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Ahmad Sahir Jais

1st Edition
Published by
Karung Berkunci 1031,
Pejabat Pos Merlimau,
77300 Merlimau Melaka.

Shariah Compliance Hotel: Concepts and Design Copyright © 2016 by Ahmad Sahir Jais.
All rights reserved. Published in Malaysia. No part of this book may be used or reproduced
in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations
embodied in critical articles or reviews.
All sources in this book are gathered from public domains as stated. All Work, Pictures,
figure & data and sources are quoted and credited to the original author & organizations.
For information contact:
Book and Cover design by Designer
ISBN 978-967-0189-70-3
First Edition February 2016

Printed in Malaysia
Koperasi Politeknik Merlimau Melaka Berhad
Politeknik Merlimau

FOREWORD ........................................................................ i
1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................. 1
2. TERMS AND DEFINITION ............................................... 4
3.1 MANAGEMENT ........................................................ 14
3.2 INTERIOR .............................................................. 17
a) Room Design and Configuration ................................ 17
b) In room facilities .................................................... 22
c) Public area ............................................................. 24
3.3 SHARIAH COMPLIANCES SERVICES ....................... 28
a) Food and beverage ................................................. 30
b) Entertainment ........................................................ 32
c) Recreation ............................................................. 33
d) Religious services ................................................... 33
REFERENCES ..................................................................... 41

iscussions about Muslim-friendly practices as well as

Shariah Compliance Hotel (SCH) has been debated

and talk over through various publication, seminars,

and dialogues. However, to date, there are no

definitive guidelines on how a Shariah compliance hotel should be

built or designed, but several best practices have been accepted

as an industry standard. This book will discuss on the ante of

Shariah compliance hotel, based on the latest best practices and


Shariah Compliance Hotel has its own appeal as opposed to a

conventional hotel, especially for Muslim travelers. Muslim key

markets are from the Middle East, South East Asia, and Far East

Region, Africa as well as the Indian sub-continent.

This book will be focusing on all the details of the Shariah

compliance hotel, based upon 3 available, standards which are

MS2610:2015 Muslim Friendly Hospitality Services –

Requirements, MS1500:2009 Halal Food - Production, Preparation,

Handling and Storage - General Guidelines and MS1900:2005-

Quality Management System: Requirement from Islamic


he Malaysian government aspires Herself to be an

Islamic tourism hub among the Muslim tourist in the

world. The set-up of Islamic Tourism Council (ITC)

strengthened this aspiration. Being an Islamic country, Malaysia

has the capability and ability to cater to the needs of Muslim

tourist. Many Muslim’s countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,

Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar has a huge potential to be the market in

Malaysia, banking on their high spending and purchasing power.

In order to achieve this Islamic tourism hub status, the

introduction of Islamic hotel or Halal hotel as a form of tourism

services seems to be an important factor. A key question among

hoteliers and industry player, as to whether this is what the

Muslim tourists really wants? Even if the demand for it exist, it is

very important to any business, that there must be substantial

demands for this type of lodging establishment. This is to ensure a

good return on investment and viability of business operations.

Muslim consumers increasing appetites for travel according to the

annual MasterCard/ Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index

(GMTI), which put forward, that the current tally of Muslim visitors

is 108 million worldwide with a total spending power of USD 145

billion (RM 500 Billion) . By 2020, this number of tourist is set to


increase exponentially up to 40%, to 150 million visitors that will

spend about USD 200 billion Dollars (RM 900 Billion). That’s an

enormous flow of people and marks the biggest movement of a

single demographic in the world — as for comparison, world

biggest markets were China, alone contributed to almost 100

million outbound tourist mark last year. In 2014, 30 % of the total

number of tourist arrival in Malaysia were Muslim .


Malaysia is one of the top tourist destinations in the Organization

of Islamic Countries (OIC) countries. According to a survey

conducted by MasterCard/Crescent Rating in 2015, Global Muslim

Travel Index indicates that Malaysia ranked at number 1 with the

highest score among OIC nations.

When a traveler seeks accommodation, these criteria are at the

top of their list among others, family-friendly hotel

accommodation, safe environment, halal dining option, ease to

perform prayers and language proficiency . The needs for


Shariah compliance is to cater for a specific niche area that will

thrive and grows in the near future.

