Islam is a gestalt. There is no separating one from the other, and as a Muslim, it is imperative that every aspect of one’s life abides by the teachings of the Quran, and complies with the Halal and Haram of the Shariah. However, although much has been written on the subject of Halal and Haram substances in food, there has been no single work that focuses on the Halal and Haram compounds used in the Pharmaceutical sector.
Up until now, the Haram compounds found in pharmaceutical drugs have eluded Muslim consumers, unaware of the origin of these compounds and whether the source they are derived from is Halal or not. Realising the need to create more awareness amongst Muslim consumers and the pharmaceutical industry, publisher Phytorex Press has released “The Halal Index”, a first of its kind.
A groundbreaking endeavour, "The Halal Index" provides a list of Halal and Haram compounds used in the pharmaceutical sector. The first volume of "The Halal Index", titled “Pig-based Pharmaceuticals”, covers the pharmaceutical compounds derived from porcine (pig-based) origin. The book also highlights the alternative sources from which the compounds may be manufactured. The therapeutic categories of the compounds and brief narratives are also included alongside information on the ATC codes, compound synonyms, and trade names.
Authenticated by Professor Dr. Zhari Ismail (Professor in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and lecturer of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at Universiti Sains Malaysia, and also the chairman for Drafting the Malaysian Standards for Halal Pharmaceutical Guidelines), the book took over two years to research and compile. With the publication of the book, Prof. Dr. Zhari Ismail is hopeful that Muslim consumers and Halal pharmaceutical producers alike will be better informed: “It is hoped that with the publication of this index, the Muslim Ummah and concerned people of the world be enlightened on the nature and origin of substances and chemicals utilised under the various categories and products, and be able to make an informed judgment on a product before using it.” He added: “This index is indispensible to Halal Regulatory Bodies, research and development bodies, manufacturers, and the public.”
Publisher, Abdul Halim bin Ihsan, former advisor of Strategic Planning for the Halal Industry Development Corporation, aims to diminish the uncertainties in the pharmaceutical industry, with regards to Halal and haram: “This seminal work on porcine origin, we hope, is the start of our journey towards unravelling the origins of pharmaceutical compounds from blood, carcasses, animals, plants, and many more. As it is, there are definitely more uncertainties than certainties as to the nature of most pharmaceutical compounds.”
This body of work comes at a time when the Halal industry is most prolific, with manufacturers and producers looking to cater to the growing number of Muslim consumers, be it in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic or finance industry. With countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, and Canada, amongst many others, pledging billions of dollars to grow their Halal sectors, Muslim consumers have the right to be informed and aid in the development of these sectors by being the driving force for 100 per cent Shariah-compliant products.
"The Halal Index" is available via Phytorex Press and selected distributors. Visit www.thehalalindex.com for further information.