Halalgoogling: Putting the ‘beep’ in ‘be pious while you search the web’

Published: July 10, 2013

The holy month of Ramzan is just around the corner; what better way to welcome this month than to launch a search engine especially designed for Muslims? ILLUSTRATION: IMAAN SHEIKH

The holy month of Ramazan is just around the corner and what better way to welcome this month than to launch a search engine especially designed for Muslims? Halalgoogling is all set to take the pious world by storm.

Halalgoogling is my new toy. As any responsible Pakistani would, I immediately went ahead and checked its authenticity by looking up the word “sexy”. No, I’m not a pervert; I’m responsible, just like the guys who spread videos of two people “committing sins” in order to raise awareness that it should not be done. How would you know you shouldn’t do it unless you know what it is? But I digress.

Even upon searching a word as simple as ‘sexy’, the displayed results were more preachy than informative.

Check these sexy girls out… If you want to rot in hell, that is! A few simple definitions would have sufficed but we’re talking halal here, and the first step to modern halal-ness is stressing on how haram others are.

What took the cake, for me, was when I looked up “WTF”. No, no, don’t let your mind wander to dirty internet short forms. I got exactly what I was looking for:

Okay, sure, I could use some mental taekwondo to defeat Satan from whispering into my ears. Don’t forget to say a quick prayer before you unleash your nun-chucks on that misguiding devil! This technique is especially useful in Ramazan. (Thank you, Halalgoogle.)

You gain free jannat-time as you search, which is obviously a bonus investment.

Though reports claim that a team of experts sat down to design this search engine for years, it is not foolproof. I Halalgoogled a simple “you suck” and spotted the F-word scattered across the search results. In another attempt to check how ‘kink free’ the engine is, I Halalgoogled “p0rn movies” replacing the ‘o’ in porn with a zero and there we have it – porn galore and all sorts of it!

I guess they didn’t think of all the possible ways in which Satan would try to sabotage their ‘halality’.

The good news is that it is extremely, extremely safe for work… or home, or school, war time, parties, the library, baby showers, anything. It’s so safe that it does not even have photos; at least I could not find an “image” tab. Also, no sexually alluring “Sarah is in your area!” will pop out at you. However, if you’re quickly looking for a nice henna design for Eid, look no further… because you won’t get anything!

It is also interesting to note that Halalgoogling the slang alternatives of ‘faeces’ or ‘intercourse’ will not give you any results, just like Google’s SafeSearch feature would disallow. However, unlike Google SafeSearch, you will get these words in the displayed results while Halalgoogling other things.

The search engine still has a long way to go.

Dear team of extraordinarily pious experts, kindly start fixing this now, because you took years to make this mediocre search engine and it might take you more to fix this. When I have my children browsing the internet several years from now, I would not want them to look up haraam things. And hey, a special thank you for rendering “sex ed” haram. I, too, hate it when 11-year-olds find out about necessary things in life.

One feature that I absolutely loved is the “random” button. Halalgoogling has introduced this button in case you have no idea what you want to look up. I clicked on “random” and it showed me search results for “halal standards and processes”, “Sudoku online”, “how to raise Muslim children”, “World War II timeline” and “how to solve the Rubik’s cube” which are all undoubtedly very essential things, the use of which is unavoidable in daily life. Who better to tell me about how to raise my children than the internet? Improving my Rubik’s cube and Sudoku skills is also of utmost significance.

I am sure you have an idea of my love for this search engine by now. The only thing that left a bitter taste in my mouth is that Halalgoogling copied Google’s name. They could have gone for “HalalSearch” or “HalalEngine”, but copying others and being unoriginal is not totally haram - perhaps only borderline makrooh (disliked/offensive).

Do try out the new search engine. It is the Paradise Point of the internet (literally). Halalgoogling puts the “beep” in “be pious while you search the web”.

Do you approve or disapprove of Halalgoogle?

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Read more by Imaan here or follow her on Twitter @SheikhImaan

Imaan Sheikh

Imaan Sheikh

An graduate with a degree in Mass Communication from the University of Karachi, she enjoys reading, writing and listening to classical psychedelic rock. She blogs at www.imaansheikh.wordpress.com and tweets as @SheikhImaan (twitter.com/SheikhImaan)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • https://twitter.com/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    I finally found out who the real killers of BB were.