Malaysia recently launched a Muslim friendly hospitality standard,

the MS2610:2015 Muslim Friendly Hospitality Services –

Requirements. It incorporates the core of hospitality industry,

accommodation segmentation, and travel segmentation. The

standards will be used as benchmarks for assessing the

integration of Muslim-friendly services in Malaysia, particularly in

the hospitality areas.

One of the key aspect, why Malaysia is the so attractive among

Muslim travels, are perhaps due to its halal infrastructure and

ecosystem. Shariah compliances have been adopted in various

industries namely the financial, hospitality, services, insurance &

Takaful and Manufacturing.


hat is a Muslim Friendly hospitality services? How

conventional hotels do differ from a Shariah

compliance hotel? In an essence, Muslim-friendly

hospitality services are products or services in the

travel and tourism industry guided by Shariah requirements that

cater to or provide facilities suitable for Muslim travelers[2].

As a Muslim, the duty to perform their religious obligation is still

the same even though they are traveling or on a journey. These

obligations are deemed as compulsory (Wajib) and, therefore,

need to be performed, however, several leeway is given to lessen

the burden to perform. For example, Muslim travelers must

perform their daily Solat, five
Solat is the ritual prayers, conducted
five times a day and considered as
times a day and seeks halal obligatory by every adult is
one of the pillars of Islam and
food when possible. However, considered sinful if not performed.

during travel, leeway is given, such as they can shorten their Solat

(Jamak). As for fasting, depending on the distances of traveling

and the purpose, Muslims can defer the act of fasting and instead

replacing it at another time, when permissible.

The concept of traveling in Islam is considered as ibadah. To be

considered as ibadah, the purpose (Niat) for the journey must be

truth and does not deviate, or against the teaching of Islam. When

a Muslim travel, he or she still needs the basic necessities of

home, especially those related to the function as a practicing


A services providers, either lodging or food & beverage, are said

to be a Muslim friendly establishment if they are able to provide all

the necessary facilities for a Muslim such as providing a prayer

room or provide halal food . According to Youmna Maatouk


(2009), Choufany (2009) and Henderson (2010) [5], [6]

, a Shariah

compliance hotel must avoid some of these following items and

follows these few items as illustrated in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1: Characteristics of Muslim Friendly Hotel






Source: Rosenberg (2009) [5]

and Henderson (2010) [6]

Table 2.1: Operational Definition for Hotel Classification for
Shariah Compliance


Conventional Hotel A hotel that provides full services. There is no

segregation based on religious needs. Its
management and operation doesn’t need to
comply with Shariah requirements.

Muslim Friendly A hotel that complies with the needs of Muslim

Hotel travelers, but doesn’t benchmark itself to a
certain legislation, law, and standards. For an
example, provide halal food and Muslim
amenities in the room, but has entertainment
outlet such as a night club and separate bar

Dry Hotel Hotel operation that does not sell alcohol

throughout its premises

Muslim Welcome Hotel that offers Muslims in room amenities such

as prayer mats and qiblat direction only. This
kind of hotel classification is being used in Japan

Shariah A hotel that fulfills the needs of Muslim travelers

Compliance in accordance with Shariah law. These hotels are
usually benchmarked and adopting a certain
standard, law and legislation to be certified
Shariah compliance. Adopting total compliance
towards Shariah needs according to Islamic
teaching and practices throughout the
management and operations.

Source: [8]–[12]

The above table list out the
Qiblat - also known as Qiblat, Qibleh,
Kiblah, Kıble or Kibla, is the direction
definition of hotel classification that should be faced when a Muslim
prays during Solat. The qiblat should
under Shariah compliance face the Kaabah, in the city of Mecca.

hotel. The differences and characteristic for each hotel

classification are as in Figure 2.1, Table 2.1 and Table 2.2.

In recent times, Malaysian Government through The Department

of Standards has launched Muslim friendly standards. This

standard will be used and the terms “Muslim Friendly” will be

benchmarked upon that particular standard. The time frame for

this adoption is yet to be ascertained. Until a new directive is

given, the definition of Muslim-friendly will remain as stated in

Table 2.1.

The concepts of Shariah compliance hotel were established when

the demands of Muslim travelers exist. The conventional hotel

does satisfy the basic demand for Muslim traveler, but the

specially built hotel in this niche market will definitely attract

Muslim travelers. Even in the middle east, where the population is

predominantly Muslim, SCH has gained momentum for growth [1]


The differences between a conventional hotel and Shariah

compliance hotel are further explained in Table 2.2.

