The Arabic term, term halal comes from the word ḥalla, yaḥillu, and ḥillān, which mean something illegal that is prohibited or forbidden. Halal also means permissible or lawful in Islam, and as the reference to the food, halal is referred to the Islamic dietary standard which has prescribed the Islamic Law. Haram was derived from the words ḥaruma, yaḥrumu, ḥurman, and ḥarāman which mean something that is forbidden or prohibited. The literal meaning of “haram” is impermissible, forbidden, and illegal in Islamic law, and it was required to “leave it”.
Halal and Haram are essential in Islam, as a Muslim must follow and obey them. Halal derives from laws outlined in the Qur’an and the Hadith (followed by the Prophet Muhammad), which have been obeyed for centuries in Islamic practice.
The term halal and Haram has been regulated in the Al – Quran and are highly concerned the Muslims because, as Muslims, they are not allowed to associate with haram, forbidden and harmful things. The foundation of Islamic law is based on the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. Prophet Muhammad was sent to the Muslims with this revelation as the source of life and wellbeing. As a Muslim, obeying Allah’s revelation and following his Prophet is an obligation, and those who disobey will be punished.
Prophet Muhammad delivered his message to his people and provided full knowledge and Al – Quran and Sunnah as guidance. This also included the requirement to obey the term halal and Haram. When Allah makes something halal (permissible) and Haram (forbidden), “it’s not to cause you harm; it’s for your benefit.”
Allah makes it halal as it is a portion of good food for humans and Haram because it’s terrible. This is the simple rule that we must understand, nothing is halal except that it is good for you, and nothing is Haram except that it is terrible for you.
Hadith from Bukhari & Muslim, on the authority of Abu ‘Abdullah al-Nu’man bin Bashir (RA), said: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “The halal is clear and the Haram is clear, and between them are matters unclear that are unknown to most people. Whoever is wary of these dark matters has absolved his religion and honour. And whoever indulges in them has indulged in the Haram…”
Allah has stated in the Holy Quran that all foods are halal except those specifically mentioned as Haram. In Surah Al – Baqara, verse 172 mentions, “O believers! Eat from the good things we have provided for you. And give thanks to Allah if you “truly” worship Him “alone”.
As we learn about the importance of the distinction between halal and Haram in Muslim life, we will discuss the other term related to the above discussion.
The term halal always mentions the requirement in choosing the food and drink, while the scope of halal would relate to many other human activities. This happened because there is a direct prohibition mentioned in Al – Quran and Hadith on a particular food. For example, the punishment for the alcohol drinker has frequently mentioned in Hadith.
On the eating aspect, Islam has seriously taken into consideration that Muslims choose to follow 2 criteria: the food needs to be halal, which must be nutritious – the nutrition of food does not only take into account the content of substances in the food, but also the aspects of cleanliness and halal also need to be emphasised. Allah has mentioned in the Quran commands His servants to eat halal and good food, as in Surah al-Baqarah verse 168, which means, “O humanity! Eat from what is lawful and good on the earth, and do not follow Satan’s footsteps. He is truly your sworn enemy.”