[A letter written by GIMDES Netherlands Volunteers…]
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
As we write these lines to you, we are writing not only through a specific institution, but as a simple citizen, as Muslims facing troubles.
First of all, may Allah be pleased with you for all your efforts for the sake of us Muslims in these foreign lands. All your struggles to provide religious educations, youth trainings and other events are praiseworthy. As I mentioned, especially abroad, our mosques, and the activities organized by religious officials gain more significance. Our mosques perform an important function in our lives as they are the central place where Muslim Ummah is gathered. However, we were not able to stop ourselves from sharing our bleeding wound in our hearts with you.
We have canteens in our mosques and our children, teenagers and elders buy their food from here in their spare time. In these canteens many times there are candies that are not known to be Halal & Tayyib, or even almost certain that they are not Halal & Tayyib (for example, jelly beans with gelatin). It causes a deep sorrow for us to observe that our children learn everything in the mosques except Halal and Tayyib nutrition as well as the lackness of our mosques to implement this kind of lifestyle.
“O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.” (Surah al-Baqarah, 168)
“O you who have believed, eat from the good [i.e., lawful] things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.” (Surah al-Baqarah, 172)
Halal and Tayyib food is an indispensable aspect of a Muslim, it is a matter of faith. Unfortunately, it is a cause of sadness for us to observe the lackness on this. However, we perceive that it is our mission to remind you about this issue by keeping in mind that “it is never too late to mend”.
The need for Halal and Tayyib Living System is the most sacred consumer rights of Muslims (even all people). Therefore, we (as Diyanah Foundation) kindly ask you to take steps in this issue and come up with new projects to establish (or transform) Halal & Tayyib canteens. If we think on our behalf, one of the first steps to be taken is to detect the products that are bought from these canteens, engaging in research about their Halal and Tayyibness and change them with the products certified by a reliable and impartial certification body (i.e. GİMDES) to the utmost extent. From our point of view, this would be the most appropriate starting point.
In addition, we do not think that just changing the existing canteens is not enough. After cleaning and organizing the current environment, children and adults should be informed about it. For example, this issue can be included in the education curriculum of children. While teaching children, conferences and trainings should be given to young people and adults as well.
We would like to support you wholeheartedly regarding the issues mentioned above. As GIMDES Netherlands Volunteers, we are working on educating our people about Halal & Tayyib nutrition. We identify the existing certified products, offer informative conferences/trainings, and organize entertaining workshops for our children. If there is a need for further information, it would be a great pleasure for us to receive your requests.
GIMDES Netherlands Volunteers