Q: I received an email apparently sent from a Halaal-certifying body. This email listed things we can and cannot eat. It said that Nando’s, KFC etc. are not halaal even though their poultry products are halaal. I’m not sure what to believe now. When we usually eat out we always eat chicken by Nando’s so should I stop eating there even though they have a halaal certificate on the wall and on the windows outside? What is the ruling regarding MacDonalds stores as I have never eaten there because even though they have a certificate I just believe they not halaal. I tell my husband we can’t eat there but yet he does which upsets me a bit because he allows my daughter to eat there even though I’m not happy with it. Please can you give me a brief description of what I need to look at to see wether a food item/store is halaal.
A: As a rule, you should avoid eating at restaurants and food outlets that are owned and run by non-Muslims. Don’t just consider a place to be Halaal because they have a Halaal certificate. Some Halaal certifying bodies don’t have proper structures in place to oversee and monitor the Halaal conditions of an establishment. If your heart feels doubtful, it’s your duty to abstain.
These structures are: Full time Muslim management and/or Muslim supervision; no selling of pork or Haraam meat or Haraam food on the premises. Regular inspection by the certifying body, not just once a month or once every two months, or in some cases once a year just to collect money and renew the certificate.
We, too, are not satisfied with the Halaal certification of Macdonalds. As for Nandos, if the outlet has no full time Muslim supervisor and manager, consider it as non-Halaal.
If your husband insists on eating at places that don’t have the above structures, the least you can do is to politely refuse.
And Allah knows best
Mufti Siraj Desai