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HALAL V/S HARAAM May 23, 2019


Noor Saba Phulpoto*


Talking about Muslim community, as we are stepping ahead towards the

modern and more developing world, it is quite noticeable that the
Muslims of present time are not following their religion in the right way.
Muslims these days do not feel the need to seek guidance from the holy
book of Islam “The Holy Quran” instead they find it more easy to take
religious knowledge from the internet without caring about the fact that
the information available on the internet can be wrong. Regarding
seeking help from the internet there is a well known quote which says:

“Not everything you read on the internet is true”

Keeping the above quote in mind, searching any piece of information can
be helpful but still one should not deny the fact that the internet does not
always provide the wrong information. The safe way here is to verify the
information taken from the internet before sharing it with other people.1

Muslims should apply the same rule of verification before using the
internet for the sake of seeking information about Islam and this process
can be done by the Holy Quran itself. There are so many topics that are
given different meanings by people of different culture and religion and
one of the most misunderstood concepts in Islam is the concept of Halal
(LAWFUL) and Haram (FORBIDDEN). The Quran and Sunnah used the
words Halal and Haram in two different meanings i.e. moral conducts and
material forms. This topic has always been the highlight of discussions
when it comes to Islamic religion, even non-Muslims are aware about
what (for a Muslim) means Halal and Haram. While there are people who
know about the actual concept of lawful and forbidden according to the
teachings of Islam, on the other hand there are still so many of the

*Electrical Engineering Student, Mehran University, SZAB Campus Khairpur

Mir’s, Sindh, Pakistan. Email:

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Muslims being unaware about the right concept of Halal and Haram. So in
this article, I will discuss about the things which (according to Islam) are
lawful and those which are forbidden as mentioned in the Quran and
Sunnah and to explain how to make Muslims understand them


Halal and Haram are not just two words but it can be considered a kind of
lifestyle that a Muslim has to follow throughout his/her life. Almighty
Allah has made it clear in the Quran about the things which are
permissible and the forbidden ones as well, it can be anything, food,
clothing etc. A lot of people are still not aware about the right concept of
this topic so in this article i have discussed about some of the major things
which are Halal and Haram in the light of Quran and Hadith.

KEYWORDS: Islam, The Holy Quran, Lawful, Forbidden, Muslims

Research Question:

In this article, I have tried to discuss two main questions which are as
follows: Why is it important for the Muslim community to know about the
permissible and forbidden things? How can they have the right
information about Halal and Haram?

Concept of Halal (LAWFUL) and Haram (FORBIDDEN):


Halal is an Arabic word which means lawful or legal. Many people still
have this concept that Halal refers to only food (the kind of food which is
lawful to eat according to Islam) but in actual this word is not only related
to food but it has a lot more things to do with other aspects of a Muslim’s
life as well.


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Haram is also an Arabic word which is opposite to Halal. Haram refers to

anything (including food) that is unlawful or forbidden according to the
teachings of Islam or the things we (Muslims) are not permitted to do.

Basic Principles:

One of the principles of this topic is that, all that Allah has created and the
benefits derived from them are for humanity’s use and is permissible.
Nothing is Haram except what is forbidden (either by a Qur’anic verse) or
Sunnah (saying of the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings). In Islam
the sphere of forbidden things is very small while that of Halal things is

One of Islam’s beauties is that if we think deeply it only forbids that

(which is unnecessary or harmful), while providing alternatives that are
better and give greater ease and comfort.

For Example:

 Allah forbids seeking omens by drawing lots but provides the

alternative of Istikhara
 Allah forbids usury (Sood) but encourages profitable trade
 Allah forbids intoxicating drinks but provides other drinks that are
wholesome for the body and mind
 Allah forbids unclean food but provides alternative wholesome

Intentions also play an important role in the concept of Halal and Haram.
For Example: When a Muslim performs a legal action along with a good
intention, the action becomes an act of worship while the same is not valid
for Haram things, Haram remains Haram no matter how good the intention
of a person is.

Classes of Halal and Haraam:

1. Halal and Haram (Materials)

2. Halal and Haram (Moral)

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Halal and Haram (Materials):

Halal and Haram materials refers directlty to Allah’s rights. It is further

divided into different categories which are stated below:

Almighty Allah has already guided the Muslims about the food which they
can eat (which is Halal to eat) in the holy book, in the same way Allah has
also mentioned about the things which cannot be eaten (Haram things).2

Halal food:

Birds, beasts and animals in land and water, which are fit for eating and
which, if sacrificed according to the rules of Shariat, become lawful. What
is not sacrificed according to the rules of Shariat and what is dead are
unlawful. However out of dead animals, two kinds are lawful and those
are: fish and locusts.

