Halal Connect Pilot Issue 2009

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ALALconnect THE magazine of The American Halal Association

Halal in AMERICA

the moment is now

Introducing The American Halal Association Perfect Storm on the Horizon Halal Goes Mainstream Turning Halal into a Global Brand Halal Healthcare: An Innovative Frontier

| For free distribution | Pilot Issue | July 2009 |

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CONTENTS :: July 2009


Halal for the Masses

Halal Healthcare – An Innovative Frontier


A New Dawn

Halal on the Horizon


Beefing up Halal & Tayyib


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CONTENTS :: July 2009


5 } WELCOME TO HALAL CONNECT Because so much of this is about connecting. 6 } SHORT TAKES Industry news and market updates from HalalFocus.com. COVER STORY 10 } HALAL – A PERFECT STORM ON THE HORIZON “There is a convergence of common interest – religious, political, economic, social – that is now clustering around the concept of Halal, and all that it implies, and these interests show all the signs of building into a perfect storm.” by Abdalhamid Evans

FEATURES 16 } TURNING HALAL INTO A BRAND FOR THE MASSES Imagine a Halal brand that is commonly understood by Muslim and non-Muslim alike to incorporate organic, fair trade, and socially responsible practices, as well as those that are specific to our faith. by Shahed Amanullah 20 } HALAL HEALTHCARE: AN INNOVATIVE FRONTIER Has the divine privilege of life reigning supreme over healthcare products led to a sense of complacency among the Muslims in choosing a Halal alternative? by Selma Djukic

26 } BEEFING UP THE CONCEPT OF HALAL AND TAYYIB The word Halal is often seen together with the word Tayyib. As consumers should we be paying more attention to the Tayyib aspect of our food? by Salama Evans


18 } HALAL GOES MAINSTREAM MAINSTREAM GOES HALAL You know there is something going on when the world’s biggest retailer is chasing after Halal products. 24 } PROMOTING HALAL IN NORTH AMERICA Dr. M. Munir Chaudry has planted little Halal-certified seeds in Times Square–right in the heart of New York City. He doesn’t expect the seeds to germinate anytime soon, but that’s okay, Chaudry is a patient man. He’s been promoting Halal in North America for more than three decades By Kari Ansari 30 } CONNECTORS New ways to stay connected with Halal on your phone. Plus websites for your Halal lifestyle.

Halal Connect® is a registered trademark of The American Halal Association. All rights reserved. While all care is taken during production of this magazine, the publisher accepts no responsibility for the information contained herein which is believed to be reliable. The publishers and editor takes no responsibility for the opinions expressed as they are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect that of the publisher or editor who make no warranties governing materials, including image, advertising or features contained within this publication. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A

HALALConnect •

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Photography Previous page - Chicago Silhouette by: Ryan Heaney, Chicago, IL This page - Golden Gate Bridge by: Nathan Bunney, Modesto, CA

3 } Letter from the President of ISNA Some words from Dr Ingrid Mattson, in support of the AHA initiatives.

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Cover photo Gayle Lindgren Phoenix, AZ gaylelindgren. dotphoto.com

EDITOR IN CHIEF Abdalhamid Evans EDITOR Salama Evans creative director Johnny Z. Brasco (hmedia.my) ART DIRECTOR Idzuan Samad (kreatniklab.com) CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Abdalhamid Evans Shahed Amanullah Selma Djukic Salama Evans Kari Ansari CONTENT COORDINATOR Kamarul Aznam Kamaruzaman (hmedia.my) Marketing & Sales Joohi Tahir Asma Khan PUBLISHED BY: The American Halal Association 444 E. Roosevelt Road, Suite 251 Lombard, IL 60148-4630 Tel: +1 630 528 3400 Email info@americanhalalassociation.org Website www.americanhalalassociation.org Produced by members of the Consortium of Halal Consultants Imarat Consultant www.imaratconsultants.com

Thinking of Penetrating the Global Halal Market?

Get your messages across correctly to the global Halal consumers. From public relations and multimedia to magazines and websites, even product packaging and design, our range of media and communication solutions will attract your targeted Halal audience to your business. Because Halal isn’t just your typical market.

H-MEDIA SDN BHD halal.media@gmail.com A niche Halal media & communications provider HALALConnect •

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H-Media Sdn Bhd halal.media@gmail.com HOW TO GIVE FEEDBACK: Drop us a line at feedback@halalconnect.com Submission of a letter constitutes permission to publish it in any form or medium. Letters may be edited for reasons of space and clarity. Printed by Alwan Printing, Inc 7825 South Roberts Rd. Bridgeview, IL 60455-1405 Tel: +1 708 598 9600

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Letter from the Editor

Welcome to Halal Connect! Because so much of this is about connecting


n 2006, the first World Halal Forum was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This was, really, the first event that made a global ‘Halal Industry’ a reality. There were senior representatives from some of the world’s largest corporations together with owners of some of the smallest Halal businesses, and everything in between from all parts of the world, getting down to the real needs of the Halal industry. There was a moment for many people present when it dawned on them that they were part of a new emerging paradigm that had enormous potential and at the same time carried corresponding responsibility. By the end of the Forum, the need for some form of Halal Industry Association had become fully apparent, and a group of around fifty people stayed behind after the final session to discuss what the structure, aims and objectives of this association would be. In the audience was Ahmad Adam of Crescent Food, Chicago. A long-time pioneer in the Halal sector in the USA, Ahmad was well aware of the challenges and opportunities in the Halal market in the USA, and he left Kuala Lumpur determined to work on a Halal industry association for the North American market. Supported by Majdi Wadi of Holy Land Brand in Minneapolis and Abdalhamid Evans, co-founder of the World Halal Forum, the American Halal Association slowly took shape and was registered as a not-for-profit organization in Illinois.

Balancing Priorities

There are many elements that need to be taken into account when putting together a project of this kind, and many priorities that have to be considered and balanced. Of primary importance is the issue of protecting the parameters of Halal to ensure that the consumer’s right to high quality ‘Halal and Tayyib’ food is safeguarded. The fiqh of Halal products and services is not complex, but the food industry is, and there is a need to understand the technicalities and processes of modern industries, food science and ingredient sources. There needs to be a much greater awareness, right across the board, of the importance of Halal and how to enable it to reach its highest potential. Halal touches on food safety, quality standards, health and diet, animal welfare, environmental awareness and ethical transactions; although correct slaughter is the cornerstone, Halal and Tayyib encompasses so much more than the process of animal slaughter. And as is so often the case with the right thing at the right time, we find ourselves swept up in what has become a global Halal movement from Cape Town to KL, Melbourne to Minneapolis, from the farm to the family. Governments, industry players of every shape and size, academics, the media… once you become aware of how far it has reached, you start seeing it everywhere! And make no mistake, Halal is big. So when we looked at all the issues to be tackled here in North America, at times we found ourselves overwhelmed by the enormity of the task at hand. Sometimes there seems so much to do,

that you don’t know where to start.

