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I have seen symbols on food in supermarkets and restaurants marking the food as halal. I assume that these symbols come from authoritative Muslim food supervision companies. I have also seen Muslims who are careful about halal eat in other restaurants and eat unmarked food after checking all of the ingredients. I also thought that all food was supposed to be considered halal until proven haram.

So, does food need to have a certification in order to be considered safely halal? If not, why do the certifications exist?

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  • You can also follow The Islamic Food And Nutrition Council Of America on twitter for more information on halal.
    – user2614
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 17:12

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Halal/Haram in Quran+Hadith is not 100% the same with halal certification/lack of halal certification in reality.

Also note that the lack of halal certification is not directly equivalent to something with a 'haram certification' (probably don't exist).

First let us agree that we should only eat Halal (Quran) food and refrain from Haram (Quran) food.

  1. Should we eat halal certified food? With high confidence we can, since they are checked strictly by Muslim food supervision companies as you mentioned. Note that this high confidence is not 100%, because humans make mistakes.

  2. Should we eat non-halal certified food?

    • If the lack of halal certification comes from the fact that the food failed the certification test, then with high confidence we should not eat this with same reason

    • if the lack of halal certification comes from the fact that it did not undergo such a verification process, then we are left to judge with our best judgement according to Quran.

But how do we know which case it is? We don't, but we can approximate. If you are in Saudi Arabia for example, and you see something not marked halal, then it is very probable that it is the first case where it failed the certification process. If you are in China for example, where most goods do not go through such verification process, then it is likely to fall in the second case.

Therefore in the end, you still need your own judgement to the best of your knowledge.

This is just my reasoning that I toss here. And Allah knows the best.

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Fatwa on Islam Q&A:

Question The chocolates came from England and Canada they were sent by our relatives as a gift now i would like to know how can we identify if it is haram or halal?. the ingredients didn't mention anything about it.the chocolates were twix,kit kat etc.I will be waiting for your reply Answer Praise be to Allah.

Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Uthaymeen said: the basic principle concerning all foods and drinks is that they are permissible unless there is evidence to show that they are forbidden, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He rose over (Istawa) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything” [al-Baqarah 2:29]

And because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “What I keep quiet about is permissible,” then he recited:

“Say (O Muhammad): I find not in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be Maytah (a dead animal) or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of swine (pork); for that surely, is impure or impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allaah (or has been slaughtered for idols, or on which Allaah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering)”

[al-An’aam 6:145 – interpretation of the meaning].

(Narrated by Abu Dawod, al-At’imah, 3306). Al-Albaani said in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, its isnaad is saheeh. No. 3225.

If we do not know that this thing is haraam, either from a clear statement [in the Qur’aan or Sunnah] to that effect or because it comes under a general shar’i prohibition, or by proper analogy that dictates that it is haraam, then it is halaal. This is the basic principle concerning food, drink, clothing and customs.

(Fataawa Manaar al-Islam, 3/647).

On this basis it is permissible to eat them so long as it is not proven that their ingredients include anything that that is known in sharee’ah to be haraam. And Allaah knows best.

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All foods are considered halal except the following (which are haram). Swine/Pork and its by-products; Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering; Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants; Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals; And all foods contaminated with any of the above products. Because there are hidden doubtful ingredients in many foods, certification removes that doubt. Food containing ingredients such as gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, and flavors are questionable (mashbooh). That is because the origin of these ingredients is not known. These ingredients also are not always listed on the label.

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