• 7 Benefits of Fasting + the Best Types of Fasting

    Imagine that you can kick-start your metabolism, feel more energy and enjoy an assortment of health benefits without having to count calories or stick to strict meal plans. Say hello to just some of the benefits of fasting.

    The Definition of Fasting
    What makes fasting seem so novel is that, with all the diet advice out there, the easiest might be to simply not eat. Of course, fasting isn’t the same as starving yourself, which is what many people think when they hear “fasting.” And yet, fasting isn’t a diet, either. The literal definition of fasting is to abstain from food and drink from a specific period of time; it’s been around for thousands of years, as spiritual fasting is a part of many religions. But in this context, I prefer looking at fasting as simply a change in eating patterns.

    In place of three square meals a day or a handful of smaller meals throughout the day, you’ll have a specific window of time when you’re eating, whether it’s a few hours a day or certain days of the week. During that time, you can eat whatever you want. Of course, I say that within reason.

    If you’re eating processed foods and potato chips, it’s unlikely you’ll reap the benefits of fasting. If that’s you, I encourage you to examine your diet before trying a fast. But if you practice fasting and stick to a mostly whole food diet, rich in fruits, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats and raw dairy, you will see changes — and those occasional splurges on chocolate or cheese won’t have as big of an impact as they might if you were on a calorie-restrictive diet.

    The beauty of fasting is that there isn’t one “right” way to do it. In fact, there are several types that are popular.

    Different Types of Fasting
    Intermittent Fasting
    This type of fasting is also known as cyclic fasting. Intermittent fasting is a catch-all phrase for eating (and not eating) intermittently. In fact, almost all of the fasting methods below are types of intermittent fasting! Typical intermittent fast times range from 14 to 18 hours. The longest period any one of these plans would require you to abstain from solid food would be about 32–36 hours.

    Time-Restricted Eating
    If you practice time-restricted eating, you’ll abstain from food for anywhere between 12–16 hours. During your eating window, you can eat as much of your favorite healthy foods as you’d like. This is one of the most common methods of fasting.

    Time-restricted eating is pretty simple to implement. If you finish dinner at 7 p.m., for instance, you wouldn’t eat anything again until at least 7 a.m. If you wanted to take it further, you’d extend the no-eating time until about 11 a.m. or 12 p.m. Because you’re sleeping for a large chunk of the “no eating” time, this is a good way to introduce fasting into your lifestyle and experiment without any major changes.

    16/8 Fasting
    Basically another name for time-restricted eating, here you’ll fast for 16 hours a day and then eat the other eight.

    Alternate Day Fasting
    Another type of intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting has you severely restricting the amount of calories you eat during fasting days, then eating to your stomach’s content on non-fasting days. Food isn’t completely off the table, but you’ll stick to about 25 percent of your normal caloric intake. Someone eating 2,000 calories would cut back to 500, for example. Alternate-day fasting isn’t necessarily a long-term plan, because it can become difficult to stick to, but it can be helpful to get a healthy habit in motion.

    5:2 Diet
    It’s very similar to alternate day fasting except here, you eat normally for five days of the week. On the other two, calories are restricted to about 500–600 calories a day.

    The Warrior Diet
    Here, you’ll stick to fruits and veggies during the day and then eat a well-rounded, larger meal in the evenings.

    The Daniel Fast
    This is a type of spiritual fasting. Based off of Daniel’s experiences in the Bible’s Book of Daniel, the Daniel Fast is a partial fast where vegetables, fruits and other healthy whole foods are featured prominently, but meat, dairy, grains (unless they’re sprouted ancient grains) and drinks like coffee, alcohol and juice are avoided. Most people follow this fast for 21 days in order to experience a spiritual breakthrough, have more time to reflect on their relationship with God or just to feel closer to what Daniel would have experienced in his time.

  • Scientific benefits of Salah

    Salah, Allah’s (SWT) most beloved act of worship, is one of the five main pillars holding up the foundation of Islam. It is the most commonly performed ritual geared towards attaining closeness to Allah (SWT) and poses as a key indicator of being a true Muslim.

    Salah is used as a means of seeking solace, forgiveness, and peace through invoking Allah’s (SWT) assistance; it serves as food for the soul. However, the benefits of Salah do not end with the spiritual domain but in fact, encompass the physical domain as well.

