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Halal food consumption is part of a Muslim’s fundamental practice. In Malaysia, businesses are given the halal certificate by Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) or the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia. But what exactly is “halal”?

Definition of halal

Definition of halal

In summary, “halal” means “permissible” in accordance to the Quran. And on the topic at hand, halal food: 

  • should be processed using equipment or utensils free from impurities;
  • must not be derived from animals forbidden to be eaten by Islamic law or are not slaughtered according to the same law;
  • must not be served with substances that are considered impure;
  • should not come in contact with those impurities.


As a rule of thumb, most food is halal. Only when they contain impure elements such as alcohol and porcine ingredients do they become non-halal. So it’s actually not as difficult as one might believe.

The extent that hotels go to to cater for the Islamic market varies. Some are at least alcohol-free, have no nightclub, and serve only halal food. Some others are totally Shariah-compliant, including being halal-certified by JAKIM.

At the end of the day, no matter what your guests’ food preferences may be, be sure to try your best at leaving a good, long-lasting impression on them with good service and definitely good food.

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