Islamic tourism: The next big thing?

tour fam

Joan Henderson
SINGAPORE

DEMAND for leisure travel by Muslims is mounting in parallel with the expanding Muslim population worldwide. The phrase Islamic tourism is frequently used to describe travel by Muslims for whom compliance with religious observances when away from home is an important consideration. Among other labels are halal tourism and Muslim-friendly tourism.

Muslim travellers have several unique features. Their distinctiveness creates challenges for suppliers of services as well as destination marketers in ensuring proper provision while balancing the needs of Muslim and non-Muslim customers. At the same time, there is diversity within the overall market, based on factors such as age and nationality alongside religiosity.

Commercial interest in Muslim consumers as a whole reflects the size, growth and increasing affluence of the population. According to Pew Research, there were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims globally in 2010 and this figure is predicted to reach 2.8 billion in 2050, about 30 per cent of the world total. Over 60 per cent reside in the Asia-Pacific region, 20 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa (where they make up 93 per cent of the resident population), 3 per cent in Europe and 1 per cent in North America.

Demand for leisure travel by Muslims is mounting in parallel with the expanding Muslim population worldwide. The phrase Islamic tourism is frequently used to describe travel by Muslims for whom compliance with religious observances when away from home is an important consideration. Among other labels are halal tourism and Muslim-friendly tourism.

Muslim travellers have several unique features. Their distinctiveness creates challenges for suppliers of services as well as destination marketers in ensuring proper provision while balancing the needs of Muslim and non-Muslim customers. At the same time, there is diversity within the overall market, based on factors such as age and nationality alongside religiosity.

Commercial interest in Muslim consumers as a whole reflects the size, growth and increasing affluence of the population. According to Pew Research, there were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims globally in 2010 and this figure is predicted to reach 2.8 billion in 2050, about 30 per cent of the world total. Over 60 per cent reside in the Asia-Pacific region, 20 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa (where they make up 93 per cent of the resident population), 3 per cent in Europe and 1 per cent in North America.

tour stat

The accommodation sector is a provider of food and other services essential to the tourist experience. Greater attention is now being given to the notion of halal hotels, characterised by prayer facilities, halal food, a ban on alcohol and gender segregation for certain amenities. The term “syariah-compliant” is sometimes applied and is accurate for properties in conservative Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, which are already bound by syariah law, whereas Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is less restrictive.

Hotels in popular tourist regions of predominantly Muslim countries, such as those of North Africa and parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, which rely heavily on non-Muslim foreign guests, are also more relaxed. It is probably unrealistic because of reasons of finance and practicality for most hotels outside the Islamic world to seek full syariah compliance, but recent surveys show that Middle Eastern and Asian Muslims are keen to visit new long-haul destinations.

Muslims travelling for purposes of business must also be taken into account. Hoteliers should therefore be familiar with Muslim needs and address concerns about food and prayers as far as possible. This can be achieved by ensuring that menus are suitable, copies of the Quran are placed in hotel rooms and information about places of worship is readily available.

The rest of the tourism industry is also responding to rising demand from Muslims as reported by growth strategy research and advisory firm DinarStandard. The number of specialist travel agents and tour operators, some based in Western countries, is expanding and mainstream companies, such as Kuoni, are exploring opportunities. Appropriate facilities are being introduced at airports, railway stations and attraction sites and more airlines are serving halal menus. A dedicated halal kitchen was opened at London’s Heathrow in 2014 as part of a larger new facility serving international airlines at one of the world’s busiest airports.

The importance of Islamic tourism is appreciated by many national tourism organisations around the world. Promotional websites such as those of Japan, Korea and Hong Kong offer guides to halal dining and the Tourism Authority of Thailand launched a special app last year. Malaysia is positioning itself as a global hub for the production of halal goods and services, incorporating tourism, with an official Islamic Tourism Centre responsible for market development. However, the Malaysian and other authorities must also advertise and cater to non-Muslim tourists and there are possibilities of friction between the expectations and desired experiences of the two groups which have to be managed.

Singapore has a competitive advantage over some rivals due to its Muslim community, supporting infrastructure of religious-related facilities and services, and halal certification programmes. MasterCard and CrescentRating’s 2016 Global Muslim Travel Index ranked it the most Muslim-friendly destination for tourists outside of Islamic countries.