    Customary Salah involves various physical movements and positions, which have been scientifically proven to have medical and health benefits. Even though Muslims generally offer their daily prayers out of their religious duty, however, modern day science has shed light on the physical advantages of offering Salah. Here are a few of them:

    Improves Blood Circulation
    The different positions during the Salah help in improving the overall blood flow in the body. People have a lot of issues when it comes to blood pressure where their blood flow is either too high or too low to a certain region in the body. In these cases, the Salah movements help in regulating the blood flow to all parts of the human body. During the Ruku position, for example, blood flow is regulated in the upper body and during Tashahhud, the blood flow in the lower body is regulated.

    Improves Digestion
    According to scientific studies, the Salah also helps in digestion of the body. For example, during the Quud state, which is basically when the men are sitting down with one foot curled underneath them and the women sit with both their feet under them, the posture is such that it enables and facilitates digestion. It improves liver functions and relaxes the intestines, which in turn facilitates bowel movement in the body. Salah can also help alleviate cases of constipation and overeating.

    Relieves Back Pain and Joint Pain
    The position of the body during prostration and bowing helps open up and ease the joints. Regular use of the joints keeps them healthy and functioning. Moreover, the position of the Ruku helps in alleviating pain in the lower back by relaxing the ligaments and muscles (similar to yoga). It also helps ease the pain in the spinal cord and the hip joints. Through the vertebral relaxation, backache and vertebral illnesses can also be avoided. The Salah overall relaxes the shoulder joints, elbows, knees, ankles and the hip.

    Cardiovascular Health
    In essence, Salah is also a form of exercise and it increases a person’s metabolism, which basically improves a person’s overall cardiovascular health. Every Salah that you offer is similar to exercising on a daily basis which improves the overall functioning of the organs in the body and regulates the secretion of glands and blood flow in the body.

    Body Yoga
    According to modern science, one of the healthiest forms of exercise is yoga and it has been found that the movements during Salah resemble the movements found in the domain of yoga. Yoga, like Salah, rejuvenates the overall bodily mechanisms. It not only aims to keep a person physically fit but also works towards improving a person’s mental well-being. Yoga therapy aims to bring harmony in a person’s life by bringing together all aspects of his/her life including physical, social, spiritual, psychological etc. and creating a full circle of harmony. This is precisely what the Salah aims to do; bring about utter and complete harmony and peace within an individual. Salah also serves as a substitute for stress and anxiety, which yoga also combats.

    Overall Cleanliness and Hygiene
    One of the most obvious benefits of the daily Salah is the overall cleanliness and purity that the individual achieves. It keeps you in a constant state of purity. Before every Salah, a Muslim must perform ablution, which is cleansing of the mouth, nose, face, ears, neck, hands, arms and feet. Staying in a constant state of cleanliness leads to healthier skin and an overall healthy hygiene. It rids one of germs, allergens and various forms of infections and diseases, which are caused by poor hygiene.

    This only goes to show the multi-faceted plate of benefits offered by Salah which not only serves as food for our soul but for our body as well.

  • Halal Gelatine Plant being Built in the East for Muslims

    he plant is expected to offset the shortage of halal gelatine within Malaysia and the SE Asian region


    Shanghai Al-Amin Biotechnology Co Ltd (AminBio), one of China’s major halal food producers, is expected to invest at least RM100 million in a production plant in Malaysia that would have the capacity to produce 3,000 tonnes of halal gelatine per year.

    AminBio CEO Dawood Su Han (picture) said the plant is expected to offset the shortage of halal gelatine within the country and the South-East Asian region.

    He said the company is currently undertaking a feasibility study, expected to be concluded soon, that would pave the way for the plant to be built soon.

    “We are currently conducting a study to determine the best location for the plant. We would prefer it to be either in Selangor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Perak or Johor,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) on the sidelines of the recent Mihas Symposium on Halal Gelatine Ecosystem in Kuala Lumpur.

    Ideally, the plant would occupy a 20.23ha piece of land and the entire project is expected to take two years to complete.

    Dawood said it would, however, be best if the group could acquire plots of land in the Klang Valley, especially locations that are nearer to the port, which would give the company logistical advantage for import and export.

    He added that the company will also be collaborating with Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), Malaysian Investment Development Authority and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp for the project’s development.

    Once the plant is completed, it is expected to be the hub for the Asean market, particularly Indonesia.

    At the moment, AminBio operates a gelatine manufacturing plant in China that has the same capacity as the proposed Malaysian plant.

    Dawood said 90% of the products manufactured in the proposed plant in Malaysia would be exported to other Asean countries, particularly Indonesia that has the largest number of halal consumers in the region.

    He said the facility in China currently produces 3,000 tonnes of halal gelatine annually, using bones, skin and tissue of one million cattle as its raw material.

    In order to produce about the same volume of gelatine here, the company has to find ways to mitigate its raw material issues.

