Eat From the Good Allah Has Provided

Date: 17th July 2015, 29th Ramadan 1436

The main discussion of today’s Khutbah will be based on the following verses from Surah Al-Anam:

So eat of that (meat) on which Allah’s Name has been pronounced (while slaughtering the animal), if you are believers in His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.).

And why should you not eat of that (meat) on which Allah’s Name has been pronounced (at the time of slaughtering the animal), while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity? And surely many do lead (mankind) astray by their own desires through lack of knowledge. Certainly your Lord knows best the transgressors.

Leave (O mankind, all kinds of) sin, open and secret. Verily, those who commit sin will get due recompense for that which they used to commit.

Eat not (O believers) of that (meat) on which Allah’s Name has not been pronounced (at the time of the slaughtering of the animal), for sure it is Fisq (a sin and disobedience of Allah). And certainly, the Shayatin (devils) do inspire their friends (from mankind) to dispute with you, and if you obey them [by making Al-Maytatah (a dead animal) legal by eating it], then you would indeed be Mushrikun (polytheists) [because they (devils and their friends) made lawful to you to eat that which Allah has made unlawful to eat and you obeyed them by considering it lawful to eat, and by doing so you worshipped them, and to worship others besides Allah is polytheism].

Surah Al-Anam, Ayah 118-121 (6:118-121) Translation: Muhsin Khan

Allah has created a wide variety of lives in this world and all of us assigned with specific duties. For us we have to worship Him so as to achieve a desirable position in the Hereafter. For us to achieve that position we need to attain Imaan and for attaining Imaan we need to eat and wear from the lawful things Allah has provided otherwise our acts of worship won’t be accepted by our Creator. One Hadith states that:

On the authority of Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) who said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Verily Allah, the Exalted, is pure and accepts only that which is pure. Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers. The Exalted has said, ‘O Messengers! Eat of the good things and do right.’ And the Exalted also said, ‘O believers! Eat of the good things that we have provided for you.’” Then he mentioned a man who after a long journey is disheveled and dust colored. “[The man] stretches his hands out toward the sky and says, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How is he to be answered [in such a state]?”

Reference: Sahih Muslim

All of us need to wonder over the importance of eating Halal food. The beast we are eating must be slaughtered in the Halal way and the liquor we drink must also be lawful.

There are several reasons for Allah to command us to slaughter the beasts in the Halal way. Firstly, when we take the life of an animal, we must seek permission from its Creator. Otherwise the meat of that animal becomes Haram. Animals slaughtered in the Halal way have also been said to be scientifically beneficial and even Non-Muslims have accepted this. In one report it was written:

The way the slaughtering process is carried out is of significant importance for both human health and safety and quality of the meat. Halal slaughter involves cutting of jugular veins, throat and esophagus, which facilitates draining of blood from the animal and thus prevents growth and multiplication of harmful micro-organisms. Prevention of neck separation is very important to complete the bleeding process to remove all the blood from carcass. Blood is a typical media for proliferation of different kinds of microbes, therefore its complete removal from the slaughtered animal is vital to protect consumers from infectious diseases.” said Dr. Ibrahim Hussein Ahmed Abd El Rahim, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah Al-Mukarama, Saudi Arabia.

Previously, we used to follow religion without realizing its scientific benefits. But with the advancement of modern science, it can be surely claimed that modern science and Islam go hand in hand no matter how many scientists question the existence of Allah. May Allah guide them towards the right path, Ameen.

Reference: MENAFN Press (2013) “Expert: Halal slaughter helps prevent infectious diseases” Retrieved from: http://muslimvillage.com/2013/07/22/41702/expert-halal-slaughter-helps-prevent-infectious-diseases/ Access Date: 24th July, 2015.

Let us discuss another example. It is mentioned in two Hadiths:

Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) said that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “To purify one’s vessel licked by a dog, he should wash it seven times, the first time is with dust” and Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) said that the Prophet also said: “If a dog licked in one’s vessel, he should clear it then washes it seven times.”

