December is the world’s great vacation and travel time, the season of the “thirteenth cheque“, bonuses and exchanging of gifts. From local short hops to holiday resorts through intercontinental travel, pilgrimages or exploring exotic destinations, people are on the move fuelling rampant consumer spending. The airline, hospitality, retail, restaurant and food service industries along with others vie for this lucrative market.

It is during these heady times when travellers far from their creature comforts of home encounter difficulties. Thirsty, hungry and fatigued, travellers can inadvertently succumb by allowing their guard to slip with compromises of faith which they ordinarily would not accept. This is the time when we would eat a margherita/vegetable pizza at a non Halaal pizzeria, eat grilled prawns/seafood at a non Halaal restaurant which may even be using wine in fish marinade or glibly accepting the assurance of the waiter who claims that our chickens are Halaal although pork is prepared in the same kitchen etc.

Into this medley, one cannot ignore the reality of the unscrupulous operators who wish to capitalize on the season’s bounties through any means possible, questionable or fraudulent. In the last two weeks we have witnessed two establishments misrepresenting themselves as being certified Halaal by SANHA. Click here to view our response to one such outlet operating on the North Beach in Durban.

Different standards apply in different countries. Whilst locals in some places may find it acceptable to partake of meals in restaurants that serve alcohol and some of these restaurants could even hold a Halaal certificate of some unscrupulous local body, remember that this is taboo in terms of the Shari’ah. Do not take anything for granted and never compromise on the important aspect of Imaan. The golden rule is ask, and ask again, but if in doubt, leave it out.

As an analogy one would never make the important purchase of a home or motor vehicle without seeking advice, undertaking proper research and securing guarantees to minimise your risks since you will be investing a large chunk of your hard-earned wealth and savings for the acquisition.

Extras at the vendors’ premises such as provision of ablution and salaah facilities, a purdah section, adorning of the walls with Islamic calligraphy and the salesperson adorning Islamic attire whilst commendable are not the sole factors in influencing your decision to undertake the purchase. They are complementary factors that are subservient to the value and assurance propositions.

When such vigilance is exercised on a material item of this temporal abode, then how much more caution needs to be maintained in upholding our Imaan for salvation into the eternal Hereafter that one spends a lifetime striving for?

No Compromise – Imaan Is Priceless