    Dawood said the company has already invested in upstream activities in other countries that will enable the company to control the supply of raw materials.

    “We can also import materials from countries such as New Zealand and Australia at cheaper cost because of the higher volume order,” he said.

    Dawood said AminBio’s annual total turnover has also reached up to 200 million yuan (RM122.8 million) in the last five years.

    “Once the proposed plant is in operation, our projection for the Asean market alone is around RM200 million per year,”

    He added that the plant is also expected to churn out pharmaceutical as well as food and beverage products, apart from having the capacity for downstream goods, including gelatine leaves and collagens.

    Last week, TMR reported that Malaysia is suffering from the shortage of halal gelatine, and currently has to import about 2,000 tonnes from Pakistan and India.

    Mara and UMP has built an incubator that is slated to start operations by the end of 2019. The facility, located at UMP’s main campus in Pekan, Pahang, can produce up to 360 tonnes of gelatine a year.

    The RM20 million incubator will also be used for training purposes among UMP and Mara students.

    Globally, only 0.7% of the total gelatine produced is halal with only 90,000 tonnes produced annually to cater to more than 1.7 billion Muslim population.

  • Top 15 reasons why Pork is bad for You

    Why pork is bad for you ranges from many different issues mainly with their digestive tract and coupled with the swine (pork) is the earths vacum cleaner why would you eat it? Opinions are like butts everyone has one and no one thinks theirs stink (Everyone believes they are right) but what does TMH GOD of ALL CREATION say? Quite frankly he calls the pig good…. (1 Timothy 4:4Open in Logos Bible Software (if available))Now if we leave things right there you might believe it’s ok to eat an animal that would and does eat it’s own fecies but we will show thats not the case.

    Yes once again you have been listening to MAN rather than god but even Prophets told you this Romans 3:4Open in Logos Bible Software (if available). Sadly most of you after reading this indepth article will still strike up the grill and throw some pork on it slap some BBQ sauce on it and say PRAISE the lord not knowing your mind had been seared with an hot iron called sin (1 Timothy 4:2Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)).

    What Man Says About Pork

    Doesnt it seem odd that even though we read or see something that our very soul is telling us is bad we still find a way to take part in it? Entertainment is to blame for some of this because not only doctors, scientists and bloggers from across the world have explained pork WILL Kill You Man says its the other white meat. Man says you can eat anything as long as you cook it well enough but listen close to what I am telling you.

    You “Can” eat anything truthfully but not all things are profitable on this earth to consume because it was never meant as food in the first place. To blacks hispanics and native American indians (Israelites) were forced to eat such abominations because thats all the slave masters gave us. We didnt do it out of want but indeed need and hunger. You have never seen the queen eating out of a garbage can because it’s below her standards.

    Biblical Understanding Unclocked on the Dietary Law
    The Top 15 Reasons To Avoid Pork
    Raw, Uncut Report on the effects

    of Pork and how it leads

    to health issues.

    The pig by very definition is dirty science backs this up with a simple google search it’s the trashcan of the earth. When we say it will eat anything here is the short list. It will eat urine, excrement (Poop), dirt, decaying animal flesh, maggots, or decaying vegetables. They will even eat the cancerous puss that grows on all other animals of the wild.

    The swine has no sweat glands to speak of because it was never meant to sweat out toxins like humans and other species on the planet. When TMH created the pug it was for the express purpose of doing it’s job on the planet. Fun fact that pork meat is just about as posionous as it comes and this incudes fully cooked some germs just dont die . Obviously this has been fact checked millions of times but the pig is 30 percent more posionous than chicken or beef. In short god calls it an ABOMINATION for a reason.

    It’s worth mentioning again but point blank the pig doesn’t sweat like me and you so yeah thats just nasty. Imagine not taking a bath all your life and not sweating what would your insides look like? When you perspirire (or sweat) you realise the bad so your body can heal.The pig is rotten inside if pig is on your plate everything is defiled.

    There is an old saying that goes like this “You Cannot Kill That Which Refuses to Die”. No truer words have been spoken, next to the cockroach there is not a more resilient animal on the planet.The poison in the average pig is so strong that it cannot even be harmed by the most potent poisons including strychnine now that is too strong …. Pork fat also is horrible for complexion and skin products. YES they use pork fat in skin products you use daily check it out.

    Did you know that the pig is a ferocious mammal it’s true. Most meat farmers will purposefully release piglet’s and swine into snake dens to devour snakes of all sorts. If you died and someone threw you in a pig pen there would be nothing left but your clothes. No wait the damn abomination would eat that too LOL. Now you might be asking yourself what if the snake is poisonous it’s self surely the pig would die an agonizing death right ……right? WRONG snake poison doesn’t work on pigs.

