The Concept of Halal & Haram in Islam According to Quran & Hadith

Halal is the Quranic terms used in the Holy Quran which means permitted, allowed, legal, or lawful. Haram is its opposite means forbidden, unlawful, illegal, or unlawful. In religion Islam, there are things declared as Halal and there are things which are forbidden and declared as Haram. We as a Muslim should try to follow the things which are permitted (Halal), and to strictly avoid the things which are forbidden (Haram) in Islam. 

Allah Almighty stated in the Quran about what is forbidden to Muslims in these words: “O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship. He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful”. (Quran, 2:172-173)

These terms are commonly used for food products, meat products, cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, and food contact materials. While many things are clearly halal or haram, there are some things which are not clear. 

In general, every food is considered halal in Islam unless it is specially prohibited by the Quran or the Hadith. By official definition, halal foods are those: free from any component that Muslims are prohibited from consuming according to Islamic law (Shariah). Processed, made, produced, manufactured or stored using utensils, equipment and machinery that have been cleansed according to Islamic law.

It is mentioned in a Hadith that the prayer of a person is rejected by Allah if the food consumed is prohibited (Haram). All foods are considered Halal except the following (which are haram):

  • Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants
  • Non-Halal Animal Fat
  • Enzymes (Microbial Enzymes are permissible)
  • L-cysteine (if from human hair)
  • Lard
  • Lipase (only animal lipase need be avoided)
  • Non-Halal Animal Shortening
  • Pork, Bacon / Ham and anything from pigs
  • Unspecified Meat Broth
  • Rennet (All forms should be avoided except for plant / microbial /
  • Synthetic – rennet obtained from halal slaughtered animal is
  • permissible).
  • Stock (a blend of mix species broth or meat stock)
  • Tallow (non-Halal species)
  • Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals
  • Foods contaminated with any of the above products

It has been further explained in the Holy Quran:

“Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah, and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful”. (Quran, 5:3)

Other than edible things, Quran has also mentioned the non-edible things which are forbidden (Haram). Allah SWT says in the Holy Quran: Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of 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.” (Quran, 7:33)

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in the Hadith about Halal & Haram in these words:

“Verily, the lawful (Halal) is clear and the unlawful (Haram) is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know. Thus, he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, and he who falls into doubtful matters will fall into the unlawful as the shepherd who pastures near a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Verily, every king has a sanctum and the sanctum of Allah is his prohibitions. Verily, in the body is a piece of flesh which, if sound, the entire body is sound, and if corrupt, the entire body is corrupt. Truly, it is the heart.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Muslims should follow these rules about food and drink or what is halal and haram for us. May Allah grant us the strength to live our lives according to His teachings! Ameen

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