1114 South Park Street
[Yasmin’s Halal Meat Market] is owned by a Muslim man named Salih. He comes from southwest Wisconsin. . . . He was raised as a Catholic. He didn’t know there were such people as Muslims, until he came to Madison. He met his wife, who is also a Muslim, here. Her name is Yasmin, and she is from Somalia. She was single. He asked her why, and she told him that she had to marry a Muslim man. It said so in the Koran, a sacred book for the Muslims. Salih went back to southwest Wisconsin, and bought a Koran, and realized it was much like a bible, on which he had been raised. He became a Muslim soon after he read the Koran. He returned to Madison, but Yasmin had gone north, to Canada. When she came back, they married. Salih told us, “In Islam, I found peace is peaceful submission to the will of God.” Now he needed to learn how to pray.
There are five pillars that "support" Islam. The first is the oneness of God and Mohammed, his messenger to the Muslims. The second is prayers. There are five daily prayers; the first at sunrise, the second at noon, the third in late afternoon, the fourth at sunset, and the last after night has fallen. He has a prayer rug, and when he prays on it, he faces eastward, because that’s where the Kabah, or house of God is. Before he prays, he washes himself, so as to wash away the sins he might have said or done. To pray, first you stand, and then you bow, then go down and do a full prostration. The third pillar is Ramadan’s fasting. It is controlled by the lunar calendar, and is 29-30 days long. You can't eat or drink at all during the day, but at night you can feast before the sun comes up, “and that is enough to keep you going through the day, actually,” says Salih. The fourth pillar is Zakat, which is giving to the poor. If you have had wealth that year, you need to give them at least 2.5% of your wealth. Finally, the fifth is Haij, which is a journeyto the Kabah in Mecca at least once in your lifetime.
Then Salih went on to talk about Halal meat. Halal meat is not pork, since Muslims do not eat pork. But to be Halal meat, the animal must not be raised on other animal meat, and other animals cannot see it being killed. Also, Salih told us that after the September 11th attack, people had many prejudices against Muslims; they thought they were all terrorists! Salih is certainly NOT a terrorist. But, to get through it all, the Muslims just have to remember the oneness of God, he says. Then he recited a passage from the Koran: I have created you, men and women, to get to know each other. The best one among you is the one who sees through the eyes of God. . . .
Islam law prevents all Muslim people from eating pork. It is Haram. Impermissible. Like alcohol or profanity or unnecessary violence. All other meats though are halal. Good fro the mind, the soul, and the body.