Lets talk about what’s Haraam and Halaal.
One of the things that struck me the other day, was the scale of what’s haraam, compared to what’s halaal.
Let’s take food for example.
Now Islam is a way of life. It isn’t just about going to a mosque to pray, but rather about inserting the elements of faith in all areas of your life.
Everyday we wake up to pray Fajr, and from then on continue with refraining from all that is prohibited and try to continue with engaging in all that is allowed and loved by God, until we go to bed that night with a clean conscious.
Daily meals are no different.
A Muslim cannot take a few elements of our daily routine and pretend that it’s excluded from the practicing of faith. And therefore, meal times are no different.
But before we talk about what food is Haraam (prohibited), let’s talk about what’s Halaal (allowed).
This is intricately exhibited by the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed (May Peace and Blessings be upon him).
Prophet Muhammed pbuh showed us the correct etiquette of having meals as a Muslim.
First we say “Bimillah”,
then we eat with the right hand.
‘Umar bin Abu Salamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), said to me, “Mention Allah’s Name (i.e., say Bismillah before starting eating), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is near you.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Before everything, a Muslim should always say “Bismillah”. We already know this. Our parents have made sure to drill it into our brains since even before we learnt how to speak.
But what is the benefit of it?
Why do we say “Bismillah (In the name of Allah)” before we start eating or drinking?
Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying,
“If a person mentions the Name of Allah upon entering his house or eating,
Satan says, addressing his followers:
‘You will find no where to spend the night and no dinner.’
But if he enters without mentioning the Name of Allah,
Satan says (to his followers);
‘You have found (a place) to spend the night in,
and if he does not mention the Name of Allah at the time of eating,
‘You have found (a place) to spend the night in as well as food.”‘
Satan will find food in your house? Specifically your food will be his food?
When I came across this Hadith a while back I was shocked!
I mean seriously, the devil will also eat from my plate?
That’s pretty intense. And gross. And scary!
Alhamdhulillahi for our Prophet pbuh’s Hadith informing of this.
Now I know there will be those who question the validity of a hadith when they hear it (which is a seriously dangerous attitude to keep persisting, but I believe this happens usually because people don’t really have the right knowledge. But if you don’t have the knowledge now, then please find out! I mean otherwise you’re just ignorantly arguing about something you don’t really know. And that’s just stupid isnt it? ), but Allah has mentioned this in the Quran as well.
“Then eat of that over which the name of Allah has been mentioned, if you believe in His signs.” Quran, 6:118
So there! Allah SWT has instructed us the Halaal way on how to eat food, and Prophet pbuh’s Sunnah has shown us WHY this is the halaal way.
Going back to what’s haraam,
what struck me the other day was, how out of all the food in the world, including the fruits and veggies straight from the plants, the meal from livestock, the baked food in Bakeries, the canned and packed food in supermarkets, the meals available in restaurants…out of all these, except for a couple of foods or by-products of foods, ALL others are halaal!
There are only very very, VERY few food items that are prohibited for a Muslim.
- Meat from swine (or pork)
- Pork-based products and by-products
- Animals slaughtered improperly, or those animals that are already found dead before slaughtering.
- Animals killed or sacrificed in the name of anything or anyone, other than Allah (swt)
- Most carnivorous animals, birds of prey and land animals without external ears (i.e., snakes, reptiles, worms, insects etc.)
- Blood and blood by-products
- Foods contaminated with any of the above products.
So you see, almost all foods are Halaal. And only a few are prohibited.
Yet we see people going for what’s haraam…yes even eating pork…even though there is a whole world full of food we CAN enjoy without it being prohibited. Seriously, why do that? I mean why take that risk and disobey the direct orders of the One who created you?
To me, thats more stupid than those who adamantly insist that prohibiting any food doesnt make sense.
There are a whole lot of reasons why some foods are Haraam while most are Halaal. Has a lot to do with your health, your wellbeing and overall quality of life.
But Im not gonna state those here.
Ive done my research and now its your turn.
Allah SWT has allowed and prohibited things and actions for us for the most blessed of reasons. HE knows us better than we know our own tru damn selves.
So isn’t obeying those merciful rules with true submission truely worthwhile, if in the end we will achieve that best of what is promised to HIS most loved servants in the hereafter? 🙂