days. They must postpone the fast till recovery and then make up for it.

The holy month of Ramadan is the month of mercy, forgiveness, and seeking release from the Hell-fire. It is the month of repentance and acceptance of prayers. It is the month when the devils are chained, the gates of Hell are looked and the gates of Paradise are opened. That’s why; Muslims welcome Ramadan each year with energy and happiness, and are saddened only when the month departs. Fasting is for the living, not for mourning.
Ramadan is a month of worship. Muslims should welcome the month with repentance and seeking Allah’s pardon. We should keep away from committing sins; worship Allah sincerely and spending the night and day in prayer, supplication and recitation of the Holy Qur’an.
Fasting is a shield which helps prevent many sins and with which Muslim protects himself from Hell-fire. Fasting is more than abstaining from food and drink. It also means to abstain from any falsehood in speech and action, from any ignorant and indecent speech, and from arguing and quarrelling. Therefore, fasting helps to develop good behaviour.

Fasting inculcates a sense of brotherhood and solidarity, as a Muslim feels and experiences what his needy and hungry brothers feel. This gives Muslim a new sense of togetherness and association.

Allah the Almighty said in the Qur’an: The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (between right and wrong). (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 185) As Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an, every Muslim should prepare himself to welcome the blessed month of Ramadan by strengthening his relationship with the Qur’an. A Muslim is encouraged to complete one recitation of the Holy Qur’an during Ramadan.

We should engage more and more in the recitation of the Qur’an, in dhikr (remembrance of Allah), perform extra Salah (ritual prayers) at night and renew identity with one another in our obedience to Allah.

Ramadan is called the month of charity and sympathy; a month of giving in charity and sharing meals to break the fast together. Many Muslims also pay Zakah in the month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to bring about permanent improvement into our lives. We can do this by making a goal to remove a harmful trait from our character or speech, whether it be argumentation, backbiting, making false promises, or resentment against a fellow Muslim, or a sinful matter from our lives. Insha’Allah by the baraka of this month, this effort will result in change that will benefit us in this world and the next.

I would again like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a blessed Ramadan, the Ramadan Kareem. May this blessed month bring unadulterated peace to everyone in the world. May Allah the Almighty in His Infinite Mercy and Magnanimity help us, guide us and reward us richly during this Holy Month of Ramadan and forever keep us on the Straight Path of Islam. May Allah the Almighty guide us in increasing our good deeds in this Holy Month. May Allah make this Ramadan a month of increasing nearness to Him, and May He accept all of our fasts and worship. Ameen.

Thus Ramadan becomes a blessed month of physical, moral and spiritual renewal through fasting, charity and worship. This is the moral and spiritual gifts of Ramadan. “We can say that Ramadan gives us the great gift of Taqwa (Piety). Taqwa is the sum total of Islamic life. It is the highest of all virtues in the Islamic scheme of things. It means God-consciousness, piety, fear and awe of Allah and it signifies submission to Allah and total commitment to all that is good and rejection of all that is evil and bad,” said Dr. Muzzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

UK Halal Commission Formed

Importance of Halal Food-
UK Halal Commission Formed

Dr. Mozammel Haque
Halal foods are foods that are allowed under dietary guidelines. According to these guidelines based on the Qur’an, Muslims cannot consume the following: pork or pork by products; animals that were dead prior to slaughtering; animals not slaughtered properly or not slaughtered in the name of Allah; blood and blood by products; carnivorous animals and birds of prey.

The method of slaughtering, in Islam, is based on certain clear guidelines found in the Holy Qur’an, the Sunnah and traditions practised by the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him). In the Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) it is clearly laid down as follows:

1. “Hence, eat not of that (animal) over which God’s name has not been pronounced, for this would be sinful conduct indeed. (Al-Qur’an: Surah 6, Al-An’am, verse 121)

2. “He has forbidden you Carrion, and blood and the flesh of swaine, and that over which any name other than God’s has been invoked. (Al-Qur’an Surah 2, Al-Baqarah, verse 173)

3. “Forbidden to you is Carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swaine, and that over which any name other than God’s has been invoked, and the animal that has been strangled, or beaten to death, or killed by a fall, or gored to death or savaged by a beast of prey, save that which you yourselves may have slaughtered while it was still alive. (Al-Qur’an Surah 5, Al-Maidah, verse 3)

4. The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited from Satanic slaughtering, where jugular veins are left intact and just the skin alongside with some flesh tissues is cut (Abu Daud)

5. The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited cutting the spinal marrow of the goat while slaughtering (Tibrani)

6. Abdullah Ibn-e-Abbas, Anas and Abdullah Ibn-e- Umar (Allah be pleased with them all) said that if an animal is slaughtered from the back of the neck, its meat is not Halal. (Bukhari)

From the above verses of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him, it becomes clear that slaughtering must be performed manually by a mature Muslim who fully understands the fundamentals and conditions relating to slaughtering according to Islamic Law; at the time of slaughtering the name of Allah must be invoked by saying – Bismillah – Allahu Akbar; the animal should be slaughtered using a sharp knife, penetrating the throat of the animal; windpipe, food-tract and two jugular veins should be cut, preferably in one stroke; the blood of the slaughtered animal must be drained as completely as possible and slaughtering from the back of the neck is not allowed in Islam.

The above are the guidelines and requirements for a meat to be declared as Halal. These are followed by Muslims living in both the Muslim majority and the Muslim minority countries.

