Islam’s Interactive Inclusiveness
In earlier times, the institution of slavery was closely intertwined with the prisoners of war. Slavery provided an alternative to prisoners of war, who were otherwise killed by the victorious camp. Similarly, it provided a refuge to destitute prisoners of war who had nowhere to go and had no means of sustenance. In pre-Islamic Arabia as well as in many ancient civilizations, prisoners of war were generally enslaved and treated like chattel. The Bible says that in the event of victory in a war, male prisoners of war are to be killed (Deuteronomy 21:10). Islam made a radical departure from earlier practices by emphasising not only that the prisoners of war should be treated in a humane manner but also their liberation. According to the Quran, war prisoners are to be liberated gratuitously or on payment of ransom (47:4). According to Islamic law, a prisoner of war qua prisoner should not be killed. However, this does not preclude his trial and punishment for crimes beyond rights of belligerency. According to Islamic law, prisoners are to be well treated and given food and clothes. The costs for their food and clothing are to be borne by the Islamic state. Among prisoners, a mother is not to be separated from her child nor any other near relatives from each other. Read more
Luqman’s Advice to His Son
Professor A. R. MOMIN
According to some commentators of the Quran, Luqman was an eminent sage of pre-Islamic Arabia. According to others, he was an Ethiopian or a Nubian. Regardless of his background, Luqman was known for his wisdom and sagacity. One of the chapters of the Quran is named after him. The Quran says, “We bestowed wisdom on Luqman” (31:12).
The chapter “Luqman” deals with several significant and interrelated themes, including the attributes of Allah and His countless bounties, condemnation of associating partners with Allah, the necessity of fear of Allah, the role, rights and responsibilities of parents, and good conduct and etiquette. Read more
The Growing Salience of Global Halal Food
In Arabic, halal means permissible or lawful. Halal food and beverages are those that are permissible for use and consumption for Muslims. Conversely, those food and beverages that are derived from prohibited animals such as pigs, dogs, predators, reptiles, insects or carrion or food and beverages that contain alcohol or other prohibited substances.
The growing popularity of halal food is closely linked to the increasing global Muslim population, which exceeds more than 1.6 billion. The world-wide Muslim population is growing at twice the rate of the non-Muslim population and is expected to reach 2.2 billion by 2030.
Over the past two decades, halal food is no longer confined to an exclusive niche market of Muslim consumers. Rather, it has become a dynamic global market phenomenon with the potential of a significant role in global trade. Similarly, the dimensions of halal trade now encompass aspects of warehousing, transportation and logistics.
Malaysia has been in the forefront of the halal food business for close to two decades. A landmark event in 2004 was the publication of the official standard MS 1500:2004 by Malaysia’s Department of Standards. Read more