And perhaps this is when we realised that this is not just up to us. This is Allah’s affair, Halal is part of His Deen and He will protect it…and it also involves us all; it has to be a collective effort. Halal also belongs to the people, to all of us, and therefore the more we can involve anyone who has a stake in this matter, then the more chance we have of realising our goal – of making Halal the best choice for all. We all felt that a good place to start is with a magazine, Halal Connect, to try and raise awareness and focus the debate about how the Halal market in North America can and should develop and evolve. We chose the name because so much of this is about connecting. Living a Halal lifestyle is how we stay connected with Allah and His Messenger, ; we need to connect the stakeholders in the Halal industry; we want to connect with the Halal customers and end-users to build some Halal consumer power; we have to connect with our academics, Shariah scholars and food scientists; we need to stay connected with the Halal movements in the rest of the world. And we hope that you will connect with our thinking and ideas, that you will contribute and play an active role — in whatever way — in making Halal reach its fullest potential as one of the key elements of the guidance that has been sent down for all mankind. And may Allah forgive us our shortcomings and guide us all to what is pleasing to Him.

Abdalhamid Evans Editor@HalalConnect.com

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Short Takes

World’s Largest Guide for Halal Restaurants & Mosques Launched

by Halalfire Media

Halalfire Media, LLC, publisher of zabihah.com launched the zabihah for iPhone v1.0, a native iPhone app that brings ten years of reviews and confirmed Halal listings to the iPhone App Store. Following in the footsteps of zabihah web app, this new native app bring users a list of the nearest Halal restaurants, markets, and mosques, complete with driving directions, map views, reader reviews and contact information. Users can also save records as contacts, share information with friends, and shake to refresh listings. The app is on sale for $2.99 at the iPhone App Store. Developers have already begun work on future versions of the app, which will include user registration, record editing, photo uploads, online menus, and mobile purchases.

Many flock to food made under Islamic law in Tennessee By tennessean.com

Halal food in Nashville, Tennessee - not what you would normally associate with the Country & Western music capital of the USA. However, in the span of about seven years, halal eating has gained such a foothold in Nashville that the city has its own halal food corridor, said several Nashville store and restaurant owners offering halal goods there.

Halal America in the spotlight at World Halal Forum

A presentation by Imarat Consultants Director, Abdalhamid Evans, entitled “Minority Muslim Markets - Lessons from North America” was delivered at the World Halal Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With surging interest from consumers, suppliers and retailers, it appears that there is a perfect storm on the way for the US Halal market. Download the presentation at www.halalfocus.com HALALConnect •

Are lunchers finally getting the message about the Halal Carts on 53rd & 6th?

Well now we have the battles between the Halal carts in New York. Having visited the ‘halal guy’ one night after midnight and seen the queue for it I do understand that they have built a certain reputation which people might be looking for.


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For full versions of these news items, please visit www.halalfocus.com

The overlooked $170 billion

While engaging Islam may appear complex, what remains quite simple is that there are millions of American consumers with an estimated $170 billion of purchasing power - still being ignored.

IFANCA brings Halal industry leaders together in Chicago By HalalFocus.com

You can often tell more about a conference by who is in the audience, as opposed to who is on the stage. Walking into the Ifanca conference room and seeing delegates from Cargill, Wrigley, Coca Cola, Abbott Nutrition, Griffith Laboratories and the US Dairy Export Council spoke volumes about what is happening in the Halal Industry in the USA.

HALAL – MISSING THE BOAT? By Gulf Marketing Review

W.Va. Farmers Aim at Growing Muslim Market

In a room where farmers in camouflage baseball caps and John Deere jackets mix with women in head scarves, Larry Gardner is scolding himself for forgetting Ramadan last year. After 30 years raising lambs, the Waverly farmer is learning something new about the business. There’s a growing demand in West Virginia for sheep and goats from Muslim residents tired of traveling hundreds of miles for meats prepared in accordance with their faith’s dietary requirements. And at the same time, West Virginia’s farmers are eager for new customers.

The Halal industry is rapidly expanding as a global phenomenon, and corporations large and small are working to carve out their niche in this lucrative market. But there is a noticeable lack of Muslim, and especially Arab, participation as active entrepreneurs and investors. Have we missed booking a passage on our own boat? Go to ‘Reports’ section on HalalFocus.com to find “Packaged Facts” new report, “MarketTrend: Kosher- and Halal-Certified Foods in the U.S.” and A T Kearney’s report, “Addressing the Muslim Market”

Are ethics behind halal and kosher sales?

Interest in ethical consumerism is rising, and with it so will sales of halal and kosher-certified meats, predicts a Packaged Facts report, but animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming disagrees. The report, Market Trend: Kosher- and Halal-Certified Foods in the US, asserted that as consumers become more aware of ethical food issues, it is likely that more people will turn to halal and kosher foods, as the religious laws surrounding both Islam and Judaism tend to respect the land and animal welfare, as well as personal health.

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The American Halal Association 444 E. Roosevelt Road, Suite 251 Lombard, IL 60148-4630 Tel: +1 630 528 3400 Email: info@americanhalalassociation.org Website: www.americanhalalassociation.org

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Cover Story

A Perfect Storm

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Cover Story

On The Horizon “And surely with hardship comes ease Surely with hardship comes ease”


arkets, like everything else, go in cycles, and we are all well aware that we are going through a period of market contraction. But contraction and expansion go together, they are one of the pairs of opposites upon which Allah has created existence, and we can be confident that contraction in any given time is the preparation, the source even, for an expansion to follow. For the past five years, the market for Halal products and services has been emerging as a potent market force. With close to 2 billion Muslims making up the foundation, and with Halal products increasingly used by the general consuming public all over the world, the Halal market represents the appearance of a new economic paradigm that is on the tipping point of becoming a global movement. There is a convergence of common interest – religious, political, economic, social – that is now clustering around the concept of Halal, and all that it implies, and these interests show all the signs of building into a perfect storm.

Blowing in from S E Asia People have been working with Halal for many years, and in many places. But, for the purpose of this article, this particular storm started brewing in South East Asia. Although Halal food has been produced and sold all over the world for a long time, it is only in recent years that Halal emerged as a defining market parameter. Malaysia, with a multi-cultural society, has a well-

established Halal certification system, and under the previous Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Badawi, Halal was identified as a potential engine of growth for both the domestic and export economy. This was perhaps the first time that Halal was seen as an economic driver, and this lead to new initiatives such as MIHAS, (a Halalonly trade expo), the World Halal Forum (an industry-led forum) and The Halal Journal, (a business magazine for the Halal-sector stakeholders). These new initiatives, with varying degrees of success re-defined the way that Halal products were thought about, especially by government officers and industry players. Because all of these projects had an international perspective, they attracted a strong response from like-minded individuals and companies keen to see the development of this new market. And so the international network strengthened, new ideas and initiatives emerged, and the notion of a Halal Industry began to take shape. And although one may comment that Halal food has been around for 1400 years, it became clear that with the globalisation of trade and industry, with the new high-tech developments in manufacturing and processing of foods, and the complex world of ingredients, flavourings and additives, a new perspective of Halal and how it was to be applied to the 21st century needed to be developed.

