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

Published: July 10, 2013
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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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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)

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