In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Halal and Haram:

Dear noble brothers, this is another introduction for the series Ways of Access and Signs of Acceptance. The subtle truth I would like to point out in this blessed meeting is that while the good conducts lead man fast to Allah, committing sins veils him from Allah the Almighty. Hence, in Muslims' life there are Halal (permissible) matters and Haram (forbidden) ones.

Talking about Halal and Haram takes time; however, there are inclusive rules in that regard which we should all know. In order to elaborate about Halal and Haram I will present to you the following example: Why do we manufacture cars? In order to move from one place to another, but why are there breaks in the car? Having breaks in this  sense opposes the main purpose of manufacturing the cars (i.e. to move), while in fact breaks are used in a car to guarantee our safety. Much in the same line, when I comprehend Haram as means to guarantee my safety instead of considering it limitation to my freedom, only then I am considered Faqeeh (Knowledgeable). This approach will make us understand why the car has breaks; they are not used to stop it from moving, but rather they are used to guarantee our safety. 

Another example: Man's Fitrah is in accord with Allah's Method 100%, so whenever someone disobeys Allah, he will be punished by his Fitrah and will fall into distress and melancholy.

﴾ "But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur'an nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship ﴿

[Ta-Ha, 124]

Man's Fitrah is in accord with Allah's Method:

Man will have a big problem in his life if he either disobeys Allah or acts against his Fitrah, because his Fitrah is in accord with Allah's Method. The proof is in the following Ayah:

﴾ So set you (O Muhammad PBUH) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allah Alone) Allah's Fitrah (i.e. Allah's Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq-illah (i.e. the Religion of Allah Islamic Monotheism), ﴿  

 [Ar-Rum, 30]

There is complete accordance between Allah's Method and man's Fitrah. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ And by Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul, etc.), and Him Who perfected him in proportion; ﴿  

[Ash-Shams, 7]

Part of the perfection Allah bestows upon man is:

﴾ Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him;﴿

  

[Ash-Shams, 8]

When man's Nafs (man's ownself) goes astray, it will feel it automatically without any attention directing, leading or preaching. Due to the accordance between Allah's Method and man's Fitrah, man will fall into distress and melancholy when he sins or backslides. In fact, distress, melancholy, despair, boredom, restlessness and uneasiness are the mothers of psychological diseases in our era, and our lecture is about that.

﴾ "But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur'an nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship ﴿  

 [Ta-Ha, 124]

Inclusive rules regarding Halal and Haram:

1- Everything is allowed (except what we are told to be Haram):

Dear noble brothers, the first rule is that everything is originally Halal unless there is a profound, an undoubted and a decisive evidence (from the Quran or authenticated Sunnah) of the otherwise. The Islamic Ummah has two revelations, the first one is the Noble Quran and the other one is the authenticated Sunnah. 

Again, everything is originally Halal unless there is a profound, an undoubted and a decisive evidence that proves the opposite. The proof of this point is in the following Ayah:

﴾ And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favour and kindness from Him.﴿

 [Al-Jathiyah, 13]


Everything in the heavens and all that is in the earth are subjugated to mankind, thus it cannot  be forbidden (unless there is an evidence of the otherwise).

﴾ And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favour and kindness from Him.﴿     

﴾  Verily, in it are signs for a people who think deeply.﴿     

[Al-Jathiyah, 13]

There is also a proof from the Prophetic Sunnah, for the Prophet PBUH said:

(Whatever Allah has permitted in His Book is Halal, whatever He has forbidden is Haram, "and anything over which there is silence is pardoned)

[Abu Dawood, on the authority of Ibn Abbas]

Allah made some matters lawful, other ones unlawful and kept silent about others, and so the latter are allowable.

Dear noble brothers, do not ask about the matters that The Law-Giver (i.e. Allah) kept silent about. For example, your furniture in your house is among the matters on there are no Shari'ah rulings, so it doesn't matter if you sit on the floor or on chair.

The allowed matters (Halal) bring you closer to Allah, whereas the forbidden matters (Haram) drive you away from Allah. As for the neutral matters on which there are  Shari'ah rulings, they have neither negative nor positive effects.

There is wisdom behind the matters on which Shari'ah has no rulings, and this wisdom is not less important than the wisdom behind allowing and forbidding matters by the Share'. The Prophet PBUH said:

(Abu Darda' (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said: "Whatever Allaah has permitted in His Book is Halal, whatever He has forbidden is Haram, "and anything over which there is silence is pardoned" so accept the pardon of Allah, for Allah cannot be forgetful. Then he recited this verse: 'and your Lord is never forgetful' [Maryam, 64].)

