What is healthy & halal?
Allah told Muslims what they should abstain from in clear context in the Holy Quran, this is called Haram. In his book Halal and Haram in Islam, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi an Islamic Theologist and the chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars wrote the definition of haram is that which Allah has given strict commands to stay away from and when a person engages in these acts s/he shall be punished in the Hereafter and in some cases maybe even during life. Dr. Al-Qaradawi also defined Halal in his book as what Allah accepts a person to engage in with no danger of punishment. Living halal is what every Muslim should strive for.
What does it mean to live a “Halal” life? It means to live a life which Allah is pleased with. A life which a Muslim does what pleases the Creator and refrains from what Allah has forbidden. Is living halal difficult? Of course not. Out of His mercy, Allah has made everything that is good for humans halal and what is bad for people he has forbidden. For example, Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him taught Muslims through his example, otherwise known as his Sunnah, that brushing one's teeth is a halal act. With the correct intention, brushing your teeth every night is a halal act for which a Muslim receives grace or good deeds. Living a halal life is a life in which a Muslim strives to live free of sin.
But when living in a globalized society where products are manufactured in one country and consumed in another, other important dynamic surfaces. The product may not adhere to ‘Halal Guidelines’ for example some toothpaste includes gelatin in its ingredients. Gelatin can come from multiple animal sources such as cow, horse, and pig, just to name a few. Therefore, it is crucial for Muslims to be conscious of the ingredients in products they consume. One Stop Halal does the research for you, so you can be sure what you use is in-line with Islamic Halal guidelines.
To Muslims, the desire to live halal is obvious. Living a life following Allah’s commands; striving to do what pleases Him and refraining from what he has forbidden, will lead to Paradise with His ultimate mercy. But how does healthy tie into this?
Being healthy and strong for those who are blessed with the ability is celebrated in the Sunnah through the Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah in the Comprehensive Book (16, 1569) that Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, said (A believer who is strong (and healthy) is better and dearer to Allah than the weak believer, but there is goodness in both of them.)* When a Muslim is healthy s/he has more energy to do what pleases Allah. When a Muslim is healthy s/he can perform salat with more comfort so s/he can focus on the connection with Allah, s/he has the endurance to fast the long days of Ramadan, s/he has the strength to serve those in need. Being healthy and strong is not only Sunnah but it opens doors to many more Ibaddat.
People, no matter what religion or background, love to be healthy. No one in their right mind wants to be sick. Healthy individuals feel their best, look their best and perform their best. Healthy people are happier and more productive. Being productive, positive and energetic enables people to perform better at work, provides them with the energy they need to help others and energizes them to be present for their family and loved ones. All of which are key principles for Muslims to fulfill their community obligations and please Allah. Being healthy and halal is more than just picking the right products, it is a whole lifestyle that enables a Muslim to be the best s/he can be.
Furthermore, exercise, healthy eating, portion control, tooth brushing, and many other aspects to living a healthy life are part of the Sunnah Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, passed on to his followers. Islam is not only a religion of establishing a strong connection with one's Creator but it teaches it's followers the means to live a healthy, happy, productive life if a person follows what is halal and refrains from what is haram. Back to our original question, is living halal hard? No, on the contrary living halal makes us healthy, strong Muslims. Out of His mercy and love, Allah made what is good for His followers permissible or Halal and made what is bad for them forbidden or Haram. All praises be to Allah, what an amazing religion!
*Translation from Sunnah.com
- Dec 26, 2017
- Sarane Alsharif, LDN, MPH Collaborator