Halal and Haram

Halal meats (chicken,lamb etc), and done Zibla are they Halal, Haram, Makruh?

The commandments regarding eating Meats are given in Quran. 6:119 and 121 / 16: 114-115/ 2: 168 + 172.

"Why should you not eat of (meats) on which the name of Allah(SWT) has been pronounced when he has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you. Except under compulsion of necessity? But many do mislead (men) by their appetites unchecked by knowledge. Thy Lord knows best those who transgress. " (Quran 6: 119).

"Eat not of (meats) on which Allah's (SWT) name has not been pronounced: that would be impiety. But the evil ones ever inspire their friends to contend with you if you were to obey them, you would indeed be pagans." (Quran 6:121).

"So eat of the sustenance which Allah (SWT) has provided for you, lawful and good; and be grateful for the favours of Allah (SWT), if it is He whom you serve." (Quran 16:114).

"He has only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and flesh of swine and any (food) over which the name of other than Allah (SWT) has been invoked. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, then Allah (SWT) is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Quran 6:115).

" O people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the Shaytan, for he is to you an avowed enemy". (Quran 2:168).

"O you believers! Eat of the good things that we have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah (SWT), if it is Him you worship." (Quran 2:172).

Those misguided people that say you can eat any meat as long as you say "Bismillah" before eating quote Quran 5:5 to justify their view.

"They ask you what is Lawful to them (as food). Say: Lawful unto you are (all) things good and pure and what you have taught your trained hunting animals (to catch) in the manner directed to you by Allah (SWT). Eat what they catch for you, but pronounce the name of Allah (SWT) over it and fear Allah (SWT) for Allah (SWT) is swift in taking account. (Quran 5:5). It must be noted that Q5:5 is qualified by Quran 22:34.

"To every people did We appoint rites (of sacrifice), that they might celebrate the name of Allah (SWT) over the sustenance He gave them from animals (fit for food). But your God is One God: Submit then your wills to Him (in Islam): and give the good news to those who humble themselves." (Quran 22:34).

I have dealt with this subject in my Hadith Collection and Hadith pages 56 + 57 in The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. I have said you can mention the name of Allah (SWT) and eat even though the meat is not done Zibla on the authority of the Hadith quoted on page 57.

If we examine the actual Hadith (below) we find that these people were actually Muslims so Zibla has been done on the meat otherwise, I believe the Holy Prophet (S.A.S) would have forbidden them from eating the meat. The Holy Prophet (S.A.S) did not make it a general rule for all time that you can say " Bismillah " and eat, not knowing whether Zibla or not.

The above questions were asked of the Holy Prophet (S.A.S) who obviously knew the answer as Allah (SWT) would have given the answer to the Holy Prophet (S.A.S) and the question related to a specific incident and was not meant to be generalised for all time.

It is wrong to make a general rule that we can eat the meat of the people of the Scripture simply by saying " Bismillah".

In a Hadith reported in Sahih Bukhari (7:415), Aisha (RA) said that a group of people said to the Prophet (S.A.S) "Some people bring us meat and we do not know whether they have mentioned the name of Allah (SWT) or not on slaughtering the animal". He said "Mention the Name of Allah (SWT) on it and eat." Those people had embraced Islam recently.

I think it was Imam Shafi that ruled that Halal animals if not done Zibla are Makruh but not Haram. Makruh means abomination and a Makruh action carries less punishment than Haram actions. I think it was Imam Abu Hanifa that ruled that this meat is Haram.

I can understand Imam Shafi's logic in this matter and that he is correct but I believe Imam Abu Hanifa is MORE correct so my opinion is that these meats are Haram as the prohibition is clear in Quran 6:121.

The mentioning of the name of Allah (SWT) is to be done at Zibla and not simply before consumption. It must be understood that the name of Allah (SWT) has to be mentioned at the consumption of all foods.

In a Hadith reported in Sahih Bukhari (7:209), Nafi' narrated that whenever ibn Umar was asked about marrying a Christian lady or a Jewess, he would say: "Allah (SWT) has made it unlawful for the believers to marry ladies who ascribe partners in worship to Allah (SWT). I do not know of a greater thing, as regards to ascribing partners in worship to Allah (SWT), than that a lady should say that Jesus is her Lord although he is just one of Allah's (SWT) slaves." (Compare this Hadith with Quran 5:5 and 5:6).

