Monthly Archives

August 2017

Halal Tourism: Its Growth and Requirements

By | Halal Travel

Holiday is a time for family and adventure. Also, many health professionals recommend taking a vacation to re-energize the body and mind. But you worry about your faith and how you can travel while always adhering to the principles of Islamic Law.

In today’s world, there is no need to fear that travel during a Holiday will result in a departure from the guidelines of Halal. Halal Tourism is strong and growing every year.

What is Halal Tourism?

Wikipedia states, “Halal tourism is a subcategory of tourism which is geared towards Muslim families who abide by rules of Islam.”

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? There are, however, challenges to developing tourist destinations that directly target the Muslim demographic. To begin with, Halal put simply, is Arabic for ‘permissible’ and usually pertains to foods prepared under the strict rules of Islamic Law (Sharia). But when used in accordance with ‘tourism’ it denotes any destination or activity that is permissible to Muslims.

Halal friendly tourism is indeed ‘a thing’ as Muslim tourism increases annually. To cater to this growing segment of the tourism industry, travel agencies, hotels, airports, restaurants, and other destinations are seeing the financial benefits of providing for the strictest observers of Islamic Law.

Some hotels are completely smoke and alcohol-free, while others provide alcohol-free sections. Many hotel kitchens are becoming Halal food certified. The consumption of properly prepared food is vital to practicing Muslims. Pork is forbidden meat. Certifications must take that into account. Many restaurants in these tourist resort areas are serving completely Halal compliant foods.

Other hotels and resorts provide separate areas for men and women including prayer rooms, pools, and even beach access.

But you might think, “Why should a devout Muslim even consider traveling on Holiday?” There are numerous reasons to travel and see the world. Besides those great reasons, The Quran states plainly:

“Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so, will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things. (Surah Al-‘Ankabut, 20)

Halal tourism not only benefits the devout Muslim but can also allow non-Muslims to learn and experience a different culture from their own.

The Growth In Halal Tourism

In 2012 alone, Muslim travelers spent $137 billion and that number should rise to $180 billion by the year 2020. Another source estimates the total spending to be around $200 billion by 2020. Is there any question why shareholders are seeing the value in Muslim tourism? With such a growing Islamic worldwide population, it would seem apparent the need to cater to this tourist demographic.

Another factor that the tourism industry needs to take into account is the growth of the Muslim population around the world. Islam is now the fastest-growing religion in the world. Islam will make up 30 percent of the world’s population by 2050 and could surpass Christianity by the year 2070.

With these phenomenal numbers, it stands to reason why the tourism industry is taking notice. Not all Muslims are inclined to strictly follow Islamic law. But for those, there are many more that see their faith as not only their religion but a way of life as well. To ensure their destination suits their Islamic beliefs, planning is necessary.

Get Out There and See The World

The tourism industry is recognizing the value in catering to the Muslim traveler as well as the Muslim family on Holiday. So, there is no need to feel that in order to truly live your faith you must stay put in the comfort of your home and home country. There is so much to see, learn, and experience in this incredible world.

There are many travel agencies that can help plan your next business trip or your next family adventure. They specialize in planning Holiday packages that will not infringe upon your Halal values. They understand your faith and how important it is to you.

So, there is nothing to you hold back now. Get out there and see the world.

References

Girron, J. (2016, April 29). Halal Tourism: Catering to a fast growing traveller segment. Retrieved from http://www.amadeus.com/blog/29/04/halal-tourism/

Halal Tourism. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halal_tourism

Quran Index. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.quranindex.net/kelime.php?id=8809

Travel Agents. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.crescentrating.com/tourpackage/agentlisting.html

Travelers, M. (n.d.). 10 More Reasons Why Muslims Should Travel. Retrieved from http://ilmfeed.com/10-more-reasons-why-muslims-should-travel/

What Is Halal Tourism? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.muslimbreak.com/what-is-halal-tourism/

Whitehead, N. (2015, December 25). A Religious Forecast For 2050: Atheism Is Down, Islam Is Rising. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/12/25/460797744/a-religious-forecast-for-2050-atheism-is-down-islam-is-rising

 

Halal Foods Will Keep at Bay Heart Diseases from You

By | Halal Food

That Islam is not just a religion should no longer excite the sensibilities of the prejudiced and ignorant minds of the ignoble. Islam is a way of life with a wide-ranging principles and recommended practices that ultimately benefit the adherent. For instance, almost all foods prohibited by the Islam pose serious and proven health problems to populations worldwide. This article examines the underlying principles behind halal foods as opposed to the haram. These are expounded on in the Qur’an, in the Hadith (Prophet Muhammad’s Sayings), the Sunnah (tradition) as well as what is commonly referred to as the Fiqh. The Fiqh is the understanding derived from religious and cultural renderings of Islamic Jurists.

