Royal call to test all imported food items
By Azaraimy HH

With the recent controversy involving doubts on the Halalness of an imported butter product, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night urged in a titah during the Nuzul Al-Quran Celebration 2011 that all imported food products should be tested.

"It is important for us to test all imported food products. It is not wrong, in this instance as an example, if all imported butter brands be tested for certainty. We should not just wait for a controversy to happen for us to hastily set up a laboratory," His Majesty said.

His Majesty also urged Muslims to avoid altogether any product that shows even the slightest of doubt about its Halalness.

"Between Haram and Halal, there are matters that are 'Musytabihat', meaning that is still doubtful, not certain whether it is Halal or Haram. In this situation, Hukum Syarak states that they must be avoided."

Also gracing the Nuzul Al-Quran Celebration last night were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

"The teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah must be upheld, including its laws, from laws pertaining to the Ibadat and society, until the laws governing food and drinks," His Majesty said.

The monarch asked the people not to think of them (the Islamic laws regarding food and drinks) as unimportant, instead His Majesty said it is of utmost importance because the food source highly determines whether one's Ibadat will be accepted or not and whether they will be going to heaven or hell.

His Majesty also quoted a Hadith, "Meat that grows from a thing that is Haram, hell is better suited with it".

"That is why, we have always been encouraged to be more cautious as well as be sensitive with matters pertaining to drinks and food and not take them lightly," His Majesty said.

The monarch said any government agency that is more cautious in dealing with food products should be praised, because it represents an effort to preserve the Ibadat of Muslims and save them from the fire of hell.

His Majesty urged relevant agencies to continue showing their firmness and take more cautious steps, not be complacent and take decisions hastily.

His Majesty also urged that all utensils or equipment for scientific testing are in working order, and officers and staff tasked with the testing are truly experts.

As long as there is a doubt on a certain food item whether it is truly Halal, then it is wajib (compulsory) not to consume it, His Majesty reiterated.

"It has been proven in history, how Umat Islam (Islamic society) had built a strong civilisation through obedience to the teachings of Allah and the Quran. It is through this deference towards Allah's teaching that they were able to build character and a state, which then transformed into a respected empire," His Majesty said earlier.

"But, sadly, after the Islamic empire had stood the test of time, suddenly it fell due to various crises. The most destructive crisis of them all is the one on moral that engulfed the Islamic community themselves," His Majesty said.

"Another source of destruction was the decision to look down upon the teachings of Islam. Even more, the alphabets of the Quran were at one time changed from Arabic into another, an action that was believed to be wrongful according to Hukum Syarak," His Majesty said.

"All this invited the wrath of Allah the Almighty, whether consciously or not," His Majesty explained.

If the Islamic society wants to bring back the 'mighty' civilisation, it must go back to the Quran, His Majesty said. - Borneo Bulletin (18th August 2011)