" This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women amoung the people of the Book, revealed before your time. When you give them their due marriage portions and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues. If any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)." (5:6)

The above verse of the Holy Quran states that the food of the people of the scripture (Ahle Kitab) is lawful to the believers (Muslims). This is because in Quran 22:34 states: "To every people did We appoint rites (of sacrifice), that they might celebrate the name of Allah (SWT) over the sustenance He gave them from animals (fit for food). But your God is One God: Submit then your wills to Him (in Islam): and give the good news to those who humble themselves." (Quran 22:34).

The Christians no longer slaughter their meat according to the laws of Zibla as Hazrat Issa instructed them, so therefore their meat is Haram (not Makruh) for Muslims. The Jews still slaughter their meat according to the laws of Zibla so their (Kosher) meat is Halal for Muslims but a Muslim should always try to get Halal meat from Muslims. If a Muslim cannot obtain Halal meat then as a last resort he can consume kosher meat due to necessity.

The verse from Quran 5:5 also states that the women of the Ahle Kitab are lawful for a Muslim man. This creates what seems to be a contradiction between the above Hadith and the Quranic verse of 5:6. My personal view is that stated in the Hadith. To reconcile the Quranic verse and the Hadith we must refer to Holy Quran 2:221 (Compare also Y. Ali notes 699 + 700).

" Wed not women who are idolaters till they believe; for lo! A believing bondwomen is better than an idolater is though she please you; and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe, for lo! A believing slave is better than an idolater is though he please you. These invite unto the Fire, and Allah (SWT) invites unto the Garden, and unto forgiveness by His Grace, and expound His revelations to mankind that happily they may remember. (Quran 2:221).

It is better for a Muslim man to marry a Muslim woman. If the Muslim man is in a country of non-Muslims and he wishes to marry, he should only do so if the woman converts to Islam. If the woman does not convert and the man still wishes to marry he should ensure that any children resulting from the marriage should be brought up as Muslims. If the man fears that this will not be the case then he should not marry that particular women as the above Quranic verse states that a believing women is better than an women who is an idolater, as in the Hadith.


Haram can be considered a poison to Mumin and what may be a poison to others may not be poison to Mumin. As we know Hazrat Umar (R.A) took some poison but it did not effect him.

We also know that Khalid Bin Walid (R.A) was given poison but that too had no effect on him. I can give you another example besides Sahaba, a Dervish (saint) called Hazrat Shah Jalal (R.A.) was born in Yemen and brought up outside Yemen. When he came back to his homeland to visit his parents' grave, there was a rumour saying that "A Dervish is here." The King hearing this had a peculiar interest to find out whether he was a real Dervish or not. He thought he would offer the Dervish a poison as a customary entertaining drink. The Dervish was called into his Palace and there was a drink waiting for him. The King thought that if he was not a real Dervish, he would let him die. But in Shah Jalal's (R.A.) case as soon as he drank all the poison in the glass, the King of Yemen dropped dead instead, so we can see that the poison had no effect on these pious people. There are thousands of similar examples which are available from their life stories.

For additional examples of Halal see pp 46-47 : Abu Bakr. For additional examples of Haram see pp 62-63: Salauddin Ayubi.

What a peculiar system, I say peculiar because we are familiar with this recognised system of His creations. Generally, we find when Allah (SWT) said, "Yes", He also said, "No" in the very same thing. He ordered us to 'do this', but He also ordered us 'do not do this!' Thus Allah (SWT) said to His Mumins, the believers, that they should pray and make Sajdah (prostration) as much as possible, but they should not prostrate during the forbidden times. Allah (SWT) also said to fast much but do not fast at particular times otherwise you will be punished. Allah (SWT) says eat and drink to your satisfaction but put limits to what you can eat and drink and what you cannot. Again, Allah (SWT) said that Man and Woman could live together as long as they had a valid marriage, but He ordered us not to mix with other women or we will be punished. Again, He said to the husband and wife, keep yourselves apart at certain times otherwise you will be punished.

So we can see everything is relative where He says 'yes' He also says 'No'. Some things are not fit for the constitutional system of Mumins so He forbade those things. If Allah (SWT) allows me I may, in the future, discuss why He allowed and forbade certain things at the same time. May Allah give us the strength, so we can obey his orders properly.

In Surah al-Ma'idah, it is said: "Any who believe in Allah (SWT) and the Last Day and work righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall They grieve." (5:69)

The Quran appeals to man's rational consciousness enabling him to his own self and to try to understand it. "And of His signs is this, that He created you mates from yourself that you might find rest in them, and He has put love and mercy between you. Verily herein are signs for those who reflect." (30:21)

Allah (SWT) says in Surah Fatiha: "Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Universe. The Gracious, The Merciful. the Owner of the Day of Judgement. Thee alone we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. show us the straight path: The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not (the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray."

