10 shades of the Halal-Challenge
Those who observe halal would know, eating out is a daily struggle . While some of your friends or colleagues would struggle to find gluten-free food or count calories, the struggle your average halal-observer goes through is beyond these.
What is halal?
What does “halal” mean? The word means “allowed “or “lawful” and refers to that which is permitted by Islam. So when we are talking about halal food (particularly meat), we are talking about food(meat) prepared in compliance with the religious ritual.
Most Turks are Muslims; therefore many Turks living abroad would face the challenge of finding halal food that moment they are hungry.
Here are the top 10 halal-challenge moments:
1) Find a restaurant with halal certification
– Happiness of eating with peace of mind!
2) …Or have to settle for the vegetarian option
– … While wondering if it’s really clean.
3) The moment you try to explain that you are not a vegetarian so you can eat meat but not all kinds – except the fish that is okay BUT (*)…
– No, but it is not really that complicated …
4) The joy of seeing fish or seafood on the menu.
– … but then feeling disgusted.
5) When everybody else on table start enjoying their dishes …
– … Except for you – sorry..
6) Try to stay calm when you are told that “tofu” is just like “meat” …
– So you think I don’t know what meat tastes like, huh?
7) Having to answer bizarre questions like, “do you only drink of halal water?” Or “Do you eat only halal vegetables? “
– Seriously ?
8) The joy of finding a vegetarian dish on the menu … and then to discover that it is “prepared with white wine“
– Almost !!
9) Discover that there is gelatine in your favourite candy bar …
– No … not you too…
10) At the end of the day, realize that nothing can replace the meat!
(*) Seafood/halal : You see, some Muslim scholars concluded all seafood was halal as water (sea) was essentially clean. However Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Sunni Hanafi school of fiqh (whom most European Muslims (Turks, Albanians, Bosnians), Turkic Muslims (Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Kyrgztan, Turkmenistan) and many Syrians, Iraqis, Afghan and Pakistanis follow) said not everything from water was halal particularly turtle, frog, crab, shellfish, oyster, prawns, lobster etc. BUT (here is the tricky part) as they are deemed halal by the other schools of fiqh (particularly Sha’fi), some Hanafi might follow Sha’fi in times where there are limited choices. Confusing isn’t it?