What is halal foods? Probably that’s the first thing you ask if you’re not Muslim. Well, you can refer to these sources; i think the explanation quite good. Sharp points here : Halal Food Authority of United Kingdom . More elaborate explanation here : Islamic Council of Victoria
Beauty in Islam
Well, Islam is not only a religion but it is a way of life; with protocols, rules and manners governing every facet of life. Since food is an important part of daily life, food laws carry a special significance. Muslims are expected to eat for survival, to maintain good health and not to live for eating. In Islam, eating is considered to be a matter of worship of God like prayer, fasting, alms-giving and other religious activities.
Some experts say that the animal killed in halal way does not suffer, the cut is made quickly and cleanly, because it loses consciousness before the brain can perceive any pain: “the Islamic way of slaughtering is the most humane method of slaughter and that captive bolt stunning, practiced in the West, causes 3 severe pain to the animal.” The argument that halal slaughter is inhumane because animals are allowed to bleed to death is scientifically untrue. An animal’s throat is cut in one swift motion with a razor sharp knife. Unconsciousness is achieved within seconds and death occurs due to cerebral hypoxia not blood loss.
Halal While Travelling
Since we live in Muslim country, Indonesia, our eating life on daily basis are quite easy. There are many choices of delicious halal beverages and so. Also, there is a certain authority whose job is making sure that everything is halal for citizens. In Indonesia, the name is MUI (Majelis Ulama Indonesia). There is this kind of authority in every country in the world, with different name of course.
When we do travelling, especially to a country of minor muslim citizens, we face some difficulties to meet the halal standards. There are countries who are Muslim-friendly, but there also countries who don’t. The Muslim-friendly countries are usually the ones that visited much by Muslim, or having quite large Muslim citizens/customers, or have big respects towards Muslim. Well, in the worse and worst case, we have to figure something out to be able to eat well while doing travelling.
Bringing packed foods from home are the safest choice, of course. Like, we sometimes bring noodles or sachets of sereal with us. Other people sometimes bring even rice or rendang or any other regular foods they eat at home. But, there’ll be problem with baggage, especially if you do travel as backpackers. That cheap ticket allowing only cabin baggage without no checked-baggage, do they? Not to mention the mobility of bringing too much goods when you do travelling.
So, other than bringing limited amount (just in case) of “dry foods” such as noodles or cereals, we always try to find the halal restaurants in destination country, whether through Google or any means. If it’s hard to find the restaurant with that label attached, our best bet are in Malaysian restaurant, Indian restaurant (South are preferably by our tastebuds), and Vegan/Vegetarian restaurant. These three are easily found in any countries. Eventhough, they’ll probably just exist in big city, which then bringing another problem when we have to travel to rural places (hey, the best scenery is in rural places!). In this case, we only hoping that our lodging provide shared kitchen, so at least we can make some scrambled-eggs or something we can come up with available ingredients. Or, yeah, we only rely on what snacks we bring on our bag. Hey, i forgot, the seafoods are the best bet too! As long as they don’t use wine or alcohol or pig lard in processing the foods.
Fish and seafood (with the exception of crocodiles, alligators and frogs) are generally acceptable for Muslims but as always check first, as there may be a personal dietary preference or allergy. The preparation of the fish or seafood should not include alcohol (ie batter or wine, or anything considered haram).
It’s All About Sharing!
So, under this page, we’ll share about our journey of finding halal foods from each country we visited. Hope it’ll help other Muslim brothers and sisters who want to do travelling too. Also, as knowledge for my non-Muslim brothers and sisters also. Know this, if the food is halal-certified, then it’s definitely good for you… safe and clean. 😉