Muslims from across the Bay Area made a trip to Fremont to participate in the first-of-its kind restaurant week featuring restaurants that serve halal food and zabiha meat.
“I’ve had a lot of tacos. I really like them here. I think they are definitely worth the drive,” Laila Mahmood, who made the trip to Fremont from Concord, told ABC 7 News.
“We don’t have that many options for halal Mexican food in Concord. Yeah, so for me it’s worth it.”
The idea of the event came from Irfan Rydhan, the founder of Halal Fest, an annual food event that takes place in the summer.
He believes it’s critical to rally the community to support local restaurants during the pandemic.
“They are getting a lot of exposure. They are getting new customers, as well, coming in (who) haven’t even heard of them before. So, (the restaurants) are very happy about that,” says Rydhan.
The event’s success showed it was worth effort, according to Zoha Raza, a foodie vlogger who said many restaurants were getting big crowds for take away orders.
“It is the first Halal Restaurant Week in the United States, happening in the Bay Area. And I think that’s incredible,” says Raza.
“By people seeing swarms of people outside a restaurant, I am sure even non-Muslims will wonder what’s going on.”
What Is Halal?
Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. In general every food is considered halal in Islam unless it is specially prohibited by the Qur’an or the Hadith.
The term is commonly used for meat. It also applies to other food products, cosmetics, personal care products and pharmaceuticals which mustn’t be derived from non-halal sources like pork.
Halal also applies to any other consumed and edible materials which mustn’t be harmful to human health. For example, Islam considers wines, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, E-cigs, hookah and other unhealthy things to be non-halal.
For something to be considered halal, the animal from which it came from must be well-treated, raised in a humane and healthy way, and slaughtered according to Shari’ah for hygiene reasons.