Ḥalāl linguistic meaning understanding among Non-Muslim in Malaysia

Kefahaman makna linguistik halal di kalangan Orang Bukan Islam di Malaysia





Ḥalāl, Discourse, Linguistic, Understanding, Non Muslim, Malaysia


Ḥalāl discourse is not only familiar to Muslims but also to non-Muslims in Malaysia. This study discusses the response of non-Muslims to ḥalāl discourse with the objective of identifying the ḥalāl linguistic meaning among non-Muslims in Malaysia. The discussion of meaning is based on the language interpretation used in Sunni pragmatic research, such as how language is perceived as having either literal or figurative meanings based on Mohamed & Yunis (2013) and Russell (1940) approach that focuses on meaning and fact in his language theory. The data in the discussion related to the non-Muslims response towards 5 categories of ḥalāl implementation, namely ḥalāl food, ḥalāl certification, ḥalāl sign, ḥalāl name or brand of the product, and ḥalāl supply chain. The data were the controversial ḥalāl issues from 2014 to 2018 taken from local newspapers such as Star Online. The discussion demonstrates that the understanding of non-Muslims linguistically can be traced from the keywords, such as understanding, compliance, awareness,acceptance, and recognised, which have denotatively positive meanings. However, there are other words with denotatively negative meanings, such as confusion and sensitivity. The result also shows ḥalāl does not only concern Muslims but non-Muslims as well. In principle, Islam does not prohibit non-Muslims from consuming the products offered based on the guidelines recommended in Islam. The findings reveal that ḥalāl understanding in Malaysia still needs to be strengthened among non-Muslims. Therefore, the understanding and knowledge of ḥalāl implementation are the main pillars in maintaining the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in this society.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Muhammad Zulhilmi Ibrahim, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), MALAYSIA

Muhammad Zulhilmi bin Ibrahim has a Bachelor of Muamalat Administration (Honours) from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM). He also graduated with a Master of Islamic Finance and Banking from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) in 2016. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the School of Language, Civilization, and Philosophy, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM). His current areas of interest and exploration are discourse analysis, halal understanding, inter-religious, and linguistics. He begins the project by thoroughly researching and developing his ideas through creative thinking. His research title is A Discourse Analysis on Halal Understanding among Non-Muslims in Malaysia. 

Based on his work experiences, he was interned at ANAZA Sdn Bhd: Fish Farm, Kuah, Langkawi as an entrepreneur from Feb 2012 to May 2013. In 2013 (June- November), he worked as a teacher at Sekolah Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), Serdang, Selangor. From 2016 to 2018, he was appointed as a research assistant, Religious Discourse, the Northern University of Malaysia, for three years. From Sept 2020 until Feb 2021, he was again appointed as a research assistant, the Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO) on Households in Kedah and Perlis, Northern University of Malaysia.


Munif Zarirruddin Fikri Nordin, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), MALAYSIA




Abdullah, N. A., A Rahman, A., & Md Ismail, C. T. (2018). Manipulation of halal logo: a legal study on known unreported cases in Malaysia. International Journal of Law, Government and Communication, 3(13), 165-172. Retrieved from http://repo.uum.edu.my/25495/.

Ambali, A. R., & Bakar, A. N. (2014). People’s awareness on halal foods and products: potential issues for policy-makers. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 121, 3-25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.1104.

Aziz, Y. A., & Chok, N. V. (2013). The role of halal awareness, halal certification, and marketing components in determining halal purchase intention among non-Muslims in Malaysia: A structural equation modeling approach. Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing, 25(1), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/08974438.2013.723997.

Badruldin, B., Mohamed, Z., Sharifuddin, J., Rezai, G., Mahir Abdullah, A., Abd Latif, I., & Ghazali Mohayidin, M. (2012). Clients’ perception towards JAKIM service quality in halal certification. Journal of Islamic Marketing, 3(1), 59-71. https://doi.org/10.1108/17590831211206590.

Brownell, H. H., Potter, H. H., Michelow, D., & Gardner, H. (1984). Sensitivity to lexical denotation and connotation in brain-damaged patients: A double dissociation? Brain and Language, 22(2), 253-265. https://doi.org/10.1016/0093-934X(84)90093-2.

Evans, V. (2006). Lexical concepts, cognitive models and meaning construction. Retrieved from https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/cogl.2006.17.issue-4/cog.2006.016/cog.2006.016.xml.

