Is it halal or haram? That's the question Bradford's Asif Iqbal answers as part of his world-famous blog.

The IT worker has helped thousands of Muslims across the globe by reviewing popular products and how they align with Islamic laws.  

The Arabic term Halal means permissible or lawful and Haram means impermissible or unlawful.

Asif uses his knowledge from university about Islamic law theology as well as the wisdom of well-respected scholars.

From takeaways, crisps and pastry to pet food and makeup brands, Asif’s guides reach over 300,000 people.

Asif’s website and social media pages also reach vegetarians and members of different faith communities - such as Sikhs and Jews - unsure about hidden meat products in their food. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford blogger Asif Iqbal who runs the online brand 'Is it Halal or Haram?' Bradford blogger Asif Iqbal who runs the online brand 'Is it Halal or Haram?' (Image: UGC)

It all began in 2012 when Asif discovered his colleague, who follows the same faith, was unknowingly eating a haram mid-morning snack at work.

“I was just working, sat in the office, and one of my colleagues gave me one of these breakfast bars,” he told the Telegraph & Argus.

“Back in those days they wouldn’t say ‘suitable for vegetarians’, they had pork gelatines mixed into it.  This colleague shared it with me and I remember looking at it and I said, do you realise this? She rushed to the toilet and she said, ‘I’ve been having these for weeks!’.

“I thought maybe I should make people aware of it. I just mentioned it, Halal or Haram, said whenever I come across any products I’d initially post it on my Facebook page. A lot of people started picking up on the page. They came across certain sweets that they weren’t aware had gelatin mixed into it.”

His viral posts gained him over 50,000 followers in just six months. That was when he set up the official ‘Is it Halal or Haram?’ website and other social media pages.

His guides are popular around the globe – including the UK, America, Malaysia, Australia, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

He also posts halal recipe ideas and food reviews.

“I reach nearly two million a month,” the Daisy Hill resident said.

“I get a lot of questions about KFC, McDonald’s. It’s trying to give them an answer from both sides.

“My inbox is always full of questions. I’ve had lots of really good feedback but it’s just trying to keep up with it.”

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