Table 2.2: Differences between Conventional hotel operation and
Shariah compliance Hotel (SCH)


Cater to a specific niche market such Open to all categories of customer

as orthodox Muslim, business, and depending the hotel type and
families categories

The decorative is somewhat orthodox

and conservative such as using Islamic Hotel design is opulent and not limited
architecture and decorative item

Rooms are larger from the industry A standard room range from 30 to 40
standards to accommodate the need of M2, Junior suite from 55 to 65 M2 and
Muslim to pray inside the room presidential suite from 200 to 220 M2

Limitation of certain kind of food and No limitation on food served within the
must serve halal food only hotel

Alcohol is served throughout the hotel.

Banning the use and consumption of
alcohol Alcohol sales bring 80-90 % to gross
profit in F&B sales figure.

Gender-specific staff to served

customer and majority should be No limitation and staffing requirement

Revenue from room 80-85 % Revenue from room 40 to 60 %

Revenue from F&B 10-20 % Revenue from F&B 30 to 40 %
Revenue from other department 5 to Revenue from other department 5 to
10 % 10 %

No restriction on entertainment outlets,

Shouldn’t have any entertainment
some even has casino build in the hotel
outlet such as nightclub and bar

Open to all, regardless of any gender

Facilities must cater for gender specific
and restriction

In-room facilities must facilitate

Some hotel does provide these facilities
Muslim’s in performing their religious
upon request
duties such water bidet and prayer mat

Most Shariah hotel size is small to

Large sizes to cater for larger market
medium due to the small niche area
and target market

Sources: Youmna Maatouk (2009) [8]

The key target market for Shariah compliance hotel is mostly

Muslim traveler and guest. This is a very specific niche area and

should be treated with diligent caution since the markets are

small, yet expanding. The Shariah compliance hotel is sought after

by Muslim travelers since it projects clean images in the mind of

the consumer. The overall branding must be treated as such, in

order to create “Shariah compliance brand”.

Apart from SCH hotel and conventional hotel, there have also

been a new and emerging concepts but long introduced Muslim-

friendly hotel. There several distinctive differences between a

Shariah compliance hotel and Muslim-friendly hotel. The word

“compliance” by itself has a stronger definition, benchmarking

itself to certain legislation, rules, and standards. While the Muslim-

friendly hotel does not benchmark itself or conform itself to any


Table 2.3: Differences between Shariah Compliance Hotel /
services and Muslim-Friendly Hotel & Services



The whole operation and They are not necessary to adopt

management of the institution Shariah law and concept in all
must adopt Shariah in their daily aspects of their operation and
running operation. management

Islamic concept is used throughout Shariah law is used within limited

the organization confines of the organization, e.g.
Halal certificates for certain outlet

Benchmarked upon a certain Only a certain segment of the

standard and audited periodically operation is benchmarked upon a
to be certified and in compliance certain standard. The management
with the standards is not entitled to adopt all of the
said standards

Source: Original

The definition for Shariah compliance hotel seems a little bit vague

at this moment, but certain distinction are that Shariah

compliance hotel are benchmarked upon certain standards and

audited periodically and conform to the standards [5], [6], [10], [13]

In japan, particularly in the Kyoto area, there have been

aggressive changes in a hotel set up in welcoming more Muslim

travelers. The hotels in Kyoto adopt two kinds of designation,

which is “Muslim Friendly” and “Muslim Welcome”. Muslim friendly

denotes that the hotel does provide all the necessities for Muslim

such as prayer mats, bidet in the bathroom as well as halal food.

Meanwhile “Muslim welcomes” denotes no halal menus, but Qiblat

in the guest rooms are provided within the hotel premises.


