Halal online

Halal online

Tazeen Javed imagines the future of Islamic web browsing.

The Jews have beaten the more pious Muslims to it again. A new ‘kosher’ search engine called Koogle has been launched for orthodox Jews living in Israel, which will allow them to surf cyberspace without ever encountering unbecoming images or faith wavering text and keep the dangers of subversion and temptation at bay.  Koogle will follow the religious standards set by the rabbis and is aimed at helping orthodox Jews stay on the stipulated path.

Apparently a jibe at Google, Koogle will filter out forbidden material and provide its consumers kosher bits and pieces from the net. This provides an impetus to our more religious-minded Muslim brothers to come up with a halal search engine or perhaps something even better: a halal browser.  The halal browser could scan the web and act all big brotherly for the benefit of its devout and virtuous users.

Ideally, the halal browser will check out the halal quotient of the content in cyberspace. The browser could also label web content according to different levels of halalness. The varying degrees of halalness could range from barely halal to standard halal and extra or strictly halal and everything in between.

The barely halal version will only let the user know that there is dangerous content ahead and warn that if you want to keep your faith intact, browse no further. The standard halal version will not only warn you about dangerous content ahead, but will also distort the appearance of the browser and scream ‘haram haram!’ Anyone with even a remnant of faith will cease browsing non-halal content and will revert to halal content. The reward for clicking along the righteous path – Ovais Qadri naats in the background.

Meanwhile, the strictly halal version will not warn you about anything; instead, it will just obstruct the material deemed inappropriate by the maulanas. For instance, if you are on Facebook or blogging to your heart’s desire and you see adverts with a semi-nude woman with a lollipop (the ultimate test of your faith) asking you to buy this or that, fear no more. The new and improved halal browser, equipped with halal firewall, will take care of it for you. You can look forward to a situation in which only totally halal adverts for items such as halal chicken, halal chips, halal banking and Umrah tours pop on your browser.

If you are an online shopper and have indulged in shopping taboo items in the past, the new and improved halal browser will even curb your enthusiasm for all things forbidden and halt your purchase before you set up your Paypal account.

The only problem is that we do not have this halal browser right now. For a religious minded businessman, it is the best opportunity since halal foods and Shariah-compliant banking to make some solid dough. If Junaid Jamshed is done with modeling for a commercial in the guise of public service message, which, let’s be honest, is really a fatwa in favour of a commercial product, he can now invest to develop the first-ever Shariah compliant halal browser.

Of course, if you were already using the halal browser, this blog would have been blocked at the get-go.

Tazeen Javed has lived most of her life in Karachi; so far no one has asked her to leave. She has worked as a journalist, teacher, salesperson, activist, tour guide, election observer, fruit vendor, copy writer and television producer in the past. She has wizened up since then and now only works for a living. She blogs at http://tazeen-tazeen.blogspot.com and can be contacted at tazeen@alumni.manchester.ac.uk.


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98 Responses to “Halal online”

  1. Al Sunna says:

    Assalam walakum,

    This blog is a very nice blog, I have found it very beneficial to know more about Islam. Thanks for sharing the information.

  2. Bangash says:

    Excellent satire !!

  3. Hello Miss Tazeen,

    I think, the halal browser is an activity in futility for if one has takhwa does one actually need a Halal browser and if we did see something obnoxious on the Net we showed lower the gaze and guard our modesty (chap 21 quran) and well that should do, but just four the heck of it, one can make a halal browser if it can help search restaurants that serve halal food just like zabiha.com here in US

  4. Ali says:

    @DMA: Stay cool, it was just light hearted sarcasm

  5. [...] Koogle a Kosher browser – no, I kid you not! The Halal browser drew some comments from Karachi blogger Tazeen Javed about its seductive features for the [...]

  6. DMA says:

    What a note this blog begins with: “The Jews have beaten the more pious Muslims to it again.”

