Saturday, May 7, 2011

Haram and Halal

“Dogs are haram!” “Music is haram!” “Makeup is haram!” “Bright colored clothes are haram!” “Pictures of people or animals are haram!”

I know you’ve all heard this before. For the person who is just learning about Islam, it can be overwhelming. It can leave you wondering if Muslims are allowed to do ANYTHING but wear black, pray, and read the Qur’an.

What does the Qur’an say is forbidden?

Forbidden food

The blood and meat of animals who die of natural causes or are killed or partially eaten by a wild animal, pork, and anything sacrificed or slain by the name of any other but God. If you are starving and this is the only food available, then you are permitted to eat it. Sharing meals with Christians and Jews is not forbidden.

2:172-173 “O you who believe, eat from the good things We have provided for you, and be thankful to God; if it is Him you serve. He has only made unlawful for you that which is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was dedicated to other than God. But whoever is forced to, without seeking disobedience or transgression, then there is no sin upon him. God is Forgiving, Merciful.”

5:3-5 “Forbidden to you is that which is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was dedicated to other than God, and that which has been strangled, and that which has been beaten to death, and that which has fallen from a height, and that which has been gored, and that which the wild animals have eaten from except what you managed to rescue, and what has been slaughtered on altars, and what you divide by the arrows of chance. This is vile. Today the rejecters have given up from your system, so do not be concerned by them, but be concerned by Me. Today I have perfected your system for you, and completed My blessings upon you, and I have approved submission as the system for you. So, whoever is forced by severe hunger and not seeking sin, then God is Forgiving, Merciful. They ask you what was made lawful to them, say: “All the good things have been made lawful for you, and what the trained dogs and birds catch, you teach them from what God teaches you.” So eat from what they have captured for you and mention the name of God upon it, and be aware of God. God is swift in reckoning. Today, the good things have been made lawful to you, and the food of those who have been given the Book is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them…”

Forbidden “fun”

Alcohol, gambling, idols, and fortune telling. God tells us that these things are used by Satan to distract us from Him and prayer.

2:219 “They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say: “In them is great harm, and a benefit for the people; but their harm is greater than their benefit.”…”

5:90-91 “O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and stone idols, and fortunes are an affliction used by the devil. You shall avoid him so that you may be successful. The devil only wants to cause strife between you through intoxicants and gambling, and to repel you away from remembering God and from the prayer. Will you be deterred?”


This is a hard one. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a mortgage or car payment every month! But this verse seems to address those who collect interest, not those of us who have to pay it.

2:275-276 “Those who consume usury do not rise except as one being influenced by the touch of the devil. That is because they have said: “Trade is the same as usury.” While God has made trade lawful, and He has made usury unlawful. Whoever has received understanding from His Lord and ceases, then he will be forgiven for what was before this and his case will be with God. But whoever returns, then they are the people of the Fire, in it they will abide. God condemns usury, and He grants growth to the charities. And God does not love any wicked sinner.”

Forbidden Relationships

Anyone who is related to you by blood or marriage, or a similar bond: mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, foster parents, foster siblings, mother-in-law, step daughters, or marrying sisters. This applies to the male counterparts for women. Also anyone who is a polytheist or fornicator.

4:22-23 “And do not marry who your fathers had married from the women, except what has already been done. It is a lewdness, and an abhorrence, and an evil path. Forbidden for you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and the sisters of your father, and the sisters of your mother, and the daughters of your brother, and the daughters of your sister, and your foster mothers who suckled you, and your sisters from suckling, and the mothers of your women, and your step-daughters who are in your lodgings from your women with whom you have already consummated the marriage; if you have not consummated the marriage then there is no sin upon you; and those who were in wedlock with your sons who are from your seed, and that you join between two sisters except what has already been done. God is Forgiving, Merciful.”

24:3 “The adulterer will only marry an adulteress or she who is a polytheist. And the adulteress, she will only be married to an adulterer or he who is a polytheist. And such has been made forbidden for the believers.”

Nowhere are dogs forbidden or labeled unclean. Music is not forbidden. Nowhere are pictures of animals or people forbidden. Neither bright colors (which mimic the plants and flowers that Allah created and colored!) nor makeup are forbidden. Music, photos, and makeup should, of course, be in good taste, but they are allowed.

Allah (SWT) has warned us about forbidding what He does not forbid. He chastised Muhammad (PBUH) for trying to do just that!

66:1 “O Our Prophet! Why do you forbid what God has made permissible to you? Do you seek to please your wives? God is Forgiver, Merciful.”

So enjoy the good things Allah (SWT) has made permissible for us!


  1. this is my 2nd time visiting your blog but first time commenting...i thought you were Muslim cause i reached your blog while looking for niqab stories...i'm planning to start niqab in a few months insha'Allah. You know quite a lot about Islam, what's keeping you from converting to it? just curious:)
    btw, i love the sunset pic you took, it was beautiful. Regarding this post, it is haram to give AND take Interest (people just learn to live while not taking it-they manage).Have you ever heard of Hadith? The hadith are sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that he said in order to explain the Qur’an, out of wisdom that Allah gave him. There are people out there who are misguided and they reject the hadith and only follow the Qur’an but it is not permissible nor possible to do that. Example: The Qur’an tells us to pray but does not give details, the Hadith tell us that. Also, fasting and Hajj are mentioned in the Qur’an but the proper principles and steps are told to us in the hadith. Allah says in the Qur’an: “Say! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger.”(24:84)
    “Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed,” (53:2-4)
    I hope the above ayahs have convinced you of the authority and the authenticity of the hadith.
    Regarding music, pictures, and dogs, here is the proof:
    The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,
    “From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful.”
    This hadith proves that these things are haram because he said, “people will consider these things to be lawful” but they’re not.
    He said in another hadith:
    "Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal)."
    And about make-up, read this ayah from the Qur’an:
    And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed. (24:31)
    The ayah says, "...not expose their adornment..." What does make-up do? Does it hide your beauty or expose it? Of course it exposes it! And on top of that, it accentuates it, makes you look beautiful and attracts attention, defeating the purpose of hijab. If you’re at home or at all all-girl party, go ahead and wear make-up. It’s forbidden in front of all non-Mahrams (unrelated men) and when you go outside.
    This was not meant to offend you but to educate. I only follow authentic hadith and knowledge so you can trust it:)
    Try these sites for authentic knowledge&insight:
    1)IlmFinder (Islamic search engine)
    2)MuslimYouthMusings (teen site with knowledgable teens-i used to write for them!)
    3)Sadaf's Space (A Muslim woman's blog who learned the in-depth meaning of the whole Qur'an-has an amazing understanding of it)

  2. Shiney: Thanks for your comment. If you've read my other posts, though, you will see that I am a Quranist Muslim -- I follow the Qur'an as the revelation of Allah and reject the hadith as manmade hearsay. Glad you came by. Good luck on starting niqab!

  3. Salaam Aleykum Heather - Just letting you know about the new re-vamped Quranists Welcome Pack thanks :)

  4. Thanks, Asfora! I really need to check my comments more often, lol.