Muslim-friendly hotel encompassed the Shariah code of

conduct and practices throughout its operation and

management. For a typical hotel setting, an area that

must be taken into consideration falls into four areas

which are the Management, interior, exterior as well as the

services that should adopt the Muslim-friendly concept. The

below-discussed concept and design are based on the Malaysia

standards; MS2610:2015 – Muslim Friendly Hospitality Services –

Requirements, MS 1500:2009. Halal Food - Production,

Preparation, Handling and Storage - General Guidelines and

MS1900:2005 Quality Management System: Requirement from

Islamic Perspective [2], [13], [14]



The management of the hotel i.e. the administrator must adopt

the Shariah compliance management system which includes the

governance, operations, and financial aspects.

i. Governance

 The management shall allocate the necessary

resources in creating and maintaining Shariah

compliance quality system such as putting

necessary financial resources as well as human


 The hotel could adopt the MS1900:2005 Quality

Management System: Requirement from Islamic

Perspective standards for administrative purposes

and MS1500:2009 Halal Standards for food and


 The management must ensure that the integration

of the Muslim-friendly service requirements into

the organization’s business processes.

 For an example is the recital of morning Doa

before starting their shift and providing staff with

a uniform that complying with Shariah law as

shown in Figure 3.1.

 They also need to communicate the importance of

effective Muslim friendly service management and

of conforming to the Muslim-friendly service


Figure 3.1: Recital of doa before starting a meeting

Sources: De Palma Shah Alam via Google Image

ii. Operation

The operational aspects include both fronts of the house

as well as the back of the house.

iii. Financial

 Funding for development of the hotel must be

obtained from Shariah compliance, financing

facilities and does not source from neither haram

nor Syubhah sources.

 While choosing financing for the hotel funds,

Islamic finance is preferable as there are no

elements of Riba’ exist in the facilities.

 The financial transaction must be conducted on a

cash basis where possible.

 Debt facilities must be settled as soon as possible,

either receivable or payable.

 In choosing the hotel preferred bankers, priority

must be given to Islamic financial institutions.


a) Room Design and Configuration

 The focal point of the hotel is the room and in room

services. Distinctive hotel rooms are the key attributes for

repeating customer. It must be noted that most Muslim

travelers tend to travel together with their families, thus

having a family friendly hotel rooms would also have the

same impacts as Muslim-friendly hotel rooms.

 Depending on the type of rooms and hotel policies on extra

room occupants, the bed should, at least, be movable to

cater for families.

 A hotel room by itself is neutral, which could be personally

decorated in themes that reflect the status of the hotel.

How does a hotel room becomes Muslim friendly and

projects the image of Islam?

 Most often hotel rooms are designed as a standard unit

where upon entering the room, guests will find a bathroom

first and then sleeping area.

 This kind of design does not have any implication on the

total Islamic theme, except that the separation of grey zone

and the green zone.

 The average size of a
Aurat is a term used within Islam
which denotes the intimate parts of
hotel room should be at the body, for both men and women,
which must be covered with clothing.
least bigger than the Exposing the Aurat is unlawful in Islam
and is regarded as sin.

industry average to

accommodate families.

 Large size rooms are a plus point in attracting non-Muslim

guest traveling with families as well.

 Visual privacy should be taken consideration when

designing a room. Visual privacy means that the interior of

the room should not be visible to the naked eyes from


 This to cover and protect their modesty (Aurat).

 The location of the window panel and other opening that

can visible from the naked eyes, from the exterior of the

building should be covered with proper shades, tinted film

or curtains. Rooms are considered private space, and must

stay as such.

 Current practices of installing day curtain in most hotel

rooms are an adequate measure of ensuring visual privacy.

 The rooms must also be audibly insulated both from inside

and outside the rooms.

 The grey zone is the Wudu’ is an Islamic procedure for washing
parts of the body using water, typically in
area where the risk of preparation for formal prayers (Solat), but
also before handling and reading the
Qur'an. Wudu’ is often translated as
Najs contamination will ablution

likely to occur. For an

example, the grey area for typical hotel rooms is the main

entrance walkway that meets the bathroom door as in

Diagram 3.2.

Diagram 3.2: Separation of green zone and grey zone

Source: Via Google Image/Original

 Bathroom door should be moved slightly away from

entrance walkway. When a customer first walks into the

room, what happen is they will wear the shoes inside the

room. This unknowingly bringing Najs into the rooms at this


 When the guest ready to perform the wudu’ for Solat, this is

the way they entered and exiting the bathroom.

 Another issue arises when previous room guest, would use

their shoes exclusively during the stay in the room. The

cleanliness during Solat is questionable.

 Toiletries supplied by the hotel must also be certified halal

and does not contain any haram or Syubhah material.

