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Different tastes good : Halal and Kosher are trendy

  • Diets such as halal and kosher are also popular with non-believers.
  • Trade is also increasingly based on Islamic regulations.
  • The market for Islamic and Kosher products is growing.

With the “Iftarlender” – named after the Islamic dinner Iftar during Ramadan, which begins in a week – children (and surely also some nibbling adults) can get a little closer to the festival of breaking fast at the end of May every day. The Frankfurt company Honeyletter has the “Ramadan Countdown Calendar” in its program and filled with date and chocolates are hidden behind the 30 doors and covered in fine Belgian Halal chocolate.

The manufacturers understand it as a “sign of cultural symbiosis”. The “Iftar Calendar” is only one of an increasing number of food products that are allowed according to Islamic regulations (“halal”) and the industry has developed significantly in recent years.

The market keeps growing

It is a mature market that is no longer limited to examples from the grocery store or exclusively to Muslim consumers and it’s a global business that’s about competition between national certification authorities and their standards with billions in global sales.

Germany’s first halal trade fair was planned in Hanover in March but the show was postponed because of the Corona crisis. The range of around 60 exhibitors already shows the range of products and Christoph Schöllhammer was the source of ideas at Deutsche Messe AG. The head of “Halal Hannover” lived in Turkey and became a lover of the local cuisine. “At that time there was no halal corner in the supermarket,” he says.

Kosher is also on the rise

Some people who do not explicitly refer to religious reasons now eat and live halally. “It is not just limited to a clientele that feeds on Islam,” says fair board member Andreas Gruchow. Of course, Muslims were the most important customer group and they set many of the new trends, “but it’s generally about consciously eating people.”

Tilman Brunner, Head of International Affairs at the IHK Hannover, sees it similarly: “It is a seal of quality.” There has been a “Halal & Koscher” working group since 2011 and today there are 120 companies actively involved. “Many also manufacture kosher products because the requirements are often similar.” Estimating sales is difficult because the market is not so easy to define. But when it comes to halal interest, there is generally “a steep learning curve,” says Gruchow. According to Messe AG, the market potential in Germany is five billion euros per year.

Alcohol is strictly prohibited

The “Iftarlender” stands for a whole range of sweets beat is also known for halal standards, whereby – in addition to the ban on pork – certain slaughter regulations must be observed. A subsidiary of Bifi wants to show certified Halal beef sausages in Hanover. Many know the Sucuk garlic sausage as it is partly about the entire value chain, Brunner explains: “If I want to produce a halal frozen pizza, I have to have the right cheese, the right spices and more.” The range of food supplements and drinks is also growing. This is how a halal energy drink comes in transparent cans – this should symbolize maximum transparency about the ingredients.

No alcohol may be used, neither as an ingredient nor in production. Water-soluble nail polishes are also compatible with the woman’s prayer wash, because such complete contact with the water is possible, as the theologian Asmaa El Maaroufi from the University of Münster explains. “This will also become an issue with cleaning agents,” says Brunner. “Everything I come into contact with can be halal-relevant.”

Vacation as a time for contemplation

Animal testing is taboo when developing products. Halal processes are still in the early stages in the pharmaceutical industry. There, many consumers see the rules according to El Maaroufi rather relaxed: “It is often permitted what is medically necessary.”

Halal-compliant holidays also appeal to a number of non-Muslims. It is about seeing the vacation as a time of inner contemplation, mindfulness and unity with the family. Organizers have special offers for parents and children as well as the classic pilgrimage. According to El Maaroufi, Muslims usually book themselves in order to be able to continue their everyday life carefree even on vacation.

Trade in Halal products

Financial service providers based on Islamic rules are increasingly gaining a foothold in Germany and throughout the European Union. In banking transactions, they must take into account the ban on interest rates, as well as the ban on speculation and the exclusion, for example, of gaming or weapons groups from investment funds. However, some doctrines differentiate between debit and credit interest, for example.

Despite some almost universally recognized regulations, different countries and legal opinions have different ideas about what exactly is halal. Originally it was about actions, not products, explains El Maaroufi. “The term has since opened up very widely,” she says and “You can see that in various certifications of halal meat.”

Many providers also export abroad and German meat giants like Tönnies and Wiesenhof or the flavor manufacturer Symrise have halal products. “Three quarters of our members export,” says Brunner ,”and the exchange is important.” A country like Indonesia could have different rules than one like the United Arab Emirates. “It’s also about market power.” Some states could use standards as a barrier to keep global market competition out, but the chances are great, says Gruchow: “India and Malaysia are also billion-dollar markets.”