[Al-Bazzar and Al-Hakim, on the authority of Abi Ad'dardah]

Everything is originally allowed, unless there is a profound, an undoubted and a decisive evidence from the Quran or the authenticated Sunnah of the otherwise. As for the acts of worship, Ghaibiyaat (The unseen) and facts, they are originally given by the Law-Giver only, so nothing will be ordained without a profound, definitive and decisive evidence. This is the first rule.

2- Permitting or forbidding something is the Right of Allah Alone:

The second rule is: Permitting and forbidding matters are done only by Allah the Almighty. Human beings receive Allah's Orders and Prohibitions, so they are not allowed to permit or to forbid anything in religious matters. Permitting and forbidding matters are done by Allah the Almighty only. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ Or have they partners with Allah (false gods), who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not allowed. And had it not been for a decisive Word (gone forth already), the matter would have been judged between them. And verily, for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers), there is a painful torment. ﴿

 

 [Ash-Shura, 31]

Allah is the All-Knower. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾  And none can inform you (O Muhammad PBUH) like Him Who is the All-Knower (of each and everything). ﴿

 

[Fatir, 31]

As a human being, you are the most complicated machine in the universe, given this complication is not out of helplessness (may Allah be exalted above such an assumption), but out of miraculous Divine Might. This complicated machine (i.e. the human being) has Wise Creator Who has sent a clear Method. Thus, following this Divine Method brings about safety and happiness. Hence, the Law-Giver is Allah Alone, and Halal is what Allah makes Halal, whereas Haram is what Allah makes Haram.

3- It is a major sin to forbid the unlawful, and to permit the unlawful:

The third rule is: Making Haram seem Halal, and making Halal seem Haram is a major sin. How can anyone make something forbidden by Allah Halal? How can anyone make something permitted by Allah Haram? When man falls in that sin, he will be in grave danger.

('Iyad bin Him-ar reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH), while delivering a sermon one day, said: "… I have created My servants as one having a natural inclination to the worship of Allah…")

[Muslim, on the authority of 'Iyad bin Him-ar]

Hunafa' means that they side with Tawheed, faith, mercy, justice and fairness. Everything ordained by Allah upon you is molded in your Fitrah.

(… I have created My servants as one having a natural inclination to the worship of Allah…)

This means that they take the side of  Haqq (the truth), Tawheed, justice and mercy, and that is what Fitrah is all about:

(…but it is Satan who turns them away from the right religion.)

Hair-splitting rigidness and dissoluteness are grave danger lurking in the path of the youth of this Ummah, so we should irradiate both. Believe me; the prevailing dissoluteness on earth destroys the pure Fitrah of man.
 

(… I have created My servants as one having a natural inclination to the worship of Allah but it is Satan who turns them away from the right religion and he makes unlawful what has been declared lawful for them and he commands them to ascribe partnership with Re, although he has no justification for that.)

[Muslim, on the authority of 'Iyad bin Him-ar]

Man of our era is distorted by the devil. Incest, for example, is against man's Fitrah throughout history, yet Shaytan managed in depriving human beings from their Fitrah and made them fall in this grave sin. 

We as Muslims suffer from two extremes: hair-splitting rigidness and dissoluteness. The Prophet PBUH said: 

(Abd Allah bin Mas'ud reported the Prophet (PBUH) as saying: "Beware! The extremists perished," saying it three times.)

[Muslim and Abu Dawood, on the authority of 'Abd Allah bin Mas'ud]

The extremist is the one who tends to exaggerate the tiny details. Thus, the first extremist is the one who exaggerates the tiny details in religion, and the other extremist is the one who falls in dissoluteness. Both dissoluteness and hair-splitting rigidness are grave danger for the youth of this Ummah. In fact, Islam is the religion of moderation wherein man gives his body, his self, his religion and his destiny fair shares. The Prophet PBUH said:

(Abd Allah bin Mas'ud reported the Prophet (PBUH) as saying: "Beware! The extremists perished," saying it three times.)

[Muslim and Abu Dawood, on the authority of 'Abd Allah bin Mas'ud]

4- Halal is good while Haram is evil:

The fourth rule is: Halal is good, whereas Haram is evil. Halal is in accord with Fitrah, so man's ownself likes it, and it feels comfortable, happy and gleeful upon doing it. Haram, on the other hand, brings misery to the self, because it is evil.

Allow me to elaborate through the following example: If a young man proposes to a woman and marries her, there will be wedding celebration. In addition, the two families will drive around with cars, honking the horns. Furthermore, there will be congratulations and gifts, and all of that is because a man and a woman are together due to the bond of marriage which is Halal. Hence, Halal is good.

