Please welcome Dr. Mohammed Issa, the President of NoorVitamins.
[American Muslim Mom] How did the Noor Vitamins idea come about?
[Noor Vitamins] First of all thanks for having us Ponn! The idea of Noor Vitamins actually came from our patients Alhamdulillah. The Noor Vitamins team are all either Muslim physicians or pharmacists and we all experienced first hand patients specifically asking us if we can recommend halal alternatives to the supplements they were taking. As we looked into it, we did not find a brand that met the scientific quality we would be comfortable recommending and the Halal certification we needed. Given that, we recognized a need in our community and by Allah’s grace we put together a team which has extensive clinical experience with research and development as well as business backgrounds to develop this much needed alternative for the Muslim consumer.
[American Muslim Mom] Please share the mission, vision and goals of Noor Vitamins.
[Noor Vitamins] Our mission is to provide the Muslim community with the highest quality Halal vitamins and supplements in order to promote a healthy and Halal lifestyle. We are committed to ensuring that our products meet the highest possible scientific and Halal standards and that our business practices fulfill the highest Islamic principles.
[American Muslim Mom] What makes a vitamin non-halal?
[Noor Vitamins] As Muslims, we all know to look for Gelatin on any package labeling and avoid products with this ingredient, knowing that it probably comes from pork sources. Several vitamin brands contain gelatin which is used to make different types of capsules. Surprisingly however, it is more than just gelatin. Many other ingredients like mono and di glycerides which are used to coat tablets, and even some vitamins themselves (Vitamins A,B, D,E,K) can come from non-halal sources.
[American Muslim Mom] How do you insure that all your vitamins are halal?
[Noor Vitamins] We work with a Halal certifying agency (Islamic Services of America) to ensure all of our sources for our products are certified Halal, this is more than just using Veggie sources, we actually go out and get the certification. In addition our manufacturing facilities are certified Halal which ensures that the machinery used to produce our products are not contaminated with non-halal ingredients. Even further to that, we are really proud to use only Sharia compliant business practices which ensures our entire organization is Halal alhamdullilah.
[American Muslim Mom] Are Halal vitamins lacking any vitamins that a traditional brand has?
[Noor Vitamins] I’m glad you asked that question Ponn! At Noor Pharmaceuticals we have gone through great lengths to ensure that all of our products are comparable if not more complete than the most popular vitamin brands on the market. Being health care professionals, we take our formulations very seriously and ensure that they meet the highest scientific quality and manufactured in FDA GMP (good manufacturing practices) certified facilities. At Noor, we pride our self on bringing the best of the science with Islam Alhamdulillah.
[American Muslim Mom] How long did it take you to develop these products? Why did it take you so long? or short? (Compared to industry norms for other pharmaceutical companies).
[Noor Vitamins] We have been working on this project for a very long time now. We didn’t want to rush the introduction of our products as we wanted to establish the best possible scientific and business foundation. We wanted to make sure our products, manufacturing and ingredients met the highest quality scientific quality and we operated with the highest possible Islamic standards. In addition, we worked extensively on the business process to ensure we would be able to provide our products to our customers for the long term and be a long term solution for the Muslim consumer not just a short term fix insha’Allah.
[American Muslim Mom] How did you prioritize which products to develop first? Nutritional/Health needs specific to general public or Muslims specifically? Or, the vitamins you discovered to have mostly haram by-products as their ingredients?
[Noor Vitamins] We prioritize the vitamins we introduce using all of what you just mentioned. We did extensive research to identify one, which vitamins were used and are needed most by the Muslim consumer and two, which vitamins are most likely to contain non-halal ingredients. We used that information to introduce the Noor Vitamins five products marketed now and we are currently working on introducing more than 10 additional products in the near future insha’Allah.
[American Muslim Mom] Do you plan to ever launch anything besides Noor Vitamins through NoorPharmaceuticals?
[Noor Vitamins] Insha’Allah. We are currently working on developing pharmaceutical products, and since that process requires significant resources and time we pray that Allah makes it easy for us so we can continue to serve our Muslim consumers insha’Allah.
[American Muslim Mom] Typically high-specialty items, such as Noor Vitamins, cost more simply because the production costs are greatly inflated due to the extra protocols, staffing, certification-processes, etc. Comparably, I find your prices are extremely economical. How is this possible?
[Noor Vitamins] Alhamdulillah, I appreciate you noticing that. While the production, protocols and certification costs are multiplied in producing our products, we wanted to make sure that our products are accessible to as many Muslims as possible regardless of economic status. We take this very seriously since the last thing we wanted was to inform the Muslim consumer that the vitamins they are taking may not be appropriate since they may contain non-halal ingredients then realize that the products that WOULD BE appropriate are not within an acceptable price range. We do this by being as operationally efficient as possible and lowering our profit margins in hopes that as many Muslims as possible would have access to Noor Vitamins.
[American Muslim Mom] When did you start making them available to the public? Where can we buy them? (bricks & mortar & online).
[Noor Vitamins] Right now, all of our products are available and can be purchased online at www.Noor Vitamins.com. In addition we are in several pharmacies in the northeast and plan to be in the DC and Chicago area in the next few months and ultimately nationwide in early 2012. In an effort to make our products even more accessible, we are offering free shipping anywhere in the US on orders of more than three bottles when customers join the “Noor Community” on our website insha’Allah.
The Ummah Project – Ramadan 2011 Fundraiser
[American Muslim Mom] Please share with us about the Ummah Project. What is it? Who should be involved? How can we get involved? Who is already involved (or, how many are already involved).
[Noor Vitamins] We are very excited about the Ummah Project Alahmdulillah. Being from and apart of the Muslim community, the Noor founders understand the importance of many Muslim oragnizations fundraising efforts in Ramadan. To do our part in this, we designed the Ummah Project. During the program Noor assigns participating Muslim non-profit organizations including Masajid across the US a unique promotional code; 100% of the profit margin on any purchases made on www.Noor Vitamins.com using an organization’s code during Ramadan 2011 is donated to that respective organization. Any Muslim non-profit organization including schools and masajid can particpate in the program by e-mailing info@Noor Vitamins.com their name, non-profit ID, address, phone number and a contact person. The sooner an organization registered the more they can benefit from the program insha’Allah.
[American Muslim Mom] MashaAllah, 100% of the profits going to sadaqah during the month of Ramadan!
May Allah multiply your rewards for offering and encouraging sadaqah during our blessed month of Ramadan. May Allah bless you handsomely in this dunya and the akhira for your efforts to work in His cause. Ameen.
As always, we welcome your kind feedback and questions. However, we’d love to know if you’re equally excited about having halal vitamins in the market to satisfy our specific health and nutritional needs as Muslims! Please comment below.