Shortly after graduated from university, I have been offered to work in pharmaceutical company. Without have to take long time to think, I accepted the offer. After work for 10 months, I left the company.
Have a chance worked in this halal industry, make me realize how important this industry to Muslim consumers and to those Muslim that struggle to be manufacturer of halal products. They have to compete with other halal food manufacturing company that most of them are conquered by non-Muslim. In term of market and supplier, it is difficult for Muslim manufacturers to penetrate the market. I am not saying that those non-Muslim that produce halal products are not good, in fact they also get certificate from JAKIM and HCCAP, have Muslim workers in their factor and also offer better salary package but rather the point, it is better for Muslim themselves to produce halal product for their counterpart Muslim but also for non-Muslim.
Halal Industry has become a new industry in 21st Century. Maybe the years back, halal industry is not well-known. Only recently, when Muslim around the world realizes that they have to compliance their life with shariah, this industry start to take part around the world. For example, in UK, amongst the country that has many Muslim minorities has established UK – HALAL INDUSTRIAL PARK – first Halal super industrial park in Europe. The planned operation has been launched last two year with the first such sites preferably to be located in the South East and South West of the UK. The Halal Park initiated by Super Halal Industrial Parks ltd (SHIP) would provide services such as storage, product packing, meat selection and processing as well as research and development. Other prove that show how Halal industry has taken place in the world market is the establishment of the Halal body in many countries to accredited and monitor halal product manufacturing. For example, JAKIM in Malaysia, Islamic Information and Documentation Center in Austria, Adelaide Mosque Islamic Society of South Australia in Australia, Halal Food Council of Europe (HFCE) in Belgium and China Islamic Association in China.
One thing we have to ask ourselves every time we talk about Halal issues, does the halal only applied to food manufacturing?
Does the halal issue is only about food, the thing that we consume every day?
Many people are concern only about food when it comes to halal issues. The fact is Halal covered everything in our life. Halal refer to that which creator has made lawful and it is opposite haram refer to which is forbidden. The realm of halal extends beyond the obvious references to food and touches on all matters of our life.
Let take a look few categories of halal thing that we should watch out in our daily life.
Food and Drinks
I won’t expect you all not know what the halal food is all about for the reason that we all eat every day. Generally Muslim can eat all food except those that are prohibited in Islam; pork or pork by products, animals that were dead prior to slaughtering, animals not slaughtered properly or not slaughtered in the name of Allah, blood and blood by product, alcohol, carnivorous animals, birds of prey, land animals without external ears.
In modern times, when much of Islamic dietary law was formulated, most people had a pretty good idea of where their food came from and how it was produced, if they weren’t directly involved in its production themselves. In a world where we are increasingly disconnected from the ways in which our food comes to us, Beyond Halal asks, “Is halal good enough?”
Here are the tips how to avoid from taking non-halal food;
1. The best way to avoid from taking the food that we are doubt of it halal status is by buying only products that have legal halal logo from authorized organization. For example, in Malaysia JAKIM has standardized its halal logo used for all consumer products.
2. Cook your own food. Modern life has change people life. It’s much convenience for people to eat fast food other than cook their own food, perhaps due to busy lifestyles. Cook your own food not only sure you eat halal food (make sure the ingredients also halal) but also healthy one.
3. Avoid restaurant food. While food obtained from a restaurant is not automatically forbidden, it can be difficult to know whether or not it has come into contact with forbidden foods, such as non-halal meat or alcohol. Unless the restaurant is certified as providing halal food, it should be avoided.
3. If the products don’t have the halal logo, here are the guides. For a product to be Halal (lawful) for Muslim consumption all its ingredients should be Halal. Follow the following list:
a) Read the ingredients on label carefully. Ingredients are listed according to the amounts present. The first ingredient listed is present in the largest amount.
b) Identify the Halal/Haram/Mushbooh(suspected) status of each ingredient using this guide.
c) Search the ingredient name in the list(please click here to see the list) and its status will be next to it.
d) If all ingredients of a product are Halal, the product is fit for Muslim consumption.
e) If any of the ingredients is Haram, the product should not be consumed.
f) If any ingredient falls under Mushbooh(suspected) category avoid this product, as the Prophet has advised us to avoid doubtful matters. This ingredient could come from a Haram source. To find out the status of this ingredient you should write or call the manufacturer of the product
Eating the halal food is very important to Muslim, because a halal food is capable or will influence a person’s personality and attitude.
