According to Act No. 33 of 2014 concerning the Halal Product Assurance Act (UU JPH) and Decree of the Minister of Religion (KMA) 982 of 2019 concerning Halal Certification Services in Indonesia, LPPOM MUI acts as a Halal Inspection Body (LPH) that audit the halalness of a product scientifically. The results of the examination will be reported to the MUI Fatwa Commission and determine the legal status of the product.
The MUI Halal Decree issued by the Indonesian Council of the Ulama (MUI) is a written fatwa issued by the MUI through the decision of the Fatwa Commission, which states the halalness of a product based on an audit process conducted by LPPOM MUI.
As is well known, MUI has been active for 31 years in Indonesian Halal Certification. MUI, through LPPOM MUI, conducts the examinations and studies of products consumed by the public. This is to appease consumers, especially Indonesian Muslims.
“Fatwa and halal labels cannot be made individually or by the producer since they are religious decrees. Only those who have a religious understanding and valid religious authority can determine it, “said Dr. KH. Ma’ruf Amin, The Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, in his book FATWA OF HALAL PRODUCTS, Protect & Reassure.
The Director of LPPOM MUI, Dr. Lukmanul Hakim, M.Si. revealed that MUI is the only institution that determines the halalness of a product through a combination of two approaches, namely science and sharia. In terms of science, it is carried out by LPPOM MUI, and MUI Fatwa Commission for the sharia.
Based on the JPH and KMA982 Acts, LPPOM MUI has a role as a Halal Inspection Body (LPH) which checks the halalness of a product scientifically. The results of the examination are then reported to the MUI Fatwa Commission and determined the product status according to Islamic law.
Scientific Approach (Science) by LPPOM MUI
The scientific examination is carried out by the professional and trusted halal auditors. By August 2020, LPPOM MUI was strengthened by more than 1,000 halal auditors from various educational backgrounds, among them are food technology, chemistry, biochemistry, industrial technology, biology, pharmaceuticals.
The auditors of LPPOM MUI are the professionals and academics who have experience and are placed at the Central of LPPOM MUI, as well as in 38 representative offices consisting of 34 provinces in Indonesia and 4 offices in China, Korea, and Taiwan. Additionally, more than 124 auditors already have a Halal Auditor Work Competency Certificate issued by the National Professional Certification Agency (BNSP).
The Sharia Approach in Determining Halal Fatwa by the MUI Fatwa Commission
The halalness of a product is not merely determined scientifically, it needs also tested and reviewed by following the sharia. A fatwa is the istinbath of contemporary law. The fatwa is the result of ijtihad by Islamic scholars who are experts on legal phenomena that are not explained in the Al-Qur’an and Al-Hadith. Fatwa is explored based on the two main sources, the sharia, and the ijma’ of salafus-sholih or Islamic scholars.
According to Deputy Secretary-General of the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) for Fatwa, Drs. KH. Sholahuddin Al Aiyub, M.Si, halal is included in the terminology of religion and law. The halal and haram of a product must be determined by the competent institution. In Indonesia, the authority who is legally chosen is MUI Fatwa Commission.
“Fiqh qadha’i is the reference, the final and binding, and is already at the level of state regulations. Therefore, the differences of opinion are not allowed. This means that authority cannot be shared with anyone. Even though the reference is the same, if the fatwa is different, it is not possible,” explained Aiyub.
It is a strong reason in fiqh why the fatwas must be carried out by MUI. As we all know that MUI is the shelter for Islamic Organizations. The Muslim Scholars, zuama and the scholars from Nahdhlatul Ulama, Muhammadiyah, Al Irsyad Al Islamiyah, Matlaul Anwar, and 59 other Islamic organizations to the Persatuan Umat Islam (PUI) are part of MUI. (*)