The Latest: 50 | Halal

Hassan Mahamdallie faces a halal/haram backlash; Isham Pawan Ahmad argues that much of what goes under the rubric of halal is not ethical; M Iqbal Asaria thinks halal finance is up the gum tree; Mohammad Aslam Haneef confesses he and his Islamic economist colleagues do not know how to teach halal economics; Adnan Delalić shows what halal and haram now means in German law; Christopher B Jones outlines three tomorrows of halal; Shaheed Tayob suggests that halal certification can be detrimental to small businesses; Zaynab El Bernoussi is astonished at the expansion of the halal market; Raza Ali just can’t understand those who see music as haram; Nayab Khalid promotes halal degrowth; Zahira P Latif finds British Muslims have a difficult time navigating a halal lifestyle; C Scott Jordan considers the limits of a false sense of importance and ego; Shazia Mirza leads a cast of halal comedy queens; Asim Siddiqui witnesses the birth of UK’s Halal Food Authority; and our list of ten halal/haram debates.

Also in this issue: Boyd Tonkin is overawed by Edward Burtynsky’s exhibition Extraction/Abstraction; Robin Yassin-Kassab is appalled with Arab world’s Thugocracy; Humera Khan studies the leadership qualities of the Prophet; Sadek Hamid remembers British orientalist explorers; Naomi Foyle’s verdict on recent poetry collections; short stories by John O’Donoghue and Juniad Ashraf; and poems by Mevlut Ceylan and Samantha Terrell.

Order order! This was not the cry of a butcher at a halal meat stall, but the Speaker of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain agreeing to an emergency debate on the halal meat industry in Britain.

Muslims are thought to be recent arrival in the historical memory of the British Isles. The reality is far more deeply rooted as people of the Islamic faith have encountered the natives of Britain for centuries through trade, travel, war, empire, immigration, and even maritime piracy.

At time of writing, the official death toll in Israel-Palestine since 7 October 2023 stands at 35,173 Palestinians, including over 14,500 children, 8,400 women and at least 498 people in the West Bank; and 1,139 Israelis, all of whom were killed during the 7 October attacks by Hamas and other Gazan militias.

There are many contemporary biographies of the Prophet Muhammad. But they make him feel distant or too difficult to emulate in our times. Joel Hayward’s The Leadership of Muhammad is certainly not such a work of seerah.