Halal & Tayyib: Rethinking the Ethical by Dr. Ingrid Mattson

In this conference lecture, Dr Ingrid Mattson discusses the relevant topics of halal and tayyib.

Tayyib, translated as good, pure or wholesome, is a word sometimes used in conjunction with halal. With the rapid increase of technology, increased appetites and globalisation – the question of if the food we consume is truly tayyib, halal and ethical is in constantly revisited. As Dr. Ingrid points out, the concept of ‘ethical’ is ever-changing. It is iterative. It is achieved by research, inclusion of relevant parties, review of the process and deriving new meanings when new information is available. Ethics is deeply embedded in the Qur’an by promoting benefits, removing harm and improving processes. The Qur’an promotes viewing processes with our mind, heart and justice. And to ensure collective obligations are met by the community. The Qur’an also emphatically prohibits waste and discourages excess. This provides reassurance that the Qur’anic teachings are ever-applicable.

Achieving a tayyib food chain is a necessity in our communities. Dr. Ingrid talks in detail about her experience and research with seeking tayyib and halal meat. Among her findings is that from raising the animals to the actual slaughter itself should be dealt with in the highest of legal standards, with tight regulations and with compassionate treatment of the animals. These regulations are not limited to solely the production but also the employment of the individuals, the food waste and reducing energy & pollution. In this discussion, Dr. Ingrid discusses how the community can work towards more tayyib standards. One simple, but impactful, way that Muslims can make a small difference is by reducing food waste in your own homes – the reality of food waste is harrowing. The lecture draws upon statistics, science and of course spiritual and ethical reasons to make a change.