Rules for sacrificing animals (according to Shariat):

 As with most of the things that Muslims do, before slaughtering an

animal they must say “Bismillah” (in the name of Allah) saying
this will make the animal Halal for eating.
 The process of slaughtering must take place with a knife or
anything that has a sharp edge, if the animal is killed with a gun
then it is Haram as the bullet does not have a sharp edge.
 Animals which need to be slaughtered in order to make them Halal,
if they are killed without performing the process of (Zibah) will
become Haram.

Haram food:

Haram food refers to ‘Maytah’ (dead animals) and pork and any meat that
is not slaughtered in the name of Allah. It is also mentioned in the four
places of Quran.

2 (Halal and Haram),

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“He has forbidden you the ‘Maytah’ (dead animals), and blood and the
flesh of swine and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than
Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, on which Allah’s name has not
been mentioned while slaughtering). But if one forced by necessity,
without willful disobedience or transgressing due limits, then is he
guiltless. For Allah is oft-forgiving and most merciful” (Al-Quran. Al-
Baqarah: 173)

“Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytah (dead animals), blood, the
flesh of swine and that on which Allah’s name has not been mentioned
while slaughtering (that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for
others than Allah or has been slaughtered for idols) and that which has
been killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a headlong fall or by
the goring of horns and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild
animal… but if anyone is forced by hunger with no intention to
transgression, Allah is indeed oft-forgiving and the most merciful” (Al-
Quran, Al-Maidah: 3)3

“Say: I find not in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden
to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be a Maytah (dead
animal) or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of
swine (pork); for that surely is impure or impious (unlawful) meat (of an
animal) which is slaughtered for idols or on which Allah’s name has not
been mentioned while slaughtering…but (even so), if a person is forced
by necessity without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,
then Allah is oft-forgiving and the most merciful” (Al Quran. Al-An’am:

“He has forbidden you Al-Maytah (dead animals), blood, the flesh of
swine and any animal which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than
Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols or on which Allah’s name has not
been mentioned while slaughtering).. but if one is forced by necessity

Al Quran. Surah Al Baqarah. Ayat: 173, Al Quran. Surah Al Maidah. Ayat: 3,
Al Quran. Surah Al An’am. Ayat: 145, Al Quran. Surah Al Na’hl. Ayat: 115

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without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits then Allah is oft-
forgiving and the most merciful” (Al-Quran. Al-Nahl: 115)

From the above verses it is also important to note that a Muslim can
consume a forbidden meal, such as Maytah or pork under necessity and in
case of emergency.

Clothing and Adornment:

Clothing has two purposes in Islam

1. To cover the body

2. To beautify the appearance

Almighty Allah counts his bestowed of clothing and adornment upon

human beings as one of His favors to humanity.

Women’s Clothing: It is Haram for a Muslim woman to wear clothes that

reveal her body such as wearing clothes which are transparent or tight
clothes that outline the parts of the body.

Gold Ornaments and Pure Silk Clothing: Islam permits women to wear
gold ornaments and pure silk clothing but the same forbids to men.

Dressing for Ostentation and Pride: Pride and ostentation are related to
show off of wealth. When one dresses only to show off or having the
intention of looking superior to others and God does not love any proud
boaster (57:23). In order to avoid even the suspicion of pride the
messenger of Allah forbade the garments of “fame” (clothes worn to
impress others or to look superior to others).

Going to Extreme in Beautification: Islam is fully against the

beautification that requires changing of a person’s physical features as
Allah Himself has created them. The Quran considers such actions as
inspired by Satan (Shaitan) who commands (his devotees) to change what
Allah has created (4:119).

Halal and Haram (Moral):

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Moral Halal and Haram refers to rights of the public.

