By FA Abdul
COMMENT: It is hard being a Muslim. Every day we have to face tough life decisions. And for every decision we make, there are thousands more waiting in the wings for us to agonize over.
- Can we use non-halal trolleys to do our halal shopping?
- Can we eat our halal food in a non-halal restaurant?
- Can we invite our non-halal neighbours into our halal home?
- Can we deposit our halal income into our non-halal (non-Islamic) bank?
The truth is, it is such a challenge to live in a multiracial, multi-religious country. Everywhere we go and in everything we do, our faith is threatened and gets shaken up. All because of these non-halal people who walk among us.
- What if our skin brushes against their non-halal skin?
- What if their non-halal breath finds its way into our nostrils?
- What if the halal aura of ours gets contaminated by their non-halal presence?
Good God! How could we even step out of our houses when there are so many non-halal pollutants around? I can’t begin to describe how scary it is to wake up every morning with the fear of bumping into a non-halal person somewhere, in the corridor, at the parking lot, on the street, in the office.
Like I said, it is tough being a Muslim.
With all these worries constantly tormenting me, I am so grateful to the Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin and FOMCA (Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association) for having taken time out of their already busy schedules to draw attention to the need to segregate halal and non-halal items.
In an era where people keep stressing moderation and liberalism over and over again, we the tormented Malaysian Muslims finally have people who are genuinely trying to care for us, the weak and the fragile. Without their empathy, we would definitely be lost. Our faith would be shaken to the core.
Perhaps this would be a wake-up call for all those non-halal people who all this while were under the impression that we Muslims were their brothers and sisters and that together, and in harmony with each other, we would strive to rebuild our lives and our country.
How could they even think of such a ridiculous thing when we are not even capable of sharing a trolley! Shame on them for having such high aspirations for us.
The thing is, a lot more needs to be done with respect to the halal and non-halal in our environment. I have taken the liberty to list a few of my suggestions. I hope the Ministry of Domestic Trade Cooperatives and Consumerism and FOMCA will seriously consider the following segregation ideas:
- Halal and non-halal utensils at restaurants
- Halal and non-halal storages, freezes, transportation and loading bays.
- Halal and non-halal toilets, escalators and lobbies
- Halal and non-halal malls, schools and hospitals
- Halal and non-halal neighbourhoods
- Halal and non-halal parking, streets and public transportations
- Halal and non-halal open houses and wedding receptions
- Halal and non-halal currency
- Halal and non-halal media and social networks
Truth be told, the matter of halal and haram is a basic principle for Muslims. And to see Muslims struggle with this basic Islamic principle in an Islamic country such as ours, makes me really sad.
Perhaps one smart yet comprehensive way to solve this once and for all would be to have a halal and non-halal government. The halal government would be the one practicing tolerance, respect, kindness and understanding as promoted in Islam while the non-halal government can just continue doing what the current government is doing.
Sound like a plan?