The Head of Unair`s Halal Center, Mustofa Helmi Effendi, here on Wednesday stated that the establishment of the Halal Center was encouraged due to the importance of halal recognition for cosmetics, medicines, and food products.
Halal recognition is also the hallmark of a product.
In Arabic literature, halal means permissible, and the word describes anything that is allowed under Islamic law. It is most often used to describe food and drink, any object, or activity. Anything not permissible in Islam is called haram.
"Therefore, research on halal standard in all products is urgently needed. Airlangga University`s halal center also serves as the Halal Inspection Agency," he remarked, adding that the laboratory at the halal center can be used to review materials of a product in order to detect DNA in it, such as pork DNA.
"The halal center will be a halal research center that can be utilized by the industry. Industrial products can be examined at the Unair`s research center and through the Halal Inspection Agency of Ministry of Religious Affairs as well," he remarked.
He explained that the halal center will handle three main research areas, namely food, medicine, and humanities. The humanities area is aimed at changing people`s perceptions on the importance of halal recognition of a product.
"Unair has 35 candidates as halal auditors, 10 halal product research and development projects, and an international conference to be held in the near future," Mustofa noted.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Da`wah Commission of Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), KH M Cholil Nafis, revealed that those who want to get a halal certificate for their products could bring their products to MUI, which will send its auditors to monitor the production process.
"Our auditors can be from Unair too. They have to make sure that a product, for instance, meat product, has gone through the right process and slaughtering method permissible under Islam, so that it would not be a carcass," he noted.
MUI also educates people regarding the importance of using or consuming halal materials.
"The halal center in the university has excellence in research, but it is still not able to issue a fatwa. Meanwhile, MUI has the authority to do it," he explained.
Fatwa is a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority.
He explained that the university cannot be an extension of MUI in issuing a halal certificate because there has been no legal umbrella.