 Most often guest will walk into the room with their shoes

on, as well as when exiting from the toilets. It is advisable;

to have slight changes in terms of the flooring marking the

extent of shoes can be worn in the rooms.

Figure 3.3: WC equipped with bidet and hose for proper
cleansing. It also can be used for ablution.

Source: Via Google Image

 In each room, there must be a clear marks or indicator of

kiblah direction as in Figure 3.4. The kiblah direction must

be certified and check by the religious authority.

 There must an adequate space for a Muslim to perform

Solat in the room. A typical hotel room should, at least, be

the size of 20 square feet in sizes.

Figure 3.4: The marking indicating the direction of qiblah

Source: Via Google Image

b) In room facilities

 Quran and prayer mat are a standard in every room. Many

Islamic travelers may request a copy of the Qur’an in their

hotel rooms as in Figure 3.6. This is a simple and sure-fire

way to send out a strong welcoming message to our Muslim


 Beds and toilet must be designed as not to face the

direction of mecca or kiblah. Other key facilities are bidet

for Muslim travelers to cleanse themselves, as well as for

wudu’ or ablution.

Figure 3.5: Prayer mats and Female Prayer garments are integral
parts of the room set up

Sources: De Palma Shah Alam via Google Image

 As for ladies traveler, the prayer garments (Telekung) are

essential and must be kept clean as in Figure 3.5. It is

advisable that these prayers garments to be packed neatly

in plastic wraps and changed whenever it has been used by

previous rooms occupants

Figure 3.6: Copy of the Holy Quran with translation is placed in
each of the hotel rooms

Sources: De Palma Ampang via Google Image

 Mini Bar if provided must not serve or stored alcoholic

beverages or any haram food. For a Shariah compliance

hotel, alcoholic beverages are totally banned for the entire


c) Public area

 A prayer room should be created with a minimum capacity

of 40 pax or bigger. Why a minimum of 40 pax? Apart for

daily prayers, this type of prayer room could also cater for

Friday prayers conducted by the in-house religious offices

for residence staff and male Muslim travelers.

 Prior approval to conduct Friday prayers must be obtained

from the specific state religious office. This also released the

burden of responsibilities of the management on the onus of

their staff not attending Friday prayers due to work.

Specialized prayers such as Tarawih and others could also

be performed here.

 The prayers room could also double as a classroom for

Islamic teaching as shown in Figure 3.9.

 For an establishment that doesn’t have the luxury of

spaces, the prayer room should, at least, accommodate 15-

20 people (both Male and Female, with barriers). The most

suitable dimension is 20 x 20 feet in sizes.

 Separate entryways, as well ablution area, prayer mat and

female prayer garments must be provided to both genders.

 The decorative elements in the public area must also

project the image of Islam. Usage of decorative arts with

animals and human motif are prohibited. Instead,

decorative arts that reflect the symbols of Islam such as

Islamic Calligraphy are encouraged to be used as per

example in Figure 3.7.

Demands for an establishment to be certify or recognized as Muslim

friendly establishment are currently increasing especially those located
in non-Muslim majority country due to the growth of international
tourism. Most often these establishments try to cater for Muslim
market such as the City of Kyoto in Japan.

Certain restaurants provide halal meals, while others claim themselves

as Muslim friendly by not including haram food and liquor in their

Figure 3.7: The interior design should reflect on the Islamic
images of the hotel

Sources: De Palma Ampang via Google Image

 Other public area such as the lobby, lounges, and public

toilets must be catered to the Muslim needs. Lobby, for

example, must facilitate the process of family checking in

and out, a specialized counter for ladies traveler has ample

space for guest during the whole process.

 A prayer room and other public used facilities should be on

the ground floor to facilitate the ease of movement.

 Lone traveling Muslim female are a norm these days. They

either travel in a group of all female or alone. A public area

such as the lobby, car parks, and room’s corridor should be

adequately lighted and monitored with CCTV or other

means of surveillance.

 Panic buttons, especially in female only floors, or car parks,

should be installed to ensure the safety of the occupants.


 A Muslim-friendly hotel must, at least, have Muslim working

at the key area such as Front office, Kitchen, Food and

Beverage and Housekeeping. There is no segregation of

female and male staff in the hotel as they have to work as a

team to run the hotels functions.