    Why so much hatred towards another religion and will this stop??? I do not understand! The core practices and beliefs of Islam are borrowed from the Jews and still hatred preached!

  7. BulBul says:

    Good Job at the article!

    I even liked your description in the end. ‘No one has asked you leave Karachi’ and worked as a ‘Fruit Vendor’

    Simply love it!

  8. Ammar says:

    As a business student I would like to say it’s a great idea that would cater those people who are very much religious conscious.

    There was a space to come up with different ideas like this; meanwhile Internet is also used in our Islamic institutions that would be a good market for Koogle..

    SimplY marketers are MINDBLOWING!!

  9. NY says:

    I second to Mr Sabih’s comment, this blog post lost is objectivity way before its taste.

    On a lighter note , hope to see better one’s next time.

  10. Anees says:

    A good one as “dede’ has commented.
    Now some qualifiers:
    The Halal browser cannot be evoked by Ladies unless they are in Hijab and men without proper Islamic Attire. No T shirts and Shorts. And unless you invoke the name of the God or the Guru, (I hear that the Sikhs are looking for one too) you can’t open the browser.
    The Halal browser will only accept ads from Halal sellers of Halal food. This good news particularly for the residents of Canadian Mississauga. Their search for Halal Milk and Halal shaving erasers will be over.
    The halal browser will have one section devoted to taliban news.
    One section each for our CJ, President and of course Nawaz Sharif. They will now provide columnized entertainment. our PM. Oh he doesn’t count. He’s carbon tax. And let’s not forget our very own Imran Khan. The browser will have link WWW. Complaints. com hyperlinked to our supercap.
    More Pen to you Ms. Tazeeen

  11. ibteda says:

    Lol, Tazeen, atleast they are taking you seriously. :D

  12. Salman Latif says:

    Nice one. That’s such a fine business idea :D
    Plus, let’s see how many version we’ll have to launch. The wahabi version, the deobandi version, the brailvi version and the shi’ite version. Lolz! Now that’s gonna add a fine spice of diversity to it. :D

  13. Vicky says:

    People will never understand that censoring or restricting on Haram or Hilal content is useless.

    Haram & Hilal are two sides of one coin so how can you drop one of them and carry other side. For whole life, you try to differentiate and choose betweem Haram & Hilal which is not possible.

    People think that being a Muslim, Hindu, Christian Or Jan and following their respective path properly is religiousness. But they deceive them self by trying to get social respect.
    Religiousness comes from inside oneself – from having faith and acting in a moral way. I think this shows religiosity better than outward appearances and actions.

    Anyway, We are talking about Koogle or Hilal browser. This will not make any progress in religiousness but they will surely make their way of income for them self by deceiving in the name of HARAM, HILAL and religiousness.

  14. Ven says:

    A halal browser!!!! This is not a revolution but indeed a naive thinking. All religions teach that humans have the mind to decide between right and wrong. We need to stop unifying everything to Islam but instead change it in a manner that people with their own free will want to follow their religion. All countries in the world are facing similar issues on the web but none have come up with this conclusion.. Please open your minds instead of acting foolishly! Kookle.. I just cant get over it lolzz…

  15. Tariq Mian, Canada says:

    “Halal online” is good piece of satire.
    Kosher search engine ‘koogal’ vs. the ‘Sharia compliant Halal browser’—–there you go.
    Halal-browser is already available, but now there is a need of a better version.
    Actually, this is in the best interest of the business community to modify and upgrade their presentations for attracting more satisfied customers.
    On the other hand, the pious people try to keep practicing what is religiously right.
    Psychology of the consumers is the top priority and consideration by the interested commercial community. They manage, however, to have “favourable fatwa” for marketing the products.
    Thus, a massive diversion of the mind-set is name of the game.
    The mockery of the religious practice is not funny as the word ‘Halal’ has been over-exaggerated. This, of course, is discussed everywhere to such a point that some authors always get a golden chance to find a topic to write up a few lines to address the issue satirically.
    The business-community is out there to take advantage of the ‘weakness’ or the simplicity prevailing among the religious groups.
    It is just our ‘alive conscience’ which guide us to a true path.
    The Muslim community usually follows the commercially attractive items under the decal or banner of halal.
    Good news is that this opens doors and creates opportunity for many in the commercial sector.

