It’s the season of "peace and goodwill"
with malls already festooned with Christmas décor, jingles, flashing
lights and fat men in white woolly beards and red suits chanting
Ho!Ho!Ho!, It’s the season of the "thirteenth cheque"
and bonuses, and it is also the time of year-end company party.
Islam has no objection to celebrations of gratitude, engendering
of team spirit between co-workers and loyalty to the employer; as
indeed these are noble attributes worthy of Muslims. However,
one must ensure it is done within the bounds of decency, morality
and religious parameters.
Cognisance and effect must be given to the Shari'ah ruling of Haraam
when alcohol is served and consumed, free intermingling of the sexes
take places and Haraam food is served.
Companies are generally not unreasonable and understand that their
success is dependent on happy clients and employees. No establishment
willfully jeopardises this position and transgressions are usually
made out of ignorance. Muslims ought to educate their employers
on the tenets of Islam with wisdom and not with arrogance or as
Chefs know from their training that the central basis of a good
pumpkin, butternut or vegetable soup is beef or chicken stock, white
wine is synonymous with fish dishes, meat dishes are flamed with
brandy for"richness" and desserts, cake
and ice cream, use gelatine, rum and wine as flavourants to name
a few. Then there are problems with contamination of Halaal
with non-Halaal products in areas of storage and preparation including
the use of pork bristle brushes for basting, lard based pan release
agents for baking utensils and so on; a veritable minefield.
A well known international hotel group whose heiress is in the news
for the wrong reasons, that caters for many year-end functions acknowledged
the problem of Haraam contamination when they confirmed in writing
to SANHA: "All our guests are advised that even though
these products are purchased Halaal, we do not have the facility
to have a separate kitchen with separate pots and utensils.
Similarly on this information, we mention to our guests that we
are not certified Halaal although the products are in Halaal state
when purchased. However these products are in turn served
from one central kitchen."
In the final analysis, the responsibility of consuming Halaal is
an individual one.
For a list of SANHA certified restaurants and caterers call our
Helpline 0861 786 111