Reminder: It is never about YOU.
Raise your hand and join in the conversation if you face these challenges….
Have you ever seen muslim ladies with gorgeous scarves donning their beautiful faces…who work in “Halal” stalls but you cannot see any signs of Halal cert being displayed and then you see her other staff- chefs or cooks are non-Malay/non-Muslim looking…. you begin to be very curious and ask them this question:
Excuse me, is this stall halal? (Or are the food halal?)
Note:Im referring to all kinds of shapes and sizes stalls, restaurants, makeshift, especially in Halal -theme foodcourts or even the kueh corners …..of Singapore.
And then they turned around and changed into a different colour…in a split second.And words splattered all over, smacking, slapping you before you even have the chance to react or pull out the umbrella to protect yourself from the sharp but wet whiplash…
Some of the words could be… (Malay,english or assortment of alien languages..also could be a figment of my mind translation and imagination…or also my fear mechanisms automatic reaction…)
You think when we work here, we never check?
You think that we ourselves never eat the food
Are you trying to say Im eating these food and its not halal?
Are you saying that my work is not halal?
Why the heck Im wearing tudung (scarf) for?
Are you doubting my status as a muslim?
Are you here to make fun of me or make my job harder?
Why do u even bother asking these questions, now you spoil my day and make me mad…
Well after going thru a series of such incidents…
I learnt to react well.
Face turned lobster automatically.(nothing I can do about this)
I took a deep breath and say…I’m sorry, This is not about you.Im not judging you.This is my job.I am a writer for many medias.I need to know whether this is Halal-certified or muslim owned.I need to see the Halal certification and its expiry dates.These are all info and facts that I need to verify before I write my articles.
And then,her reddish fiery flame face turned to pink.
Apology muttered but always unheard.
Awkward is definitely the new theme.
Tip:Ask proper questions…
1)Excuse me, is this stall halal-certified or muslim-owned? With a sparkling set of teeth showing sincerity smile . (Tip-If u start seeing cloudy smoke “escaping” her ears, or any signs of her turning into “Shrek” then…you can mention that this is a project you are working on or you are a writer, researcher whatever… *grins… )
2)Thank them profusely and say -Have a great day! You are awesome!
3)optional-Sometimes, its a back and neck breaking job, if u can (same sex only)…
say-Can I give u a hug? U have done such a wonderful job…
give them a heartfelt hug…sincerely…
Remember: When someone ask you about “Halalness” of your stall, food, or even ur fnb workplace…it is never about you. Halal is everyone’s responsibility. No one is judging you. If you know, share the Halal info.If not, refer to someone else who knows ;your mates or superiors.
Thank you. We love you n your effort!
P.s: I’m not saying everyone reacts the same way. Perhaps its just a few weird incidents…or perhaps its just me..n a few others I’ve talked to who experienced somewhat similar incidents.So no worries…just sharing…
Anyway, Halal is every Muslim’s responsibility. When in doubt, ask, if not leave it.