The lawful (halaal) and prohibited (haraam) in Islam
Although there are many important aspects in daily living which are Lawful or Prohibited in Islam, for the purpose of this article, only the most common ones will be discussed together with the reasoning behind why it is either forbidden or allowed.
One of the first things every Muslim child learns is what food and drinks are allowed (Halaal) and prohibited (Haraam) in Islam.
With the exception of pork and animals or birds which tear their prey apart (namely: lions, falcons, eagles, hawk, leopard, wolf etc.), all other meat is lawful (halaal), in Islam; provided that these meats, meet certain criteria.
An important ruling to bear in mind is the fact that the meat of sheep, cows, chicken, buffalos etc will only be permissible if the animal has been slaughtered in the correct Islamic manner, which entails that the animal should not be allowed to suffer, it should be killed in the quickest and least painful manner, by ensuring that the blade of the knife being used for slaughter is sharp and that the slaughtering procedure is done quickly. The name of Allah (God) should be uttered during the slaughtering process. If the above criteria are not met the animal becomes prohibited for Muslim consumption. The reason for this being that the animal was made to suffer unnecessarily.
The flesh of the swine (pork, bacon, ham and all its related products including pigskin) is forbidden to all Muslims regardless of the manner in which it is slaughtered. The reason for this is that Islamically the Pig is considered an unclean animal that carries disease. Recent research has proved this point, since studies has shown that Pork carries a deadly parasite called Trichina, and for this reason Allah in his wisdom has prohibited the consumption of this meat.
Any animal, which is dead before the slaughtering process, too, is considered unlawful. The reason for this being that the animal may have died due to some disease or due to having eaten some poisonous plant etc, and once again this meat could be harmful to the person eating it. Another reason for its prohibition is so that other animals in the food chain will have food and thirdly, so that the farmer or owner of the animal will take good care of it so that they can sell them and earn a living. In this way the animal is protected from being neglected or left to contract illnesses and die.
The flesh of a dead animal is also prohibited in Islam. If the animal is still alive after having been injured and is then slaughtered the animal will then be lawful for Muslim consumption.
There are four types of ways in which an animal dies that makes it unlawful in Islam.
1. An animal that dies due to strangulation
2. An animal that is gored to death by the
horns of another animal
3. An animal that dies due to a fall from a
high place and
4. The animal that had been partly eaten by
The reason for each of the above is to teach an owner of these animals to look after the animals, because if anything happens to these animals and they die, the owner because of his negligence will lose his customers, since this flesh is now prohibited for Muslim consumption. In this way Allah ensures the safety and good care of the animals.
Islamically all Marine life (animals that live in water and that cannot survive outside of it: fish, whales etc.) is Lawful. Whether the animal was found alive or dead and regardless of whether the animal was whole or in pieces.
The only time any of the above-mentioned prohibited meats become permissible, is if the person is starving and in danger of losing or putting his life at risk.
Any Alcohol, which causes intoxication, is forbidden in Islam. The reason for this being that intoxication has harmful effects on the individuals mind, his health, his work, every aspect of his life, in a nutshell anything that befogs the mind regardless of the quantity whether it be one teaspoon or a litre is forbidden in Islam.
Drugs such as opium, heroin, cocaine etc. like alcohol impairs the reasoning and effects sensory perception, and are therefore also prohibited.
Tattoos are also forbidden as it permanently disfigures the body while causing immense and unnecessary pain during the tattooing process. Temporary designs on the hand and feet done with henna are allowed for ladies in Islam, since they are harmless, do not cause pain and are not disfiguring or permanent.
Interest: Collecting interest on monies that are in the bank or lent to someone is prohibited. Accepting interest makes people lazy to work hard. Usually wealthy people have the money to lend to poorer people; interest is prohibited in order to safeguard the poor from being exploited by the rich.
Divorce is the one aspect in Islam, which is allowed, which the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) disliked immensely and advised only in extreme cases. Hitting a woman on her face or in such a way that she is injured or made to suffer pain is prohibited in Islam, as it is an insult to a woman’s dignity.
Anal Sex and Sexual Intercourse during menstruation is prohibited in Islam, as both, if practiced can be harmful to the health.
Gambling in any form is prohibited in Islam, whether it takes place in a Casino, or it is in the form of a lottery or for a charitable organization, any game of chance is considered gambling. The reason for this being that the person who gambles, depends on his winnings to support him and in the process gives up honest, hard work. Gambling because of its addiction is also a danger to the individual, because it dulls his sense of value; and in turn he becomes a danger to society.