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  • Five important words to understand when speaking to Muslim consumers

    In engaging in conversation with any consumer, it is important to find the right language and to ensure that your words are authentic and resonate with the consumer’s understanding of those words.

    This is crucial in talking to Muslim consumers because many of the concepts that are fundamental to a Muslim perspective on the world don’t necessarily have equivalents in other language. And to further complicate matters, when words that are commonly used by Muslims are transposed into other languages they undergo a semantic shift and lose the original meaning and nuance with which they are used by Muslims. Worse still, sometimes we find ourselves using words with such easy currency that we’re not quite sure what exactly they mean, and it’s too late to ask.

    So, here’s a quick guide to five extremely important words and what they mean.

    Ummah: the global Muslim community

    One of the most visual examples of the concept of ummah is the annual hajj pilgrimage in Makkah. Read more about brands and the hajj, and how this is built on the concept of engaging the ummah

    Shariah: a set of guiding life principles, a mental and moral compass

    You might feel nervous about making your brand shariah-friendly. ┬áBut it’s easier, more profitable (and less frightening) than you think.

    Zakah: social giving, charity

    Read more about one aspect of charitable giving here, and how brands can engage with charitable causes in Ramadan

    Halal: acceptable to Muslims, in accordance with good practice

    A common misconception is that halal applies only to food. But halal is more than just what you eat.

    Haraam: Forbidden to Muslims

    For Muslims who observe a halal diet and lifestyle, the consumption of anything haraam is deeply problematic. Recent consumer scandals bringing to light food contamination have affected all consumers alike. To understand how haraam is so shunned by Muslims and what brands can learn, we look at lessons from the horsemeat scandal.

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