The Birth of a Global Halal Industry If we allow ourselves to recognise that Halal is now an industry, we can identify five key elements that form the dynamics of this market: Government authorities,

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GLOBAL HALAL UNITY IHI Alliance is an international non-profit organisation created to uphold the integrity of the Halal market concept in global trade through recognition, collaboration and membership. Our mission is to propagate the benefits of Halal and elevate it as the standard of choice. Through our strategic partnership with the Islamic Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), we seek to assemble world class experts, leading industry figures and stakeholders across the whole industry supply chain to harmonise the global Halal industry. We invite companies, organisations and individuals to join as IHI Alliance members and be a part of an initiative to build a stronger and robust global Halal industry. For membership details including benefits, categories and fees, please log on to

www.ihialliance.org or email info@ihialliance.org


16-2, JALAN 27/70A, DESA SRI HARTAMAS, 50480 KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA T +6 03 2300 1344 F +6 03 2300 1312 A PARTNER OF THE ISLAMIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY (ICCI) HC AD size.indd 1 1 masta size-1.indd

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Cover Story

Industry stakeholders, Finance, Standards and Certification, and, perhaps most importantly, the consumers, you and me.

Halal as a political platform Governments, especially in South East Asia, recognise that Halal has the potential to be a real engine of growth for their local economies. Impacting agriculture, processing, manufacturing, food service, restaurants, travel and hospitality, retail, import and export, logistics, standards development, training, media and events and more, Halal, once you encourage it to take root and grow, has the potential to have a real impact on the domestic economy. Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore and the Philippines all began a variety of government-led initiatives to use Halal as an effective engine of growth for the domestic economies, and in the case of Thailand, to build a Halal food export industry to supply overseas markets. With varying degrees of success, and almost regardless of the actual outcomes, these initiatives have positioned Halal as a significant economic driver, and as a result, also as a political platform with a potentially unifying character. After all, in many countries, the Halal food is produced for the Muslims, but not by the Muslims. As one astute commentator noted, “We kill it and eat it… and in between everyone else is getting rich.” So in a country like Malaysia, the promotion of Halal food affects all cultural and racial groups; the Chinese who manufacture, the Malays who eat it and the Indians who run restaurants.

Why Muslim America is part of the future 01: Key Market Facts Compared to Muslim minorities in many other western countries, the US Muslims community is educated, integrated, affluent, well-connected, and influential • 8-9 million Muslims, with a combined spending power of $170 billion annually • Highly networked Muslim population • Well-attended annual conventions • Internet-savvy • Relatively favourable social and political climate for Muslims • Economic turmoil works to Halal’s advantage – it opens new markets • USA is a society in transition - right moment to exert influence • The potential of the US Halal market is now becoming recognized • The market is engineered to respond to consumer demand • Halal guarantees broadest consumer acceptance for producers Source: Muslims in Minority Markets: Lessons from North America, By Hajj Abdalhamid Evans, as presented during The 4th World Halal Forum, May 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

02: Demographics of the U.S Halal Consumers • The average US Muslim’s annual income is over 25% higher than the national average • 60% of US Muslims are under the age of 40 • 70% of US Muslims over 25 have a college education, compared to national average of 26% • 30% of US Muslims are converts to Islam, and include whites, Hispanics, blacks and Asians • The largest concentrations of Arab Muslims outside the Middle East are in California, New York and Michigan • Muslims in S E Michigan account for 6% of the workforce and earn around $7.7 billion annually • Over 70% of US Muslims believe that they are ignored in advertising and marketing campaigns, twice the national average • US Muslims are reportedly greater consumers of kosher products than the US Jewish community Source: Wayne State University report, 2007

Halal Powerhouses Certainly countries such as Australia and Brazil have built entire food industries based on supplying Halal food to the Middle Eastern markets. The Australian red meat export industry is a powerful machine that brings together the farmers, processors, government health and safety bodies as well as marketing agencies, and in collaboration with the local Muslim certification agencies, have made Halal Aussie beef a common sight in supermarkets all over the Muslim world. And in an age when the corporations are often as powerful as the nation states, the Big Guns of manufacturing, retail and restaurant chains have all been on the ball when it comes to making the transition to Halal wherever the market demands it. Leaving the politics of the free market aside for the moment, we can see that food giants such as Nestlé, by pioneering the development of international Halal manufacturing protocols,

and with around 20% of their facilities worldwide now Halal only, have helped to establish Halal in the international arena. The big retailers and restaurant chains, recognising that Muslims are as susceptible to marketing slogans and the taste of fast food as everyone else, have also been quick to jump on the bandwagon. You can have a Big Mac in Makkah. You can buy Halal in Tesco and Carrefour. It is too late to say that the big corporations don’t belong in the Halal market, they are already way ahead of us, waiting for us to show up hungry and ready to purchase something. The issue for us, as Muslims, is rather, “Are we just going to be passive consumers in the biggest new market paradigm of the century?” And the Halal market is the only arena that I am aware of where the manufacturers are saying to the Muslims, “Just tell us what to do and we will do it.”

Are You Certified? The issue of who sets the standards, who does the audit and issues the certificate is, with all due respect to those concerned, something of a can of Halal (or not!) worms. Generally speaking, in South East Asia, in their multicultural societies, this is a relatively welldeveloped government-run operation. In the Muslim majority countries, Halal is much lower profile, and Halal is by and large assumed more than it is enforced or regulated. In the Muslim minority countries, and this is perhaps what concerns us all the most, it is something of a free-for-all where anyone can set themselves up as a Halal certifier and in addition to conducting the audit (to their own standard) and issuing the certificate, some are also acting as sales agents charging commission on sales. Clearly the one-man certification agency

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Cover Story

But we know Allah’s promise that with hardship comes ease, and that where there is a disease, the cure is close by, and we have every reason to see the current scenario as a turning point. And this is where we have to play our part.

auditing and certifying a multi-million dollar operation is an imbalanced and unsustainable situation. It is also totally out of synch with the practised norms of manufacturing procedures all over the world. A clear separation between standards, accreditation, audit and certificate issuance is the manufacturing industry norm, and in order for Halal to live up to its full potential, these protocols will sooner or later be practiced in the Halal industry also. And not just for ethical reasons. The dynamics of the market have a role to play here. The large third-party auditing firms like Intertek and SGS have got their bottom-line radars focused on the Halal market, where the revenue from auditing is highly attractive and is now clearly in their cross-hairs. It is now only a question of time before those Big Guns join the other Big Guns in the Halal sector. And then there is the question of Finance…

