The halal word originally comes from the Arabic language, used for every lawful object and action in view of Islamic laws. In its literally broad meaning, it applies to all spheres of life for lawful activities including food, cloth, finance, personal care, tourism, finance etc. But in common terminology, its meanings are narrowed down for food & meat products only. Halal word is now confined to non-vegetarian products prepared by the ingredients of slaughtered animal by Muslim method and other food products which are free from alcohol and intoxicants. Allah says in Quran “O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an avowed enemy of you.” (2:168)
All foods are considered Halal except the following (which are Haram (unlawful, opposite to Halal):
• 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
• Foods contaminated with any of the above products
Besides any financial activity which linked to the interest (Riba), is also prohibited according to Islamic laws. Certain activities in tourism, medical and education are also called the Muslim friendly which are compliance to Islamic norms and generally preferred by Muslim
Halal and Muslim friendly services are accredited by a certifying agency. India has several regional independent authorities to certify the same but still lacking a pan India agency like in USA, Malaysia, Arab and European countries for granting the Halal certification. Muslim organization like All India Muslim Personal Law Board or Indian Fiqh Academy can consider formulating of such target specific body for certification. The purpose of certification at initial stage could be served by fixing a team of Shariah scholar by organizations themselves.
Since the products with vegetarian logo in India are by default permissible to use for Muslims too because these do not contain above-mentioned Haram elements. Haram products like wine, pig, and meat without Muslim method, if not mixed up with any sub product, are excluded in the discussion of Halal certification due to their clear nature. Certification basically necessitates regarding the processed and contaminated products where the ambiguity of Haram ingredients is high due to change in its real shape.