    6. Contrary to popular belief man cannot change what god created we are the clay he is the potter. Things are set in order for a reason. Did you know when a pig gets cut up at the butcher shop worm’s maggots and other parasites come out of the pig? They have to wear protective clothing just to get it into pieces. There is a laundry list of WTF in a pig and here is some of those items. You Got tapeworms, grey flukes, dung worms, and trichinae wait there is even more keep reading. Again there is absolutely no possible way to cook this mess off. Not to mention parasites, their cysts, and eggs from bugs/larvae that have planted their eggs inside of the pig . Again there is absolutely no possible way to cook this mess off

    7. As a whole pig meat has almost 5 times the amount of fat than your average T-bone steak. Just 3 OZ of pork meat contains over 20 grams of compound saturated fat this is why we as a nation get colon cancer and other diseases (See Deuteronomy 28:61Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). There is more listen to this a 4 oz pork spare rib has 22.3 grams of fat beef doesnt come close to those numbers. Clean eating habits are a must now more than ever and we havent even included GMO’s and hormones wow. There are literally no benefits from eating pork.

    8. The root breakdown to the work disease is Dis Ease which literally means uncomfort you are not at easy when you do not eat healthy. Above I talked shortly about the dietary law it’s meant to help us be at ease. Pigs carry no less than 35 diseases at any given time that are toxic to humans and especially to us of the 12 tribes. The other nations can digest pork we cannot we are built differently it’s like placing diesel fuel in a car that doesnt use that. We breakdown from the inside out with no relief. The FIRST thing a doctor tells you when you are over weight and got high blood pressure and gout is. Stop eating pork, but why is it you will not listen to the Most High?

    9. You cut your life short when you eat pork I know people who scream YOLO all until they start breaking down from the major amounts of posions in their body. It’s all fun and games till the doctor says you got the BIG C. There is no such thing as a clean pork chop or loin or pork steak. You do not have the power to make that meat clean much less “pray over it”. In short eating pork is a sin because it violates Leviticus 11:7Open in Logos Bible Software (if available),46Open in Logos Bible Software (if available). If you continue to eat pork you can explain that to the creator when you get to the white judgement seat (Revelations 20:11-12 & 1 Corinthians 3:16-17Open in Logos Bible Software (if available))

    10. If you really want to get down to the meat of the matter you are not supposed to even touch pork carcass parts. We are royalty we are supposed to be doing things high society does (Hell they got it from us anyways) but you were pronounced unclean if you touched a dead body of a pig for a period of time. Water alone could not get the taint of you it took time. Same thing today you have pours and pork fat can seep into your blood stream and wreak havoc.

    11. There are many examples of our fore mothers and forefathers refusing to eat pork and they neer backed down. Just go to the book of 2 Maccabees 6:18Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) then read chapter 7. You will find out with the QUICKNESS that we as a nation ate that nasty mutha hubbard we would rather die on the spot. Now I know what you are thinking heh “Christ said I can eat pork” and “It’s not what goes into a man that defiles them”. I know the christianity mind and no Christ NEVER gave you permission to sin against the father.

    12. There is a reason why farmers keep the pigs inside of pens, because they will eat anything that moves or stands still. Pigs are an eviormental blight and will hurt farming and any other production that farmers try to do if left out in the open. Did you know the waste from a pigs is used to alleviate growing lagoons how you ask? Workers spray the waste on fields that are growing out of control. This in turn thousands of wide acres into puddles of “crap”. Yes even their crap is destructive this is also why farmers keep it contained. See more on this here. this is a great article on how destructive swine is to the enviorment.

    13. Did you know that is most countries pork is banned for health reasons? The USDA usually says what is good and what isnt when it comes to meat (No one asls god) and even China can’t sell the pork chops and fatty pork meat it buys from the USA. They eat all sorts of abominations but they will not allow pork in most cases THAT should tell you something you can read more on that here. Smithfield with a host of other US companies regularly dose the swine with ractopamine, which, like antibiotics, is used to speed growth. In other words GMO’s.

    14. Have you ever heard of swine flu? it’s not a myth and you can catch it. If the pig has flu symptoms he will pass it directly to you and there is not a shot in the world a doctor can give you to cure it. Shocking thing is that the CDC allows certain things to go under the rug so to speak and will not openly tell you “Hey world pork is bad”.Most of these high profile companies are paid to keep hush hush.