Yusuf islam has make comeback to music professionally in around 2000. When his conversion to Islam in 1978, he used to sell his music instruments including his primary instrument guitar, in lead of his belief that music is Haram. When reporter asked what make him to change mind and involve back in music, his answered was that he surprised to know that guitar was introduced to Europe through Spain during the Muslim rule. It means Muslim the investor of guitar and nothing wrong to play it as long as it used for good intention. Interestingly, in the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2004, the ‘Ulama have decided that the songs he sang as Cat Stevens provides a good example for the youth, to show that there are positive aspects to some music and art.
The issue of music within Islam is an ongoing debate amongst Muslim scholars; some argue that it is totally haram (prohibited) and others argue that its allowance depends on the song’s conformity to Islamic values and norms. Whilst I agree that some songs and musical influences are haram, this judgment does not apply to every singer or every single note played. Since Islam is religion that promotes balanced lifestyles, a more positive approach to singing and music make more sense.
We must distinguish: for example, what is the message in the words of the song? What is the moral context and environment where the songs are being played? What is the time it is happening? Who is delivering the song? How is it delivered? And importantly, what is the intention? Some scholars say that as long as it conforms to moral norms and doesn’t divert a person from his or her duties in worshipping Allah, then it has its place in the culture of Islam.
Ibn Hazm argues, the messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said, “Deeds is judged according to intentions, and everyone will get what he intended”. (Reported by al-Bukhari dan Muslim). It can be said that everything comes down to attention. If a person listens to music with intention to use it in support of sin, the person is a sinner. On other hands, if the music is coupled with good intention with a right way, it is completely permissible. And if a person listens to singing intending neither obedience nor disobedience is doing something neutral and harmless, which is similar to going to the park and walking around, standing by a window and looking at the sky, wearing blue or green cloths, and so on.
However, there are some limitations to be observed in the matter of singing:
1. The subject matter of songs/lyrics should not be against the teachings of Islam. For example, if the song is in praise of wine, and it invites people to drink, singing or listening to it is haram.
2. Although the subject matter itself may not be against the Islamic teachings, the manner of singing may render it haram; this would be the case, for example, if the singing were accompanied by suggestive sexual movement that will arouse people sexual desire.
3. Islam fights against excess and extravagance in anything, even in worship; how, then, can it tolerate excessive involvement with entertainment? Too much time should not be wasted in such activities; after all, what is time but life itself? One cannot dispute the fact that spending time in permissible activities consumes time which ought to be resaved for carrying out religious obligations and doing good deeds.
4. Each individual is the best judge of himself. If a certain type of singing arouses one’s passions, leads him towards sin, excites the animal instincts, and dulls spirituality, he must avoid it, thus closing the door to temptations.
5. There is unanimous agreement that if singing is done in conjunction with haram activities—for example, at a drinking party, or if it is mixed with obscenity and sin—it is haram.
There are few evidence from hadith that for the allowance of listening to modest, inoffensive words and songs of non-Muslims. Once the Prophet was listening to the poetry of a non-Muslim, Umayyah bin Sault,after listening to around a hundred couplets of the poem, the Prophet, peace be upon him said, “He (Umayyah) was close to accepting Islam.”
In another example we know of a famous Hadith in Al Bukhari where songs of Jahiliyyah (society of ignorance) were being played in the presence of the blessed Prophet, peace be upon him, and he did not object: Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported the occasion when her father came to the house while the Prophet was resting; two small Ansari girls were singing a famous battle song about the Tribes of ‘Aus and Khazraj, commemorating the Day of Bu’ath, which took place before Islam came to Yathrib. Her father was shocked and protested, “Musical instruments of Satan in the house of Allah’s Messenger!” But Allah’s Messenger said, “O Abu Bakr! There is an ‘Eid for every nation and this is our ‘Eid.”
The modern music in Islam has been incorporated with hip hop, jazz and pop in order to keep with changes with modern lifestyles. Many would have negative perception to this new genre in Islamic music due to assumption that those genre music is associated with sex, drug and immoral activities. However, those negative values only the stereotypes. The contemporary Islamic music aims to spreads positive religious messages, inspired Muslim to the path of Allah. The only difference is the genre, which more attractive to attract young Muslim.