Islamic tourism, of which halal food is a critical component, is a striking phenomenon yielding valuable opportunities for the tourism industry worldwide and not least in Singapore. To realise these opportunities, tourism businesses must understand the requirements of Muslim tourists and take the necessary measures to satisfy them without inconveniencing non-Muslim customers. It is also necessary to communicate effectively with Muslim markets.

Joan Henderson is an associate professor of marketing and international business, and fellow at the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight at Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University.

The Straits Times

Mon, 16 May 2016

Tour Ind

 

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/islamic-tourism-the-next-big-thing

Indonesia beats Dubai popularity in World Halal Travel 2015

Bromo
C09
ABU DHABI

INDONESIA won three awards at once in a prestigious event of tourism, namely World Halal Travel Summit 2015. The awards were given at The Emirates Palace Ballroom, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate (UAE), Tuesday (20/10 ).

Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, explained that the awards achieved by Indonesia were World’s Best Family Friendly Hotel, which was won by Sofyan Betawi Hotel, Jakarta. Additionally, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) won two awards, namely World’s Best Halal Honeymoon Destination and World’s Best Halal Tourism Destination.

Arief said, this award gave confession that Lombok is a world class halal tourism destination. The award would certainly facilitate Indonesia to invite the Middle East market. According to Arief, the Middle East market was very promising due to tourists from countries in the region were recorded as the biggest spending funds for tours.

“The Middle East market, particularly the UAE, has the most spending, around 1,700 US dollars per people. It was followed by Saudi Arabia about 1,500 US dollars,” Aried explained.

Sofyan Hotel Betawi qualified as winner after beating Gloria Hotel Dubai and the Landmark Hotel Dubai. Lombok as the World’s Best Halal Honeymoon Destination beat , Abu Dhabi in UAE, Antalya in Turkey, Krabi in Thailand and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

While, Lombok as World’s Best Halal Tourism Destination, beat Abu Dhabi, Amman in Jordan, Antalya in Turkey, Egypt in Cairo, Doha in Qatar, Istanbul in Turkey, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Marrakech in Morocco and Tehran in Iran.

There were a total of 14 category of awards. Indonesia managed to enter the finals in 5 categories, namely, World Best Family Friendly Hotel, World Best Cultural Destination, World’s Best Culinary Destination, World’s Best Halal Honeymoon Destination and World’s Best Halal Tourism Destination.

Republika
Wed, 21 October 2015

DUBAI-TOURISM

http://en.republika.co.id/berita/en/travelling-2/15/10/21/nwkfui317-indonesia-beats-dubai-popularity-in-world-halal-travel-2015

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/10/22/lombok-named-best-halal-tourism-destination.html

Islamic tourism draws more visitors to Indonesia

Islam_Tourism Ind_AFPOlivia Rondonuwu
SENGGIGI

Monday, February 23, 2015

JUST a short hop from the Indonesian holiday hotspot of Bali, a Saudi tourist and his family listen to the call to prayer as the sun goes down on Lombok, the self-styled “island of 1,000 mosques”.

Lombok is at the centre of an Islamic tourism drive in Indonesia, which has the world’s biggest Muslim population and is hoping to boost the number of visitors from wealthy Middle Eastern countries.

While aiming to continue to attract Western tourists who flock to its pristine beaches, the island is also seeking to promote its Islamic heritage, from numerous places of worship to shrines dedicated to ancient Muslim preachers.

“I love it here because I can hear the azan (call to prayer) and people go to the mosque to pray,” said 58-year-old Sulaiman, the Saudi tourist, who gave only one name and was accompanied by his wife who was wearing the burqa.

Senggigi beach in Lombok, Indonesia.

Senggigi beach in Lombok, Indonesia.

Indonesia is the world’s biggest archipelago nation, made up of more than 17,000 islands, but has long lagged behind smaller, more developed countries in Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Thailand, in attracting more tourists.

Foreign visitor arrivals to Indonesia rose to 8.8 million in 2013, according to official figures, compared with 25.72 million in Malaysia and 26.55 million in Thailand.

While there are no official figures for syariah tourism in Indonesia, the sector is experiencing strong growth internationally.

In a recent report, Muslim-oriented business group CrescentRating, predicted the sector would be worth US$192 billion ($261 billion) a year globally by 2020, up from US$140 billion in 2013.

