Resources >‏ News >‏ News Details

News Details

#Halal now a lifestyle definition on Instagram

Publication Date:
yelena pic.JPG

The word “halal” is no longer being defined only in a religious context but is becoming a lifestyle term associated with health and fashion around the globe, a new study of Instagram posts led by QCRI’s Yelena Mejova has found.

Young people are now embracing halal products, with style-conscious and health-conscious Muslims, and likely non-Muslims, closely associating the word with concepts such as vegan, vegetarian and organic, the research found.

Halal defines items permissible under Islamic law, and applies to products including foods, drinks and food additives.

Dr. Mejova and researchers from the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Informatique in Algeria and the Universitas Indonesia analyzed more than 1.3 million recent Instagram posts in English, Arabic and Indonesian-speaking populations.  The data follows a global conversation about halal, much of it by “Generation M”, a term coined last year by author Shelina Jannmohamed describing young Muslims who embrace modernity as well as faith.

The scientists found that in English, mentions of halal were increasingly associated with food and health concepts, in Indonesian they focused more on cosmetics and health, while Arabic references included sub-topics around fashion and technology.

“Halal is becoming cool and a lifestyle definition among social media users, who are often young,” said Dr. Mejova.

“Throughout the data we find examples of posts receiving thousands of likes promoting a halal fashion shows, halal fitness culture, halal movies and other lifestyle posts depicting clothes and stylish surroundings.

 “But what was surprising to us is we also noticed that posts mentioning some halal certification are likely to get fewer likes than those that don’t.” 

Dr. Mejova said the researchers also noticed the number of posts mentioning the word halal was not strictly correlated with the population demographics of Muslims living in different countries, including the UK and the US.

“When we are seeing posts among non-Muslims who have their halal meat with a glass of wine we know that the understanding of halal is changing in all of these places. On social media, it appears to have broadened to incorporate lifestyle elements.”

The findings, recently published in the journal Frontiers in Digital Humanities, could be useful to policy makers, producers of halal products, health professionals and religious scholars on how to effectively market halal goods.

Dr Mejova and her colleagues intend to build on their research by exploring how culture interacts with health-related behaviors, such as eating a healthy diet and going to the gym, to help devise better health campaigns.

Journal article link:

Follow Us

  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS Feed
  • Linkedin
  • github-web.png
Back to Top

In the Media

Economist story pic.JPG

Improving disaster response efforts through data


Extreme weather events put the most vulnerable communities at high risk. How can data analytics strengthen early warning systems and and support relief efforts for communities in need? The size and ...

Read More

Yazan Wired story pic.jpg

Your sloppy bitcoin drug deals will haunt you for years


Perhaps you bought some illegal narcotics on the Silk Road half a decade ago, back when that digital black market for every contraband imaginable was still online and bustling. You might already ...

Read More

Luis Luque El Correo.jpg

Entrevista con Luis Fernández Luque, cofundador de Salumedia e investigador del Qatar Computing Research Institute


Si quiere buscar un ejemplo de ciudadano del mundo, de los que al cabo del año vive y trabaja desde numerosos países, y a través de internet, esté donde esté, desarrolla en remoto actividades para ...

Read More



Eman interns pic 2017.jpg

QCRI Summer Internship Program

Download ICS File 06/05/2018  - 05/07/2018 , Hamad Bin Khalifa Research Complex

Each year, Qatar Computing Research Institute organizes a summer internship program for undergraduate students studying computer science, computer engineering and other disciplines. The internship is unpaid, and QCRI does not provide any visa support.

Read More

Past Events


(MLDAS 2018) Machine Learning and Data Analytics Symposium

Download ICS File 12/03/2018  - 13/03/2018 ,

Machine Learning and Data Analytics Symposium - MLDAS 2018 Building on the success of the three previous events , Boeing and QCRI will hold the fifth Machine Learning and Data Analytics Symposium (...

Read More

App Inventor.jpg

QCRI's Creative Space to hold free app inventor workshop

Download ICS File 01/02/2018 ,

QCRI is to offer an introduction to mobile app development workshop for boys and girls aged 13-16. Students will learn the basics of mobile app development using the App Inventor platform. The ...

Read More


AHmed Berlin1.jpg

QCRI signs three-year MoU with the Berlin Big Data Center


MoU will promote collaboration via an exchange of research, academic materials, faculty and research scholars.

Read More

CS Fair website.JPG

Hundreds attend QCRI's first Creative Space Fair


Attendance at inaugural event shows 'buoyant interest' in computing in Qatar.

Read More

QCRI's Ahmed Elmagarmid at MLDAS 2017 (2).jpg

Boeing partners with QCRI to host fifth annual MLDAS


The Boeing Company and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) will host the fifth annual Machine Learning and Data Analytics Symposium (MLDAS) in Qatar. This year’s event will be held at the Qatar...

Read More