Archive | May, 2013

Thoughts on Halal (Lawful) Meat

16 May

halal

As-salaam alaykum. So I get daily hadiths sent to my e-mail that I like to read each night. Today’s hadith was rather interesting, and I thought it would be very important to mention as it includes anyone living in a non-Muslim country.

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Narrated Abu Tha’laba Al-Khushani (Radi-Allahu ‘anhu):

I said, “O Allah’s Prophet! We are living in a land ruled by the people of the Scripture; Can we take our meals in their utensils? In that land there is plenty of game and I hunt the game with my bow and with my hound that is not trained and with my trained hound. Then what is lawful for me to eat?” He said, “As for what you have mentioned about the people of the Scripture, if you can get utensils other than theirs, do not eat out of theirs, but if you cannot get other than theirs, wash their utensils and eat out of it. If you hunt an animal with your bow after mentioning Allah’s Name, eat of it. and if you hunt something with your trained hound after mentioning Allah’s Name, eat of it, and if you hunt something with your untrained hound (and get it before it dies) and slaughter it, eat of it.”

Bukhari Vol. 7 : No. 387

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I’ve always had questions on whether or not we should eat meat – obviously pork not included – that comes from a non-Muslim butcher. However, I’ve taken the easy way out and have decided to hide these doubts at the back of my head ever since I reverted to Islam.

Now however, after reading this hadith I realized that this is of great importance and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Also, it had come up in one of my conversations with the man that introduced me to Islam on whether or not I should share the same utensils with my family, since they do happen to eat pork.

It’s funny, how this afternoon my family and I went to do the groceries and my brother went with my mom to pick out some meat at the stands. I stayed back and waited for them, and I could see how my mom took some pork sausages, and I saw my brother telling her to buy the chicken one instead. It made me smile, as I could read out his lips, explaining to her that I didn’t eat pork.

Alhamdulillah my family respects this.

One time my brother made lunch, and I could see how proud he was after serving it to us. It was some spaghetti with sauce, but once I took the first bite I knew he had added ham to it. Very politely, I told him if he had added ham to it, and he said he did. When I told him that I didn’t eat pork, he apologized multiple times, and even asked me if he should make something else for me.

Subhanallah, what a nice family I have. Despite the fact that they don’t share my religious beliefs (although I do ask Allah (subhana wa’ tala) to guide them towards the right path that is Islam), they still respect my decisions.

Anyways, back to the main topic.

This hadith answers my questions about whether or not I should eat “halal” meat, not slaughtered by Muslims, and if I should share my eating utensils with my family.

The first part of this hadith talks about the utensils you use to eat. If you cannot find utensils of your own, you should therefore wash the ones that the non-believers use. This I do always; disinfecting utensils is of vital importance nowadays, and it’s something that I’m very careful about.

Another option would be that if you have the capability of obtaining your own utensils and having them separate from the non-believers, than you should do so. However, I find this very isolating and personally couldn’t do this. Imagine how uncomfortable having “your own” utensils; I’d feel greedy somehow, and would feel like I’m slowly isolating myself from them.

I understand my family is not Muslim, but I also always wash the utensils I use, and I also know they don’t drink alcohol in them.

Finally, it mentions the eating of meat from non-believers. The hadith is very clear on this point. It says, paraphrasing of course, that you can eat from the meat that you have caught and that have mentioned the name of Allah before slaughtering it. In other words, if the name of Allah is not mentioned before the animal that is killed, then don’t eat it.

In other words, become a vegetarian.

I always wondered if I could eat meat that wasn’t killed in the name of Allah, and this hadith shows me that I can’t.

This explains why Muslims always try to find “halal restaurants” when they dine out like in the United States or other countries. I always thought to myself, why don’t they just eat vegetarian meals instead?

But being Muslim isn’t about being a vegetarian.

You can eat meat as a Muslim; it’s a natural human desire. Did you know that it’s been scientifically proven that men get happier when they’re told they’ll have meat for dinner?

And as a matter of fact, I don’t want to be a vegetarian. How boring, the life of a vegetarian. They try to “save animals,” somehow believing if they don’t eat meat they’ll get everyone to be vegetarian just like them.

And I also feel like vegetarians are always picky, gay and annoying.

It’s like something only “rich people” would do, since they can now choose their food.

I can imagine what my grandmother would have thought if one of her children came up to her and told her “I’m a vegetarian now.” She would have wooped that child, since back in the day my father and his family didn’t have much to eat. Alhamdulillah that has changed.

What I mean to say is that I don’t like vegetarians because they throw away perfectly edible food just “to save the animals.” It’s something I don’t believe is beneficial to anyone.

However, when it comes to Allah (subhana wa’tala) there are some sacrifices you must do for the sake of Allah.

When we pray, we say At-tayatu lillahi was-salawatu wa-tay yibatu which translates to: All prayers and worship through words, actions and sanctity are for Allah only.

