The halal cosmetic market is one of the fastest-growing markets out there and in 2020, it was valued at 74.7 billion US dollars (approximately 55.1 billion pounds). Experts have predicted that this number is set to grow as more and more companies try and target their Muslim audience. But how will they do this? Of course, there’s only one simple answer: Making sure all their products are halal.
For those of you that might not be aware, the term “halal” is an Arabic word that translates to “permissible” and is the main reference used in the Quran to dictate what is allowed and what is not. The majority of Muslims abide by these rules and make sure they are careful when it comes to choosing products to invest in.
What does halal certification mean?
A halal-certified product means that the product is permissible or acceptable under Islamic law and is given to companies like Anaaka only after a strict set of checks are done to ensure it follows all the required regulations.
Why certify things that are already halal?
There has been recent conversation on the need to certify products that are already halal, such as flour or vegan products. Whilst to some it may seem pointless to do so, it is important to remember that halal certification is a process that checks everything from raw material sources to the final label that is printed on the packaging. This is important so you can be sure that what you are consuming is not contaminated with anything that comprises your beliefs and values, including slave labour, unfair practices and harmful ingredients. Companies in the past have been known to mix ingredients – a prime example of this was the recent Subway scandal. A study conducted on the ingredients found that their tuna contained other animal proteins such as chicken, pork and cattle, and it was not the advertised “100% tuna.”
It is important to recognise that Muslims and non-Muslims alike in business regardless of what basic morality or religion teaches us, can and will be incentivised to cut corners and put profit over people. Halal certification ensures no corners are cut and your values, health and satisfaction come first.
Is halal certification necessary for cosmetics?
This is an interesting debate. Some say no due to the reason raised above as there are some products which are quite obviously by default are ‘not haram’ and to add a label seems quite unnecessary.
Whilst that is true, surely if something is certified it is the better of the two? It does not stop you from consuming products that are not halal-certified but as suggested by the hadith below a certification reduces the information gap which may lead you to unknowingly consume that which is unlawful.
Al-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported that The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “The lawful is clear, and the unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know. Thus, he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself regarding his religion and honour. He who falls into doubtful matters will fall into the unlawful like the shepherd who pastures near a sanctuary, all but grazing therein…” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 52, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1599)
Allah rewards a Muslim every time he submits to His commands. Consciously choosing and making sure the products you use are halal is a form of submission and is no doubt a virtue that will be rewarded. Halal certification just makes that easier.
And just to make things even easier, the halal certification symbol can be for non-muslims too. If we can make it a standard for clean, ethical and quality, which it is supposed to be and mainstream brands adopt it, it can also be a powerful form of dawah as the label will create exposure and a positive conversation point on the values that Islam stands for.
So why choose halal-certified skincare?
Whilst we aren’t saying that you can’t buy anything else, it is a standard of quality and ethics that should give you the confidence that the cleanser that you put on your face is the best possible value for you in every way possible, from the ethics of production to the ingredients used to the packaging.
There are only a few halal skincare brands like Anaaka that have gone through this process and have made sure they are only using natural and organic ingredients in order to offer you the peace of mind that the products you put on your skin are safe enough to put in your mouth.
What are your thoughts? Do companies like Anaaka make you want to invest in them more because of their halal-certification stamp?