 For staff that needs to work in pairs for example as a

chambermaid, it should be noted that same gender is

advisable. For all female floors, only females’ staff should

be allowed on that particular floor.

 To add a sense of security, the female only floor should

have round the clock protection by female security


 Islamic cultures often require female housekeeping and

room staff. Dress codes in Islamic cultures are relaxed

behind closed doors and, therefore, hotels must be sensitive

to the concerns many Muslim travelers have.

 A specially appointed religious officer must be appointed to

oversee the whole Shariah implementation in the hotel and

advise the management of matters pertaining to Shariah.

 Since Muslim friendly hotels are very much a family hotel,

check in for non-married couples of different gender are not

allowed within the same room. This ruling should be applied

for Muslim and non-Muslim guest. This is to prevent any act

of “maksiat” within the hotel compound.

 Shariah compliance hotel doesn’t mean, the hotel does not

want to do any business with the non-Muslims, nor rejecting

non-Muslims patron. In that sense, patron be it Muslims

and non-Muslims must adhere to the totality of Shariah

compliance, that includes a dress code. Proper attire that is

not revealing body parts for male and female (Aurat) must

wear at the public areas in the hotel.

Figure 3.8: Dedicated gender specific staff and counter should be
in place at the check in counter.

Sources: De Palma Ampang via Google Image

a) Food and beverage

Apart from lodging, food and beverage services contributes largely

to the hotel incomes. F&B outlets must be certified halal by

religious bodies. Consumption of haram food such as alcohol and

pork must be strictly prohibited from being brought in and

consumed on the premises.

 F&B services must portray the Islamic images from the

design and adoption of design, as well as menu planning.

One of the ways to attract guest is to introduce Middle

Eastern Menu.

 This is a highly effective way of tempting Muslim travelers

to the hotel. Loved by many irrespective of religion or

culture, this delicious type of cuisine attracts guests from

every part of the world.

 The restaurant should comply with the halal standards and

obtain halal certification from the religious authority. The

integrity of the halal restaurant in the restaurant and

another foodservice establishment in that particular hotel

must be maintained and uphold at all time.

 The halal integrity system should adopt the concept of

Farm-to-Fork, where the halal system starts from the farm

and throughout the halal supply chain.

 Apart from that’s, special meal time for Muslim must be

observed. For an example, during the month of Ramadan,

or fasting month.

 Muslims must abstain themselves from eating and drinking

from dusk until dawn. They are required to break their fast

(Iftar), at the call of Azan during Maghrib Prayer.

 Pre-fasting meals, called sahur must be consumed after

midnight till before the break of dawn (Imsak).

 Food and beverage outlet must observe this cycle by

providing meals for the breaking of fast, as well as for

sahur. During the days, as a respect to the holy month of

Ramadan, food and beverage outlets must limit their sales

operation just to cover sales to non-Muslim as well as to

those who don’t have the ability to fast.

b) Entertainment

 Islam does not ban entertainment outright, but must be

conducted within the confines of Shariah law.

 Music especially background music over the public

announcement system are playable, choosing only music

that conforms to the image of Muslim hotels. Live

entertainments are allowed provided to a certain genre such

as nasyid and traditional music.

 Muslim Scholar is still divided over the use of musical

instruments in entertainments.

 Certain musical instruments are allowed to be used in

accordance with Shariah principles.

c) Recreation

 Recreational facilities such as swimming pool, health center

and spa, sauna, gymnasium must be gender specific.

 If the cost of having a gender-specific facility is too costly

and prohibitive for the management, time scheduling must

be used to segregate both genders.

 Dress codes for these facilities must accommodate the

needs for Shariah compliance.

d) Religious services

 This is where the role of the in-house religious officer will

come into play. The officer will act as the Shariah advisor to

the overall hotel operations.

 Religious related services such as congregational prayers

(Solat) as well as Friday prayers can be conducted at the

hotel compound.

 The officers will play an active role by providing consultation

services within to the guest in needs.

 Some hotels do provide solemnization of marriage services,

making it as a one-stop center for wedding functions.

Figure 3.9: Religious services conducted by the hotel religious

Sources: De Palma Ampang via Google Image

 Religious classes can be conducted regularly as needed for

the staff as well as opened to the general public.

