Halal or haram? You are what you eat
Imaam Abu Muhammad Al-Juwayni (رحمه الله) was a great ‘aalim (scholar of the Religion) who possessed an extremely high level of caution and concern regarding the consumption of halaal and haraam. The level of his concern was such that it prompted him to earn by working with his own hands, in order to have the peace of mind that he was earning a pure livelihood that was untainted by haraam.
When the time for Imaam Abu Muhammad Al Juwayni (رحمه الله) to marry arrived, he used the pure money which he had painstakingly earned, to pay for his mahr (dowry) and other marriage expenses. The effect of this pure wealth was clearly manifest in the son he was blessed with from this marriage. This son also grew up to become a great ‘aalim and was later known by the title of “Imaamul Haramain” (Imaam of the Two Harams). Understanding the crucial role consumption of halaal plays in the effort of a Muslim to live a life of piety, he ensured that he fed his child only that which was 100% pure and halaal.
Later in his life, when Imaamul Haramain (رحمه الله) was once engaged in a debate, to the absolute astonishment of all present, he was suddenly overcome by a short bout of stammering and stuttering! Somebody later asked him, “O Imaam! What happened to you? We never once before heard you stammer or stutter!” Imaamul Haramain (رحمه الله) replied, “It can only have been the ill effects of the remaining traces which remained of the sip.” Having given such a vague answer, somebody asked him, “What incident are you referring to by mentioning ‘the sip’?”
Imaamul Haramain (رحمه الله) explained, “My mother was once busy preparing my father’s food when I began to cry. I was, at the time, a suckling infant. As my mother could not immediately attend to me, the neighbour’s slave girl, who happened to be present, clasped me to her chest to feed me. My father walked in at that moment and on seeing what was happening, immediately exclaimed, ‘Neither does this slave girl belong to us nor does she have the right to feed our child her milk as her masters have not permitted it!’ Saying this, he grabbed me from her and turned me upside down; forcing me to vomit until I had emptied my belly of the few sips I had taken. The stammer and stutter you heard from me today is on account of the ill effects of those few sips I had taken.” (Tabaqaatush Shaafi‘iyyah Al Kubraa vol. 5, pg. 168)
- The effect of haraam is so detrimental that although Imaamul Haramain (رحمه الله) had emptied his stomach of all the milk, the effects of the traces of the milk still remained and were adversely affecting him many years later.
- Just as a petrol car cannot reach its destination on diesel, similarly it is very difficult for a Muslim to reach Jannah when fuelled by haraam. The reason for this is that haraam nourishment creates the inclination towards haraam in the body and removes the inclination to worship and obey Allah Ta‘ala. If we are so particular regarding filling our vehicles, which merely take us from A to B, with the correct fuel, we should be even more particular about filling our bodies, which need to carry us to Jannah, with halaal food.
- Being the holiday season where many are away from home, let us exercise caution and restraint and not eat food from any store/restaurant without first verifying that the food is 100% halaal.