A brother once told me that there was a knock on his door at 4 AM in the morning, and upon opening the door there was nobody. However, he noticed a sack with something moving in it, which turned out to be a newborn baby. After hearing this story, I compared between a couple who are married and who will be congratulated upon having a baby, they will receive gifts and they will celebrate the occasion, and between this newborn baby who is the outcome of unlawful relationship between a man and a woman, so instead of celebrating the coming of the newborn baby, it was put in a sack on a door step, or it will be thrown in the garbage container. Halal is good, whereas Haram is evil. Allah the Almighty says:
 

﴾ Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad PBUH) whom they find written with them in the Taurat (Torah) (Deut, xviii, 15) and the Injeel (Gospel) (John xiv, 16) , - he commands them ﴿     

 [Al-A'raf, 157]

Ma'ruf means that the human being knows it by Fitrah without receiving any education.

﴾ He commands them for Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained)﴿  

[Al-A'raf, 157]

The pure Fitrah knows Ma'ruf by Fitrah  since it is molded that way.

﴾ And forbids them from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); he allows them as lawful At-Taiyibat [(i.e. all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khaba'ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.)﴿

   

[Al-A'raf, 157]

Someone might ask, "What is your proof that smoking is Haram?" The answer is "Did the science not prove that it is harmful to health?" He would answer, "Yes it did", so we say, "It is Haram then, and this is enough proof."

﴾ And forbids them from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); he allows them as lawful At-Taiyibat [(i.e. all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khaba'ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.)﴿  

 [Al-A'raf, 157]

5- Permissible matters give alternatives to forbidden matters:

The fifth rule is: Halal gives alternatives to what is forbidden. Every lust in man but has a lawful way to fulfill it. concerning this point, let me address the youth: There is no deprivation in Islam. Hence, one more time, every lust in man can be fulfilled lawfully. Accordingly, permissible matters give alternatives to forbidden matters. If you long for a woman, you can get married, and if you long for money, you can work and earn money. I repeat, every lust molded in man but has a lawful way to fulfill it.

6- Whatever that leads to Haram is Haram:

The sixth delicate rule is: Whatever leads to Haram is Haram. Someone might put his house for rent, and says, "I have nothing to do with those who have leased the house." Well, you are taking 10.000 per night, while people usually pay 5000 in any 5 stars hotel, so this means that something evil is taking place in your house, and it is not used for shelter only. 

Thus, whatever leads to Haram is Haram. The one who makes evil things that lead people to do Haram is a sinner. There are a lot of examples regarding this point. For instance, if someone designs cloths which show women beauty upon walking in the street, he will have his share in the committed sin, because whatever leads to Haram is Haram. There is an exception for this case; the woman can wear these cloths to her husband only, which is not Haram, and it is totally another subject. 
Regarding the rulings, when you design something obscene, you will be accountable for your share in spreading mischief and corrupting people. 

In fact, when Allah forbids something, He forbids every means that leads to it, how? How could the means be Haram? Wudu for example is Fard (obligation), because the Muslim cannot complete his Salah (which is Fard) without Wudu, and then Wudu is Fard. Much in the same line, when a sin needs means to be committed, then this means is Haram. The means might be allowed, but in case it leads to Haram it becomes Haram. This is called "Sadd Ath-Thara'ee'" (Prohibition of what may lead to committing sins). For instance, if you have a grape vine, and you know beyond doubt that all the grapes will become wine, in this case grapes (which is Halal) will lead to manufacturing wine (which is Haram). Thus, the vine becomes Haram unto itself. Furthermore, every physical or psychological contribution to any sin becomes Haram. For example, if someone is a builder, and he takes a job to build a nightclub, he may justify accepting this job saying, "Well, I am just building the place", but since this nightclub will be a place wherein sins will be committed, the  job will become Haram.

7- Giving false opinions to make Haram seem Halal is forbidden:

The seventh rule is: Trying to cover Haram with false religious opinions is Haram. What did the children of Isra'el do? They were forbidden from fishing on Saturdays, so they dig holes along the cost toward which the sea stream threw the whales on Saturdays, and they pick up the whales on Sundays from the holes. This is but abusing the religious rulings by deceit.

There are so many ways to abuse religious rulings in Muslims' life, and all they  do is just changing the terms. For instance, some people put their money in a bank in order to take interests, so this is Riba (usury) by all means, but  they call it interest. Well, name it as you like, but it is still Riba and it is Haram. They abuse the Islamic rulings.