“The economic growth of Middle Eastern countries is very good and we see an opportunity there,” senior tourism ministry official Rizki Handayani told AFP.

Only around 190,000 Middle Eastern visitors came to Indonesia in 2013, according to official figures, but authorities hope their Islamic tourism drive can increase numbers.

Senggigi beach

Senggigi beach

The government has produced tourist guides promoting Indonesia as a “Muslim friendly destination”. It highlights the country’s best syariah tourism destinations and notes there are more than 600,000 mosques in the archipelago.

Lombok, long overshadowed by its better known neighbour, Hindu-majority Bali, hopes the drive can help raise its profile.

Authorities are planning to build a huge Islamic centre that will contain a mosque, a hotel and a study centre, and specially trained tour guides will point Muslim visitors in the direction of the nearest mosque at prayer time.

Other parts of Indonesia are hoping to benefit from the initiative. Aceh province, in western Indonesia and the only part of the country to enforce Islamic syariah laws, and the capital Jakarta are both seeking to lure Middle Eastern tourists, who often bring many family members with them and spend lavishly.

Riyanto Sofyan owns a chain of nine sharia hotels across Indonesia, including two in Jakarta.

Alcohol-free cocktails are available, the call to prayer is played five times a day through the buildings, MTV has been removed from the list of TV channels available in the rooms, as it is deemed too risque, and hotel staff gently turn away unmarried couples.

In Lombok, hotels are also promoting themselves as Islamic, with nine so far having gained coveted syariah certification. Echoing the system of stars for conventional hotels, syariah accommodation is labelled with the crescent moon, a symbol associated with Islam, with the best receiving three.

A hotel must have signs pointing towards Mekah and copies of the Quran in its rooms, as well as a kitchen where halal food can be prepared, to gain its first crescent moon.

Despite the optimism of officials, there are concerns that the push for Islamic tourism could put off other visitors who want to sunbathe in skimpy outfits and relax on the beach with a drink.

But the local government insists it can promote syariah tourism without affecting the existing industry, and that party hotspots in the area – such as tiny Gili Trawangan island, off the west coast of Lombok – will remain unaffected.

Authorities are considering clearly demarcating areas more suited to Muslim guests, where Western tourists should cover up.

“We will make zones so that travel agents and guides have clear options depending on their guests’ wishes,” said local tourism chief M Nasir, adding that visitors were already told they should not wear skimpy clothing when they head into cities or visit religious sites.

Nevertheless for some Muslims, the clash of cultures may still be off-putting. While Sulaiman, who comes from Mekah, was enjoying his holiday in Senggigi, the main tourist strip on Lombok, some aspects made him feel uneasy.

“I am not comfortable with a tourist place where there are people wearing things that are too revealing,” he said.

The Brunei Times/AFP
Monday, February 23, 2015

Map-bali-lombok-carre

http://www.bt.com.bn/features/2015/02/23/islamic-tourism-draws-more-visitors-indonesia

Japan taps growing Muslim tourist market

Narita, Osaka and Kyoto airports are gradually adapting to accommodate Muslims. ‘Silence rooms are turned into prayer rooms. Airport lavatories now include special taps for Muslim ritual washing. Restaurants go ‘halal’.

Narita, Osaka and Kyoto airports are gradually adapting to accommodate Muslims. ‘Silence rooms are turned into prayer rooms. Airport lavatories now include special taps for Muslim ritual washing. Restaurants go ‘halal’.

Haruka Nagu
TOKYO

UNSURE whether they could find halal food in Japan, a group of Muslim school teachers from Malaysia went so far as to prepare their own breakfast before departing.

By the end of the first day, they were more at ease. School principal Rahanim Adb Rahim and her group from Kuala Lumpur enjoyed a traditional Japanese lunch of seafood tempura with rice before joining the crowds at Senso-ji, a popular temple in Tokyo.

“It is not as difficult as we thought it would be,” Ms. Rahanim said later at the Tokyo Skytree, a soaring tower that is one of the city’s newest attractions.

That’s welcome news for Japanese tourism officials, who are counting on a still small but growing market of Muslim tourists as Japan looks to diversify its tourism industry, long dependent on visitors from China, Taiwan and South Korea.

Looking ahead to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to boost tourism as part of his “Abenomics” growth revitalization plan. The government hopes to increase the annual number of tourists to 20 million by then.