Kosher is the new organic

But not only Halal is gaining popularity and kosher diet is becoming increasingly popular too. According to the German Agricultural Society (DLG), dishes containing meat (Hebrew: basari) are separated from those containing milk (Hebrew: chalawi) in Jewish cuisine. Neutral foods (Hebrew: parve), i.e. those that contain neither meat nor milk, may be consumed both with dairy dishes and with meat dishes.

In the United States in particular, kosher food offers an alternative to traditional diets. It sets a counterpoint to factory farming and fast food. In addition, the kosher kitchen is balanced and fresh and in Germany, all of this almost exclusively covers the organic sector.

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Halal News

Ethereum Blockchain and Ether classified as Halal

Additional rules apply to believing Muslims in financial transactions and those transactions are dictated by Sharia law, the Islamic law. So far, there is no general judgment as to whether cryptocurrencies meet the Sharia requirements. In order to promote the adaptation of the Ethereum platform in the Islamic region, the Ethereum Foundation has had its blockchain examined.

Are Muslims allowed to use the Ethereum platform? Islamic legal scholars from Amanie Advisors, an Islamic financial consultancy that have investigated this question in cooperation with the Ethereum Foundation.

The result should be gratifying for Muslim crypto enthusiasts: the scholars classified both the Ethereum platform and the associated cryptocurrency Ether as “Sharia-compliant”. Amanie Advisors summarized the results of their investigation in a Shariah white paper

Being Sharia compliant means that ether can be lawfully traded and exchanged by the Muslim community. It is permissible for a Muslim to buy, sell or hold Ether to participate in the Ethereum Blockhain and take full advantage of the technology.

The purpose of the investigation was to remove any uncertainties in order to stimulate interest in the Ethereum platform in the Islamic world. The head of the initiative is Virgil Griffith, who is responsible for special projects at Ethereum. He made contact with Amanie Advisors and the legal scholars then set out to highlight the “Sharia parameters” of Ethereum and Ether.

Ether is not considered a currency

In the Shariah White Paper , the authors first discuss the question of whether Ether should be classified as a currency from an Islamic perspective. The scholars deny such an assessment; instead, Ether is designated as a valuable commodity, because they recognize the primary function of Ether as a utility token for the Ethereum platform.

Ether therefore primarily serves as an incentive for miners to confirm transactions and as such, it only has value within a limited ecosystem. In contrast, the use of Ether as a store of value and a universally valid medium of exchange is only of marginal importance from the perspective of the experts.

The scholars then check whether Ether meets the Sharia requirements for goods. The principle applies here: What does not include anything prohibited is allowed. Following this maxim, they come to the conclusion that the exchange of Ether does not include interest nor is there an inevitable uncertainty. After all, trading in Ether could not be compared to gambling thus, from an Islamic perspective, there is no reason why Ether should be considered banned.

The Ethereum blockchain is also sharia-compliant

Amanie Advisors also assessed the other components of the Ethereum ecosystem. They classified both the platform and the mining of Ether as permitted. They also saw no fundamental objections regarding smart contracts and dApps, however, it is important to check the specific content of the contracts and applications from case to case.

Incidentally, Ethereum is not the first Crypto project to undergo a Sharia check. The Stellar cryptocurrency received a Sharia certificate in 2018 .

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Halal News

Halal Travel – How Muslim travelers change tourism !

Ever heard of Halal Travel?  No population group in the world is growing faster than that of Muslims and now the tourism industry is adapting to the new target group – also in Europe

With its sweet and juicy baklava, dates and dried fruits from the Arabic welcome treatment, the view of the Brandenburg Gate at Pariser Platz can be embellished in the suite of the “Adlon Kempinski Berlin“.

An Arabic transmitter is quietly playing in the background, the Koran is at hand, the prayer mat too. An arrow shows the right Kiblat to the person praying.

Refreshments are waiting in the minibar, but no alcohol – if you get hungry, you can order food with confidence, there is also halal food here. No population group worldwide is growing faster than that of Muslims and the tourism industry is taking on the new target group with halal-friendly trips.

“Halal” describes according to Islamic law “all things or actions that are permitted, in contrast to haram”, says professor Jamal Malik from the Institute for Religious Studies at the University of Erfurt. This means compliance with Islamic dietary regulations, the waiver of pork and animals that are not properly slaughtered, but can also relate to the entire lifestyle and is “to a certain extent a matter of interpretation” due to various legal schools.