Let me give you another example of such scams: Bai' al-Inah (double sale or a loan in the form of a sale) is Haram. A bag of rice might be sold 100 times in one day, for the person might buy it on spot basis for 1000 as a loan which will be paid by him in installments over time, and then he sells it to his friend at the same time in cash for 800. This bag of rice might be sold 100 times a day for 100 years. Bai' al-Inah is Haram, because it is an abuse of the Islamic rulings. 

8- Good intention  never justifies committing Haram:

Dear brothers, one more thing: The "good intention" never justifies committing Haram. One might arrange a singing tour to raise money for the orphans, so although his intention is noble,  the means is rejected in Islam. Thus, the good intention never turns Haram into Halal, because Allah the Almighty says: 

﴾ And that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You﴿

  

 [An-Naml, 19]

The deed is good only if it pleases Allah the Almighty, and it is righteous. In other words, it should be done for the Sake of Allah and should be in accord with the Quran and Sunnah.

9- It is better for man to avoid doubtful matters:

Dear brothers, the ninth rule is: It is better to avoid doubtful matters. Haram is well-known just like Zina (fornication), murder, drinking toxics or theft. On the other hand, obedience is also very clear, for it is out of obedience to offer Salah, Sawm, Hajj, and Zakat and have a lawful career. Thus, both Halal and Haram are obvious. Between Halal and Haram there are doubtful matters, and there lies the problem of which most people are unaware. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ So ask of those who know the Scripture [learned men of the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], if you know not. ﴿   

 [An-Nahl, 42]

Halal is obvious, clear and evidential so is Haram, and there are doubtful matters between the two. What do we mean by doubtful? It means that some matters are like Halal from one side, but from another side they are like Haram. Man is in dire need of the people of knowledge and Dhikr (in order to know all about these doubtful matters).

﴾ If you know not. ﴿  

    

The pious always inquires about doubtful matters.

(…So whoever leaves it to protect his religion and his honor, then he will be safe, and whoever falls into something from them, then he soon will have fallen into the unlawful.) 

Doubtful matters are like a slippery slant bank of a deep river which has a dry bank (Halal matters), so falling in the river is like clear Haram, and walking on the dry bank is like clear Halal, whereas walking on the slippery bank (doubtful matters), will make man most likely fall in the river.

(Verily, the lawful is clear and the unlawful is clear, and between that are matters that are doubtful (not clear).)

(…So whoever leaves it to protect his religion and his honor, then he will be safe, and whoever falls into something from them, then he soon will have fallen into the unlawful.)


[Al-Bukhari, on the authority of An-Nu'man bin Bashir]

 

10-Whatever that is forbidden is applied to all people:

The tenth rule is: Whatever that is forbidden should be applied to all people without exceptions. No one is exempted from having Shari'ah rulings applied to him. The Prophet PBUH said:

('Aishah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: "The people before you were ruined because when a noble person amongst them committed theft, they would leave him, but if a weak person amongst them committed theft, they would execute the legal punishment on him. By Allah, were Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, to commit the theft, I would have cut off her hand.")

[Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, At-Tirmizi and An-Nasa'i, on the authority of 'Aishah Mother of Believers]

Whatever that is forbidden should be applied to all people.

11- The reference of lawful income:

The last rule is: What is the reference used to know Haram and Halal? There are thousands of Islamic prohibitions, and thousands of allowed matters, but what is the reference in all that? What is the common denominator? What is the axis? What is the combine thread of all forbidden matters? It is as follows:

The lawful matter is more or less based on mutual benefit to all parties, whereas the unlawful matter is based on benefiting one party at the expense of other parties.  For example, robbery brings benefit to the thief, but it causes harm to the one whose belonging is stolen. .On the other hand, when a store owner buys something and sells it at a price higher than the one he bought it at, he collects benefits, so is the one who puts his commodities outside his front door next to the former's store and sells them. He will collect benefits too. Hence,  both of them collect benefits and their earned money is Halal. 

I repeat, the unlawful matter is based on benefiting one party at the expense of other parties and it is Haram. Based on this ruling, deceiving customers is Haram, so even if you pay money to buy your goods, and they turn out to be of low quality, you cannot sell them to your customers and make benefits, because they are harmful to them. On the other hand, the lawful matter is more or less based on mutual benefit to all parties, and it is Halal.

In brief, our topic today is another introduction for the series Ways of Access and Signs of Acceptance. Haram veils you from Allah the Almighty and prevents you from reaching Him, so pay heed, for the acceptance (of Allah to people) goes hand in hand with sincerity. 
 
 

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations