About a quarter of the world’s population — 1.6 billion people — are Muslim, and their numbers are growing. More and more, well-to-do Muslims want to know the products they use are halal, or created according to moral and spiritual principles that guide actions in every area of life. Many of these values are universally admired, so halal products have a potentially huge consumer base.
Businesses that violate halal strictures — firms with profits based on gambling, alcohol, illegal drugs, or other illegal activities — are not halal, nor is the money derived from them, so major international brands that have interests in the production of beer, wine, or other liquor may not be considered clean. Sometimes, however, it’s difficult to determine such holdings.
The term halal covers what you eat and drink, what you wear, the pharmaceuticals you may need, the beauty products you use, how products are made and the equipment used to produce them, and potentially even where you vacation. At present, the market for such products is in the trillions of dollars — and that value is only going to grow.
Made using eco-friendly and sustainable materials and processes, halal apparel protects modesty and assures quality. Some fashion houses have begun using this as a selling point — and if even half of the world’s Muslims spent US$120 every year on apparel, according to some calculations, it would create an industry work almost US$100 billion.
Consumers worldwide like beauty products that are made without animal testing or other cruelty to animals and that are eco-friendly and produced from sustainable sources. In addition, halal beauty products contain no alcohol to dry out skin and any fats or animal byproducts or derivatives used are carefully monitored for adherence to halal practices.
Knowing whether gel caps and vaccinations are made from vegan or halal-compliant sources are two of the issues that face Muslims. Halal practices in manufacturing are also a concern. Just as food manufacturers have begun to label products manufactured on machinery that handles potential allergens like peanuts and soy, there’s potential for tagging pharmaceutical products as halal compliant.
More and more Muslims will look for vacation spots that don’t serve alcohol and have separate swimming pool and spa areas for women and men. Halal practitioners believe such resorts could cross religious lines by providing cultural experiences as well as safe places for families to relax and rejuvenate.
Since September 11 and the Asian financial crisis, Malaysia has played a key role in creating, sourcing, and identifyinghalal products. It hosts MIHAS (Malaysia International Halal Showcase) in conjunction with the annual World Halal Summit, where leaders in business, manufacturing, certification, and academia meet to source and sell products. Visit Zilzar online halal hub in Malaysia for businessmen and buyers who want to learn more about halal markets, manufacturing, and logistics.