Reference: Sahih Muslim

Now for the scientific fact:

Scientists have revealed a strange fact which is the presence of an antiseptic substance in dust. When the scientists studied the composition of dust, they have found that it contains substances that if mixed with bacteria and germs, they overcome them immediately and that the dog’s saliva contains pathogens for humans that couldn’t be cleaned except by dust.

Reference: Abduldaem Al-Kaheel (n.d.) “Purging the Vessel from the Saliva of the Dog” Retrieved from: http://kaheel7.com/eng/index.php/miracles-for-kids/273-purging-the-vessel-from-the-saliva-of-the-dog Access Date: 24th July, 2015.

In Islam, every Ibadah has its scientific benefits. The process of Istinja we have in our Deen is also scientifically bountiful. The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has instructed us not to stand while we urinate. From all the Hadiths, there is only one instance where the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) stood and urinated.

Narrated by Hudhaifa (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu): The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and I walked till we reached the dumps of some people. He stood, as any one of you stands, behind a wall and urinated. I went away, but he beckoned me to come. So I approached him and stood near his back till he finished.

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Ablutions (Wudu), Hadith Number 225.

However, this was only one instance. Throughout his life the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) never stood while urinating as Aisha (Radi Allahu ‘Anha) mentioned in one Hadith:

Aisha (Radi Allahu ‘Anha) said: “Whoever tells you that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to urinate standing up, do not believe him. He only ever used to urinate sitting down.

Reference: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 11

The reason why the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) stood while urinating in one instance is not clear to us. However, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has strictly instructed us to sit when we relieve ourselves. Science tells us why we need to squat when nature calls. The squatting position during urination is preferable because people are benefited in the long run. Science affirms us that being in such position protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged. Apart from this, there are other benefits as well.

Our Deen is so beautiful it carries etiquettes for every moment. Our children should be taught this. Parents nowadays worry more about the academic achievement of their children rather than the Islamic knowledge the children should acquire. For example Islam teaches us how to enter other people’s home. Just read the following Quran verses:

O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded.

And if you do not find anyone therein, do not enter them until permission has been given you. And if it is said to you, “Go back,” then go back; it is purer for you. And Allah is Knowing of what you do.

Surah An-Nur, Ayahs 27-28 (24:27-28) Translation: Sahih International

Another important etiquette we are taught by the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is to introduce ourselves properly before the other person opens the door. This is to clear up any confusion which may arise from misidentification. Hadith states:

Jabir ibn Abdullah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) said: ‘I came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and knocked on his door and he asked: ‘Who is it?’ I answered: ‘It is me’ and the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) disapprovingly said: ‘It is me, it is me.’ For this reason, the companions used to mention their names whenever they were asked: ‘Who is it?’

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari

The same principle applies when we call someone through the telephone or cell phone. Some of us actually posses the habit of replying, “It is me” when we ask them, “Who is it?” We need to greet ourselves properly with our name and designation at the start of the conversation so that the other person can identify us.

Peeping into other people’s home is also disapproved in Islam. One interesting Hadith states:

Sahl b. Sa’d as-Sa’idi (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) reported that a person peeped through the hole of the door of Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and he had with him some pointed thing with which he had been adjusting (the hair of his head). Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said to him: If I were to know that you had been peeping. I would have thrust it in your eyes. Allah has prescribed seeking permission because of protection against glance.

Reference: Sahih Muslim, Book on General Behaviour (Kitab Al-Adab), Hadith Number- 5367

Likewise if a husband and his wife are conversing, we must not interfere into their conversation without making them aware about our presence. If it seems like they are having a private conversation it is better we leave them aside for some time.

Islam is a complete religion which has been bestowed upon us by the Al-Mighty. It teaches us how to take care of our behavior, character, body, mind soul and health. How can we actually eat the things which have been made unlawful to us when we have so varieties of lawful foods? Whatever Allah has instructed us to do is for our own good. Little do mankind comprehend this.