    15. Pigs have harmful Trichinosis worms in them again the doctors and CDC know this but they will not openly tell you there is too much money involved. Why do you think pork is so cheap at the market? The worm parasite is very well known by all but a few and they would love to keep it that way. They spread through the worm like a virus and they are looking for a new host to dig themselves into and 3/4 that is a Israelite. That’s not thw worst of it heh yea yall it gets gruesome the females lay their eggs inside of you and spread like wildfire.

  • 8 Best Foods to Eat for Weight Loss

    Eating more of these foods can help you slim down.
    1-Day Diabetes Meal Plan

    While no one food is a magic bullet for weight loss, there are certain foods that can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. Most of the foods included as part of a weight-loss diet have a few things in common: they’re high in fiber (which helps keep you feeling fuller longer) and have a low energy density—meaning that you can eat a decent-sized portion without overdoing it on calories. Include the following weight-loss foods as part of a healthy overall diet, and you may find it’s easier to achieve your weight-loss goals.

    Don’t Miss: 1,500-Calorie Meal Plan for Weight Loss

    1. Avocados
    Hasselback Tex-Mex Avocados

    Recipe to Try: Hasselback Tex-Mex Avocados

    Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, potassium and phytochemicals. People who eat avocados tend to have lower BMI, body weight and waist circumference than people who skip this green superfood, per a study in Nutrition Journal. While avocados are higher in calories than other fruits and vegetables, their satisfying fat and fiber combo may help you slim down. Add some to your salad, sandwich or taco night for a burst of creaminess and flavor.

    2. Eggs
    Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato

    Recipe to Try: Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato

    Eggs are rich in high-quality protein, fats and essential nutrients, like vitamin D and choline. It’s the protein, and the time of day we tend to eat them, that especially makes them a powerhouse for weight loss. Eating a high-protein breakfast promotes weight loss, because protein increases satiety while regulating hunger and appetite hormones, helping fend off your hunger until lunchtime. One study found that eating eggs for breakfast left people feeling more satisfied than those who had bagels—which helped them eat less throughout the day.

    3. Beans
    Better Three-Bean Salad

    Recipe to Try: Better Three-Bean Salad

    All beans are high in fiber, which is your friend when you’re trying to lose weight because it helps you feel fuller longer, thus controlling hunger. Eating beans and legumes has also been linked with various other health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. Beans are fairly low in calories and deliver protein as well. Try them in homemade veggie burgers, soups and salads.

    4. Yogurt
    Raspberry Yogurt Cereal Bowl

    Recipe to Try: Raspberry Yogurt Cereal Bowl

    Yogurt is protein-packed and full of probiotics, which are good for gut health and may help your weight-loss efforts. Your gut health can impact your weight, and eating more fiber and probiotics helps keep your gut bacteria happy, which can be good for your metabolism (read more about your gut-weight connection). Go Greek for more protein; plus, research from Appetite found that consumption of Greek yogurt was associated with reduced appetite and increased satiety. Just keep an eye on added sugars in flavored yogurts, which only add calories. Instead, use fresh fruit to sweeten plain yogurt.

    5. Salmon
    Garlic Roasted Salmon & Brussels Sprouts

    Recipe to Try: Garlic Roasted Salmon & Brussels Sprouts

    Salmon is a rich source of high-quality protein and provides plenty of “good” fats: omega-3 fatty acids. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helped people feel more satisfied when they were watching their calories, per a study in Appetite. Eating salmon can be a delicious and versatile way to get your recommended two weekly servings of heart-healthy fish.

    6. Fruit
    Fresh Fruit Salad

    Recipe to Try: Fresh Fruit Salad

    Fruit gets a bad rap sometimes because it naturally contains sugar. But eating fruit can help you lose weight, especially when you swap in fresh fruit for processed foods or other unhealthy snacks. You’ll get a naturally sweet treat, plus reap the benefits of fiber and antioxidants. A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that higher fruit consumption was associated with lower risk of becoming overweight or obese, independent of vegetable or fiber intake—though including fruit as part of a healthy diet overall is always the best strategy.

    7. Popcorn
    Lemon-Parm Popcorn

    Recipe to Try: Lemon-Parm Popcorn

    As long as this popular crunchy treat isn’t doused in movie-theater butter, it makes an excellent weight-loss snack. Not only is popcorn high in fiber, it even delivers some protein. A 1-ounce serving of air-popped corn (about 3½ cups) has 4 grams of fiber, almost 4 grams of protein and clocks in at 110 calories. This combination makes it a snack with staying power. Popcorn is filled with air, so you get a pretty large portion without a lot of calories. You can eat 3 whole cups of popcorn for only 100 calories.