Natural Allies Halal products and Islamic Finance are the two major Shariah-compliant industries that, combined, are already in the trillion dollar bracket, and growing. The curious fact is that there is currently very limited relations between these two, with very few Islamic Banks doing anything to promote the Halal market, and very few Halal producers even thinking about their sources of finance. The inevitable convergence of common interests here is likely to lead to a new collaboration between these industries. One hopes that the current emphasis on ethical investment and business practices will filter through on both sides, and that a new Halal market economy will emerge in which our finance and food will both come from pure sources. In this respect, the current recession opens a new door to examine the core principles of the Shariah requirements for trade and commerce. With entire economies collapsing through

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the false foundations of the ‘riba-upon-riba’ credit schemes upon which they were built, and when the proposed cure for the disease is to create more zero-worth credit to bail out the very institutions that are the root of the disease (and indebting the entire population in the process), it is sometimes hard to be optimistic. But we know Allah’s promise that with hardship comes ease, and that where there is a disease, the cure is close by, and we have every reason to see the current scenario as a turning point. And this is where we have to play our part.

Halal Consumer Power Without the Halal consumer, there is no market, no industry, no political platform. In the farm-to-fork equation, the fork is king. And nowhere is this more true than in the USA. It is easy to feel a passive consumer; the corporate giants have so much influence, and we are so bombarded by slogans and subliminal messages that at times it feels as if we hardly make our own decisions anymore. And yet despite this invasive background hum, as Halal consumers we are, at this point in time, actually in an unusually influential position. Manufacturers are desperate to find new markets, new trends and new customers, some magic bullet that will save them from the recession. As the Halal market grows, the demographic of the Muslim consumer comes increasingly into focus. Unnoticed for decades, this New Halal Consumer suddenly opens up a new horizon of possibilities. At around 25% of the world’s population, we are probably the largest single niche market in existence. It is no surprise that A T Kearney, in their paper “Addressing the Muslim Market – can you afford not to?” conclude that ‘since Muslims are the fastest growing consumer segment in the world, any company that is not considering how to serve them is missing a significant opportunity…with many of the world’s

largest consumer segments reaching a saturation point, the Muslim consumer is fast becoming a new outlet to build a base for future growth.’ Written in 2007, this comment is even truer today than it was at the time of writing. And they are not alone in this view. Advertising giants JWT reached a similar conclusion in their review of the US Muslims consumers, noting that no one was really targeting this consumer group, 75% of whom feel that they are ignored by marketing campaigns. And this in the country that gave us the expression ‘the customer is always right!’ In today’s economic and political climate, it seems inevitable that the marketing directors will quickly recognise that there is a huge untapped reservoir under their noses. At a recent Halal Industry conference in Chicago, we were interested to note the presence of Big Brand multinational manufacturers of soft drinks, chewing gum, health supplements, army rations, vaccines, infant formula, ingredients and more…all of whom were already targeting Halal as a new market segment. And while we may lament the presence of big non-Muslim corporate muscle in the Halal sector, our best approach is to engage and influence these big players. Generally they are open and respectful, and recognise that they need to understand this new arena and really serve the needs of their customers. And this in turn gives us, the consumers, a significant degree of influence. If we form local consumer groups, lobby for more Halal products, better standards, more transparency, moral and ethical business transactions, I believe that we will be surprised by the results. We are the customers, and we are right!

And here comes the Perfect Storm And this is where the Perfect Storm comes in. Given the easier political climate in the US now, given the economic hardship that is demanding new marketing strategies, given the dawning awareness of the spending power of America’s 8-9 million Muslims, given that Halal products can be consumed by everyone, and given the global momentum that is gathering around this topic…yes, I think it is fair to say that there is a Perfect Halal Storm on the horizon. A convergence of common interest is a powerful phenomenon. When groups of any kind and size voluntarily come together for a shared common goal – any goal, they can become an unstoppable force. How much more so when our common goal is pleasing to Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, and HC His Messenger, salallahu alayhi wa salam. The writer welcomes feedback.

Email them to editor@halalconnect.com

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Big Idea

Turning Halal into a Brand for the Masses By Shahed Amanullah

Our values can benefit everyone - so why limit Halal to Muslims?

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ake a look around your neighborhood, and chances are that you’ll find an increasing number of Halal restaurants of every type. In the past decade, the number of Halal restaurants has increased from 200 to over 5,000 - a rate of increase many times more than that of the Muslim population during the same period. So what accounts for this increase in popularity? In short, Halal has hit its stride in terms of visibility and quality, and Muslims who aren’t rigid in their observance of Halal - yet have a preference for it - are driving the market to new heights. Halal restaurants, in fact, have entered into the mainstream lexicon, with a growing non-Muslims patronage.

By all accounts, Halal has arrived on the cultural and business scene, but the decisions made from this point forward will determine whether Halal remains a niche service for Muslims or something much bigger. We live in a unique time in which the way we define the Halal industry will shape it for generations. The current conventional wisdom is to define it as simply as possible - the promotion of goods and services (mainly surrounding food and drink) that conform to the universally accepted Islamic norms of slaughter and being pork and alcohol-free. If there is widespread industry agreement upon this basic definition (and by all accounts, there is) then the market size is potentially very large - the total number of Muslims in a given area is essentially a captive market for Halal goods and services. In North America, however, the

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Big Idea

in popularity of organic practices, many of which it can be argued are consistent with Islamic values, to see what Halal could be if expanded beyond the basic requirements we are all familiar with.

Imagine a Halal brand that is commonly understood by Muslim and non-Muslim alike to incorporate organic, fair trade, and socially responsible practices, as well as those that are specific to our faith.

upper limit of this market size is no more than 1% of the overall population. Need we stop there?


he whole idea of “Halal” is to encapsulate Islamic principles in our everyday life. In its most reductive form, this means properly slaughtered meat and avoidance of pork and alcohol. However, Islamic ethical principles cover a wide spectrum of human activity - from custody of the environment to fair labor practices. As Muslims, we believe that these values offer something of benefit for all humanity, not just Muslims. The growing awareness of Halal in non-Muslim circles presents a unique opportunity to bring these values to the greater population through the expansion of the definition of the “Halal” brand.