Tourism dropped significantly dropped after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and territorial disputes between China and Japan also reduced the number of Chinese visitors for a time.

But foreign tourism has rebounded. According to the government’s Japan National Tourism Organization, a record 9.7 million people visited from January to September this year, a 26 percent increase from the same period the year before.

The largest number from Muslim countries came from Malaysia and Indonesia. Malaysia had 158,500 visitors in the first nine months of 2014, a 52.3 percent increase, and Indonesia had a 13.4 percent increase to 111,400 visitors. Beginning in 2013, visa exemptions made it easier for Malaysians to visit Japan, and exemptions for Indonesians are due to start Dec. 1.

Ms. Rahanim still sees room for improvement in making Japan more Muslim-friendly. Muslims should pray five times a day, and prayer rooms are hard to come by. A former student from her school who was their unofficial guide resorted to praying behind a 7-Eleven parking lot.

Shuichi Kameyama, the executive director of the tourism organization’s marketing and promotion department, said the number of prayer rooms is insufficient, but that he believes they will become more common.

Takashimaya, a popular department store in Tokyo, recently opened a prayer room because a growing number of Southeast Asian shoppers are asking for one, company spokesman Mikio Koda said. The prayer room comes equipped with a facility for ritual washing and an arrow pointing in the direction of Mecca.

Local businesses also have become more mindful of Muslim food restrictions. The use of pork and alcohol is prohibited in Islam and meat must be cut by a Muslim using proper methods.

For Ms. Rahanim and the school group, simply having menus in English helped them determine whether foods such as fish were acceptable.

“Halalminds,” a smartphone application, tries to make it easier to find halal products and restaurants in Japan. Founder Agung Pambudi, a Muslim originally from Indonesia who lives in Fukuoka, designed the app earlier this year, and it has been downloaded 5,000 times.

“It’s really difficult to find halal products, especially in Japan. Why? Because if I buy some products in Japan and I cannot read kanji (Japanese characters), this is impossible for me to understand what kind of ingredients are inside,” he said.

Using GPS, the app also helps find nearby halal restaurants, such as Konya, a Turkish restaurant in Tokyo. Konya owner Ali Tada, a naturalized Japanese citizen from Turkey, says he’s seen a big improvement over the last decade, but it’s still difficult to find halal restaurants.

Speaking comfortably in Japanese, he said, “Lately, the word ‘halal’ is being used a lot. But the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is approaching, and restaurants where Muslim people can eat at are still few.” He said that increasing the number of halal eateries would make Muslim visitors feel safe when visiting Japan.

AP/The Washington Times
Tue, 11 November 2014

Foreign Muslim visitors shop at a store at Asakusa district in Tokyo. Photo: AP

Foreign Muslim visitors shop at a store at Asakusa district in Tokyo. Photo: AP

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/11/japan-tries-to-tap-growing-muslim-tourist-market/?page=all

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/11/japan-tries-to-tap-growing-muslim-tourist-market/#ixzz3IvmbiIwk
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Also read: http://tundratabloids.com/2014/04/japanese-airports-becoming-sharia-compliant-to-snare-budding-muslim-tourism.html

US Halal Food Supplier Indicted Over Beef Exports to Indonesia and Malaysia

n this Sept., 2010 photo, Bill Aossey Jr. poses for a portrait in front of an image of Damascus, at Midamar Corp. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Iowa-based Midamar, which Aossey founded in 1974, is a leading U.S. halal company that sells beef, turkey, chicken and other products around the world. (AP Photo/The Des Moines Register, Mary Willie)

n this Sept., 2010 photo, Bill Aossey Jr. poses for a portrait in front of an image of Damascus, at Midamar Corp. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Iowa-based Midamar, which Aossey founded in 1974, is a leading U.S. halal company that sells beef, turkey, chicken and other products around the world. (AP Photo/The Des Moines Register, Mary Willie)


Ryan J Foley
IOWA CITY, IOWA

THE founder of a popular line of food products for observant Muslims has been charged with fraudulently shipping beef to Malaysia and Indonesia that didn’t meet the countries’ import requirements, federal prosecutors in Iowa said Friday.

Bill Aossey Jr., who founded Midamar Corp. in 1974, is charged with conspiring to change labels and fabricate documents to make products appear that they originated from a slaughterhouse that met Malaysian and Indonesian requirements. Iowa-based Midamar is a leading U.S. halal company that sells beef, turkey, chicken and other products around the world.