    8. Almonds
    Mango-Almond Smoothie Bowl

    Recipe to Try: Mango-Almond Smoothie Bowl

    Almonds are an excellent source of fiber, and they’re high in protein. Eating foods with the one-two punch of fiber and protein can help you feel fuller longer—which makes it less tempting to reach for an unhealthy snack between meals.

    Rich in vitamin E and a good source of heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, almonds are a great choice to sprinkle over a salad or side dish. You can also use them in pesto in place of walnuts or pine nuts, top your morning granola with them, or simply keep a small bag in your purse as an emergency snack.

  • A Short Biography of Prophet Muhammad

    This article is from the second edition of Jihad in the Qur’an: The Truth from the Source. The book is now in its third edition.

    Prophet Muhammad was born in 570 CE (Common Era) in the city of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula, part of modern day Saudi Arabia. As his father had died shortly after marriage, his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib became his guardian. ‘Abd al-Muttalib was the respected head of the clan of Hashim and the tribe of Quraysh, to which his clan belonged. With the Quraysh being the biggest and most influential tribe in Mecca, ‘Abd al-Muttalib was seen as the master of all of Mecca. The Quraysh had a special status in Mecca because they used to be in charge of the sacred Ka’ba. The Qur’an tells us that this holy edifice was built by Prophets Abraham and his son Ishmael:

    And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House [Abraham prayed]: “Our Lord! Accept from us; surely You are the Hearing, the Knowing (2.127). Our Lord! Make us Muslims and raise from our offspring a nation of Muslims. Show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Surely, Your are the Relenting, the Merciful” (2.128).

    This means that the Ka’ba was built around 1900 BCE, which is when Abraham is thought to have lived. The Ka’ba maintained its venerable status as the destination of pilgrimage in the eyes of the pilgrims and the Arab population of the Arabian Peninsula down the centuries. ‘Abd al-Muttalib was personally in charge of the Ka’ba.

    The Prophet was only about five to six years old when he lost his mother. Orphan Muhammad then lost his grandfather and custodian ‘Abd al-Muttalib at the age of eight. Now one of ‘Abd al-Muttalib’s sons, Abu Talib, became the guardian of his orphan nephew. Though respected by the clan of Hashim and the people of Mecca in general, Abu Talib did not possess the high status and influence of his father. Had he been more fortunate financially, he might have aspired to acquire that special leadership status.

    When Muhammad was twenty five years old, he was hired by a woman called Khadija to take her merchandize to Syria. Khadija, a widow fifteen years Muhammad’s senior, later proposed marriage to him, which he agreed to. They lived together for almost a quarter of a century, until the death of Khadija about 8-9 years after the revelation of the Qur’an.

    It is interesting to note that Muhammad did not get married to any other woman during Khadija’s life, despite the fact that polygamy was common practice in that society. Living out his youth with only one woman in that highly polygamous environment contradicts Muhammad’s lecherous image in the Western mind.

    Muhammad was deeply interested in matters beyond this mundane life. He used to frequent a cave that became known as “Hira‘” on the Mountain of “Nur” (light) for contemplation. The cave itself, which survived the times, gives a very vivid image of Muhammad’s spiritual inclinations. Resting on the top of one of the mountains north of Mecca, the cave is completely isolated from the rest of the world. In fact, it is not easy to find at all even if one knew it existed. After visiting the cave, I found myself concluding that Muhammad must have been divinely guided to that hideaway, even if he had chosen it consciously. Once inside the cave, it is a total isolation. Nothing can be seen other than the clear, beautiful sky above and the many surrounding mountains. Very little of this world can be seen or heard from inside the cave. The inhabitant of that cave was obviously interested in things beyond this world and its material riches.

    It was in that cave in 610 CE, i.e. at the age of forty, that Prophet Muhammad received from Allah the first verses of the Qur’an. Then and there, history changed.

    The Qur’an continued to be revealed in fragments to Prophet Muhammad over the following twenty two years. The last words of the Book were revealed to the Prophet shortly before his death in 632 CE. We will read more about the Qur’an in section 2.2.

    In the first two to three years after the revelation, the Prophet preached Islam secretly to individuals whom he trusted. When he started calling people to Islam publicly, the new religion gradually attracted more people but, not surprisingly, also increasing hostility from the idol worshipping population of Mecca. The Prophet was subjected to harassment and abuse. However, armed with patience, resilience, and determination, and protected by his uncle Abu Talib and the clan of Hashim, the Prophet was able to carry on preaching the new faith to people.