Not only would society at large benefit from using these socially conscious goods and services, but Muslims will be rightfully seen by non-Muslims as contributing something of value to humanity. As a tantalizing side-benefit, the overall size of the Halal market will grow considerably as well. The whole point of observing Halal is to encapsulate an Islamic ethical principle regarding the slaughter of an animal with the remembrance of God. But if we look deeper into our tradition, we can find many principles that govern not just the death of the animal, but its life. And these sadly ignored principles - for example, how to raise and treat animals and how to ensure a clean processing environment - have value not just for Muslims but for society as a whole. One needs to only look at the growth


here are even more Islamic principles that can be infused into what we can call the Halal brand. We can ensure that the financial resources used in the production of Halal food and products are derived from ethical interestfree sources. We can assure consumers that products were not manufactured through the use of exploitative labor practices. We can even incorporate corporate social responsibility into Halal and give something back to the communities that patronize Halal businesses. Imagine a Halal brand that is commonly understood by Muslim and non-Muslim alike to incorporate organic, fair trade, and socially responsible practices, as well as those that are specific to our faith. Not only would we as Muslims be true to the entire spectrum of Islamic ethical principles - many of which sadly remain in books unused in our everyday lives - but we would be introducing their benefits to society at large and showing the marketplace that Muslims have something of value to offer them. And if this isn’t enough, there’s always the pure capitalist incentive of growing the market from the 1% of the population in North America that is Muslim to 100% of it. This won’t be easy. It will require an extra effort from Halal producers to go above and beyond what is currently expected of them. And consumers of Halal products will have to respond by purchasing the products that conform to the highest standards, and not necessarily those that are the cheapest. But the financial and social rewards of creating a Halal brand with meaning for the masses are too good an opportunity to ignore. If we pass this up, we will lose the best chance we have in recent memory of sharing something special about our faith with the rest of humanity. HC Shahed Amanullah is the founder of zabihah.com, the world’s largest guide to Halal restaurants and markets.

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N e x t Tre n d

We are really seeing Halal developing as a global movement now and the USA is a big part of this.

Halal Goes Mainstream Goes Halal You know there is something going on when

the world’s biggest retailer is chasing after your product.

Usually it is the other way around.

Manufacturers of all sizes queue up for the chance to pitch, slash costs, squeeze suppliers and upgrade their

software systems for a chance to get their products onto Wal-Mart shelves.

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So when Crescent Foods got a call from Wal-Mart buyers, saying that they were looking for Halal chicken products and someone in Colorado had recommended Crescent, it was clear that this was a different trend at work. This was not just Halal going mainstream, this was the mainstream going Halal. For many food producers, and Halal producers especially, meeting the exacting, and somewhat complex standards demanded by Wal-Mart can add up to an insurmountable challenge. You have to deal on their terms. For Crescent, however, following the vision of founder and CEO Ahmad Adam, meeting WalMart’s standards did not present any problem. “We realized from the beginning that

to succeed as a world class Halal chicken producer, we would have to meet, and even surpass, the highest standards of the mainstream food industry. This has always been part of our vision. Our latest round of upgrades and improvements meant that we were already inline with what was expected of us from Wal-Mart,” said Mr Adam. “We had seen this coming.” Consequently, negotiations proceeded rapidly and the first deliveries were completed in November 2008 to stores in Dearborn, Sterling Heights, Rochester Hills, Chesterfield and Shelby. Crescent products currently carried at Wal-Mart include a variety of fresh whole chicken and tray-packed chicken parts.

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N e x t Tre n d

Certainly, if all goes according to plans on both sides, the number of products and outlets will increase in the future. “For Crescent, this is all about developing beneficial long-term relationships,” said Mr Adam. “Whether it is with the Amish farms where our vegetarian-fed chickens are raised, our local neighbourhood community stores, international airlines or with Wal-Mart… it is all about delivering the highest quality and service, pure and simple! That’s what the Crescent approach to Halal is really all about.” In many ways, Crescent’s deal with Wal-Mart is something of a breakthrough in the Halal food industry in America, and is an indication of the way that Halal is moving into the mainstream, not just in the USA, but also around the world. “We are really seeing Halal developing as a global movement now, and of course the USA, with a well-established Muslim population of around 8-9 million people, is a big part of this movement. According to the marketing group that did the study, US Muslims have an overall purchasing power of around $170 billion dollars a year…this is a very significant market sector, and one that is expanding and is increasingly getting noticed by the major players,” Mr Adam continued. The challenge for smaller Halal producers is to not leave it just to the big players to make the running in the Halal market, but to carve out a niche for themselves in the Halal sector. This is not a fad. Demand for Halal products right across the range of product offering and price, is way ahead of supply, and is going to increase dramatically over the coming years. Clearly, the world’s largest retailer has certainly taken notice, and it seems little doubt that we can expect to see Halal products appearing with increasing regularity in our mainstream stores. This is part of a wider global pattern that sees many of the biggest food industry players now with serious long-term commitments to Halal. For manufacturers and retailers alike, small or big, Halal is appearing on the horizon as beacon of hope on an often gloomy skyline.


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6/21/09 9:49:22 AM


When it comes matters of health, the consensus among Muslim scholars is unequivocal – God has ordained that in situations of life versus death – life reigns supreme. But has this divine privilege led to a sense of complacency with regard to the responsibility that is mandated in the faith to continuously search for ways of ensuring that products available for consumption are permissible and wholesome (also referred to as Halal and Tayyib)? Furthermore, what definitions are implied when the terms ‘permissible’ and ‘wholesome’ are used in discussions surrounding healthcare-related products?

Halal Healthcare


An Innovative Frontier ore than 25 years ago, Muslims and non-Muslims alike called for the availability of alcohol-free medications. From a religious perspective, alcohol consumption is forbidden within the Islamic tradition. For others, such as those suffering from or struggling with addiction, the option of alcohol-free medications provided mechanisms for treating ailments without fear of triggering possible relapses into addiction. Still others, such as diabetic individuals for whom alcohol consumption could cause decreases in glucose levels (and increase their risk of hypoglycemia), the availability of such products would alleviate an additional worry. In short, pharmaceutical and natural health companies have responded. The result has been a surge of products commercially available products with profitable sales revenues to match, satisfying both consumers and corporations. However, the story does not and cannot end here.

By Selma Djukic Selma Djukic is the owner of White Owl Global Services Ltd., a pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and natural health products consultant. Email her at selma@whiteowlglobal.com

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The first word of revelation of the Qur’an, is the command of “Iqra” or “Read!” followed by continuous reminders throughout the text of Islam being a religion for those who ‘think’ and who ‘contemplate’. Believers are encouraged to seek out ways of nurturing the soul, the body and the environment in a way that minimizes harm and maximizes harmony. This mandate is not selective and should be applied across all sciences – including those that fall within the realms of healthcare (such as pharmaceutical, biotechnological, natural health, cosmeceuticals and homeopathy products). So, what constitutes healthcare products that are pure and wholesome? First, the obvious criteria are that the products themselves should not contain pork and / or alcohol components. This can be verified by reading the labels of products or their product inserts. For many, this is an acceptable standard for qualifying a health product as being Halal and Tayyib. However, an increasing proportion of the global population is beginning to realize that such a simplistic characterization is really the tip of an iceberg. The real challenge of pure and wholesome has significant depth and obvious opportunity for health, environment, society and, coincidentally, corporate revenue generation. Below are aspects that should be taken into consideration to fulfill the true definition of Halal and Tayyib; each deserving of more independent analysis. Raw Materials and Final Products – Development and Manufacturing Raw materials used in the formulation of products should be derived from sources that are themselves, Halal and Tayyib. For example, food-grade L-cysteine is typically synthesized from human hair – a non-Halal source. In these cases, efforts need to be made in researching and developing new methods of production. Also, possible contaminants that are resultant from production processes or pathways should at minimum be quantified, preferably, identified, and at levels that will not harm to the body. For ‘natural’ or plant-based products, great care should be taken to follow organic standards; if none are present, then they should be developed. Development and production of raw materials and final products should be well documented and follow current Good Manufacturing

Practice (cGMP). Corporations who advertise as such should be amenable to inspections to provide further proof of adherence to domestic and international standards.