 The hotel could position itself as the local community

resources center on religious matter. During Ramadan, the

paying of zakat could be conducted by the hotel religious

officer acting as tithe (zakat) collector.


n order to be certified Shariah compliance, the said hotel

must fulfill all the vitals mentioned criteria that satisfy the

needs of Muslims. A certification bodies, will assess the

readiness and compliance level and provide the necessary

certification. These procedures are the same as the Halal

certification procedure conducted by the Department of Islamic

Development Malaysia (JAKIM).

Since there are still no certification bodies that will verify the

Shariah compliance level, Standard Research Institute of Malaysia

(SIRIM) to be the sole assessors and certification bodies by

adopting the MS2610:2015 – Muslim Friendly Hospitality Services

– Requirements and MS1900:2005 Quality Management System:

Requirement from Islamic Perspective as the benchmark


Certifications are important as it is part of the marketing and

branding strategies for lodging institutions. Self-declaration does

not carry any weight, and its integrity and conformation to

standards are questionable. By having a third party to certify and

assess the compliance level, this entire problem is hoped to be


Table 4.1 Shariah & Halal Related Standards

MS2610:2015 –
Standard Research
Muslim Friendly Voluntary /
Institute Of Malaysia
Hospitality Services None
– Requirements,
Voluntary /
Halal Food -
Halal Logo and Halal
Production, Department Of
Marking are
Preparation, Islamic Development
governed under the
Handling and Malaysia (JAKIM)
Trade Description
Storage - General
Act 2011
Guidelines and
Quality Management Standard Research
Voluntary /
System: Institute Of Malaysia
Requirement from (SIRIM)
Islamic Perspective.

To date, only 2 hotels in Malaysia that are known to be Shariah

compliances certified, PNB Darby Park Executive Suites & PNB

Ilham Resort.

Apart from that, private rating company such as Crescent Rating

Pte. Ltd, based in Singapore do provide hotels with Shariah ratings

and currently the only Shariah rating agency in this region [15].

Crescent rating evaluates the Shariah readiness for the hotel in

giving services to Muslim travelers.

For example, it has a rating from 1 to 7; where 7 is the highest

rated criterion. Rating 1 to 3 indicates that These Hotels are

considered "helpful" to the Muslim Travelers. They will be able to

provide information regarding Prayer times and prayer direction as

well as information on nearby Halal food and Mosques. Unless

otherwise specially stated in the Hotel listing on or, these hotels do not provide

Halal food in the Hotel.

Rating 4 indicates These Hotels will be able to provide information

regarding Prayer times and prayer direction as well as information

on nearby Halal food and Mosques. They will also have some level

of halal food services; either Halal breakfast and/or Room Service.

Or it may claim all food in the Hotel to be halal, but not

independently verified by a halal food certification authority.

Rating 5 indicates These Hotels will be able to provide information

regarding Prayer times and prayer direction as well as information

on nearby Halal food and Mosques. They will have a halal certified

kitchen or restaurant (except in the Middle East) and the second

highest and highest rating, 6 and 7 indicates Hotels with a rating

of 6 to 7 take into account most of the needs of a Halal conscious

traveler in their services and facilities. In general, they will be

serving only Halal Food and Beverages apart from having other

family friendly facilities.

In recent years, new rating systems for the Muslim-friendly hotel

were introduced. The Islamic Quality Standards for Hotel was

being introduced by the Universal Crescent Standard Center

(UCSC) and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Shah Alam and

launched at the 1st Islamic Quality Standard conference in

December 2012. To date, only a handful of hotel owner and

operator opted for this rating. This is due to the lack of promotion

as well as information on this rating system

The certification was awarded in 2, hotels in Turkey and 2, hotels

in Malaysia, namely Grand Blue Waves Hotel Shah Alam (IQS 3)

and De Palma Ampang (IQS2).

The rating works on the principles of this IQS-Islamic Quality

Standard For Hotel, taking into consideration of the quality of

physical facilities provided at the hotel premises, and the quality

of its services to the customers, it shows how the hotel conformed

to the Islamic principles such as alcoholic beverage is not available

or served on the hotel premises, and all foods served are “halal”.