    Converts to Islam, some of whom were slaves, had to suffer all kinds of persecution, including brutal torture and murder, at the hands of the enemies of the new religion in Mecca. In 614 CE, the Prophet had to instruct a group of Muslims to escape the persecution to Abyssinia and seek the protection of its just Christian king. The Quraysh then sent a delegation to the king, carrying precious gifts, to secure the extradition of the Muslim refugees. The king, however, rejected the bribe and let the Muslims stay in Abyssinia.

    One year later, the Quraysh imposed economic and social sanctions on the Prophet, his followers, and his clan. As a result, the Muslims withdrew to a mountain in Mecca. The sanctions lasted about three years before collapsing in 618/619 CE without achieving their goals.

    Soon afterward, the Prophet lost his wife Khadija. Matters got worse quickly with the death of his uncle and protector. Prophet Muhammad started to suffer more from the disbelievers’ relentless attempts to uproot Islam and destroy its followers. During the pilgrimage season in 622 CE, Muhammad met in Mecca with a number of chiefs from the city of Yathrib, where he had previously sent some Muslims to settle in. Having converted to Islam, the chiefs made a secret pledge to protect the Prophet should the Quraysh try to kill him.

    However, the Quraysh learned about the agreement, so the people from Yathrib had to return quickly to their city. Sensing that the danger to Muslims has increased, Muhammad instructed them to immigrate individually or in small groups to Yathrib. The Qurayshites tried to prevent Muslims from fleeing Mecca to Yathrib, but the converts continued to sneak out gradually.

    The continuing immigration of Muslims to Yathrib where they had allies was already very bad news for the Qurayshites. This could yet get much worse if Muhammad also would move to that city. They decided that they had no other option but to kill him.

    The various clans of the tribe of Quraysh agreed to act as one and assassinate the Prophet while asleep. The idea behind acting collectively was that no one party could be blamed for the killing and become embroiled in a war of vengeance with the clan of Hashim.

    The assassination plan, however, was sabotaged by divine intervention. The night the murder was planned to take place, Allah informed His Prophet of the danger and ordered him to secretly leave Mecca and head to the city of Yathrib. The latter became known as “al-Madina al-Munawwara” (the illuminated city), or “al-Madina” for brief, after the arrival of the Prophet.

    This famous event, known as the “Hijra ” (immigration), occurred in 622 CE, about twelve years after the revelation of the first verses of the Qur’an. This flight was destined to have far-reaching consequences in establishing the Islamic community, strengthening the position of Islam, and spreading its message.

    The Prophet lived in al-Madina for about ten years. By the time of his departure from this world in 632 CE, Islam had become well established as the religion of the Arabian Peninsula and had made inroads in neighboring regions; Muslims had become a major force to be reckoned with in the area.

    There are a number of good, detailed English biographies of Prophet Muhammad. One biography written by a non-Muslim is Karen Armstrong’s Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet (London: Phoenix Press, 2001). Another one written by a Muslim is Martin Lings’ Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (Inner Traditions Intl Ltd, 1987).

    For easy reference, this is a short chronology of major events in the life of Prophet Muhammad:

    Date (CE)



    Birth of the Prophet in Mecca. His father was already dead when he was born.


    The death of the Prophet’s mother.


    The death of the Prophet’s grandfather and custodian ‘Abd al-Muttalib. The Prophet’s uncle Abu Talib became his guardian.


    The first revelation of the Qur’an.


    The Prophet started calling people to Islam publicly.


    The first immigration of Muslims to Abyssinia escaping the persecution of the idol-worshipping Meccans. They stayed there for three months. A second immigration to Abyssinia, involving more Muslims, took place later on. This time, the immigrants stayed in Abyssinia until 628 CE when they rejoined the Prophet in al-Madina.


    The tribe of Quraysh imposed economic and social sanctions on Muslims and the clan of Prophet Muhammad, Hashim.


    The collapse of the sanctions.


    The death of Abu Talib, the Prophet’s uncle, triggering increased hostility from the Meccans toward the Prophet.


    The emigration of the Prophet from Mecca to al-Madina.


    The first major battle of the Muslims against the disbelievers, known as the battle of Badr.


    The Muslims conquered Mecca without fighting.


    The last revelation of the Qur’an.


    The departure of the Prophet from this world in al-Madina.

  • S. Korea’s top kids beverage earns halal certificate

    SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) — Paldo Co., a local food company, said Thursday it has earned a halal certificate for its kids drinks as it moves to bolster overseas sales.

    Pororo Drinks recently gained certification from the Indonesian Council of Ulama, or MUI, marking the first such case for beverage products targeting children, the company said.