    Thank you Halalgoogling! Recommend

  • Saima Khan

    It’s sad that this halal googling site treats gays as deviants and outcasts.Being gay is just as normal as being straight is.Alienating a part of humanity on the basis of religious homophobia is very disappointing.Just because you’re wrapping homophobic hate in religious colours doesn’t make it any less sickening.Recommend

  • Abdul Moiz

    Homosexuality is normal behaviour just like heterosexuality is.This move by this search engine to treat gays and lesbians as people who are not normal or good only shows the sick mentality behind this new search engine.Hate and bigotry now being extended to what search results you get!!Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    Dear ISI,

    The comment above is a joke. Please don’t kidnap me in the middle of a dark scary night.

    Thanks. Recommend

  • Spigot !

    lol ” Sarah is in your area ” …totally ! Spot on :D
    Good read :DRecommend

  • Hina Muneeb

    Imagine the outcry there would be if google or yahoo or other search engines excluded islamic search results,everyone would be up in arms,condemning the Infidels in the West but when a Muslim search engine engages in homophobic hate,there’s not a peep of condemnation from anyone.Such blatant hypocrisy from our society.We’re discriminating against gays ourselves and then complain of discrimination from the West towards Muslims.The Americans treat their Muslim minority a million times better than how we treat our sexual minorities in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Erum

    Halalgoogling considers Veena Malik halal btw!Recommend

  • http://saadhamid.com Saad Hamid

    Not the best idea in its original sense but can be used in schools and in homes where parents are concerned about their kids Googling inappropriate stuff.Recommend

  • saif bawany

    Religion is no excuse for exclusionary tactics against LGBT.Just because you use the word ‘halal’ doesn’t make it right to make gays feel like abnormal people.It’s high time we ended persecution of lesbians and gays.Recommend

  • san

    But according to Halalgoogling Shia are still Kafir. The irony is unmistakable.Recommend

  • Tariq malik

    Aah,homophobia,bigotry and hate are now being hidden behind terms like ‘halal’.Just because religious hatemongers try to hide their bigotry behind religion doesn’t make their bigotry any less horrible.Recommend

  • Ali Abbasi

    HAHAHA THIS WAS HILARIOUSRecommend

  • Usman

    The “halalgoogling” project is atleast much better than this blog, clearly showing the effort behind the project.
    However, they should have given it some better name.
    If this is not a full fledged search engine and not using any algorithm such as Page Rank (main algorithm in Google) they should have given some credit to the real search engine in the result.

    The menu bar in the search engine is also not stable. I had seen a menu “login” that just disappeared when i had clicked on it.

    “Overall” I will say, the project seems much better than its name and definitely this blog which describe nothing about the blog and have targeted only the name of the search engine.

    Recommend

  • Sunara

    hahahahahahaha! Awesome blog, Imaan Sheikh!. Recommend

  • sidjeen

    so thats the man who killed JFK. thanks halal googling :)Recommend

  • Water Bottle

    There’s nothing wrong with this website. It works perfectly. I only see 2 problems.

    1) The name should have been Halaloogle or Halalgool.

    2) It’s a total waste. Because those who want something, they will get it through other search engines. For those who don’t want, other search engines work easily.Recommend

  • Ali

    the author is pretty sufficient in naughty vocabulary, may be halalgoogling team should hire the author as naughty consultant for filtering out naughty words.Recommend

  • Sara

    I will never understand why people have to go around passing judgement on everything on the planet. So some people created a search engine of their liking. Big deal. They have as much right to indulge in their techie-sides as the rest. So let them. What’s with all the unnecessary sarcasm? Don’t use it if you’re so against the idea, but get off their backs. Like Islamic people can’t launch any websites. Seriously, our nation is so darn biased. Quit the narrow-minded thinking and get rid of the stereotype. Islamic people attempt to create a search engine. Fine. Where’s the biggie in that?! Move on. eyes rollRecommend

