Basic rules (1-4)

HALAL (حلال)

  • Anything that is lawful, allowed, or permitted, legal, and they are regarded as clean.
  • Always associated with what is good and beneficial such as in behavior, speech, clothing, conduct, manner, food, drinks, business, occupation, finances, investment, etc.
  •  Anything or any act that Allah allowed us

HARAM (حرام)

  • Anything that is unlawful, prohibited, forbidden, illegal or banned and they are regarded as dirty.
  • Always associated with what is bad and harmful such as in behavior, speech, clothing, conduct, manner, food, drinks, business, occupation, finances, investment, etc.
  • Anything or any act that Allah absolutely forbids us. If avoided, you are rewarded If done, you are punished

Basic Rules Regarding Halal and Haram:

  1. The origin in everything is permission.
  2. God only has the right to permit and to forbid.
  3. God permits the good and forbids the bad.
  4. Whatever leads to Haram is Haram.
  5. Inventing strategies to make the Haram to become Halal is Haram.
  6. Good intention does not justify the Haram act.
  7. Avoiding suspicions. Stay away from questionable things.
  8. Haram is for all, either Muslims or non-Muslims.
  9. To be compelled permits the Haram, with conditions.

I. The origin in everything is permission.

Nothing is forbidden unless there is a clear proof from the Qur’an and the Hadith.

“He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things.” [Al-Baqarah 2:29]

Whatever Allah ﷻ allowed in the Qur’an, it is Halal and whatever He forbids, it is Haram. Whatever Allah ﷻ did not talk about or did not mention is overlooked, so it is similar to Halal. You have to trust that every word, every letter in the Qur’an is done on purpose. This is not a writing of a human but written by Allah ﷻ, so there cannot be any mistake. Trust that Allah ﷻ never forgets anything. He created us and He knows how far and advance we will be. The holy Qur’an is a book that fits at all times even in a millions of years. It is He who created for us which is on earth. Example is the grape, it is Halal to eat but from it, we can make wine, then it is becomes Haram, and it is mankind who made it Haram.

II. God only has the right to permit and to forbid.

No one except Allah ﷻ has the right to permit what is permissible and to forbid what is forbidden. God does not want people to control other people. It is Haram for anyone to permit and forbid because this right is solely Allah’s.

Permitting the Haram and forbidding the Halal is an act of polytheism (Shirk). Saying something “It is Haram and God says so,” means you are accusing God of saying something that He did not say. Saying things simply that this so and so is Halal and that so and so is Haram is not allowed unless you have the right knowledge and information.

“Or have they partners (of Allah) who have made lawful for them in religion that which Allah allowed not? And but for a decisive word (gone forth already), it would have been judged between them. Lo! For wrong-doers is a painful doom.” [Ash-Shura 42:21]

“And thou wouldst have deemed them waking though they were asleep, and We caused them to turn over to the right and the left, and their dog stretching out his paws on the threshold. If you have observed them closely you have assuredly turned away from them in flight, and have been filled with awe of them.” [Al-Kahf 18:18]

“Allah hath not appointed anything in the nature of a Bahirah or a Sa’ibah or a Wasilah or a Hami, but those who disbelieved invent a lie against Allah. Most of them have no sense.” [Al-Maidah 5:103]

“Eight pairs: Of the sheep twain, and of the goats twain. Say: Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females, or that which the wombs of the two females contain? Expound to me (the case) with knowledge, if you are truthful.” [Al-An’am 6:143]

III. God permits the good and forbids the bad.

One of the beauties of Islam is that it came to change that which is Haram from other religions.

“Unto those who are Jews We forbade every animal with claws. And of the oxen and the sheep forbade We unto them the fat thereof save that upon the backs or the entrails, or that which is mixed with the bone. That we awarded them for their rebellion. And lo! We verily are truthful.” [Al-An’am 6:146]

IV. Whatever leads to Haram is Haram.

Anything that leads to Haram is Haram even though you did not do the Haram act itself because Allah ﷻ does not want you to suffer. He does not want you to go through saying “I have to try it myself.”

There are things that Allah ﷻ said: “Do not do this.” For example, wine, Allah ﷻ did not tell not to go near wine but He directly told not to drink wine. But when it comes to adultery (Zina), Allah did not say do not do adultery but He said do not come close to adultery (Zina). What does this mean? It means that you have to avoid anything that will lead to it, like talking to somebody, falling in love, having a relationship with him, going out with him. This process, step-by-step, as human, will develop in you a feeling of passion. Allah ﷻ created you and He knows what your heart is made of. When that feeling of passion takes over your desire, then you will not be able to control it. And before you realized it, your desire is already controlling you.

In the story of Yusuf (peace be upon him), when the verse talked about her foster mother how she approached him. She came on to him, the woman was desperate. How did she go all the way? She got dressed, locked all the doors, get all ready for him and be ready for that act. She did not say: “I am in love with you” or “I want to sit down and talk to you.” No! She was saying: “Let us do it! I am ready for you.” And what drove her to that point? It did not happen overnight. She did not see him the first time and decided to do that. It took a while because Yusuf was living there in their house. So the process of falling in love and wanting him was gradual until the desire became so strong in her heart. Then what happened? She lost her sense of righteousness and dignity. [Read more in Surah Yusuf, chapter 12.]

Another example is the people of Prophet Lot. When the desire controlled them, it was driving them. They would go and do it publicly. They went to Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) to bring those men. There is no dignity. There is no shame in what they are doing because their reasoning is no more working for them. And it is a mercy from Allah ﷻ that He forbids whatever leads to Haram. Then you would say: “Yes, it is true; whatever leads to Haram is Haram, maybe even more Haram than the Haram itself.” Maybe sometimes you would go all through all those things and at the end you will realize and say: “No, I do not want to do this.” And you will stop at the moment of the act itself but you have already done so much, you went so low. You already hurt your dignity of being pure.

Many people are caught in a situation where they have no choice but to work in a Haram way like selling alcohol. You cannot say you believe that drinking alcohol is Haram and you are not drinking it but you are selling it. You are helping in the spread of the Haram.  To leave this job for the sake of Allah, believing that it is Haram, is much better than what you expected. When you give up something for Allah ﷻ, He will give you something better. Trust comes with time but with Allah ﷻ, you need to think of the revert Muslim. She is having a new relationship with a new God. You need to build that trust and emphasize that trust between her and Allah ﷻ. So she will eventually accept anything from God.

Please read Basic rules (5-9) for the continuation.

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