By Saif Alam Siddiqui
Halal pharmaceuticals mean medicinal products and its ingredients permitted under the Shariah law and fulfil the following conditions:
- Does not contain any parts or products of animals that are non-Halal by Shariah law or any parts or products of animals which are not slaughtered according to Shariah law.
- Does not contain najas according to Shariah law.
- Safe for consumption, non-poisonous, non-intoxicating or non-hazardous to health.
- Not prepared, processed or manufactured using equipment contaminated with najas according to shariah law.
- Does not contain any human parts or its derivatives that are not permitted by Shariah law: and
- During its preparation, processing, handling, packaging, storage and distribution, the medicinal products is physically separated from any other medicinal products that does not meet the requirements stated in items A),B),C),D) and E), or any other things that have been decreed najas by Shariah law.
According to Shariah law, najis (impurity) can be defined as:
- Things that are not permissible such as dog and pig and all its derivatives,blood and carrion.
- Things that are contaminated with things that are najs.
- Any liquid and object discharged from the orifices of human beings or animals such as urine, placenta, excrement, blood, vomit, pus, sperm and ova of pigs and dogs
- Carrion or Halal animals that are not slaughtered according to Shariah law.
MAJOR ISSUES REGARDING HALAL MEDICINES
Medicines are very important for human beings. With Allah grace it could heal the patient suffering from disease. But the problem arises when there is no information of the source and method of preparation of medicine. It is very serious cause concern for Muslim, whether the ingredient of medicine is derived from Halal source, its method of preparation etc. The following points arise in the case of medicine.
The raw material used is very important component of medicine. From Halal point of view it requires whether the raw material to be used is from plant or animal. There is no shariah issue if the chemical or raw material has been derived from plant but it should not be poisonous or intoxicant. If the source of raw material is animal, the next question arises whether the animal is permitted. The permitted animals are also required to be slaughtered properly as prescribed by Shariah. The chemical or raw material could only be extracted from the slaughtered animal after complete removal of skin. The raw material or chemical generally derived from animal are limolin, keramin and vitamin D3, amino acids.
Processing Operations/ equipment:
The other important point to be considered is the method of processing of medicine. The care should be taken that Halal raw material or chemical should be contaminated by Haram elements. For example the brushes used for cleansing purpose, conveyer belts etc, whether their material are from Halal source. Many enzymes, excipients, binders are used during the processing, it is required that these chemical should be from Halal source. The medicine should also be packaged properly free from any haram elements.
Biotechnology and GMF (genetically modified food)
Any human part should not be used for the preparation of medicine like its placenta, hair. Any chemical derived from insects could not be used for preparation of medicine. The chemicals like cochineal colour, oil derivatives or protein hydrolysates from insects deemed as filth.