Currently, there has been growing number of Muslim musician and bands taking center stage in mainstream industry maybe due to the fact that Muslim generations now looking for smoothing that can enhance their spiritual. These musicians and band are present their art in different genres. Among the famous musicians and bands are Yusuf Islam, Maher Zain, Sami Yusuf, Outlandish, Dawud Whasnaby, Debu, Raihan, Zain Bikha, Hamza Robertson , Native Deen and many more.
‘Ayat-ayat cinta’ perhaps the greatest film about love that incorporated with Islamic values in this southeast Asia region. With the good script writing, plot of story and actress, this film has attracted the attention of many people and thus eliminate the stereotype that film is something that not allowable in Islam just for the reason that most of film actress does not cover their hair and scene in film is against the teaching of Islam. In fact this film has open Muslim minds to see film in different perspective. The film has success to portray the love in different way and make people close to Islam.
Nowadays, the way people get entertainment is differently from old days. In old days, people watched theaters, or sat in circles with poets and other types of entertainers. Think of opera, wayang kulit or poet. Now, it’s different. People sit in front of TV, laptop and other devices and watch their favorite films, drama or music. They don’t have waste they time to go other place just to get some entertainment and release tension after back to office.
Nowadays, our entertainment industries mainly film and drama has been influenced with western culture and more secular. Perhaps because everyone wanted more MTV and Hollywood, our local film and TV producer are more likely to produce entertainments that have western influence. This include actress with hair colored, improper dressing as well as the plot of drama that portray negative value such as conflict between family member, affair of marriage husband with other women, hate, revenge and others. This entire element is nothing more than just the ‘copy’ of other telenovela that showed in our local TV. As to compete with outside product, the producers make film that does not show our culture, ethics and attitude instead just intimated of other cultures. I am not saying that those films are value-less but rather the negative values and conflict in the story line has made the good value drowned out. In the film produce by western the good value are drown out by flashy, graphics and cinematography that make viewer lost from the core message of the story.
However now, there is growing of film or drama that infused with spiritual or religious value, which show that people’s growing spiritually and implies that people are seeking to achieve a balanced lifestyles such as incorporating spiritual practices in daily life, work and personal matter.
In 2010, a public debate arose and France passed a law that bans the wearing of burqas, niqabs and other full-face covering in public. The law was constitutionally cleared so that it will come into force in April 2011. It’s to full-face veils only but applies to all citizens in public spaces. In spain, A 16-year-old schoolgirl has been banned from classes in Spain after refusing to remove her Islamic headscarf, re-igniting the national debate.
The above action was taken by the European countries as a result of islamaphobia. Islamophobia describes prejudice against, hatred or irrational fear of Islam or Muslims. The term was back in late 1980s or early 1990s, but came into common usage after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. Of course they never confess that, rather they give reason the banned was in line with secular government policy and as the way to curb any unexpected incident that might occur such as the a woman that weir hijab or niqab may hide the bomb inside and used this tactic to blow herself in public place in that Europe.
That funny thing about all the regulations and restriction on Muslim from practicing their religious belief is nothing rather than the discrimination towards Muslim community in western. They always talk about freedom and democracy. They invaded other countries with the reason that the particular countries were not democracy. They criticize other countries when they see the human right was practicing inside the countries.
The question, how many of Muslim women in Malaysia really appreciate the freedom has been given to them. As you can see everywhere you go in Malaysia, there are still Muslim women who not fully covered their aurah. Be actresses, singers, politicians, businesswomen and other, they give many excuses for not wearing hijab as if it is a kind of flexibly in practicing this religious obligation. Of course, it’s not. There are very concerns about halal food that they eat everyday but they don’t realize what is halal way of dressing is and what not.
Don’t get me wrong, I am trying to judge anyone. I am just state what it’s supposed to be.
It been clearly stated in al-Quran:
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be molested. “(Al-Ahzab: 59)
Wearing hijab does not mean you are fully covered your aurah. It’s just part of it. Wearing hijab or tudung only covered you hair and head. But as you know, there are other parts of body that women must be covered. I could witness how the understanding of Muslim women today, regarding the need to cover aurat, is very inaccurate. I list several mistakes that are commonly practiced by Muslim women today regarding aurat:
1: Aurat is ONLY about covering the hair.