The whole world is created for the benefit of mankind. Allah (SWT) told us to take all the benefit from this world and obey Him. There are other things which are good for Shaytan but not for Man. What is good for Shaytan is Bad for Man, so obviously Shaytan will be punished because of his disobedience; so will his followers. It is also very difficult to live following the Straight Path (Siratul Mustakeem Way) without Allah (SWT)'s help.

If we Muslims look back into the history of the Moors we can see that the Muslim Empire ruled in Spain for more than seven hundred years, but nowadays we can hardly find a single good Muslim there. Similarly, the Ottoman (Usmaniath Sulthaniath) Empire of Turkey who ruled from Algeria to Yemen has faded. This is because whatever they did they did they did for themselves, and not for the sake of Allah (SWT).

Our Prophet Muhammed (S.A.S.) said to us to work for the next world as if you are going to die tomorrow and work for this world as if you are never going to die - (Hadith)

Suppose a beggar comes to your door and asks for a penny for the sake of Allah (SWT) and you have only four pence on you. When you give him one pence only, three pence will remain for you. If you want to help a person in any particular thing, obviously that particular thing will be one thing less from your stock. This help could be your money, your energy or your physical health or anything else, but it should be for the sake of Allah (SWT). You should not ask him for anything in return, or it would be for your own sake, and your own interest. Hence where your own interests are concerned, the motives behind your actions will be devoid of the blessings of Allah (SWT).

Allah (SWT) does not care for those who do not care for him. You should discharge your duties to Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) said in the Quran, "To Allah (SWT) belongeth all that is in the Heaven and the Earth. Whether you show what is in the mind or conceal it Allah (SWT) calleth you to account for it. He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and punisheth whom He pleaseth for Allah (SWT) hath power over all things." Allah (SWT) tells the believers to say "Our lord, lay not on us a burden greater that we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; help us against us who stand against faith." (Surah Baqhara: Quran).

I will give you an example of how a Sahaba used to work for Allah (SWT). During the Khaliphat of Umar (R.A) who had a chief and commander called Abu Ubaid Bin Zarra (R.A). He was posted with the duty to face the army of Heraclius, the Byzantine Emperor. He conquered city after city and at last when he occupied the city of Hamas he said to the Byzantine, "With the help of Allah (SWT) and by the command of Our Khalif, Umar (R.A), we have taken over this city also, now we are all free in trade, business, worship and non shall touch your property, life or chastity. Islamic justice will be applied to you and the right will be guarded from any attack coming from outside. We shall protect you as we protect our Muslim brothers.

As we tax our Muslim brothers with Zakat and Ushar you shall be asked to pay the tax called Jiziya tax once a year." (The Amount of Jiziya is 40g of the old from the moderate and 160g from the rich. The women, the old, and the destitute are not taxed with (Jiziya). The Byzantine of Hamas paid the Jiziya tax willingly and through Habib bin Muslim, the steward of Ba-ya-tul Mal (Government treasury). When Heraculius heard the news he began recruiting solders and planned an attack on the Muslim army. In response to this Abu Ubaida (R.A) made an official announcement in the city: "Oh Christians of Hamas! I had promised to serve you and protect you, in return I took the Jiziya tax, but now as I have been commanded by our Khalif Hazrat Umar (R.A) to help my brothers who are ready to perform Holy war against Heraculius. Therefore, I will not be able to keep my promise to you. So come all of you to the Ba-ya-tul Mal and take your Jiziya back, your names and contributions have been recorded in our registry." However, the people of Hamas were very pleased with the work of Abu Ubaida (R.A) and did not take any Jiziya back, but instead they helped the Muslims to pre-empt the actions of the Byzantines. As a result the Muslims defeated Heraculius. This is one of the ways Islam was spread to the other nations.

From this type of example people came and embraced Islam. As they found that this is the religion that can be trusted and it is the True Religion. So my brothers in Islam, think about the time before and after your life on Earth, learn from the great examples in Islamic History, and the work done by Muslims of past for the sake of Allah (SWT). Think about the type of examples we will be leaving for our next generation of Muslims? "May Allah (SWT) forgive us", Ameen.

Here I am going to give you a few examples of how our world awaited the arrival of our Prophet Muhammed (S.A.S).

