Halal-certified goods have “halal” in Arabic script, followed by “halal” in English. Others have a crescent symbol. The design of the certification itself is different depending on which association has certified it.
Organic, vegan, kosher and cruelty-free products will tend to be halal. These of course can be expensive, if not hard to find. And besides, you cannot know for sure if they are really halal. Some are musbooh (“doubtful” or “suspect”).
As a Muslim consumer, the best way to ensure you are getting halal goods is for them to be certified. But which ones are? Fortunately, the halal industry is growing around the world, and there are already several types which are certified halal. Let’s take a look at two major consumer industries, food and makeup.
Halal food is free from pork, alcohol, blood and the haraam parts of animals. Meat prepared from living livestock and according to Muslim guidelines are halal.
Specifically, food can be certified halal if they do not contain:
• gelatin or pectin
• L-cysteine (made from human hair, chicken or duck feathers)
• alcohol: wine, liquor, beer batter, rum flavor, ethyl alcohol or ethanol, vanilla extract, wine vinegar, torula yeast, brewer’s yeast extract (by-product from beer-making), naturally brewed soy sauce, erythritol, and grape wine by-products (grape skin powder, oil and seed extract)
• cochineal or carmine (insect-derived)
• confectionary or resinous glaze (insect-derived)
• carrageenan (if ethyl alcohol is used to crystalize it)
• stevia (crystallized with alcohol)
Additionally, they must use raw ingredients, and be processed, sanitized and packaged according to Muslim dietary requirements.
The red color carmine is derived from insects. So is cochineal. All insects except locusts are haraam. Parabens are also haraam. To be safe, however, look for vegetable- or plant-based and alcohol-free products. Halal makeup is fragrance, alcohol, and carmine color-free.
For hair-styling products, keep in mind that:
• Any product containing glycerin and/or stearic acid contains animal by products, but no pork by-products.
• Stearic acid is from beef tallow
• Glycerin may be either synthetic or natural. Natural glycerin is derived from beef tallow or coconut.
• Lanolin alcohol is derived from animal matter.
• Oleic acid is derived from animal matter (beef or pork)
The issue of alcohol presence in ingredients is a tricky one. Alcohol can be halal, given it is from a natural grain source such as corn rather than animals, grapes or dates. However, if it intoxicates directly or through a mixture – such as denatured or ethyl alcohol – it is haraam.
Halal types of alcohol are phenoxyethanol (synthetic), benzyl (plant-based), cetearyl (vegetable emulsifying wax), cetyl (does not absorb through the skin), stearyl, myristyl, behenyl (plant-based emulsifiers), oleyl (beef fat), ethanol (petroleum), and lanolin (from the animal’s wool and skin which are halal). On the other hand, you may want to avoid alcohol altogether to avoid the risk of dehydrating your skin.
Halal Online Portal
Shopping for or selling certified halal consumer goods online is finally made possible, thanks to the halal online portal. With this marketplace you can boost your business and trade with other businesses.