2: Wears hijab with short sleeve T-Shirt.
3: Wears hijab with slitted skirts.
4: Wears hijab with tight and transparent blouse that reveals body parts that lures a man.
5: Wears very loose hijab that causes the hair to be visible.
6: Wears hijab only in the office. Not at home or around the mall.
7: Wears hijab but the end of the hijab is pulled up revealing the chest.
8: Wear a hijab that is made of transparent material that causes the hair, neck and chest to be visible.
9: Wears hijab but rides the motorbike revealing their calf.
Lately, there is growing trends of women wearing hijab with the hair’s hair looks like the hump of a camel when it is pulled and tangled over their head. This is not in line with Islam as In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah, Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
“Two are the types of the denizens of Hell whom I did not see: (1) people having flogs like the tails of the ox with them and they would be beating people (unjust rulers); (2) the women who would be dressed but appear to be naked, who would be inclined (to evil) and make others incline towards it. Their heads would be like the humps of the bukht camel inclined to one side. They will not enter Paradise and they would not smell its odour whereas its odour would be smelt from such and such distance” (Narrated by Muslim).
As a Muslim-Malay man, I would say most of man always feel proud when a Malay girl wearing wearing baju kurung(malay traditional dress) with hijab. They look like a pure Malay girl with dignity and pride.
Some women might don’t know if there are appropriately cover their aurah or not. Here is the tip. Before you walk out of your home to office, mall, etc, stand in front of mirror. Look to your dress, ask yourself, is it my dressing expose part of my body, make man look towards me? If the answer is no, the go ahead. If yes, then it is time to change your dressing to be more appropriate.
“There no other beautiful relationship between a man and a woman (non-mahram) that in love other than to make themselves halal amongst each other”.
The modern world has set new way of life for our youth. Having the loving one, girlfriend and boyfriend is become trend among youth even teenager in school. I am here not qualified to make judgment either it’s wrong or right.
Just look it around you. How many of your friends who have special one, go dating for every week, spend a lot of money for their spouses but at the end of the day, did not end up with marriage?.
How many of your friends who only get married after 5 or 6 years in love and during that time has been spending time together? They known each other very well even during that coupling phase. In fact some of them know each other family very well.
The idea here is why don’t those people who already have husband-to-be or wife-to-be make themselves halal as soon as possible. Why they have to wait until certain period of time?
Why they have to wait until they finish study to start build a family while in fact they have spent time together, studying, shopping etc.?
Why they have to wait till a man have RM 10k before can propose for marriage while in fact the girl’s father never minds if the man want to take his girl for dating?.
Islam requirement for marriage is not a burden to spouses but unfortunately our society has put a standard until in certain extend make marriage become difficult and maksiat become a common amongst unmarried couple.
Young couples might reluctant to get marriage at the time that they still studying and have no salary to support family. In fact the parent will not give must trust and hope on their son/daughter marriage.
The Khitbah Marriage is the solution to the above problem. Khitbah Marriage can be concluded that the maintenance burden not compulsory on husband if ordinary life husband and wife not yet happened. However if husband go out with wife, there is no restriction from syara law because they are legal husband and wife. For example, a man that is now studying in UIAM setting up Khitbah marriage with his couple which a student in UKM. Through this marriage, it can avoid them from commit sin when meet occasionally. If happen pregnancy, the baby is legal and they can undergo having family life as usual. So, the dumping baby or killing the innocent baby as always reported in newspaper will not happen.
Halal is not an option, it’s a must. We don’t have choice other than to follow this order from our Almighty. While there are differences opinion amongst Muslim scholars on certain halal related issue such as music and coupling, we have to struggle to walk our life in halal way. So, our every single deed is always being under the blessing of Allah SWT. The halal issue discuss in this article are just few and did not cover others field such as finance and politics.
1. Halal Journal, issue 38 and 40. Kaseh Dia Sdn.Bhd.
2. The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
3. Music: A Question of Faith or Da’wah?. Yusuf Islam.
4. Women’s Aurat : What has Happened? – Zaharuddin.net. Ustaz Zaharuddin.
5. A Guide to Halal Food Selection by HALAL FOUNDATION.
6. UK: Halal industry park to be build in South Wales-Islam Watch