In America, there is a system of pressing a switch and getting the animals slaughtered. None of us know whether that person is a Muslim or not or has he uttered the words- “Bismillah Allahu Akbar” before pressing the switch. Such methods of slaughter are not permissible to be termed as Halal in Islam. Even when someone unintentionally forgets to utter the proper dua before making the slaughter, that meat is edible given that the person who had slaughtered the beast has Imaan in his heart. Large companies do not take care of this matter and even if when we see the sign- “Halal” in front of the store none of us can be well assure whether the slaughter has been properly dealt. The problem of eating Haram meat is that the Nur inside our soul dissolves in time and then we tend to lose our Imaan. That is why many Muslims struggle to keep their Imaan in Non-Muslim lands as their bodies have been infiltrated with Haram foods.

Lailat-ul-Qadr has left us and we all know that during that time the fate of our succeeding year has been determined. None of us know whether we will get another year of Salah, Zakah or Hajj. Our lives are just too short for our body to get intoxicated with Haram substances. When Haram food enters our body, the process of making our body pure again with Tawbah can be long term process so we need to forgo all Haram substances as soon as possible. Allah is pure and He only accepts pure form of worship from us.

In order to make our wealth Halal, we need to give Zakah for the sake of Allah. It is sad to see that there are so many rich Muslim people among us who are knowledgeable about the worldly affairs but do not even present a speck of concern regarding Zakah.

Zakah is the obligatory payment made annually under Islamic law for charitable and religious purposes. It is one of the five tenets of Islam. As per the rule, any Muslim having 7.5 tola of gold or 52.5 tola silver or equivalent cash or property (excluding the one in which the family is living) is liable to pay Zakah. Such a Muslim should donate 2.5% of his wealth to the needy.

Tola is the old Indian unit of weighing. One tola is almost equal to 11.6 grams. 7.5 tola is around 88 grams of gold, a quantity that most middle class families own. Similarly, 52.5 tola silver is equal to 612.6 grams of silver. Since, silver is cheaper, it becomes the primary basis to decide the eligibility criterion.

Another form of charity we usually give before the prayer of Eid-ul-Fitra is the Fidya. In some circumstances, a Muslim is not able to fulfill his or her religious obligation to fast during the month of Ramadan, or may want to recompense for a broken oath. Fidya and kaffara are two solutions offered that can help a Muslim compensate for not fasting or breaking other obligations—paying of fidya or kaffara also benefits members of the community who live in impoverished conditions.

The Hanafis, Shafis and Hanbalis are agreed that the fidya for not fasting should be paid when there is no hope of making up the missed fasts because of old age which makes a person unable to fast, or sickness from which there is no hope of recovery.

“Fidya” is a donation type within the Islamic tradition paid by individuals who cannot fulfill the obligation of fasting due to illness or old age. Fidya payments are meant to feed a miskeen (person in need) for each of the fasting days missed, and are equivalent to the price of one meal each for two people or two meals for one person. The estimated cost, on guidance from the Fiqh Council of North America, is $10 for each day missed or $300 for all of Ramadan.

This fidya needs to be cleared before the Eid Salah otherwise it won’t be considered a fidya. According to the majority of scholars, it is not permissible to delay making up missed Ramadan fasts until the next Ramadan comes without an excuse, and that doing so incurs sin, because of this Hadith of ‘Aishah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu). If a person delays that then he must offer the fidyah: feeding one poor person for each day, because of the report narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhum) who said concerning the one who has to make up a missed fast but does not do so until the next Ramadan comes: “He must make it up and feed one poor person for each day.” This fidyah is for delaying it. It is permissible to offer the food before making up the fast, at the same time, or afterwards.

In terms of Zakah, it should be paid on the Nisaab wealth of person which lasted for exactly one year. If a person gets that Nisaab wealth during the middle of the year, Zakah is not Farz on that wealth unless it has lasted for one whole wealth.

Every ruling in Islam has a system to ensure equity among the rich and poor. If people were steadfast in acquiring wealth and food in the Halal way, the society would have been a better place for all of us. We still can make our society better by following the commands of Allah.

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May Allah reward us for our dedication towards Islam, Ameen. Let’s all be a part of a well-refined Muslim Ummah!

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