Assalamu Alaikum

Thirty years ago, IFANCA published its first book about halal: Islamic Dietary Laws and Practices. That same year we also published a list of halal/haram ingredients to help Muslim consumers decipher product labels and select halal products. At that time, pretty much everything from bread to French fries was made with animal shortening or a mixture of animal and vegetable shortening. Most cheese was made with animal enzymes. Life for halal-observing Muslims was tough in the United States.

Ten years later, two simultaneous trends emerged: halal and health. People became increasingly health conscious and the manufacturing industry responded by replacing animal fats with vegetable oils. The trend became a movement, and it continues to push the industry towards making more healthy and nutritional products.

While two million American Muslims were butchering their own animals on farms or settling for kosher meat, the American food franchising industry took to the streets of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Dubai, and Jeddah.

A trend of eating at restaurants like McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken evolved in the Islamic countries. With that came the push to make those restaurants comply with halal requirements. Over the next twenty years, a huge halal products export business developed from the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand to the Muslim countries. The food industry tasted success as never before.

In the United States, the Muslim population grew to over eight million and was no longer invisible to the industry. Small to large companies have started to produce and market halal products, not just through ethnic stores, but also at major supermarkets. For these past thirty years, IFANCA has been a part of the halal trend and, now, the halal movements. Thousands of halal-certified products ranging from meat and poultry to frozen meals, baked goods, meals for soldiers, ice cream, baby food, nutritional products, dairy products, beverages, and chocolates bearing the Crescent-M Mark of Halal Quality are now available throughout the United States and Canada.

Look for those products at your supermarket and buy them with the satisfaction that IFANCA has taken the doubt out of the products, so you no longer have to read those labels to determine if the product is halal. Call the company or send them an email to say thank you for making our lives easier. Appreciation promotes encouragement which leads to excitement by the companies to make more products halal. Scan the chart beginning on page 34 to see where some of the halal-certified products are available.


Muhammad Munir Chaudry, president