Saudi Arabia/Netherlands: Is YOUR House Halal?

halal apartment plan


When I lived in Saudi Arabia I never thought to consider whether or not my house was considered halal.  When hearing the word, halal, it is most often associated with whether specific food items or drinks are permitted in Islam.  It’s not the type of word regularly associated with houses.

I will say that my house was “Saudi compliant” in that it was constructed to adhere to the customs and traditions practiced in Saudi Arabia.  There were two distinct and separated formal living rooms (or salons as they are called in Saudi Arabia) so that segregation could be imposed if desired.  In addition, each room in my house could be completely closed off by a door to all connecting rooms, again in support of segregation.  The men’s living room (salon) had a large washroom nearby so men could easily make wudoo preparations for Muslim prayers.  There was a washroom near the ladies living room (salon) for the same purpose.

However, in the Netherlands, a state-sponsored housing corporation is building 188 apartments classified as “halal apartments” and built specifically for Muslims.  The apartments sound similar to the outlay of my villa in Riyadh.  An exception is that my villa did not have a special out-of-sight storage facility for shoes or a special water supply for performing wudoo.  An added bonus is that each apartment also comes complete with a Satellite dish which can receive up to 800 primarily Arab television channels.  Is a satellite dish considered halal?

So in retrospect, was my villa halal or simply Saudi compliant?


21 Responses

  1. This is a mis-use of the term “halal” which means Islamically permissible. I would say just about any home is “halal”. Maybe this apartment in the Netherlands, just like homes in KSA, is “Muslim-friendly”. I think many of us appreciate being able to socialize in gender-segregated spaces even if sometimes we wish those spaces to be more inclusive at times.

  2. I agree with you Donna that it is a misuse of the term halal. I find it interesting that that is the term associated with marketing these apartments.

    On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 4:05 PM, American Bedu

  3. It is sad the public money is spent on adapting apartments to the needs of a religion.

  4. Every day Islam is becoming more absurd and ridiculous. This is just another example of a fairytale belief going off the deep end by the followers of make believe. Of course the entire belief system is absurd.

  5. The netherlands are absurd to subsidize people’s insane superstitions. If people want a ”halal” house they can build one themselves. That’s my money going to subsidize superstitious lunatic’s neurotic imaginary fobias.
    That really irritates me.

    Why don’t they have subsidized houses for artists? With a nice studio? At least artists produce something. Improve the world… Instead of whining all the time and demanding special treatment because of the silly rules their invisible imaginary friend is supposed to have made up.

  6. It seems to me that someone did some excellent marketing to whoever the powers that be are in the Netherlands.

    On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 7:46 PM, American Bedu

  7. That is a TINY kitchen for a 5 bedroom place! I can’t imagine cooking in such a small kitchen.

  8. Bigstick, this has nothing to do with Islam. Nowhere in the Quran does it speak about” Halal “homes. Halal is a term in Islam which means it is permitted. This was a definite marketing gimmick by the property owner, Winde Vaarnt. He saw a way to promote and make money. His exact words were ” This was not religious but practical adaptations.” Muslims all over the world live in regular homes. Here in Saudi the homes are becoming more and more westernized. So for you to say “Islam is becoming more absurd and ridiculous”, is a little harsh.

  9. This is the consequence of the influence of the islam in europe. Think of the “moslem patrol” in Great Britain, or the demand to stop the production of toys from Lego because of hurting the feelings of moslems……and …Lego will stop the production !!!!!! What about the Fosterparents in the Netherlands….. moslem organizations ask that children should be educated according to islam and should not be christianized…..How many paintings and fotos had to be removed from in the Netherlands because of being to free (means showing naked bodies) …i think if the big museums will be empty sooner or later…… What about the ridiculous demand to forbid dogs in public transportations and streets in Lerida (Spain), okay Lerida has a population of about 25% moslems mostly hardliners as the salafists supported by KSA money….rhe demand for sharia laws….. and so on and so on

  10. Salaam alaikhoum. Maybe for comparison purposes Carol could post a similar sketch of the floor plan of her villa in Saudi to see if it was, as she put it, halal according to this developer or just “Saudi compliant”! Maasalaama, Amelia

  11. Carol, Dutch politicians are wimps. Anybody who wants to go into politics in The Netherlands has to have their spine surgically removed.

