Muslims and non Muslims WAKE UP! I am referring to all humanity – One people. One world. Because – One God.
Since I am vegetarian I have never paid much attention to halal food until I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who made a point and made me think.
What is the actual meaning of halal food? In Islam, halal food is the permitted food by Allah – our creator. The Qu’ran states clearly that all Muslims should avoid eating haram food such as pork for example and many other kinds of food.
“You are forbidden to eat carrion; blood; pig’s meat; any animal over which any name other than God’s has been invoked; any animal strangled, or victim of a violent blow or fall, or gored or savaged by a beast of prey, unless you still slaughter it [in the correct manner]; or anything sacrificed on idolatrous altars.” – Qu’ran Sura Al-Ma’idah 5:3
If we pay attention, the Qu’ran states clearly that any animal who has been a victim of violence is not to be eaten. It is haram (forbidden). Why? It is simple. Our creator would never want us to inject violence in our body and consciousness. Allah would want us to stop violence over anything he has created. What happens to our animals today? Are they still treated with love and killed with gratitude and appreciation in the name of God? The answer is NO. We only need to observe how chicken, for example, is treated and killed. Chickens are kept in small rooms with no air and fed with chemicals until they fall off and die because too fat. Yes, that dead meat is the chicken you find in the supermarkets. It is not only dead. It was dead even before being dead, if you know what I mean. That chicken had nothing to do with life and love from its birth. It has just been treated like a product, not like a living being – a gift from God. And even products ought to be treated with love, since they are given by God too. Where has humanity go wrong here? It is super haram to eat this kind of chicken. You can slaughter it in the name of God and it will still be haram. Why? Because it has been maltreated. There is no love in that chicken. It will harm your body and if you eat it, you will not show gratitude for the life that has been given to you by the creator. God wants us to be healthy. That is why he has forbidden certain foods. Simply because they are unhealthy. A person who eats unhealthy food does not show appreciation. He does not care about life. That food could kill him. And we’ve heard many cases where people died because of food poisoning.
Haram meat, however, is not the only forbidden food. The Qu’ran also talks about alcohol and other toxins considered harmful for us and therefore haram. “O you who believe, intoxicants, gambling, altars and arrows of chance are afflictions which are the work of the devil; you shall stay away from him, that you may succeed.” Qu’ran Sura Al-Ma’idah 5:90
Why has alcohol and other intoxicants been forbidden? Simply because these substances drag us away from God and therefore ourselves – our consciousness. How can we focus if we feel tipsy, drunk or high? How can we pray 5 times a day with alcohol in our body? We can’t. Because we cannot be connected to Allah and ourselves. We can’t prostrate in front of our creator if we are not conscious. However, alcohol and intoxicants, such as drugs, should not be taken as the only haram substances, only because the Qu’ran does not clearly mention other things. There is a subtle message hidden in that Aiyah when Allah tells us to keep away from intoxicants. It is implicit and we need to capture this message: We should not eat anything that contains toxins either, such as GM products for example. That food is haram too. It is harmful, first because it contains chemicals which our body is not able to reject, and second because that food is mass-production oriented and has not been grown to nourish our soul, but to fill up our stomachs. Since when, do we human beings eat for the purpose of filling our stomach? Don’t we eat to live? Or is it the other way around: we live to eat? I am certain that we eat to live.
As a result, the food that we buy from the supermarkets today is just the idea of food. In reality, it has been made from the same products such as soy and corn which have just been modified in million of different ways to create “different products”, today known as coca-cola, nutella, etc. Those “different products” are actually the same: soy or/and corn. This kind of food makes us unaware. It makes us feel bloated and heavy. It makes us unconscious. So, if you eat this kind of food and stand in front of the creator and prostrate, it is like praying drunken. There is no difference. Consciousness is consciousness. No consciousness is no consciousness.
I’d like to conclude with a very meaningful hadeeth in relation to food and consciousness. Al-Hassan Al-Basri said: “O, son of Adam, eat with one third of your stomach and drink with one third and leave one third of your stomach to breathe so that you may think.”