Muslim majority countries
The Jeddah-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has established its Halal meat certification centre in Tehran, Iran for the Muslim countries. The Executive Director of the Centre and the pioneer in this field, Mr. Jafar, passed away recently in 2011.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia imports food from more than 150 countries. Recently, an international conference on Halal food was held in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Food and Drugs Authority organised the three-day conference focusing on monitoring Halal food. In his address, the Executive President of SFDA Muhammad Al-Kandal stressed the need to monitor imported food. The participants, including 120 experts from abroad, discussed 60 studies on various aspects of monitoring Halal food in different sittings of the conference. More than 20 foreign companies participated in the exhibition apart from Saudi participants.

Dr. Ahmad Makhdoum, the Director of the Muslim World League London Office told me, “The Muslim World League in Makkah has a committee and they are now reforming this committee. They want to assure that all the meat coming from outside of Saudi Arabia is being Halal, slaughtered according to Shari’ah.”

“What the Muslim World League in Makkah is doing is organising the matter, watching, monitoring and giving the certificate by the Rabita Al-Alam Al-Islami (MWL), The Rabita Al-Alam Al-Islami is the only organisation which is authorised to give this kind of certificate to all the meat coming from outside of Saudi Arabia,” mentioned Dr. Makhdoum.

Muslim Minority countries
As regards Halal food vis-à-vis Muslims living in the Muslim minority countries, there is a lot of debate about Halal food in France. The phoney war over Halal meat erupted in France last February when Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right Front National, claimed consumers were eating Halal unknowingly. Then former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to make the labelling of Halal meat pivotal to his re-election campaign has infuriated, alienated and dismayed France’s as many as six million Muslim community.

The former French President Sarkozy ignored the spending power – the Halal market, for example, is growing at 20% a year more than organic food. France has failed to learn the lesson of its history, says Mohamed Abdenebi, 36, a history and geography teacher to the Guardian: “In 1939 when there was an economic crisis, the enemy was the Jews. Today there is a crisis and it is the Muslims. It’s the same discrimination, just a different community.” It is reported by Kim Willsher in Paris to The Guardian, 10 March 2012.

In Russia we find a different story on Halal meat. According to Dr. Madina of the Russian Mufti Council, “In 2003 we established the separate Halal standardization certificate of the Russian Mufti Council which pledged a huge row in Moscow Halal establishment. This standard certificate is already recognised by the OIC standard certification. We created a lot of voluntary certification because in many countries as we saw Halal certification is going on without system. It is important to have system certification. In this regard we cooperated with all kinds of scientific and research institutes of meat products. This is with the All-Russian scientific standardization and certification and our standard is registered with the state standardization certification and it is recognised as voltar organisation.”

Dr. Madina also mentioned about the Halal Exhibition 2012. Moscow Halal Expo 2012 was held in All-Russian Exhibition Centre. More than 7 thousands of visitors from different corners of Russia and around the world gathered there. It is reported that Moscow Halal Expo corroborates the status of the largest Russian activity in the sphere of ethical business based on Halal standards and increases its scale and variety from year to year, attracting more and more Russian and foreign partners, exhibitors, participants and visitors.

The big international business-forum «World Experience and Prospects of Halal and Islamic Finance Markets» was also held within the Exhibition. Experts in Halal from Saudi Arabia, Republic of South Africa, Turkey, Malaysia, Great Britain, Australia etc. and specialists in Islamic finance from United Arab Emirates, Great Britain, Indonesia, Italy, Russia and other countries was expected to take part there.

In the United Kingdom, The Muslim World League London Office is playing an important role about Halal food. Talking about its role relating to Halal Food, Dr. Makhdoum said, “The European or Asian countries are killing animals; it is very inhumane in dealing with the animals; hence researches established that slaughtering cutting the throat, I mean all the veins, arteries and in the neck area is the best way in dealing with the meat of the animals.”

“When you cut the throat you cut all the nerves and you make all the blood going out from the animal. By this way we are achieving three very important aspects; obeying Allah the Almighty, and the Prophet peace be upon him who said, make your knife sharpen; and No 2 is dealing with animals in a very humane way, mercy to the animal and thirdly, healthy way,” said Dr. Makhdoum.

Speaking about what is the role of the Muslim World League London Office with regard to Halal Food, Dr. Makhdoum said, “Our role here is concentrating giving the awareness to the people either by giving some brochures, organising meeting and communicating with the people and Insha Allah our goal for the next few years is to spread the awareness of the benefits of Zibah.”

Recently, on 2nd of June 2012 there was a conference on Halal Food in Birmingham which was attended by Muslim and Jewish communities. The conference talked about the Halal meat, what is the best way of slaughtering lawful animals and most of the people who gathered there agreed to the fact that the best way of dealing with the animals is by Zibah . Besides the Muslim religious leaders and organisations, there were some Jewish people and organisation. The conference agreed that it is not Halal with the electricity and passed a Birmingham Declaration which is as follows:

Special meeting of the Imams, Scholars, community leaders and stakeholders held in Birmingham, United Kingdom on Saturday, the 2nd of June 2012 where they agreed and endorsed the following declaration:

“Muslims are immersely grateful to the successive governments for the exemption accorded to slaughter by religious method in Schedule 21 and 22 of the Part IV of the 1995 legislation* that “Schedule 5 (which relates to the stunning and killing of animals) shall not apply to any animal which is slaughtered in accordance with Schedule 12 (which relates to slaughter by a religious method).”

However, the Muslim community along with our Jewish compatriots are concerned that there are relentless attempts by some vocal pressure groups to force the government to do away with this highly valued exemption on the unfounded pretence that religious slaughter (without stunning) causes more pain. Muslims reject such views and maintain that no other method of slaughter of animal could be more humane than religious method of slaughter when standards are scrupulously implemented.

British Muslim community will refuse to accept any attempt to change the current legislation and as a community it is determined to ensure strict adherence to Halal standards. To achieve this today’s meeting agrees to establish a UK HALAL COMMISSION with representation from all segments of British Muslim Community.”