ALLAH SWT the Almighty created this magnificent and immaculate universe to favour HIS crowned creation, human beings. ALLAH SWT mentions in holy Quran, “And HE has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth – all from him. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” [Al-Jathiyah 45:13]. By virtue of HIS wisdom ALLAH SWT has proclaimed many things comprised within this world as Halal (lawful) and few others Haram (unlawful) in order to assess our obedience towards HIM. One of the objective of this earthly live is to being constantly examined. Quran quotes, “(HE) who created death and life to test you (as to) which of you is best in deed” [Al Mulk 67:2]. Hence the one who complies with Halal and abstains from Haram in all his matters will succeed. Imam Bukhari narrated that Jundab (RA) said, “The first thing of the human body to purify is the abdomen, so he who can eat nothing but good food (Halal and lawful) should do so”.
Islamic rulings clearly emphasize on Halal and Haram, albeit there are some matters that have not been categorized as legal or illegal. What is the way out then? Narrated by An-Nu’man bin Bashir (RA): I heard ALLAH’s Apostle PBUH saying, ‘Both legal and illegal things are evident but in between them there are doubtful (suspicious) things and most of the people have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from these suspicious things saves his religion and his honour. And whoever indulges in these suspicious things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the private pasture (hima) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it. (O people!) Beware! Every king has a hima and the hima of ALLAH on the earth is HIS illegal (forbidden) things. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.” (Bukhari). This hadith enlightens us to refrain from doubtful matters. It also elucidates that the one who consumes unlawful, pollutes his blood that circulates to his heart resulting the heart being rendered corrupt and ultimately the whole body is ruined. There could be times when a person may not know the lawfulness of a particular thing as mentioned in the hadith “and most of the people have no knowledge about them”. He should then seek advice from a pious scholar. ALLAH the Merciful says, “So ask the people of the message if you do not know” [Al-Anbiya’ 21:7].
We Muslims have a common tendency to be cautious about food and are casual about other matters concerning Halam and Haram. Sharia (Islamic law) has outlined rules pertaining to Halal and Haram in all religious and worldly affairs regarding food, drinks, clothes, marriage, business transactions, behaviour towards others, private issues, or issues related to public, hunting, medication, festivals, living habits and so on and so forth. In fact, one can say that Islamic rulings are mostly encompassing Halal and Haram thus making it complicated to elaborate what is lawful and what is not. Rather the following verses enlighten us …
ALLAH says, “Say, Who has forbidden the adornment of (i.e., from) ALLAH which HE has produced for HIS servants and the good (lawful) things of provision?. Say, They are for those who believe during worldly life (but) exclusively for them on the Day of resurrection. Thus do We detail the verses for a people who know. Say My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent if them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with ALLAH that for which HE has not sent down authority, and that you say about ALLAH that which you do not know.” [Al A’raf 7:32-33]
Furthermore ALLAH the greatest instructs, “Say: Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. (He commands) that you not associate anything with HIM, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; WE will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which ALLAH has forbidden (to be killed) except by (legal) right. This has HE instructed you that you may use reason. And do not approach the orphan’s property except in a way that is best (i.e, intending improvement) until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except (with that within) its capacity. And when you speak (i.e., testify), be just, even if (it concerns) a near relative. And fulfil the covenant of ALLAH. This has HE instructed you that you may remember. And (moreover), this is my path which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow (other) ways, for you will be separated from HIS way. This has HE instructed you that you may become righteous” [Al An’am 6:151-153]