These basic requirements under Islamic principles are the

perquisites for a hotel to be considered under IQS-Islamic Quality


Apart from that, recreational facilities such as separate swimming

pools or spa for male and female, Muslims prayer facilities such as

prayer rooms, and mosques are important measurements for IQS-

Islamic Quality Standard. The IQS - Islamic Quality Standard for

Hotel, vision itself to become a useful guideline for those who wish

to become a “Muslim-friendly” hotel, and be considered under

various classifications from IQS-1 to the very top of IQS-7 under

this IQS-Islamic Quality Standard.

To be certified as a Shariah compliance hotel, total Shariah

compliance based upon Islamic teaching and practices must be

constituted throughout the hotel management and operation. If

only a certain part of its operation is Shariah compliances,

therefore, the terms “Shariah Compliance Hotel” can be destitute

from the hotel operation, and instead adopting the Muslim-friendly


With multiple players on the certification and accreditation, the

risk of under accredited and over accredited will bound to happen.

This is a lesson learned when halal certification was opened to be

certified by private entities.

Standards of accreditation that measure and rated Shariah

compliances level, Muslim friendly level and adoption of Islamic

management levels should be in place, and ultimately to certify

that particular establishment level of standards.

As for Shariah Compliance Hotel, the next best things to have the

hotel being certified, are with using the standards introduced by

Department of Standards Malaysia, and evaluated and reassess by

SIRIM for certification.


[1] Mastercard and CrescentRating, “MasterCard-CrescentRating

Global Muslim Travel Index 2015,” Singapore.

[2] Department of Standards Malaysia., “MS2610:2015 – Muslim

Friendly Hospitality Services – Requirements.” 2015.

[3] M. R. Razalli, R. Z. Yusoff, M. Wahidar, and M. Roslan, “A

Framework of Halal Certification Practices for Hotel Industry,” vol.
9, no. 11, pp. 316–326, 2013.

[4] M. R. Razalli, S. Abdullah, and M. G. Hassan, “Developing a Model

for Islamic Hotels: Evaluating Opportunities and Challenges,” in
International Proceedings of Economics Development & Research,
2012, pp. 91–95.

[5] Rosenberg, P. and Choufany. H., “Spiritual Lodging- The Shariah

Compliant Hotel Concept.,” 2009.

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10, no. 3, pp. 246–254, 2010.

[7] City of Kyoto and Kyoto Convention & Visitors Bureau, “A Guide to
Muslim Friendly Hotels | Muslim Friendly Kyoto,” 2015. [Online].
Available: [Accessed:

[8] Youmna Maatouk, “The rise of Shariah Hotel,” 2009. [Online].


[9] N. Zafir Md Salleh, A. Bakar Abdul Hamid, N. Hazarina Hashim,
and andSiti Zaleha Omain, “The Practice of Shariah-compliance
Hotel in Malaysia,” Int. J. Trade, Econ. Financ., vol. 4, no. 1, pp.
26–30, 2014.

[10] W. Sahida, S. A. Rahman, K. Awang, and Y. C. Man, “The

Implementation of Shariah Compliance Concept Hotel: De Palma
Hotel Ampang,Malaysia,” in 2nd International Conference on
Humanities, Historical and Social Sciences, 2011.

[11] Nur’Hidayah Che Ahmat, A. Hi. A. Ridzuan, and Mohd Salehuddin

Mohd Zahari, “Dry Hotel and Syariah Compliant Practice,” in
International conference on innovation, Management and
Technology Research, 2012.

[12] CrescentRating, Muslim / Halal Travel Market Basic Concepts ,

Terms And Definitions, 1st ed. Singapore: CrescentRating Pte Ltd,

[13] M. . Nor Zafir, “Establishing Shariah-compliance hotel

characteristics from a Muslim needs perspective,” in International
Hospitality and Tourism Conference, 2014, no. October, pp. 1–5.

[14] Department of Standards Malaysia MS1500:2009, Halal Food -

Production, Preparation, Handling And Storage - General
Guidelines (Second Revision). 2009.

[15] CrescentRating, “Crescentrating Hotel Acreditations,” 2015.

[Online]. Available:
accreditations/hotels.html. [Accessed: 29-Oct-2015].

hmad Sahir Jais is a Lecturer / head of Program for
Diploma in Foodservice (Halal Practice) in Politeknik
Merlimau Melaka. With 12 Years of teaching
experience, he specializes in Foodservice Management,
culinary and Halal training. He is also a certified Halal
Trainer recognized by the Halal Industry Development
Corporation (HDC).

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