  • Mehdi

    Yes I would like to see what comes up in the search bar when you type “Shia” and “Ahmedi” . Fondly the return result would be deviant too as in the case of the word “gay”. So dear Sara, if you don’t have an opinion or positive criticism, how do you expect to improve. we muslim have successfully put the entire faith of Islam in disrepute by our irrational actions, which has no place in Islam. Recommend

  • Sara

    The world we live in is marked by individual choice culture. Individuals have a free will and liberty to prioritize things. If someone creates a halaalgoogle, why should it bother others? It’s not a potent, mass-destruction weapon or anything, just another search engine. Use it if you want, leave it if you don’t. Live and let live. Maybe the creators are the only users of the engine. Even so, no one can force them to shut down the site. People create porn sites. If that’s acceptable to the wider world, well, then, so should be a HalalGoogle.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Sara:

    Term is Muslim not Islamic people. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    “You gain free jannat-time as you search, which is obviously a bonus investment.”

    Is it like a little jail pass when you play monopoly. Thank you I will passRecommend

  • Sara

    Thanks for the info, but there are variations, some are more devout, some are less so. Muslim is a general term. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Sara:

    I agree with you. As long as the site search result don’t offend other groups which borderlines bigotry, they have all the right to work on their project and expand upon it. I am all about free thinking.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    Once the halal google and halal tube are fully functioning, they will ban google and youtube and make pakistani awaam more pious and intelligent…..Recommend

  • darbullah

    Is internet halal?Recommend

  • 1984

    So Muslims are using a computer who initial design was proposed by a gay atheist (Alan Turing) and the modern desktop version designed by a half-muslim “Hare krishna” member(Jobs)..The OS was designed by a christian born atheist (Gates).The internet designed by an organization who have a Shiva statue in their entrance(CERN) and their base search engine built by 2 Jewish born atheist (Larry Page and Sergey Brin).

    I dont know how a muslim who is so adamant about Halal be ok with using a machine designed by infidels???Recommend

  • bangash

    As long as they don’t ban Google I am fine with this site. Incidentally it seems a copy of ImHalal.com a similar engine that closed in 2009.Recommend

  • Parvez

    This has to be satire or comody or should be in the Poetic License section ……… hilarious.
    Recommend

  • Gp65

    @Water Bottle: What you said is the crux of the issue.Recommend

  • Gp65
  • Cosmo

    @Sara: the exact same “right” which u used to pass a judgement on this blog!
    Sratching your head, eh?!!!Recommend

  • Cosmo

    Why cant the halal-lovers create a halal-internet? Now that would be some achievement. Recommend

  • Citizen

    Halalgoogling itself may not be the problem, but the skewed definitions of what’s halal and what isn’t definitely is. Searches like Sex ed shouldn’t be placed in the same category as pornography…clearly the product of internet administrators who need to put in a little thought before bringing out start-ups that are likely to cause commotion!Recommend

  • Sara

    @ Cosmo

    I didn’t pass any judgement. Check my whole comment out before talking, dude. You’re coming off as highly ignorant. Please make the distinction between ‘passing a judgement’ and ‘simply raising a point’ – especially a point that is all about how others are all too quick to criticize things. So, nope, not scratching my head, just thinking about how silly some people can get. Recommend

  • Turbo Lover

    So will my iPad murder me if I type “Shia and proud” or something? Just curious.Recommend

  • dsc9567

    if halalgoogle team is crazy for making a stupid site, author of this article shouldnt have written thisRecommend

  • Gratgy

    This is a meta search engine NOT a Search Engine

    “A metasearch engine is a search tool that sends user requests to several other search engines and/or databases and aggregates the results into a single list or displays them according to their source.”

    So this just filters keywords before sending to the REAL search engine and just aggregates the results.

    So stealing the results from Google etc and displaying as your own is very “halaal”Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Turbo Lover:
    iPad has yes to acquire artificial intelligence, as a Shia myself, it didn’t happen so far :) Recommend

  • cosmo

    @Sara:
    Ah, so convenient “passing a judgement” Vs “simply raising a point” ?? !!Recommend

  • Danish

    Your write-ups are a treat to read – awesome writer you are Ms.ShaikhRecommend