“Cleanliness (purity) is next to Godliness.”
This oft-repeated phrase encapsulates the importance of maintaining hygiene as a human. But the Islamic faith goes a step beyond, imposing the ethic of purity in every dimension of ones life, be it ones thoughts, business interactions and importantly what what consumes.
The faith outlines clear directives for the sacrifice of animals and preparation of meals. In a contemporary context, Halaal certifying authorities ensure that livestock is slaughtered according to Islamic rites, but do they consider the broader Quranic decree that what one consumes must be tayyib?
The word tayyib translates as being good, pleasant, agreeable or lawful.
Former geography lecturer-turned-farmer, Dr Lutfi Radwan and his wife, Ruby, suspicious about whether the true Quranic edict was being upheld, undertook the mission of ensuring their food is both Halaal and Tayyib. A twenty year journey, today they cultivate the land producing their own produce and manage livestock which they can rest assured meets the requirements set out by Islam.
Willowbrook Farm, located in the United Kingdom is regarded as the first Halal & Tayyib farm in the country.
Run by the couple and their children, in its twenty year journey, the establishment has become an icon for sustainable and ethical living.
Dr Lufti Radwan discussed with Radio 786 the challenges in making the switch from city life to farming, raising children while living in a caravan, facing the pressures of the council and ultimately achieving success in their mission to uphold a key tenet of Islam.
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