Monday, November 10


It had been a long day.I was hungry and thirsty. There was this Indian Muslim restaurant near the Immigration building and being a stranger to the area, I entered. Besides, there were a few Muslims having their lunch there so I thought to myself, "Ok, I can eat here."

I chose the table near the counter and asked for a plate of rice, curry chicken and some vegetables. It was a clean and spacious restaurant. The workers were Indians and they spoke to each other in Tamil.

I told myself,"Ahh, it's ok. They're still Muslims."
I noticed a wooden frame with Quranic verses on the wall near the entrance. There was another hanging of surah (can't be sure which surah as the writings were small) on the wall near the counter. After my lunch, I went to the counter to pay.

Then something caught my eye. I had been getting an uneasy feeling all the time I sat at the restaurant. I looked up above the counter while waiting for somebody to attend to me.

MashaAllah! Hanging on the wall below the Surah were two smaller picture frames. However, they have reflective yellow papers in them, with illegible writings or marks. They reminded me of the paper charms found in some temples and Buddhist homes. The same reflective yellow paper. Almost the same illegible markings. What are these hangings doing on the wall of this Mamak restaurant?

Earlier I had noticed the banner with the numbers 786 on them. I understand that for Indian Muslims it's a symbol that means Bismilahirrahmanir rahimm, so I was quite confident of it being a Muslim restaurant serving halal food. But the two yellow hangings on the wall behind the counter? Why are they there? Signs of syirik or signs of the owner not being who they claim to be?

I quickly paid for the food and left, vowing that I'd never step food into that restaurant again.

Oh, I'll be more careful when I enter restaurants nowadays, especially Mamak restaurants. To always check around and scan the walls before I order any food. To check that they serve beef and mutton in their menu especially Indian Muslim restaurants (the dishes available at that particular restaurant were limited so I forgot to ask. Besides I seldom eat beef). To always check for the halal certificate endorsed by the relevant authorities in fast food restaurants. Worse come to worse, I'd opt for 100% vegetarian dishes at Indian or Chinese restaurants rather than risk eating non-halal food in the so-called Muslim restaurants that practises "strange customs".

Boy oh boy, may the experience be the last one for me!


  1. I have frequently entered Malay/Muslim restaurants which have luck charms/tangkal on the walls. This is syirik too. The food might be halal in terms of ingredients but I don't think the money they get from selling the food is halal for the Muslim proprieters. So, even if it is a malay restaurant, i still look around for evidence of these syirik objects.

  2. This matter are quit serious as you can't judge the halal status of the foods and the restoran by looking at the Surah frames or fake halal certificates that easily acquire around. The employee are imported mostly likely from India where we highly doubt of their religion status. Please check during Friday prayer time to verify whether they are Muslim are not.

  3. I never had to worry about where to eat as a nonMuslim but nowadays just have to look around carefully for halal food. Just how can we be sure that a restaurant really sells halal food and the workers don't practise syirik?

  4. you can't and that's actually the most worrying part.
    in any case,patience is key as halal food does not only promote physical health but also the emotional and should be thankful to Allah as such revelation is hidayah and it just shows how Allah actually cares for you :)

  5. i think it's safest to buy stuff and cook at home. but if you really cant because you lack time, mmg satu-satunya jalan observe kedai tu betul2, baru beli..dan tawakkal lah. nak pastikan setepatnya mmg tak boleh.. ish. apa-apa pun, mmg terbaiknya kita masaklah, kak aliya~ kan?

  6. Assalamualaikum wbt.

    About 786 as Bismillah. What I know, scholars from India and Pakistan have issued fatwa against it.

    Halalan Toyyiba- it is what Islam teach us. However, I read about what have been don by some Muslim producers to get this title.

    One Muslim producers has stated one of the condition to get Halalan Toyyiba is those women who are in menstrual period will be shifted from producing departement to another department temporarily. So stupid. Did Islam teach like this? Do they want to say that all foods cooked by our mothers during mesntrual period is not as good as those in purity? There is neither eveidence in Al-Quran nor as-Sunnah that to get halalan toyyiba, we must have wudhu' etc while cooking. This kind of innovation in Islam has caused confusion among Muslim who are lazy to study Islam, just follow what people say.

    And I also read news about some Muslim producers of cows. They stated that they play Quranic verses everyday, so that everyday their cows listen to quranic recitation. What the hell the are doing! Quran was revealed as guidance to us, not for cow.

    And previously, in Majalah 3, they show how a buliding was cleaned using water and clay. They said they want that place to be Halal hub, previously, that building was owned by non-Muslim, therefore we must do samak. How come they samak the whole building. During prophet time, dogs entered mosque, prophet just asked to chase them away, no evidence that prohet saw asked to samak the whole mosque.

    Sometime, the word of halal is manipulated by Muslims. They want to show their product is more halal than others, therefore they do many studid and nonsense things.

    When we criticize them about this, they will reply, why you make havoc when muslims doing something, why don't ou suuport muslims business. Do we think just because we are muslim, we can do whatever you want?

  7. Assalamualaikum pez, hannah & masri,
    I'm always thankful to Allah swt for His blessings. Among them, the ability to observe things seldom noticed by others and to describe them in writing :)
    Oh I enjoy ccoking but sometimes it's fun to eat out too. Just have to be more careful, more observant and wiser, don't we all?
    Masri, perhaps you could write soemthing bout 786 and the fatwa against it? Hahaha, some Muslims are indeed getting holier than prophet Muhammad(pbuh)and doing things never performed by him nor instructed in Islam. Such craziness!

  8. assalamualaikum wbt..
    i read a tip from a frend's blog about how to identify which mamak muslim and which is not.try to ask them about 'cow-derievatives' dishes-kari lembu,sup lembu bla3. they may imitate the muslim personality and put up all the quranic verses frames,but they may not eat their own 'god' which is the cow(?).thus, no such dishes sold in their restaurants.

  9. Waalaikumusalam wbt fadezek,
    Yes, that's a good idea. Thanks

  10. Salam Kak Aliya,

    I have experienced the same, whereby iwent to the restaurant that the use Islam-phrase for their restaurants, eg, Darulxxx or Salamxxx.. but the owner is Hindu. You can identified them when u see any of them wear the tali at their hands.
    Like in PJ, so many restaurants like that and very difficult to differentiate. normally if i have no choice, I always do what u always do, opt for 100% vegie food.


  11. Waalaikumussalam Farah,
    Actually I prefer Malay kampung style food compared to Mamak food. But sometimes in a town, there are not many restaurants open especially after 2pm. Tawakkal aje la, and trust that the food we eat is halal.

  12. Don't fortget, di kedai-kedai Melayu ada tangkal yang orang sangka bukan tangkal, iaitu gantung ayat seribu dinar dan menganggap ia akan memudahkan rezeki, bisnes maju dan lain-lain.