This includes praying to Mecca five times a day, following dress codes such as wearing headscarves, and refraining from alcohol, drugs and extramarital sex.

“Customers no longer want to compromise”

Those who live according to Islamic rules also value halal services when traveling. No matter whether on a business or city trip, a wellness weekend or a beach vacation. Like the “Adlon Kempinski Berlin”, more and more hotels across Germany are trying to reach the target group – also because the so-called “Halal Travel” market is exploding:

According to the “Muslim Millennial Travel Report” (2018), the number of Muslim travelers will be close to 160 million and the numbers are rising.

By 2020, the new jet setters are expected to spend $ 220 billion annually, by 2026 it should be $ 300 billion. The growing interest in halal-friendly travel is also due to the rapidly growing group of young and affluent Muslims.

By 2030, almost 30 percent of the world’s population will be Muslims between the ages of 15 and 29. While globetrotters with an interest in halal offers have so far mostly come from rich oil countries such as Saudi Arabia, demand is now increasing in countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, where the middle class is growing. “But the second and third generation of Muslims in Europe also want to make nice trips,” says Malik.

“With the new purchasing power, customers have become more demanding and don’t want to compromise anymore,” says Ufuk Seçgin from the booking portal
Seçgin, who was born in Hamburg with Turkish roots and has lived in London for 16 years, knows the dilemma himself. “When I travel, I’d like to go to a chic star restaurant, and I don’t always fancy Turkish cuisine. “In the meantime, many British restaurateurs in London have prepared themselves for Muslim guests from home and abroad, while hip bars are expanding their cocktail menu with non-alcoholic alternatives and leisure organizers such as “Muslim History Tours” offer sightseeing trips with a focus on British Muslim history. For many cities, tourism associations, tour operators or hoteliers there is a lucrative potential.
Prayer rugs in the room and corresponding culinary offers are just the beginning and for many people, halal travel begins with the arrival of the appropriate food on the plane or even prayer rooms on board and at airports, continues with leisure activities and ends with the quiet place.
“It is common in the Muslim world to clean yourself with water after going to the toilet,” says Seçgin. “Anyone who adapts to this as a hotelier with special sanitary facilities really serves a great demand.”

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Halal News

Religiously correct cosmetics : Everything Halal

  • Large cosmetic companies have been using halal labeling for some time. A billion-dollar business beckons worldwide.
  • Halal identifies care products and perfumes that, for example, contain neither pork fat nor alcohol.

The trend comes from Southeast Asia: Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world with around 260 million inhabitants, passed a law requiring all products to have a halal label since last year. Perfumes with alcohol or lipsticks with pork fat fail – instead, manufacturers have to do without animal products and alcohols.

Cosmetics giant L’Oréal and the German chemical company BASF pay attention, the market finally grows – after all, according to several studies, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.

L’Oréal has long had hundreds of its products certified as halal and the French company also check production for religious admissibility.

A few years ago, halal cosmetics was a niche market for some small businesses in Muslim countries but that has changed in the meantime, as can also be seen at the Festi Ramazan, the huge Ramadan festival currently in Dortmund: the word “halal” is often found on a tour of the 22,000 square meter festival site.

The global market already reached a volume of 18 billion euros in 2014 and according to the British market research company Tech Navio, this could double again by 2020 and account for six percent of the global business with beauty products.

No waiving of Plastic – so far

French perfume manufacturers have also discovered Dadestal for themselves: tons of roses are exported to Grasse in France, the “world capital of perfumery”, where they are used to make perfume. “There is so much on the market that can be done even better, even fairer – for everyone involved,” says Fritz confidently.

Halal is a very exciting business, explains Julia Fritz and it is an ethical task.

For example, it is not enough for them to do without animal products or alcohol. “Halal has to be good for everyone, for the producer, the retailer, the consumer. It has to be fair and transparent for everyone.” Many Muslims are too concerned with prohibitions and commands and lose sight of the essentials, she says. “The basic idea of ​​every Muslim should actually be that we should take care of this earth,” says Fritz, who converted to Islam at the age of 22.

So far, al-balsam has not been without plastic. Not yet. The market would be there, as you can see at the Dortmund Religious Festival. The festival is a large consumer fair, in which German automobile clubs or, for example, electricity retailers also take part. Visitors can buy bed linen and real estate here as well as stay in two tent mosques to pray.

Next door tens of thousands visit the international tattoo fair at the same time, many are tattooed from top to bottom – but some of them end up at the Festi Ramazan. Because of the culinary specialties that they like to emphasize and, of course, they are all halal, of course.

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