These days it is very common to notice the acts of cheating and fraud
conducts in business transactions and other deals related to money, which
is not right according to Islam. Some verses regarding moral Haram are
stated below:

“And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it
as bait for the judges with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and
knowingly a little of (other) people’s property” (Al Quran. Al Baqarah:

“O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities;

but there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good will: nor kill (or
destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah hath been to you most merciful!” (Al
Quran. Al Nisa: 29)

“O ye who believe! There are indeed many among the priests and
anchorites, who in falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder
(them) from the way of Allah and there are those who bury gold and silver
and spend it not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a most grievous
penalty” (Al Quran. Al Tawbah: 34)4


Different kinds of people doing different businesses have been seen

making fool of the public so many times. One real life example to mention
here is that it is often seen in advertisement companies that the products
shown with the attractive packaging only look good from the outside but
in reality the quality and quantity does not match the advertisement shown
about the product. This kind of act is considered cheating, in the saying of

“Woe to Al-Mutaffiffin (those who give less in measure and weight) those
who, when they have to receive by measure from people, demand full

Al Quran. Surah Al Baqarah. Ayat: 188, Al Quran. Surah Al Nisa. Ayat: 29, Al
Quran. Surah Al Tawbah. Ayat: 34, Al Quran. Surah Al Mutaffiffin. Ayat: 1-4

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measure but when they have to give by measure or weight to (others) they
give less than due. Do they not think that will be resurrected (for

reckoning)” (Al Quran. Al-Mutaffiffin: 1-4)

Taxi Drivers:

Some of the taxi drivers are also involved in the act which is called
cheating according to the teachings of Islam. Taxi drivers are often seen
taking advantages of tourists in different countries, they earn money from
the tourists by misleading them in so many ways, one example of that is
taxi drivers often take long routes to their customer’s destination even
when there are shortcuts available, they do this only so they can earn more

There is a Hadith of the prophet (P.B.U.H) about this which is stated as:
“Any flesh feed through illicit and Haram earning deserves nothing but
hell” (Hadith. Al-Tirmidhi: 641)5

Public Servants or Personnel:

It is known that both public and private sectors impose on their employees
a daily report which starts from 8 a.m. to 4 to 5 p.m. to make sure that the
employees do enough work for the benefit of the companies, but
unfortunately some of the employees do not do their work with honesty,
they often engage themselves in other activities and request their
colleagues in the office to do their work on their behalf. This kind of
people might come on time in the office but leave early without
completing the work which is also considered as cheating, therefore any
money earned from such manner is also Haram.

The prophet (P.B.U.H) said in a Hadith reported by “Abdullah bin


The concept of Halal and Haram from The Quranic and Sunnah Perception by
Abdul Karim Toure (Faculty of Quranic and Suunah Studies) Islamic University
Science of Malaysia (USIM)

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“He who deceives us is not from us, fraud and delude are in fire” (Hadith.
Ibn Hibban: 572)

There is another Hadith reported by Abu Hurayrah, that the Prophet

(P.B.U.H) said:

“A time will come when one will not care how one gains ones money,
legally or illegally” (Hadith. Al-Bukhari. 2059, 2083)


Being a lawyer is a noble job especially being a Muslim. A lawyer intends

to help someone that he/she is sure about that a person has been a victim
of injustice. But again unfortunately some lawyers being forced by the
spirit of greed or to gain maximum profit (money) forget about their
profession in the Islamic ethics, they are ready to defend a person that they
are sure of that person’s injustice only for the sake of extra money offered
by the culprit. Any money earned in this kind of defense is also Haram.

Some lawyers from the above kind can directly or indirectly be among the
group of people mentioned in the below Hadith:

The prophet (P.B.U.H) said:

“Whoever takes the property of a Muslim by taking a false oath, will meet
Allah who will be angry with him”. Then the Prophet (P.B.U.H) recited
the verse: “Verily those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s
covenant and their oaths, they shall have no portion in the hereafter;
neither will Allah speak to them, nor look at them” (Hadith. Al-Bukhari:


People trapped in this kind of bad behavior to earn and accumulate Haram
wealth are called politicians. Some of them try to legalize the ‘Haram’
money by calling it commission but whatever they call it, it does not
change the reality and facts. The only name of this kind of act is
corruption, money earned by this act is also Haram.

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The prophet (P.B.U.H) said:

“When we (The prophet P.B.U.H) appoint a person to a position, we take

care of his provision. If he takes anything beyond that, it is an illegal gain”
(Hadith. Abu Dawud: 2943)

In another Hadith, the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:

“Allah cursed the one who offers the bribe, the one who receives it and the
one who arranges it” (Hadith: Al Tarmidhi: 1336)


This article can be summed up with the conclusion that Muslims must
have the knowledge about Islam, and that is only possible when they will
start to take interest in living their lives by following the teachings of
Islam. This article suggests that, in order to have proper education of
permissible and forbidden things and to live a more easy, healthy and
peaceful life, Muslims must take direct guidance from the Holy Quran
itself because it is the only book that leaves no doubt, only through the
guidance of the Holy Book, Muslims can prevent themselves from
committing further sins.

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