His attorney, Haytham Faraj, called the 19-count indictment unfair, saying it was filed after his client rejected a plea agreement. Aossey, a prominent 73-year-old Cedar Rapids businessman, hasn’t been arrested and is expected to soon make an initial court appearance, Faraj said.

Aossey, a son of Syrian immigrants, is the “quintessential American success story,” Faraj said. Midamar, now operated by Aossey’s sons, celebrated its 40th anniversary this week.

Malaysia and Indonesia restrict the import of halal beef products to those from certified slaughter facilities. Halal meat is supposed to be killed in ritual slaughter and processed in compliance with Islamic law.

The indictment alleges that Midamar, which relies on third-party suppliers for meat that it packages and sells, used an unnamed Minnesota slaughterhouse that wasn’t certified to supply beef to customers in both countries between 2007 and 2010.

Midamar employees used nail polish to remove the Minnesota slaughterhouse’s federal establishment number from packaging and put new labels containing the number of an Omaha slaughterhouse that was certified, according to the indictment. Midamar also listed the wrong slaughterhouse on paperwork sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to receive certificates for exporting, prosecutors allege.

The indictment charges Aossey with conspiring to sell misbranded meat, making false statements on export certificates, wire fraud and money laundering.

Faraj said evidence will show that the exported beef met Malaysian and Indonesian standards.

“This was not a case where they were substituting inferior product for the product that was requested. It was a minor regulatory violation that USDA’s own inspectors who were present didn’t think was a violation at the time,” he said. “The product was of the same quality. It met the halal standard.”

He said he believed Midamar was being treated more harshly than other meat companies because of its Muslim ownership.

The investigation dates to 2010, when USDA inspectors seized thousands of pounds of what they called misbranded meat products at Midamar. The agency stopped voluntary inspections at Midamar but resumed them after the company took corrective actions. In 2012, agents descended on Midamar to serve search warrants seizing its business records, computers and bank accounts.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, said it was troubled by the raid and the secrecy surrounding it.

Midamar’s lawyers have accused the government of improperly trying to define halal standards, saying that should be left to religions. Faraj said the government has backed off accusations that Midamar didn’t understand halal.

“This is, as I call it, the consolation prize,” he said of the indictment. “We couldn’t get you on that, so we’ll get you on something else.”

Associated Press
Oct 24, 2014

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/us-halal-food-supplier-indicted-beef-exports-26429972

Islamic tourism sector in Indonesia well supported by local government

wisrel sunan bonangPuri Hukmi

ISLAMIC tourism destination that generally found in remote areas of a country, assessed must have a strong working relationship with local government. According to the chairman of Indonesian Islamic Hotel Association (Ahsin), Riyanto Sofyan, Islamic tourism will not run without the support of local government.

He said with the support of local government, all matters relating to regulations and policies in the areas of Islamic tourism can be accommodated sharia. Among them is to create rules that could push the fulfillment facilities for Muslim travelers.

According to Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy sharia, Sapta winandar, until now there are 14 areas in parts of Indonesia are ready to cooperate to succeed sharia tourism development. The support of the local government is getting real gradually. Among them is the province of West Java which subsidizes about 3.000 halal certifications for Islamic business industry. Additionally, Bandung, a city in West Java is also trying to become a halal tourist area.

The government in West Nusa Tenggara also confirmed ready to support national Islamic tourism. One of the efforts done by regional governments is to straighten public perception of Islamic tourism sector. West Nusa Tenggara is known as the city of a thousand mosques. In addition, the Muslim numbers in this area quite a majority of 90%.

Sharia tourism sector will now be seriously developed by the OIC Member States in order to develop the national economy of each country, which in turn will impact on the global economy.

In the 2-day conference mentioned during one of the keys to success is the promotion of the tourism sector sharia massive. Among the most effective media campaign is using social media such as YouTube and use word of mouth promotion strategies.

Sharia tourism sector will now be seriously developed by the OIC Member States in order to develop the national economy of each country, which in turn will impact on the global economy.

In the 2-day conference mentioned one of the keys to success is the promotion of the Islamic tourism sector sharia massively. Among the most effective media campaign is using social media such as YouTube and use word of mouth promotion strategies.