Sales and Marketing The Prophet Muhammad was known and respected for his truthfulness and sincere honesty. During his younger years, it is well documented that these characteristics were Testing key contributors to his success in trade. The Testing comes in a multitude of forms, the most same should hold for individuals or companies obvious being testing of raw material and final involved in the sales and marketing of healthproducts. It should be performed according to related products. Such transparency and current Good Laboratory Practice (cGLP). openness allows the consumer to be informed In health products, animal testing is considered when making health-related decisions. an integral part of research. Hence, the ethical treatment of animals is imperative. Environmental Impact True innovation, however, lies in establishing By definition, a product cannot be considered mechanisms and testing methodologies that can pure and wholesome without its environmental mimic the work currently performed on animals, impact being considered. Dumping of waste thereby reducing the need for their use. in waterways, landfills or soil and, thus, Human clinical trials are another key component contaminating the planet runs contrary to the spirit of Halal and Tayyib. Hence, corporations should endeavour to implement ‘green’ initiatives throughout their operations.

By definition, a product cannot be considered pure and wholesome without its environmental impact being considered.

in the development of new products and represent the largest proportion of development cost, with later staged trials (commonly known as Phase III trials) costing upwards of tens of millions of dollars. A myriad of opportunities lie in ensuring that such trials are performed transparently and ethically, using product that has been developed, produced and tested in a manner that is Halal and Tayyib.

Corporate Business Structure and Social Responsibility Within Islamic tradition, there lies an acute sense of responsibility toward others. While not against earning wealth, Islamic philosophy dictates that the mechanisms involved must be ethical and legal. For example, it would be contradictory for a product labeled Halal to be manufactured under ‘sweat shop’ conditions. Furthermore, accumulation of riches denotes a responsibility of disbursement towards those less fortunate. Thus, companies involved in products that are Halal and Tayyib should employ a socially responsible model within their framework.

What does this all mean for both the consumer and the corporation? For the growing number of people seeking pure and wholesome healthcare products, availability offers the reassurance that their choices are not imposing a hurt on others – whether human, animal and / or environmental. For corporations to gain a competitive edge and maintain an ethical conscience, they must seize opportunities for Labeling creative approaches in healthcare industries Product labeling should be clear, easily desperate for innovation. With an estimated understood and truthful. Potentially misleading annual global market value for Halal and Tayyib statements should not be made, and information healthcare products reported to be at least US provided on the labels should adhere to $500 billion, such opportunities would be governmental regulations. difficult to ignore. HC

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6/21/09 9:49:56 AM


Holy Land A Recipe for Halal Success Every now and again you have an experience that reaffirms your belief in all that’s good, in humanity, generosity, good food and good company. Our recent visit to Holy Land in Minneapolis was just such an experience.


oly Land is a multifunctional Halal market zone with a bakery, grocery store, restaurant, catering service and general all-round meeting place that was filled with the hum of a growing community. The first thing you notice upon entering Holy Land is the buzz of activity, like a well run ship where everyone has a job and is getting on with it. Like a ship’s captain, Majdi Wadi directs the varied activities with a watchful eye, generous hand and a good word for everyone, and his vision and passion for the business is infectious. You got the feeling that everyone in there, on both sides of the counter, was glad that they were there, and that in itself is no mean feat! You are also struck with the variety and quality of the produce, all well-presented in a clean, bright environment. You cannot say the same about many Halal produce stores, and it is really refreshing to see that Majdi and his crew have realised that a Halal market can be somewhere that everyone can enjoy shopping and eating in. And the figures are there to prove it. A recent survey of Holy Land customers showed that 43% were white middle-class Caucasians, and this alone is a remarkable achievement that is really demonstrating, by leadership and good example, how to move the Halal industry into the mainstream. A quick look at the Friday lunchtime restaurant customers confirmed these figures, all of them enjoying the fat pita-bread sandwiches of Crescent Amish-raised Halal chicken or going for refills at the Halal buffet. In terms of quality, the food is as good as you would find in a 5-star hotel anywhere in the world, if not better. It was as if it may have had a secret ingredient, some Halal secret that made it taste that little bit special. Majdi’s brother, Samir is actually the source of that special something in the food. He has a passion for his work, there is nowhere else he would rather be, nothing else he would rather be doing…and you can taste it, and you know why people keep coming back for more.

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By The Halal Connectors

Under Madji’s command, the business is expanding. They are building a state-of-the-art bakery in the next door property that will be probably the best in the country, and have extended the market for the their pita products as far as Singapore. Is there any other company in the USA exporting bread to Asia? Not that we know of. The building they bought to build the bakery was a former bar, right next door to Holy land. It was a blight on the neighbourhood, full of drugs, prostitution and trouble, with police car sirens and flashing lights at all hours. Holy Land bought it, shut it down and is turning it into a place of productivity, providing jobs and creating wealth at the same time. It

is really no wonder that the local police and politicians are glad to see Holy Land expanding. They have made good use of the internet also. A visit to holylandbrand.com allows you to browse the menu, check out the deli items, order lunch for a pick-up later, use their catering service for a function. And you can almost smell the freshly-baked bread, all kinds of it. And for those who like to check up on things, you can see the Halal certificates of the meat products on sale as well. Plus community information, prayer times and more. At a time when the Muslims all over the world spend so much time and energy arguing, lamenting and complaining, our visit to Holy

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Land was proof that it is time to stop feeling either angry or sad, and to get on with the rewarding business of doing what is pleasing to Allah. A visit to Holy Land is a proof that Halal really is good for everyone, and, like many others, I am looking forward to going back. And the accolades keep coming in… • 1993 “Best Middle Eastern Deli” by City Pages • 1998 “Best Middle Eastern Grocery” by City Pages • 1999 “Best Middle Eastern Bakery” by Minnesota Monthly Magazine • 2001 “Best Middle Eastern Grocery” by City Pages

• 2001 Majdi awarded “National Small • • • • • • •

Business Person” by Wells Fargo Bank 2001 “Best Middle Eastern Grocery” by City Pages 2001 “Best Authentic Restaurant” by Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine 2002 City of Minneapolis names August 21st “Holy Land Bakery And Deli Day” 2002 “Best Middle Eastern Grocery” by City Pages 2002 “Business of the Year” Award by NE Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce 2003 “Best Middle Eastern Bread” by City Pages 2004 “Best Middle Eastern

Grocery” by City Pages

• 2004 “City’s Best Healthy

Dining” by AOL City Guide

• 2005 “Best Healthy Dining” by City Pages • 2005 “2005 Diners Choice Award” by Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine

• 2005 “Best Health Dining” by AOL City Guide • 2005 “Recommended Dining Choice” by City Pages

• 2006 “50 Perfect Spots for Gourmet on the Go” by City Pages

• 2006 “Top 25 Metro Area Restaurants” by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

• 2006 “Top 25 Minority Owned Business”

by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

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H o w To

Dr. M. Munir Chaudry has planted little Halal-certified seeds in Times Square–right in the heart of New York City. He doesn’t expect the seeds to germinate anytime soon, but that’s okay, Chaudry is a patient man. He’s been promoting Halal in North America for more than three decades.