Concept of Halal

The concept of halal foods is an illumination of the distaste of the Islamic religion to foods that are basically prohibited by Allah, foods obtained through haram means and foods that are harmful to the health of a human being. From the onset, it ought to be sufficiently emphasized that Islam places tremendous significance to the concept of cleanliness. By declaring some certain foods unclean and unacceptable (haram), the idea is to take care of the adherents by stopping the use of potentially harmful foods.

The justification for the widespread acceptance of halal foods is tied to number of proven and scientifically logical conclusions, besides the conventional quest to preserve the sanctity of the Islamic religion. To begin with, halal foods protect you from health complications. What is commonly referred to as haram is often harmful, toxic, and poisonous. To amplify this concern, it has been found that most haram foods lead to the increased occurrences of heart related diseases. For instance, the consumption of unhealthy haram fats, haram meat and meat products, use of unclean slaughter facilities can all be considered a major contribution of the causes of heart diseases and thrombosis.

Halal foods are your friend 

Eating, in Islam, is an expression of worship. It should, therefore, be done right. Besides one’s prayer being rejected, eating haram foods sets one on a path of self-destruction, health problems relating to the heart, and ultimately death. Recent scientific findings attribute most deaths above the age of 45 to Coronary Heart Disease. Arguably, the disease is mainly caused by the consumption of unhealthy, unclean, and toxic foods— the very aspects that are absent from halal foods. It is the number one killer disease that can be significantly reduced if the idea behind halal gains the necessary threshold of acceptance.

The consumption of alcohol, on the other hand, is singularly responsible for the majority of cardiovascular disease occurrences. Interestingly, the disease is responsible for 32% of all deaths. In other words, there is a strong correlation between the consumption of alcohol and cardiovascular disease in Australia. Alcohol affects the pulse rate, blood pressure, and sturdiness of heart muscles. This, therefore, significantly increases chances of high blood pressure and associated complications such as stroke, dilated cardiomyopathy, increased cholesterol levels, arrhythmia, and heart failure among others.

Conclusion

It is logical that one should therefore be naturally inclined to halal foods in order to stay healthier— even if it’s not for religious purposes. Consume halal foods such as chicken, duck, turkey, quail, cattle, goat, sheep, rabbit, and venison. This must be slaughtered according to Islamic provisions and certified as clean. Offal products, bones and hides are only acceptable for use if animals were slaughtered according Islamic regulations.

Countering myths and misconceptions about the Halal industry in Australia

By | Halal Industry

In this politicised world where within or outside the Muslim Ummah, Islam has been conceptualised by misconceptions, stereotyping and misinterpreting the Islamic values and codes of practice by the people for their own vested interest, the role and responsibility of Journalists and Media are far more important than ever before in this modern age. Today, the role of a journalist has become globally important and challenging.

Media has the capacity to shape public opinion and its own strength to change public perception on critical issues, nevertheless, the primary goal of the media is to inform, criticize and educate the recipients on the subject rather than exploit the subject aiming for commercial and political gains. Journalism which is the core element of the media, is a discipline of collecting, verifying, analyzing and presenting the stories in a fair and neutral manner including trends, and issues and present it to the public through the media contents.

While the global media is playing a major role in providing timely information and knowledge on current affairs using modern technology; the misuse of technology is also crossing the ethical limits of journalism.

Exposure to faiths, cultures and other elements of human sociology through satellite electronic media, online news media and social media have virtually demolished the territorial boundaries among the people of different backgrounds. In this multimedia age, the digital contents of the media are playing an imperative role in societies through breaking news, attracting stories, and talk shows. Today, in the revolutionary change in the media industry, a Journalist can make a difference on critical issues and sensitive matters through their professional work.

Similarly, the commercialized media of today through digital contents can entertain masses and gain remarkable profits from marketing businesses and trade worldwide, at the same time, it can also promote understanding and coherence between people of different faith and demographics. In this perspective, the biggest problem, today, in the media is the Islamophobia. Overloaded with inflammable contents related to Islam are catered by media outlets, which are the most sellable items and generate huge profits.

Now in this situation, what is the professional and ethical role and responsibility of a Journalist. In Journalism, we believe that a Journalist works in the interest of the public. And the supreme interest of the people in any age has been to live peacefully and respectfully with others. Therefore, it should be the role and responsibility of a journalist that when making stories especially related to someone’s faith an extreme care must be taken that the contents should be thoroughly investigated and validated. Any content that may create high ratings and profit for media outlets but create unrest in the recipients gives no excuse to journalists creating that content.

Talking about Islam, we should not be diplomatic to say that today, Islam has been the most misunderstood religion within or outside the Muslim World and regrettably the western media including Australia has played a significant role in that respect.