  16. Zeeba says:

    In remembrance of our recently Halal pop khalifa the (late) Meekaal Jackson, let me dedicate this song as his contribution to a trillion dollar market that you’re talking about here.
    The song is “Halal the World” (read in Urdu–Dunya Halal Karo) – For you and for me and for the entire Human Race.

    Ameen–Sum Ameen
    BTW, I really enjoyed reading your post.

  17. Sabih says:

    To add to my earlier comment, fact of the matter is that, bringing up a religious doctrine for the amusement of a people to vent frustrations against what is going on in our societies is outrageous. If there are any direct examples present in this article of enjoining of good then please point it out!

  18. Tanvir says:

    1. There will be several version of Halal browser, each for every sect..

    2. The Halal browser will cease during prayers times

    3. The Halal browser will only work if the user’s look is complaint with shariah, i.e. if male, should have beard, if female, should be covered, This will be detected by intelligent image recognition algorithms.

  19. Vijay says:

    I dont have to repeat that has already been said about sarcasm. :-)

    I wonder why the so called religious people want a “halal” version of the browser or search engine??? Cant they simply skip those pages. I am sure today’s generation knows which pages are “halal” and which are not.

  20. Rauf Khan says:

    Excellent article!!If we truely will to develop a Halal browser we can. Ulama of all School Of Thoughts agree upon many HARAAM things, so there wudn’t be much disagreement. And if there is, then make two Halal Browsers, no problem:)

    by day way Tazeen… The reward is fantastic: :)

    The reward for clicking along the righteous path – Ovais Qadri naats in the background.

  21. Sajjad says:

    gr8 idea.Needs to be materialized by our IT companies.

  22. Quratulain says:

    Good satire! and an impressive one.

  23. Zoobee says:


    Down with moral policing indeed!


  24. Good stuff. We need it.

  25. Yassiah Yasser says:

    Well written and thought provoking article. There are many sites and organizations for whom it is a big income generating business. ICNA and ISNA are two of those here in Canada. These two issue certficates to meet and poultry processors for financial reward and these businesses label their products ” Halal” and mark up the price. All of them are taking advatage of unsuspecting , ignorant Muslims.

  26. Tarik Jaffery says:

    Islamization of the web through designing a halal browser is another novel concept to ridicule the “righteous” and “pious” surfers. A good piece of satire.

  27. Aliarqam says:

    Nice post….Bitter Yet
    procrusteanation Of each and everything is going to happen..
    Islamic banking is the new thread….In Karachi,Various Madressas are on a verbal War for declaring it Halal and Haram….
    Hundreds of pages are written in cross argumentations…
    One group(The Benefeciaries of that Convert) is advocating it….Other is against it…

  28. Sood says:

    I was at one time doing research in humane killing of animals.
    No matter which way you kill them, just look into their sad eyes
    you will give up eating meat, halal or haram.

  29. Hussain Mandviwala says:

    I don’t get it, why do we need a Halal browser to keep us at bay from Haram things. As Muslims, we should have the power to resist temptation and illicit material over the internet. We have the force within us to keep evil at bay… we don’t need a browser to keep us away from it all..

    Think about it. It’s like saying I will only pray Zohar on Friday because all my co-workers go, the other days well nobody goes, should I don’t go also… its crazy

  30. Kiv says:

    Ha! Clever indeed! Very well done…. I would add one enhancement for Ms Javed’s considersation:

    The browser should pass a jolt of electricity at the user who commits blasphemy (hudood ordinance aware browser). Or maybe, that is the job of “Halaal Windows” OS??