Islamic tourism sector is one of Islamic lifestyle industry. Islamic lifestyle sector consists of Islamic and tourism halal cosmetic and culinary, Muslim fashion etc. are considered able to work together with the Islamic financial sector. Data from Dinar Standard indicates that the potential of Islamic lifestyle sector to penetrate 1.6 T USD in 2012 and will increase to 2.47 T USD in 2018. Special in East Asia, the largest Islamic lifestyle industry market today is Indonesia with more than 235 billion USD.

Islam Online
Thu, 12 June 2014

wisrel masjid-agung-semarang

wisrel

http://www.islamonline.com/news/articles/28/Islamic-tourism-sector-in-Indonesia-well-supported.html

Check halal status of food regularly

cadb1BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE authorities finally cleared two Cadbury chocolates of any traces of pork DNA, a case that has caused uproar here and in neighbouring countries.

The Malaysian authorities, who first reported the case, had earlier cleared the Cadbury products of any traces of swine DNA after conducting new tests. Malaysia’s Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said none of the 11 samples it tested of products from the company’s factory had shown positive results for porcine DNA. However, Jakim said in a statement that Cadbury’s halal certification for the two products in question would remain suspended pending further tests and investigations of its supply chain.

The Indonesian authorities, the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency and the Indonesian Ulamas’ Council, have also clarified that after testing a number of samples of Cadbury products they found them free of any traces of pork DNA.

Whether the two chocolate products really contained any haram (non-halal or impermissible ingredient) or not is a fact that needs to be further investigated. What’s more important is that we need to learn a very essential lesson from this case: We must keep on alert anytime! The government, through the relevant authorities, has the obligation to protect the people, in particular Muslims, from consuming and/or wearing any products containing any substance which is deemed haram.

We must not easily feel satisfied and happy with any logo (how big it is) attached to any products on sale in the country. As the State Mufti, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz Juned, recently said, “having a halal certificate and halal logo attached to a food product was not enough for Muslims to be satisfied about the halal status of goods they consume as both were not the absolute determinants to such.” What is more important, he said, is that relevant authorities monitor and test consumables that have been granted the halal certificates and logos from time to time.

This was not the sole incident ever happened. there have been many reports (within or outside the country) before about products found to be containing substance (processed or unprocessed) from swine or other animals forbidden for Muslims. We do not know whether it was intentional or merely an “accident” when some products having halal certificate and logo were found to be containing non-halal ingredients, which are very much harmful and destructive — physically and mentally — to the life of Muslims.

The Almighty Allah, the All-Knowing the All-Wise, will not forbid mankind, especially the Muslims, from consuming the impermissible (haram) things if they are not harmful to them. Allah says in the Al-Quran: “O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Syaitân (devil). Verily, he is to you an open enemy.” (2:168)

Halal is an Arabic word meaning “lawful” or “permissible”. The term covers not only food and drink, but also all matters of daily life. The most common example of non-halal (or haram) food is pork. Allah says: “Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals — cat-tle not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc, or on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns — and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on AnNusub (stone altars). (Al-Maidah: 3)

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has repeatedly reminded on the need for the relevant authorities to be proactive in carrying out halal tests on food and drinks brought into the country. He said there was no fault if all types of food products were tested for confirmation (of their halal nature). “We must not wait for a commotion (and) only then we want to open up the labs (for testing),” he said.

As an Islamic country that has just reintroduced Syariah Law and aspires to become a Zikir Nation, it is a necessity for us all to be more careful and sensitive when it comes to food and drink.

The food must come from a supplier that uses halal practices. Specifically, the slaughter must be performed by a Muslim, who must precede the slaughter by invok-ing the name of Allah, most commonly by saying “Bismillah” (“In the name of Allah”). Muslims must also ensure that all foods (particularly processed foods), as well as non-food items like cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are halal. Frequently, these products contain animal by-pro-ducts or other ingredients that are not permissible and harmful for Muslims to eat or use on their bodies.

Treating our bodies with wholesome foods free of harmful ingredients — pesticides, toxins, pollutants, filth, etc. — is not just a value desired by Muslims, it’s desired by all of humanity. It’s a common need, a common desire and a common right, and that means everyone can benefit from consuming halal foods.

The Brunei Times/Editorial
Friday, June 13, 2014

cadb

cadb2

http://www.bt.com.bn/opinion/2014/06/13/check-halal-status-food-regularly