    Halal food refers to products that are prepared in a specific way according to Islamic Sharia law, which covers not only meat but also fruits and vegetables.

    Launched in 2007, the kids beverage brand is currently exported to some 40 countries with an annual revenue of 50 billion won (US$47 million) as of last year, according to the company.

    Paldo said Pororo Drinks is the No. 1 product in South Korea’s kids beverage market, with half of the earnings coming from overseas. The company aims to raise the proportion to 60 percent in the near future.

    The company said the size of Indonesia’s beverage market is estimated at $5 billion as of 2016, up 60 percent from 2012.

    Sales of Pororo Drinks in the Southeast Asian country came to 5 billion won in 2017, accounting for 20 percent of total overseas sales, Paldo said.

  • Thriving Utah Goat Farm Provides Halal Meat for Refugees

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A goat farm started several years ago by three African refugee communities to create a source of affordable goat meat is thriving with more than 100 births and a slew of volunteers.

    Refugee Ismael Mohamed said the ranch provides a source of affordable, high-quality meat for the more than 7,000 refugees from Somali Bajuni, Burundi and Somali Bantu who live along the Wasatch Front, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday.

    Mohamed said the protein that the refugees were accustomed to eating in their homeland was difficult or expensive to find in Utah, mainly because it must be processed in the proper halal manner, required by those of the Muslim faith.

    “By ourselves, we couldn’t do this,” Mohamed said. “Where we are is because of the volunteers.”

    Each new member of the herd is welcomed into the world by a volunteer “kid sitter” who — just like a maternity ward nurse — keeps watch over the pregnant does as they prepare to deliver.

    The farm started in 2013 with 40 goats. By 2017, the herd had grown to about 250. Once the kidding season ends in 2018, it will be nearing 500.

    The refugees pay an employee — a fellow refugee with animal husbandry experience — to maintain the herd during the week, while refugee families pitch in on the weekends to ensure the animals have food and water, Mohamad said.

    Processing the meat and selling it to other refugees bring in income, as do grazing fees, Mohamed said. Large landowners rent portions of the herd to clear overgrowth and noxious weeds and, in the process, prevent field fires. Profits go into a scholarship fund.


    Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,

  • The global halal food market is expected to reach USD 739.59 billion by 2025

    The global halal food market is expected to reach USD 739.59 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The global halal food industry is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to increasing Muslim population and their substantially increasing expenditure on food & non-beverages, which is considered as the main driving force of this market. The total Islamic population is expected to increase from 23% in the present situation to around 30% of the total world population by 2030.

    World over initiatives has been seen escalating since the last few years with the advent of few events in Asia Pacific and the Middle East & African region, which are the top two regions contributing to the growth of the global market. A major bilateral initiative to mention would be the cooperation between Abu Dhabi and South Korea, which allowed South Korea to gain further access to the global halal food market.

    Governments of the Islamic as well as the non-Islamic nations and the manufacturers of halal-certified food products have been taking various initiatives in terms of marketing & educating consumers about these products. The confidence of consumers in halal brands has been the most influential factor in the actual purchase of these products.

    Meat and alternatives were the largest product segment in 2016 with a net market worth of over USD 590 billion globally.Halal meat has always been a remarkable business segment.

    The formation of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been well placed to take the initiative of setting an international standard for these food items. Owing to the formation of these types of organizational figures the industry participants have been successful to a great extent in building consumer trust and pushing penetration of the product category to even higher levels.

    Further key findings from the report suggest:
    • The global halal foods industry was valued at USD 436.8 billion in 2016 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% over the next eight years
    • Milk & milk products such as processed milk, cheese, and yogurt are expected to be one of the another primary product segment driving growth for the global industry
    • Beverages such as carbonated drinks, packaged juice, and sweeteners with halal certification are expected to witness substantial demand over the forecast period. The segment is estimated to grow at a CAGR of over 4.9% in Turkey.
    • Asia Pacific was the leading consumer in 2016. Around 63% of the global Muslim population resides in this region, which is the main driving factor in the region. Indonesia and Malaysia together accounted for over 55% of the regional demand in 2016.
    • Major companies actively operating in the global halal food industry include Nestlé, Glanbia Cheese Ltd, Guenther Bakeries UK Ltd, Kellogg’s
    • Companies have been trying to strengthen consumer trust with several marketing campaigns trying to be transparent about their production process of packed halal foods

    Download the full report:

  • Halal Meat Market Survey by Experts 2018

    Halal Meat Market Survey by Experts 2018
    April 20, 2018 – by rashmi.s

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    Europe Country
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