  12. I found it quite amusing when this story first came out. It is indeed a good marketing gimmick but also way over the top ‘politically correct’ so to speak.

    In Sudan if people have the money they will have two ‘salons’ so that men an women can separate if they want. They can have special inside and/or outside areas for performing wudoo.

    Many bathrooms outside of Islamic countries are not built for excess water splashing. The floors are not tile or marble and are not always sealed that well so one either trains Muslims to be more careful with water when performing wudoo which in my opinion should be the rule or … build bathrooms that can withstand the mess.

  13. Amelia,

    I wish I could easily post a sketch like the image of the Dutch apartment but I don’t know how to do that. I can though try to describe what my house was like in Riyadh.

    First of all, like most villas, it had a 12 foot wall all around the property ensuring privacy. On entering the front gate, there was a nice size front yard which led to the front door.

    The front door opened up into a large foyer with hallways to the left, right and straight ahead. To the right was the formal (and/or men’s) salon. To the left was a full washroom and beyond it was a room we used as a den but could also have been a bedroom.

    Heading straight, the dining room was off to the right. It could be isolated from the back of the house with a door which I generally kept open.

    After passing through that door, to the right was my kitchen, which also had it’s own door.

    Continuing straight led in to the family (and/or women’s) salon which could also be shut off by its own door.

    From the family salon there was another door when opened revealed a short hallway. At the end of the hallway was the door which led out to our garage. Also at the end, one could open a door to the right which led to the laundry room. There was another door from the laundry room which opened into our maid’s room. The maid’s room also had marble floors, heating/cooling, satellite box and full bath attached.

    Every room also had it’s own private terrace, to include even the kitchen. Our house was also shaped similar to a big “C” so that there were either ceiling to floor windows or sliding doors which opened onto a large inner courtyard. The courtyard also was ideal if one were to follow segregation by well placed brick walls which separated the courtyard effectively into three private areas and prevented one from seeing the other courtyard facing rooms through the windows.

    On going up the stairs, the top of the stairs gave way to a hallway where one could go either left or right. If going right, there was a full bath followed by two large bedrooms. Each bedroom had its own private enclosed balcony. If going left, the first room passed was on the left and it was a very large outdoor balcony which was enclosed and very much a separate room (circa 10 x 20 ft). After passing the balcony, there was a door which led to the master bedroom with large in-suite bath. Continuing down the corridor was another full size bath and at the end another very large bedroom. All opposite walls in the hallway had windows which looked down in to the courtyard.

  14. Your house sound’s very beautiful and very large.

    Did you only have one kitchen? I noticed in some KSA houses I visited that there was a ‘dirty kitchen’ where most of the smelly cooking was done and then another larger kitchen which seemed to be mainly for show and/or immediate family dining.

  15. I like modern, open plan houses. Large open spaces where nothing is shut off, and where you can interact with each other and visitors.
    I would really like to live in a loft, one big space where you can make spaces for different functions, and of course lots of space and light to paint. 🙂
    People should stop dividing houses up into little cells.

  16. I only had one kitchen but some of my family members had homes with more than one kitchen. My kitchen was quite large and as I mentioned, had its own door which was often kept closed when meals were being prepared to keep smells from filtering through the house.

    In regards to Aafke’s comment, my Saudi family LOVED the open plan style of American homes when they were in the US.

    On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM, American Bedu

  17. I have an open plan but would not like a loft with little or no separation for bedrooms. Is that what you meant Aafe?

  18. Yes. Depends with whom you are sharing with I presume. :mrgreen:

    And anyway, a bedroom needs some privacy ofcourse. Although… if you live alone…

  19. I think you can do so much with a loft. I’d love to have one and the chance to decorate one!!

    On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 3:11 PM, American Bedu

  20. Norma:

    Your right it is all ready absurd, ridiculous and delusional so this just fits the mentality of those following make believe and delusion.

  21. American Bedu, i really wish to see a picture of your villa in Riyadh. It sounds very interesting to me. I used to live in Yanbu. It is “saudi compliant” but maybe smaller compared to yours. Is there any way for me to see any pictures or even sketches of the house plan?

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