The term “halal” doesn’t just refer to foods that conform to Muslim law. The word stands for an entire philosophy, and halal products and services are playing an increasingly important role in the economy. Halal means “permitted” and refers to actions and things that are in accordance with Islam. The opposite of halal is haram, meaning “forbidden.”
The concept of halal influences Muslims’ entire lifestyle, including diet, clothing, work, leisure, and even love lives. Different schools of Islamic law mean there are also different interpretations of halal and haram. Nearly two billion of the world’s population are Muslim, one of the fastest growing social groups.
That amounts to a lot of potential in the marketplace – something that is already being widely exploited in countries like France and England. Halal products are becoming increasingly important in Germany, too. The flip side of this growth is what the Chamber of Commerce and Industry calls a “Wild West” situation, as competitors vie for market share in a fiercely competitive halal certification market. And often, the term “halal” is simply used as a marketing tool.