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Home arrow Miscellaneous Articles arrow The year-end party - A time for caution
The year-end party - A time for caution Print

As the year draws to a close we once again witness the year end festivities.


Malls, banking halls and shops will fashion themselves with Christmas décor, flashing lights, pipe jingles over the public address system and fat men in fluffy white woolly beards and red suits will give the chant of Ho!Ho!Ho!


Schools and establishments will be closing for the annual holidays and the entertainment and food industry will be gearing up for the commercial spin offs.


With the euphoria of the "thirteenth cheque" and bonus payments, the public will engage in an unprecedented binge of consumer spending which in some cases will leave them with a financial hangover at the beginning of the new year.


In this season of "peace and goodwill" comes the challenge of the year-end office party.


Islam has no objection to celebrations of gratitude, engendering of team spirit between co-workers and loyalty to the employer; as indeed these are noble attributes worthy of Muslims. However, one must ensure it is done within the bounds of decency, morality and perimeters of religious limitations.


Cognisance and effect must be given to the Shari'ah ruling of Haraam when alcohol is served and consumed, free intermingling of the sexes take places and Haraam food is served.


Companies are generally not unreasonable and understand that their success is dependent on happy clients and employees. No establishment willfully jeopardises this position and transgressions are usually made out of ignorance.


The challenge is for the Muslim to educate their employer on the tenets of Islam with wisdom and not with arrogance or as apologists. Discuss alternatives and make suggestions in a positive manner keeping in mind the incredible lack of knowledge on the subject of Halaal and Haraam.


Chefs and catering establishments worth their weight in salt (if you excuse the pun) can also play a role but choose not to do so out of ignorance or financial motives. Every chef knows from his training that the central basis of a good pumpkin, butternut or vegetable soup is beef or chicken stock, white wine is synonymous with fish dishes, meat dishes are flamed with brandy for"richness" and desserts, cake and ice cream, use gelatine, rum and wine as flavourants to name a few. Then there are problems with contamination of Halaal with non-Halaal products in areas of storage and preparation including the use of pork bristle brushes for basting, lard based pan release agents for baking utensils and so on; a veritable minefield.


A well known international hotel group whose heiress is in the news for the wrong reasons, that caters for many year-end functions acknowledged the problem of Haraam contamination when they confirmed in writing to SANHA: "All our guests are advised that even though these products are purchased Halaal, we do not have the facility to have a separate kitchen with separate pots and utensils. Similarly on this information, we mention to our guests that we are not certified Halaal although the products are in Halaal state when purchased. However these products are in turn served from one central kitchen."


Another international Inn group made the following admission in correspondence to SANHA,"We can confirm that some of our breakfast items are purchased from Halaal suppliers, but are not cooked according to Halaal methods."


In the final analysis, the responsibility of consuming Halaal is an individual one. SANHA in keeping with its mission will assist you in upholding your responsibility to the Creator. Communication is the key. Ensure that you, your family, friends, employer, employees and respected Ulama are on the mailing list of this bulletin. Feel free to call our National Halaal Helpline on 0861 781 111 for any assistance / clarity regarding Halaal issues.


Don't let the year-end impact negatively on your end


Source: e-Bulletin5

sk/2007-10-31 12:42:50

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