By Kari Ansari

IFANCA: Leader in Promoting Halal to America’s Consumers hirty years ago, a trip to the grocery store was a guessing game for Muslim consumers. Halal food labeling was found only in the few ethnic markets in large city centers; Halal-certified foods were non-existent in supermarket chains where the majority of a family’s shopping was done. A Muslim in America spent an inordinate amount of time scouring food labels for haram ingredients such as lard, gelatin, and alcohol, often unaware that the same prohibited ingredients were veiled in names like “Hydrolyzed Collagen”. Rumors and doubts flew in circles like buzzards over a dead cow: “your toothpaste is haram!” “Don’t eat ‘Crispy’ brand chips, there is pork in them!” “Can I eat cheese?” Then along came the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of North America (IFANCA) –established in 1980 by a group of concerned Muslim food scientists and nutritionists. IFANCA began by publishing a newsletter with “good and bad” lists of food and health products to share with the American Muslim community. One of the principal founders and the current President of IFANCA, Dr. M. Munir Chaudry, says, “As soon as we’d publish a good/bad list of products, the list would be obsolete due to ever-changing ingredients in the manufacturing process.” It was a haram/ Halal wilderness for the burgeoning Muslim American community. IFANCA sought to make it easier through their research, scholarship, books, conferences, symposia and their website, www.ifanca.organd now www.Halal.com. In 1988, the McDonald’s Corporation sought Halal-certification for its restaurants in Singapore, as a result of market competition from A&W Restaurants. In order to gain the

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trust and confidence in their newly expanding presence in Singapore and Malaysia, McDonald’s was informed that not only the meat in the burgers had to be Halal, but also everything from fries to milkshakes had to be certified in order for the restaurant to be considered Halal. McDonalds contracted IFANCA to certify as Halal the products sold to restaurants in Singapore and Malaysia. This major contract helped IFANCA establish a Halal-certification process that is sought after by today’s food, health and nutritional products manufacturers. Halal-certification by IFANCA gives companies the right to display the Crescent-M Halal label on their product. The Crescent-M mark is fast becoming the most easily recognizable Halal mark – removing all doubt from consumer goods. IFANCA has certified over 20,000 products in over 55 countries, and is the leader in Halal-certification of foods, nutritionals and cosmetics in North America. With offices in Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles, China, Brussels, India, and Malaysia, IFANCA reaches far and wide in its influence over the certification process. Halal-certification authorities around the globe recognize IFANCA’s work. Until recently, American corporations have been slow to seek Halal-certification. Some major food brands are now recognizing the growing American Halal market segment, estimated by Chaudry to be worth $16 billion annually. Some major brands that have recently won IFANCA Halal-certification include Similac® Infant formulas, and PediaSure® nutritional products, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and many other popular consumer products. News of these newly certified products is heralded in Halal

Consumer Magazine, a feature-style publication that grew out of the original IFANCA newsletter. The publication, whose mission is to educate and inform Muslim consumers on all matters concerning Halal, features news of recently Halal-certified foods, updated lists of Halal ingredients, feature articles on consumer and nutrition issues as well as interesting recipes. The next focus for IFANCA, beyond promoting Halal to American corporations and Muslims, is to reach out to the nonMuslim consumer and educate them on the benefits of buying Halal. This is where the advertisement in Times Square begins a new era for Halal and IFANCA. The huge digital advertisement that resides just below the infamous CBS Eye logo on the network’s building is currently running a simple ad featuring the Crescent-M Halal symbol and the statement: “Healthy and Wholesome Products”, with the IFANCA website address, once an hour. The curious consumer can find pages on the IFANCA website targeted specifically toward the non-Muslim, with general information extolling the benefits of looking for Halal-certified products. The pages appeal to the conscientious American consumer by explaining in secular terms what Muslims believe regarding food, the ethical treatment of animals, and the environment. There is also discussion on the health and nutritional benefits to buying Halalcertified products. It’s a tiny seed being planted in the consumer’s mind, but one that Chaudry is sure will bloom in another ten years when the majority of Americans understand that Halal and the Crescent-M Halal mark mean healthy, wholesome and ethical for all of humanity. HC

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• searchable online global Halal news archive • online subscription • membership •

WWW.HALALJOURNAL.COM email us at info@halaljournal.com The Halal Journal TM is created and published by

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Tre n d

If you go to the Qur’an and look up for the word ‘Halal’ (permissible) where it refers to food, you will see it together with the word ‘Tayyib’ which means ‘good and wholesome’. The latter however is given lesser emphasis by the Muslim consumers themselves.

Beefing Up the Concept of Halal and Tayyib in Muslim Consumers

A By Salama Evans

lthough Halal is coming into its own as a food group, and organic is now already mainstream, the words Halal and organic are rarely seen together, especially when it comes to meat products. And organic, at its best, is probably the closest to Tayyib that you can get. Though one would not necessarily need to go strictly organic to achieve this goal, which could increase your shopping bill considerably, it does provide a guideline on eating foods that are wholesome and beneficial to health and wellbeing. Muslims are known for wanting the lowest prices for their meat, and this is significant because, as statistics have shown, they eat the most meat. Unfortunately although savings are made in the housekeeping budget, they often come at a higher cost, which is their own health. At the end of the day, is it not better to eat less meat of good quality, than to consume large amounts of meat of low quality? I will not digress into the health issues of this topic, as they are frightening, and I am not qualified to give you the medical reasons. We should however remind ourselves that Imam Ali advised us not to make our stomaches the graveyard of dead animals, which confirms that we should cut down our

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Tre n d

Halal and Tayyib is really the gold standard of food; it should represent the best that there is.