Therefore, I believe, it is the prime responsibility of the Muslim Journalists and Islamic media that educating through knowledge about the true Islam and its codes of practice should be their top priority. The Journalist and media should work closely with the Islamic Scholars and Religious leaders and bring their knowledge into the public through their journalistic work.

If I talk about Australia, after terrorism, Halal is another selling stories of the media. There are people who are trying to link the cost of Halal Certification with financing to terrorism. Even though, there has been no evidence whatsoever yet that the funds being generated through Halal Certification by the Halal Certified bodies or that they have any link with the fanatic or extremist groups, still the space is given to those writers and columnists who are campaigning to ban Halal products in Australia. However, it is also true that some journalists have demonstrated their courage and professionalism in bringing out the truth on surface by documenting facts and figures in their reporting that how much beneficial is the production of halal products in the Australian economy.

I would like to share here with you, my personal experience being a journalist, owner of a media publication and an event organiser of Halal Expo. When we announced, Halal Expo Australia in 2015 and advertised on social, electronic and online media, I have received many nasty and abusive messages from the people who I realised from their comments that the reason they were abusing and opposing Halal Expo because they did not have correct and enough information & knowledge on Halal and Halal Products. Further, I found many misleading, exploiting and exaggerating contents in the Australian mainstream media promoting boycott Halal campaign. On the other hand, the fact of the matter is that the Australian Government supports Halal industry as Australia is making large amounts of money from the export of Halal meat & products. Furthermore, Australia is one of the largest Halal meat suppliers in the world but this reality never reached in the headlines of the Australian media.

Being a journalist, I find Muslims in the western world like in Australia are muddled on the authenticity of available Halal products due to opinionated or interpretational difference between Islamic leaders representing different sects and ethnicities. Regrettably, there are divisions within the Muslim Ummah on the name of sect, culture and ethnicity and that has also divided Muslims on their own Islamic practices. Whereas a common Muslim looks for knowledge on Islam as genuine, simple and according to Quran and Sunnah.

In this context, the Journalists and media within Islamic world have more responsibility to work closely with religious leaders and scholars and convince them to come out and provide messages of unity and harmony on divisive matters especially issues like related to Halal industry. They can play a vital role in providing great service to the Muslims and everyone by publishing information especially in digital contents, like publishing interviews of Islamic scholars, knowledge-based articles, debates, talk shows etc.

For example; in Australia the biggest issue is the Halal Certification which is not a regulatory requirement for Halal industry players. Therefore, different religious and community organisations have their own defined procedures and practices of issuing the Halal Certification and they are in a race of competing others. The Islamic media can bring them together, provide them a platform to discuss their conflicting issues and create consensus among them.

As we all know that Islam defines every act of life from eating, drinking, washing, dressing to the activities of businesses and professions that is banking, financing, loan, insurance, and superannuation must be according to the Islamic Sharia that it must be HALAL.

Promoting and developing halal industry means promoting and spreading Islamic codes of practice. Therefore, Muslim Journalists can play a leading role in building Halal Industry in Islamic and non-Islamic countries. Muslim Journalists can create awareness on the importance of Halal practices based on facts and figures.

Subjects like interest free superannuation, interest free house loans, and financing are required to have prominent space in the media so that the people have more knowledge and adequate information on them. Periodicals should include interviews and articles of Islamic Scholars and Muftis on Halal Products & Services. The Islamic satellite TVs should hold debates and talk shows on Halal industry.

In regard to the issues related to Halal industry more work is required by the Halal industry players, Islamic Scholars and Leaders. They should work closely, establish communication with their local governments and related authorities to form a regulatory body, as in many countries like in Australia there is no regulatory body that can assess and issue a permit to Halal businesses. In Australia, there are many Halal Certification bodies operating, some are prominent and some not but they all are running under various Islamic organisations and groups. Yet, their output is limited to only Halal certification dealing with Halal manufacturers and producers. These Certification bodies are not particularly focusing on educating common Muslims about Halal and Haram and educating non-Muslims why Halal is obligatory to Muslims and Halal is not harmful to non-Muslims. In this affairs, Journalists and media can play a key role in bringing the issues and their appropriate solutions in their productions and publications.

I would also like to mention here, that Journalists worldwide are reporting on religion, many have particular expertise in this area and have built training sessions, associations, educational seminars, university accredited academic programs and many have developed special journalism programs for those who are reporting on issues based on Islam. However, on the ground level we still need a lot of work as in countries particularly in the West like in Australia there is more hype than knowledge among the common public which can be addressed through justified, accurate and sensible reporting by journalists. At the same time, the common Muslims also must play a role in creating understanding and harmonious relations with the non-Muslims by providing them required and accurate knowledge on Halal. Muslims specially in the west like in Australia should support and attend the Halal events like Halal Expo Australia and encourage non-Muslims to attend the Halal events like Halal Expo Australia. (The writer is the founding director of Halal Expo Australia, a journalist, speaker and an educationist).

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