Tag Archives: Halal

DY Fifty Six (A Journey with Quran)

Today the fifth chapter of the Quran starts: Al Maidah which means The Banquet Table. This chapter was revealed over many months in Medina near the later days of the Prophet’s mission. Thus, it addresses a wide variety of issues, many of them reflecting the intense interfaith dialogues going on within the city. The memorable lines contained in the middle of verse three, which speak of the completing of Islam as a way of life, were revealed during the Prophet’s last pilgrimage in the year 632. Some believe that that passage may have been the last Qur’anic revelation the Prophet received. It was this passage that led many of Muhammad’s closest followers to conclude that the ministry of their beloved guide was coming to a close. The Prophet reportedly said of this chapter: “The chapter of the Banquet Table has been revealed as the last stage in the revelation of the Qur’an. Therefore, take what has been pronounced as lawful within it as lawful forever, and take what has been pronounced unlawful in it as unlawful forever.” (Ma’ariful Qur’an)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 1–10

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

All you who believe! Fulfill your obligations! You’re allowed (to eat) all domestic livestock, except for (the animals) that have been forbidden to you by mention (of their names or categories). You’re also forbidden to hunt (wild animals) while you’re under (pilgrimage) restrictions, and Allah certainly makes rules that He wants. [1]

All you who believe! Don’t violate (the holiness) of the symbols of Allah, nor violate the holy month (of Hajj) nor (the animals) brought for sacrifice nor the garlands that identify them, nor the safety (of those who visit) the Sacred House looking for the bounty and approval of their Lord. However, when you’re freed from the restrictions of the holy places and pilgrim’s clothes, you may go hunting (animals for food) once more. Don’t let (your) hatred for some people, who once kept you out of the Sacred Mosque, lead you into being spitefully wrong in return. Help each other in righteousness and mindfulness (of Allah), but don’t help each other in sinfulness or aggression. Be mindful of Allah, for Allah is strict in the final outcome. [2]

You’re forbidden to (eat the following things): meat from animals that died by themselves; blood; pork; anything that was dedicated to any other name besides Allah’s name; anything that was killed by strangling, a blunt strike, falling or by being slashed to death, as well as anything that’s been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you’re able to slaughter it (properly); and anything that was sacrificed on stone (altars). You’re also (forbidden) to divide (up meat portions among people) by drawing marked (arrowheads) to make random selections, for that method is immoral. This day, those who cover over (the truth of Allah) have given up all hope of (destroying) your way of life. So don’t be afraid of them; rather, fear only Me. This day, I have perfected your way of life for you, completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your way of life. If anyone is forced by desperate hunger (to eat the forbidden things that were mentioned before), with no desire to do wrong, (then they may eat the forbidden foods for survival purposes only), for Allah is forgiving and merciful. [3]

Now they’re asking you what else is allowed for them (to eat), so tell them, “You’re allowed to (eat) anything that’s healthy and pure, and also what you’ve taught your trained hunting animals (to catch), as you were already directed by Allah. (You may) eat what they capture for you, but be sure to declare the name of Allah over it. Be mindful of Allah, for Allah is quick in taking account.” [4]

This day, everything healthy and pure has been made lawful for you. The (ritually slaughtered) food of those who received scripture in the past is also lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. (With regards to marriage, you’re allowed to marry) virtuous believing women, and (you may also marry) virtuous women from among those who received scripture before your time, but only if you give them their required marriage gifts and only if you desire decency and not lustful behavior or secret affairs. If someone rejects (faith in Allah), then his deeds will be rendered useless, and in the next life he’ll be among the losers. [5]

All you who believe! When you prepare yourselves for prayer, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows. Wipe the top of your heads (with water), and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If you’re in a state of greater impurity, then bathe your whole body. However, if you’re sick, on a journey, answered the call of nature or were intimate with the opposite sex and you can’t find any water (to wash yourselves), then you can take either clean sand or earth and use it to wipe your faces and hands. Allah doesn’t want to put you into any hardship; rather, (He wants to) purify you and complete His favor towards you, so you can be thankful. [6]

Remember the favors of Allah that have been bestowed upon you, and remember His covenant that He concluded with you when you said, “We hear, and we obey.” Be mindful (of Allah) for Allah knows what you’re thinking. [7]

All you who believe! Stand forth firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealing. Don’t let the hatred of others towards you make you swerve towards injustice or towards being unfair (to them in return). Be fair, for that’s the closest to being mindful (of Allah). So be mindful then, for Allah is well-informed of everything you do. [8]

Allah made a promise to those who believed and who did what was morally right that they’ll receive forgiveness and a great reward. [9]

Whoever rejects (their natural faith in Allah) and denies Our (revealed) verses will be among the companions of the raging blaze. [10]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Footnote to the middle lines in Ayat 3:

This was one of the last passages revealed to Prophet Mohammad, (Peace be upon him) indicating that his ministry was coming to an end. The name of the religion Islam, or surrender to Allah’s will is given in this verse.

It was revealed on a Friday during the Prophet’s Farewell Pilgrimage in the year 632, and recited to the gathering throng of 100,000 people on what is known as the Day of Arafat. While many Muslims were elated at this confident statement of Allah, Umer bin al Khattak began to weep openly. When the Prophet asked him why he was weeping, Umer replied, “This verse signals that your time in this world is drawing to a close“. The Prophet replied in the affirmative. Eighty days later, the Prophet passed away.