One example is when our Prophet (S.A.S) and Abu Bakr (R.A) took shelter inside a cave from the Quraish of Mecca who were pursuing them during their journey from Makka to Medina. A snake was waiting inside the same cave as it could not find a way since as Abu Bakr (R.A) had shielded all the holes with his clothes. However, one hole remained open where he put his foot because he had no more clothes left. The snake tried all the holes but was unable to come out. Then it tried the hole which was shielded by the foot of Abu Bakr (R.A). The snake bit at his foot poisoning him. Tears flowed from the eyes of Abu Bakr (R.A) due to the pain but he said nothing. Muhammed (S.A.S) awoke, and asked what had happened, Abu Bakr (R) told the story. On hearing this, Muhammed (S.A.S) put his saliva on the wound and he was cured. Muhammed (S.A.S) said that the snake had been waiting and praying for Allah (SWT) to see Muhammed (S.A.S).

We can find another example from Salman Farsi (R.A) before he came to Medina. He was a disciple of a Christian priest. He asked the Christian priest while the priest was on his death bed to tell him where he should go now. The priest advised him to go to the prophet Muhammed (S.A.S). Salman Farsi (R.A.) asked the priest how he would recognise the Prophet (S.A.S), the priest replied that there is a seal of prophethood on his back. As soon as the priest died Salman (R.A.) left for Arabia and found that people were gossiping about a man who claimed he was a Prophet (S.A.S). Salman Farsi (R.A.) worked for a Jew in a garden and eventually he met Muhammed (S.A.S) and he embraced Islam and became a strategic Architect during the battle of Khandaq, suggesting the idea of digging a trench as a barrier between the Moslems and the enemy.

Jalaluddin Rumi (R.A) addressing theologians asked, " Have you ever picked a rose from rose? You name His name and go, seek the reality named by it, look for the moon in the sky and not in the water. If you desire to raise above their names and letters, make yourself pure, pure from all attributes of self so you may see your own bright essence. You see in your own heart the knowledge of the Prophet (S.A.S) without book, without teacher, and without preceptor.

Once Junaid Baghdadi (R.A.) asked his student Hazrat Shibli (R.A) (After testing him for seven or eight years), "What do you think of yourself now?". Shibli (R.A) replied, "I feel myself the meanest of all the creations of Allah (SWT)." Then, Junaid (R.A.) replied, "Now I will accept you as one of my disciples."

Once Hazrat Shaqiq (R.A) advised his disciple, "When you go on the pilgrimage to Makka, you go and visit Hazrat Bayazid Al-Bistami on your way. Bayazid asked the visitor (the disciple of Hazrat Shaqiq (R.A)), "Who is your Master?" The visitor replied, "He is Hazrat Shaqiq." Then Bayazid asked the visitor, "What are the activities of your Master?"

Then he replied, "One thing I know Sir, his faith is so strong (Tawakkul on Allah (SWT)) if he finds something available to eat then he eats, if he does not, then he goes hungry with the trust that Allah (SWT) will give him food later."

Then Bayazid (R.A) replied, "Go and tell your master not to test Allah (SWT) for two pieces of bread." When the visitor went to see Shaqiq (R.A) again after performing Hajj, Hazrat Shaqiq (R.A) asked, "Have you visited Bayazid?" He replied, "He asked me to tell you not to test Allah (SWT) for two pieces of bread." Then Shaqiq (R.A) became angry and asked his disciple again, "If Tawakkul on Allah (SWT) is not the proper thing to do then ask how he is living his life."

The visitor (the disciple of Hazrat Shaqiq (R.A)) went back to Bayazid again and asked him this question. Then Bayazid (R.A) replied and requested the visitor to write down the answer on a piece of paper as not to forget. Then the visitor took the message to Shaqiq (R.A) while he was on his death bed and waiting for the message.

When the visitor handed over the note to Shaqiq (R.A), he started reading. It was written: "In the name of Allah (SWT) there is no Bayazid at all." Then Shaqiq (R.A) said, "Ashhadu al la ilaha illallah was ashhadu anna Muhammadan abdahu we rasuluh." Which means: "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah (SWT), Muhammed (S.A.S) is his servant and Messenger." Then he said, "Now I have become a Muslim."

The Muslims of today, have at their disposal plentiful time, savings, services, appliances, and devices. The Sahaba and Wali Allah served without these aids, so it would be very difficult for us to follow in their footsteps. However, there are still hundreds of ready made ways within our reach to become better Moslems, provided we take interest in the examples the Sahaba set, and learn from their unselfish sacrifices.

It is very difficult to count how many Muslims there are in the world today but, very few are practising the Islamic way of life. Allah (SWT) said (in Surah 4:83) "If they had only referred to the Messenger of Allah (SWT) and to those charged with authority among them, those of them who would investigate it would have known it better." Now we can say - The field of knowledge is open to us - Allah (SWT) invites us to learn, read and teach about Him and His creations. What a beautiful, nice, tender way of teaching us to pray and how to get Divine Aid and keep ourselves away from the Devil's influence.
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