We should do every act in our lives for the sake of Allah only. Not for the animals. Not for any other bunch of pathetic excuses vegetarians use, because all they really want is the attention they desperately find to being accepted into society.

So no matter how difficult it can be, I understand the importance to find halal meat, and this includes that which has been slaughtered in the name of Allah.

This will be hard to find. Especially here in Costa Rica.

You see, for those not familiar with Latin countries, we’re a bit of a “haram” culture in certain things.

For instance, ticos (Costa Ricans) love pig. You will always see pork being served in every party, like chicharrones, gallos de chancho, picadillo de chancho, etc. There will always be a barbecue outside with pork being the main dish on the menu.

Also, alcohol is indispensable in my family parties. There always has to be beer, wine, whisky, tequila; anything with alcohol in it is acceptable in Latin society.

And finally, how can you exclude the Latin music and the tons of dancing there is in every party. I love Latin music, it’s always so cheerful and it makes you want to dance to the rhythm. But put pork, alcohol and music together and you’re in one big haram mess.

But it’s not impossible to be Muslim in this country.

I’ve heard of a Turkish bakery in San José, so they must be Muslim; and I’m pretty sure the imam and his family at the masjid in San José buy their meat somewhere halal.

Insha’Allah I can find a way to eat halal, even if it means sacrificing my love for meat, all in the name of Allah (subhana wa’tala).

For those living in non-Muslim countries, know that you are not alone. This hadith is clear evidence of the importance of eating halal, since it helps purify and clean our body and mind.

May Allah grant us guidance, reward us for our good deeds, forgive us from our bad ones, and continue blessing us with health, love for His word, and submission to his will.

Chao.

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Quick “Ideas” Update

14 May

Mother_and_Child

As-salaam alaikum everyone! I know it’s been forever since I haven’t posted anything new here.

I do hope you’re all doing well, and that Allah (subhana wa’tala) has granted you guidance, health, wisdom and all the countless blessings He gives us each and every day.

So you’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to lately. Do know that I will continue to have new ideas for this blog, and make it much more than just a “diary” type of blog.

I created this blog with the intention of sharing my ideas to the world, to discuss certain topics related to Islam, and of course to spread knowledge insha’Allah.

So I have some series I want to start posting up for my followers to read and obtain a bit of knowledge, may Allah will this.

Ideas. 

The first idea that came to mind was to create a section of this blog dedicated to my revert story to Islam. I’m always curious how new Muslims have come to the religion, or how Muslims that have been raised as Muslims “re-discover” their Muslim identity. So I’ve decided to work on that. I’ll divide the whole story into chapters that insha’Allah I’ll post up weekly so you know exactly what got me into the religion of Islam.

Also, have you ever gotten stuck on a question a non-Muslim might ask you?

It sometimes happens to me, like I don’t know exactly how to answer it correctly – like when you’re asked, Why do women have to cover? or Why do you have to pray in Arabic? – or other times, I just wish I could quote directly from the Qur’an and know I’m not making up my answer.

So given this, I want to start up another sections called ‘The Selected Questions’ Series or SQ Series, to help give short, and to-the-point answers to Muslims when we get these simple, yet serious questions from non-Muslims.

And finally, I’ve really, really wanted to start reading the in depth analysis books called “In the Shade of the Qur’an.” It’s an entire volume series dedicated to the analysis of the Surah’s in the Qur’an.

My hands are twitching just thinking how delightful this may be; to obtain this amount of knowledge.

However, I know most people don’t get all anxious to start reading a 19 volume book series on the Qur’an.

So I’ve decided to create reviews on the books, that really summarize the Surah’s and what I found most interesting. This way, I’ll be able to give you a small, yet meaningful amount of knowledge, as well as broaden my Islamic studies.

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Some great sites to check out!

To wrap things up, I’d like to leave you with some links to great Islamic websites I’ve found these days and that have given me much to read on, and study.

After I reverted to Islam, I’ve started online Islamic courses on the website Islamic Online University. 

The diploma course is completely free, so you can enroll whenever you want. However, please take the courses seriously, since this is a university and will require some of your time.

The good thing about it is that you can study whenever you want, and finish the diploma as fast or as slow as you’d like. Click on the underlined link to check their website out and start your Islamic Studies today, insha’Allah.

Also I found this website that gives free Live courses every day, from Monday to Friday on a variety of Islamic topics that change constantly. The website is Sisters of Sunnah and the imams are well known, such as the creator of Islamic Learning Materials is on there, Muttaqi Ismail, and he gives lectures on Wednesdays if I’m not mistaken.

To join the live sessions at SOS (Sisters of Sunnah) and see the daily schedules, just scroll down and hit Join live, enter your name and that’s it!

So go check those two websites out insha’Allah.

So that’s all for tonight.

I hope you continue to look around my blog and comment if you desire.

I would like to know what else I could write on my blog about and get some inspiration from you, insha’Allah.

Thanks for the support, and please follow me on Twitter if you’d like: @TheTicaMuslimah.

May Allah bless you.

Chao!