Footnote to Ayat four:

All permitted, or halal meats, as well as produce such as fruits, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and grains are considered good, and pure. The Prophet specifically forbade the eating of animals that hunt, and kill other animals with their teeth, such as lions, wolves, snakes, or lizards. He also prohibited eating birds that hunt, and kill others with their claws, such as falcons, and hawks.

Footnote to Ayat 5:

In the Prophet’s time, most Jews, and Christians in Arabia observed some basic slaughtering standards that included mentioning Allah’s name before felling the animal, cutting the jugular vein swiftly, thus minimizing the pain felt by the animals, and then draining the excess blood from the animal. (See Acts 15:29, 21:25, and 1 Corinthians 10:20-21)

While Orthodox Judaism retained this practice, as the centuries progressed, Christian culture has largely abandoned such methods. Meat prepared today by Christians, and others does not meet the requirement of halal meat, and therefore forbidden.

Road to Cape Cod

Buzzard Bay. In the distance you can see the bridge where we cross over to Cape Cod.

The bridge over the river.

Son, and I were invited to Thanksgiving by one of the surgeons he works with. Learning that I live with my son, he invited me as well. I wasn’t very keen, but my son persuaded me to go along with him. It was my first visit to Cape Cod.

Our hosts didn’t know that as Muslims we are prohibited to eat pork. Their every dish contained pieces of bacon. The turkey wasn’t halal, so we couldn’t have that either. I buttered a piece of bread, and had it. Later on I had a slice of pecan pie.

Returning home, we foraged our fridge to have something to eat, and then sleep.

190 Days Later

Daily Prompt: back on January 21st we asked you to predict what day # 211 would be like. Well July 30th is that day — have your predictions held up so far? Is this year turning out to be as you’d expected?

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On January 21st I wrote “Will They Come True?”

It was about my hopes. Disappointment faced me ahead.

I didn’t predict.

What future holds, can’t predict anything

How will it be when it comes

I take each moment as it sashays

Into the future no one fathoms
(Sheen)

I was late in getting up today. I took a notebook with me downstairs. I was hoping to write my post plus having my breakfast.

What was in store for me?

IB (my grandson) was watching “The fox and the hound”. All thoughts of a post were forgotten. It was the moment where the hunter lights up a fire at one end, and at the other end is the hound.

IB didn’t leave my side. He kept talking as I washed the plates and cutlery, and stacked them into the dishwasher. We went outside to water the tomatoes, Jalapeños and strawberries. IB was watering with his water gun. He wanted to show me how to rain. He squirted up making me drench with water from head to toe.

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IB

We came inside. I was in a hurry to finish my chore, but he kept insisting on playing his Survival Game with me. Probably he thinks someday in the future his Dado would need to know how to survive.

He was bent on making me eat a crow again. I repeated what I had told him earlier that it wasn’t halal. He opted for a duck, but finally caught a fish instead. He made sure (not letting me do anything) that I was looking at his endeavors as he cooked the fish for us to eat.

I have finally escaped. How?

His mom took him with her for a drive to the shops.

See you can’t plan one moment ahead!

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190 Days Later

My Two Best Friends

Daily Prompt: On Bees and EfS
Do you — or did you ever — have a Best Friend? Do you believe in the idea of one person whose friendship matters the most? Tell us a story about your BFF (or lack there of).

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Throughout my life I had quite a share of best friends. Due to lack of communication, we drifted apart, and now we don’t keep in touch.

Nowadays my best friends are my son S, and grandson IB. Although with IB there is a lack of conversation, and more of playing games. I gallop on a horse along with him on a quest for food. We are hungry, and he shoots down a crow for us to eat. I point out to him that a crow is not halal, and we can’t have it for meals. He tells me, “Oh! Dado, we are not really eating it, are we?”

I was persuading my little best friend to leave with me for Charlotte, North Carolina. My daughter was asking me for a short visit with her. IB agreed, but in the morning he changed his mind. The explanation from him was that he was busy right now.

In the evening when IB got to know (from his father) that his birthplace was Raleigh, he had a change of heart. I was fortunate enough to get a visit from him early the next morning, telling me I should come and pack his clothes.

It is truly a blessing to have best friends.

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My Two Best Friends

Are You Being Served?

Daily Prompt: Are you being served?
What’s the most dreadful or wonderful experience you’ve ever had as a customer? Show Service.

Two of our favorite haunts here in Houston are, the Chinese Halal Restaurant on Highway 6 and Sayad Mediterranean Grill.

As Muslims our preferred restaurant has to be one which serves Halal food and meat. Where Halal is not available we ask for fish to eat.

I love Chinese food. It’s easily digestible. Favorites are Gen Tso and Chicken Corn Soup. I have noticed that Chinese food differs from country to country.

My most wonderful experience of Chinese food has been in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The decor was eye catching and so was the food. I think the surroundings matter too. The service was excellent and it was a memorable evening being my daughter’s wedding anniversary.

To be truthful I don’t like to eat out. Food prepared at home is much better for us health wise. Sometimes one does get fed up with daily cooking, so those are the times we eat out.

We go to the Chinese Restaurant here mostly. It’s clean and the bonus is, there is a Prayer Room for us to say our prayers, when it’s prayer time. The service is quick and the food is good. The portion sizes are larger and the prices are reasonable.

My grandsons like to have Sweet and Sour Soup and Spicy Chicken Wings. Children are a mix of contradictions. The other day at home I sprinkled black pepper on salad which they refused to eat, saying it’s peppery. At the restaurant, they keep on adding red chili sauce to their soups whenever we go.

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I B having spicy Chinese food.
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Are You Being Served?