by Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi*
*Topic:* *You are what you eat* - practical guidelines for halal/haram consumption. What to look for, What to ask, What to avoid & FAQs.
Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 168:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ *حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا* وَلَا *تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ* إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
O men! eat the *lawful and good* things out of what is in the earth, and *do not follow the footsteps of the Shaitan;* surely he is your open enemy.
Allah addresses mankind in general to eat whatever is *permissible and good* and immediately after saying that the second part of the verse outlines that anything other than consuming that which is permissible and good is a trap set by shaitan. The next verse outlines the consequences of not consuming that which is permissible and good.
Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 169:
إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُم بِالسُّوءِ وَالْفَحْشَاءِ وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
He only *enjoins you evil and indecency*, and that you may *speak against Allah* what you do not know.
1. He urges you to go towards *evil*
2. He urges you towards *indecency*
3. He leads you into *speaking out against Allah* (becoming rebellious, saying why is this haram? I like it! I'll eat it)
General rules: (please refer to pic 1 below)
• Veggitables, fruits, grains >> *All halal*
• sea creatures
- Non fish >> *All haram*
(This includes squid, lobster, clams and frogs which are all haram)
- Fish >> scale Fish (+ shrimp & Prawn)>> *all Halal* (please see pic 2&3 for list of common scale fish)
- Fish >> skin Fish >> *All haram*
• Land creatures
- All land creatures are *haram* except
• Domesticated animals such as
*=makruh to eat
Keep in mind, in the case of domestic animals: their meat is only halal if they are *slaughtered according to shariah laws*
• Wild animals such as
- Mountain sheep
- Wild Ass
Keep in mind, in the case of wild animals: their meat is halal when they are *hunted by a Muslim who says the basmallah at the moment of shooting, pulling the string of arrow, throwing the spear, saying the basmallah before unleashing hunting dogs*
• Air creatures >> *all Halal* _except_ :
- Predatory birds
- Birds that glide more than they flap their wings in flight (e.g. eagle)
Keep in mind, halal birds only become permissible to eat if they are *slaughtered (domesticated birds) or hunted (wild birds)*
• Eggs of Halal birds are *halal*
• Eggs of haram birds are *haram*
*Rules regarding _Vegetarian_ food by non-muslims*
A) The Ahlul-kitab/people of the book (Christians & jews)
• General rule is that it is Halal to consume unless we know otherwise. NB, if you come to know of any contamination with haram then your knowledge will *override* the general rule!
B) Other non Muslims:(Hindus, Buddhists etc)
• If you know there has been physical contact with *wetness*, then it is *najis and haram* but if you do not know then it is okay.
C) Packed vegetarian food:
• All kinds of packed veg food are permissible. However, be careful and *check the ingredients!* (E.g. buying a salad from a non-muslims restaurant and the salad dressing has alcohol in it etc...)
*Rules regarding MEAT products from NON-MUSLIMS?*
• if you buy or receive food containing meat from any non Muslim, then such food is *haram*
• if you buy or receive food containing meat from a Muslim whose *supplier is a non Muslim* and he didn't verify whether it was zabiha or not, then that food is *Haram*
*Rules regarding MEAT products from MUSLIMS*
• A Muslim can buy and receive meat and related items from a Muslim or a Muslim market and consider it *halal without further inquiry*
• if you are invited to a Muslim's house and served a meat dish, You are not required nor is it advisable to ask whether it is zabiha meat or not as it goes against the akhlaq of Islam.
***All The above is the basic *minimum* standard set for us****
But let's raise the bar for ourselves a few notches as we are followers of Imamul Muttaqeen - the leader of the righteous we need to strive to achieve more than the bare minimum!!! That is what is expected of the followers of such an exemplary leader!
*Rising above the basics*
• Allah uses 2 words, halal - permissible and tayyib - good, healthy and beneficial. Another meaning of tayyib is to *refrain from the doubtful food! - This is what is expected from the followers of Imam Ali! But not at the expense of insulting a fellow Muslim! For example, There may be those who eat meat slaughtered by themselves, this can be your standard when you are at home but not when you go to the mosque and they serve nyaz or when invited to a fellow Muslims house for dinner.
• Imam Ali says in Nahjul Balagha saying #113: "...there is no (better form of) self control than like that of *restrain in a doubtful situation..."
• Imam praises one of his companions (sermon 289) as follows: "I had a brother in faith...he was *free from the control of his stomach* think about this, we have the potential whereby Imam can refer to us as his brother in faith! This person was not from the ahlulbayt or banu Hashim...
*The impact of eating Haram which is a sin*
• When a person commits a sin, he makes himself *liable for punsihment*. Then he regrets and asks for forgiveness and reforms himself whereby averting his liability for punishment.
*What about the Waz'i impact?
• What does this mean? Let's take the example of an alcoholic who had been drinking for 20 years and then he saw the light! Sincerely regretted by doing so he averted the punishment in the hereafter
• but does his repentance make everything right in this world with regards to the impact and effect on his body? No, the effect will still remain.
*Eating haram has multiple impacts*
1. In the *hereafter* : Punishment.
2. In the *body* : illness and disease
3. In the *soul* : you will be lead to evil, indecency and rebeliousness against Allah
• A person who eats haram, but then later repents sincerely he will avert the punishment of the hereafter but the impact on the body will remain... as for the soul,
• His dua will not be accepted
• losing the joy of ibadah/worship - in the hadith of miraj - Allah said "...Oh Ahmed, worship consists of *10* parts; *9 of them is seeking the halal*. When your food and drink is *pure then you are in my protection and care...*
InshA we pray to Allah to increase us in our tawfeeq to rise above the bare minimum.
Impact of Haram Food lecture