meat intake, and in doing so, trying to eat the best that is available for us when we can. Many Muslims these days allow themselves to eat the meat of the ‘People of the Book’, which is deemed permissible in the Qur’an, but the term has taken on a very broad meaning which does not really restrict it to the people who follow the teachings of the Torah and the Bible, who would comply with some of the slaughter regulations that apply to Halal. This generally ends up with a position whereby it is basically acceptable to eat any meat, other than those types that are forbidden such as pork, in this time where finding Halal meat can be difficult in non-Muslim countries. This has since become a convenience, and Islam is not here to make things difficult for us. However we must remember that one of the main reasons for eating Halal meat is not just because of the blessing that is given during the slaughter, but because approximately three times more blood is pumped out of the Halal-slaughtered animal than from an animal that is slaughtered in the non-Halal way. This was related to me by Mr. Fahim Alwan, the owner of Blossom Pure, a company based in Port Credit on the outskirts of Toronto, Canada, which sells Halal Organic meat. Finally, I thought to myself, someone has understood the real meaning of Halal and Tayyib. Choosing non-Halal meat means that the consumer is probably eating three times more blood in the meat than they would in a Halal version, which essentially means more toxins, higher and faster bacteria growth and a shorter shelf life.


n a time when we are continually being warned about the diseases connected to eating beef, the awareness of the toxicity of the blood of the animal should be of major importance to us. Halal slaughter is one of the ways to help decrease this. Now add to this the Organic aspect, that the animal is not being pumped with hormones and antibiotics and whatever other additives and animal matter that might be in the feed of non-organic animals, and you have a final product that is both Halal and good and wholesome for the consumer, just as has been recommended to mankind in the Qur’an. I asked Fahim, who began selling Halal Organic meat seven years ago, who his

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customers were. Were the Muslims buying his products or the general public? He said that probably 70 per cent of the people who bought organic meat from his store, and the organic stores he supplies to, are non-Muslim. There are only 30 per cent who are Muslim; but out of that 30 per cent, they probably account for 50 per cent of his sales. This is again proof that Muslims consume larger amounts of meat than non-Muslims; and also indication that we are generally less concerned about the quality of our meat. Clearly, we need to be educated about the added health and safety aspects of organic meat in order to appreciate why it is worth paying the extra amount to ensure the purity of the meat. So when we see the organic label, we should remind ourselves that this is a reference to the food being Tayyib. Tayyib begins at the birth of the animal and continues right through to its slaughter. The food it eats, the conditions it is raised in, the way it is transported, and the way the final slaughter is done.


ith the work that is being done internationally with Halal, we have discovered that the Muslim consumer not only needs to be educated about the quality of the meat, and why organic might be preferable when possible, but about eating Halal itself. We need to be reminded why it is important to eat Halal meat, and not just to distinguish it from pork, but to distinguish it from animals that have not been slaughtered in the prescribed manner, and therefore have high blood and toxin content left in them. We therefore need to set our sights a bit higher, whether we are producers or consumers, and remind ourselves and each other to not just settle for the cheapest or the most convenient all the time. When it comes to meat, less is often more. So let us raise the Halal banner! The combination of Halal and Tayyib is really the gold standard of food; it should represent the best that there is. Permissible, safe, clean, healthy, wholesome, natural, with the added element of the blessing of acting in accordance with Allah’s commands, so that it is good for the body and good for the soul. And what could be better than that?


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Mobile Ingredients Checker

Ever bought something at the supermarket only to bring it home and find it contains a haram ingredient? AMNA Mobile is a new mobile app that helps Muslims shop better by identifying foods containing haram substances. Using AMNA, Muslims can look-up over thousands of foods and ingredients directly from their iPhones. An icon-based rating system lets you know, at a glance, when a food contains pork, alcohol, blood, insects, etc. Foods containing meat from Halal animals such as chicken, beef or lamb are also identified. AMNA is available as a download or packaged on an SD memory card. Order at IsItHaram.com.

Halal on the Go Zabihah for iPhone v1.0

With more than 10,000 listings and 30,000 reviews from all over the world, including North America, the UK and Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and many other locations, the Zabihah for iPhone v1.0 is fast becoming the world standard in Halal location services. It was first announced at the 2008 World Halal Forum where zabihah.com was honored with the Halal Journal Award, presented by former Malaysian PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Some of the features of zabihah for iPhone v1.0 include: • Lists restaurants, markets, and mosques within a given radius • Search locations other than where you currently are • View a map of the ten nearest restaurants, markets, and mosques • Save a search result to your iPhone contacts • Shake iPhone to refresh location search • Filter results by name, cuisine, or address • View detailed information, including halal authenticity, parking availability, restroom conditions, mosque denomination, hours of operation, and whether alcohol is served • Email search results to a friend • Sort results by name, cuisine, price, rating, or distance from user • Read from over 30,000 user reviews • Saves list of recently selected records • Call with one touch, send an email, or visit their website • Get driving directions from your location to the restaurant or mosque • View a photo of the restaurant or mosque HALALConnect •

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Send your favorite links to: Feedback@HalalConnect.com


Cool Websites

Here’s a list of notable addresses to keep you away from facebook, at least for awhile…


www.myhalalkitchen.com Blog on everything related to Halal cooking, eating, and of course the Halal kitchen itself. www.muslimconsumergroup. com Muslim Consumer Group for Food Product provides information on Halal/ Haram food products

News & Politics

www.altmuslim.com An introspective voice that helps promote a critical (and self-critical) analysis of issues regarding the Muslim world

www.islamonline.com IslamOnline’s objective is to portray a positive and accurate picture of Islam to the world


www.halalapalooza.com Your guide to Islamic e-Commerce www.ifanca.org The leading Halal-food certification organisation in North America


www.muxlim.com Enhancing the Muslim lifestyle www.isna.net Improving the quality of Muslim life in North America www.halaltube.com Islamic lectures, Islamic videos, Islamic audio HALALConnect •

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Halal - it’s a big picture. We can help you keep it in focus

Whether we are asked to guide goverments, organise conferences, advise corporations, nurture SME’s, help consumers - or put a magazine together we try always to keep the bigger picture in focus. That’s why we keep Halal firmly in our sights. As part of a global network of commited Halal sector specialists, with expertise right across the board, from farm

to factory to family, we keep our finger on the pulse of the Halal movement around the world. With contacts from Chicago to Kuala Lumpur, we stay tuned to the dynamics of this unfolding phenomenon of the global Halal market. Halal is now in season It is big. And it is here to stay. So, if you have Halal in your sights, we can help you focus.

Contact hamid@imaratconsultants.com salama@halalfocus.com Member of the Consortium of Halal Consultants

imarat consultants


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The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) was established in 1963 to

meet the needs of both the transient students and the resident Muslims in the United States and Canada. Headquartered in suburban Indianapolis, ISNA now serves as the umbrella organization for some 300 community and professional organizations in North America. ISNA’s six priorities are: Imam Training and Leadership Development, Youth Involvement, Sound Financial Base, Public Image of Islam, Interfaith and Coalition Building, and Community Development






P.O. Box 38, Plainfield, IN 46168 USA 317.839.8157 phone | 317.839.1840 fax

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