Golnaz, R., Zainalabidin, M., Mad Nasir, S., & Eddie Chiew, F. C. (2010). Non-Muslims’ awareness of Halal principles and related food products in Malaysia. International Food Research Journal, 17(3), 667-674. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/25895600.

Hassan, M. H., Arif, S., & Sidek, S. (2015). Knowledge and practice for implementing internal halal assurance system among halal executives. Asian Social Science, 11(17), 57. http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ass.v11n17p57.

Mathew, V. N. (2014). Acceptance on halal food among non-Muslim consumers. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 121, 262-271. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.1127.

McGregor, W. B. (2015). Linguistics: An introduction. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Merriam-Webster, S. (2000). Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster.

Mohamed, M. & Yunis, A. (2013). Medieval Islamic pragmatics, Sunni legal theorists’ models of textual communication. London, UK: Routledge.

Murphy, M. L. (2010). Lexical meaning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Nordin, M. Z. F. (2015). ‘Ilm al-Tafsir and critical discourse analysis: A methodological comparison. GEMA Online® Journal of Language Studies, 15(1). http://doi.org/10.17576/GEMA-2015-1501-08.

Omar, S. S. H. S., Karim, M. H. A., & Jamaludin, M. A. (2017). Halal food culture in Kuala Terengganu: Shariah perspective (Istitābat Al-‘Arab). al-Irsyad: Journal of Islamic and Contemporary Issues, 2(2), 27-39. https://doi.org/10.53840/alirsyad.v2i2.16.

Rakhmawati, N. A., Fatawi, J., Najib, A. C., & Firmansyah, A. A. (2019). Linked open data for halal food products. Journal of King Saud University-Computer and Information Sciences, 33, 728-739. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jksuci.2019.04.004.

Rezai, G., Mohamed, Z., & Nasir Shamsudin, M. (2012). Non-Muslim consumers understanding of halal principles in Malaysia. Journal of Islamic Marketing, 3(1), 35-46. https://doi.org/10.1108/17590831211206572.

Russell, B. (1940). An inquiry into truth and meaning. New York, NY: WW Norton & Company.

Sanep, A., Mohd, A.M.N. & Lidia, F. (2014). Ketekalan gelagat pengguna Muslim terhadap status halal. PERKEM, 736-746.

Shariff, S. M., & Lah, N. A. A. (2014). Halal certification on chocolate products: A case study. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 121, 104-112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.1112.

Sonesson, G. (1998). Denotation and connotation. Encyclopedia of semiotics, 187-89. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Goeran-Sonesson/publication/268439634.

Star Online. (18 Feb 2017). Signs of the times. Available: https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/02/18/signs-of-the-times.

Star Online. (20 October 2016). Jakim blames media, says ‘pretzel dog’ name not the issue. Available: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/10/20/jakim-blames-media-says-pretzel-dog-name-not-the-issue/.

Star Online. (28 November 2017). Shinsegae-Mamee joint venture to market halal products globally. Available: https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/11/28/shinsegaemamee-jv-to-market-halal-products-globally/.

Star Online. (28 October 2016). What’s in a name? Available: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/10/18/rename-pretzel-dog-to-pretzel-sausage-jakim-tells-auntie-anne/.

Star Online. (8 August 2017). Cooking up healthier opportunities. Available: https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/08/08/cooking-up-healthier-opportunities-18th-food-and-beverage-trade-fair-to-throw-spotlight-on-readytoea.

Star Online. (9 May 2016). A slice of the halal cake. Available: https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/smebiz/columns/2016/05/09/a-slice-of-the-halal-cake/.

Urdang, L. (Ed.). (1968). The Random House dictionary of the English language. Vol. 10. New York, NY: Random House Publishing.

Yunus, A. B. M., Chik, W. M. Y. B. W., & Mohamad, M. B. (2010). The concept of halalan tayyiba and its application in products marketing: A case study at Sabasun HyperRuncit Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 1(3), 239-248. Retrieved from http://www.ijbssnet.com/journals/Vol._1_No._3_December_2010/24.pdf.



How to Cite

Ibrahim, M. Z., & Nordin, M. Z. F. (2021). Ḥalāl linguistic meaning understanding among Non-Muslim in Malaysia: Kefahaman makna linguistik halal di kalangan Orang Bukan Islam di Malaysia. Al-Irsyad: Journal of Islamic and Contemporary Issues, 6(2), 697–705. https://doi.org/10.53840/alirsyad.v6i2.210