What is haram in Islam? Haram is something that is prohibited or forbidden. It is an Arabic word and also a Quranic term which means forbidden. Islam is a complete code of life. It offers guidance on spiritual as well as material issues of man. Anything that is condemned or forbidden by the Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet is considered as Haram.
There is wisdom behind this concept of Haram in Islam. Islam has forbidden those things that are harmful for you. When you study the whole range of things that have been prohibited in Islam, you will observe that God has provided us with alternate options. God wants to create ease for his creatures.
In Surah Al Nisa, Allah has explicitly stated:
“If you avoid from the major sins which are forbidden, we will remove from you your lesser sins and will admit you to paradise with a noble entry.”Surah Al Nisa
This verse clearly explains that haram acts are sin that lead to the displeasure of God, while noble acts have noble rewards.
Basic Principles related to the concept
1: Haram is harmful
God has created everything for the benefit for humans. Nothing has been forbidden by Allah without any genuine reason. In order to make your life of easy, only that stuff has been prohibited that creates some kind of difficulty in your lives because it may harm you physically, emotionally or economically.
2: Anything that leads to Haram is Haram itself
In Islam anything that leads to a prohibited act is haram itself. Islam forbids extramarital affairs as well as the activities or things that lead to these issues.
3: Alternatives have been provided for Haram
Islam has provided alternatives for the Haram things. In certain case where you are not allowed to eat something, better options have been given to facilitate you.
4: Rebranding or renaming Haram does not make it Halal
Haram things will retain their essence even if they are given some other name. The basic principle that labeled them as haram will remain the same. Efforts have been made since the beginning of Islam to legalize certain things. But the rules of Islam do not allow this practice.
5: In case of doubt, abandon the doubtful thing
In some cases you might get confused regarding the nature of a certain things. In such cases Islam has removed this confusion. It is better to avoid the doubtful things in such circumstances.
6: Concept of Haram is universal
Concept of Haram is not related to a particular class or group of people. It has a universal significance for all the followers of Islam.
7: Haram is Haram, regardless of noble intention
The things forbidden by God will always remain haram, no matter how noble and pure your intention is. Islam does not favor adopting a wrong path for good deeds.
Things forbidden in Islam
There are a number of things that have been prohibited in Islam but these are far less than the things that are made Halal by God for the benefits of Human beings.
You must have known that Shirq is one of the major sins. It is a forbidden act and Quran has clearly described it as a great sin. One of the five pillars of Islam requires the presence of true allegiance to Allah Almighty.
In Surah Nisa, Allah says:
“Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that by His will. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin.”Al Quran
Islam has prohibited drinking of Alcohol. Quran has clear message in this regard. There is some reason behind this prohibition. Alcohol intoxicates a man, and restricts your power of understanding and reasoning.
Allah says in Holy Quran:
“They ask you (O Muhammad SAW) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling.Al Quran
“In them is great sin, and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.”(AL Baqra)
It means the disadvantages are greater than advantages then it must be avoided.
Gambling is also a practice that has several disadvantages. It corrupts the society. It increases the disparity in society by allowing the flow of money on one side, while making the others economically miserable. Islam has put strong emphasis on hard work.
In gambling money is not earned through labor or work but on the basis of luck or chance. Families are destroyed due to economic deprivation. Quran has also banned gambling in Surah Al Baqrah where it has been mentioned that the harms of gambling are greater than benefits.
4: Dead Animals and blood
Your eating habits make you life comfortable or uncomfortable. The eating habits of human beings are very important in order to maintain a healthy life style. The concept of Haram prevents us from numerous diseases that are caused by the consumption of unhealthy food.
In Surah Al Baqrah, Allah Says,
“He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than God. But whoever is forced (by necessity), neither desiring (it) nor transgressing (its limit), there is no sin upon him. Indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful.”Al Quran
In this verse it is directed by God that dead animals, blood, the meat of swine and any other animal who has been sacrificed on the name of anything except God is Haram. The reason to ban dead animal, flesh and swine has some medical background as well. It has been proven scientifically that eating this stuff can lead to serious medical conditions. To slaughter an animal without mentioning the name of God is haram.
In surah Al Maida, God says:
“And do not eat of that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned, for indeed, it is grave disobedience.”
Interest has been strictly forbidden in Islam. Interest increases deprivation in society. You can observe that it has the tendency to create an economic imbalance in the different segments of society. The person who grants loan on interest gets an increased amount of money while the debtor struggles with the effort to return the money. Holy Quran has strictly warned that this practice is harmful and is therefore prohibited.
Allah says in Holy Quran:
“That which you give as interest to increase the people’s wealth increases not with God; but that which you give in charity, seeking the goodwill of God, multiplies manifold.”
The Ahadith of Holy Prophet (PBUH) has also addressed this issue of interest. According to hadith, those who are involved in interest will go to hell. Islam has allowed trade and has abolished this system of interest because trade promotes equality and interest promotes inequality among `the different segments of society.
Adultery has been declared haram and a great sin in islam. In Holy Quran Allah says,
“And do not go anywhere near adultery: it is an outrage, and an evil path.”
Murder is considered as a crime and a major sin in Islam. Allah says in Surah Nisa:
“And do not kill yourselves (or one another). In Islam, the murder of one person is considered as a murder of the humanity.”
In this way, Murder is also considered as haram in Islam.
To steal someone’s stuff is also haram. It is considered as a crime and there is a severe punishment of this crime.
If you struggle to achieve something through bribery or unjust means then is also haram and it is strongly forbidden in Islam.
Your life is a precious gift from God. God has created every one of us for some specific duty and purpose. Taking your life with your own hand is Haram. It is condemned and strongly prohibited.
11: Lying and cheating
Lying and cheating are haram. Islam preaches its followers to remain true and honest in every aspect of life.
In surah Al baqrah, God says:
“And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know.”
In some verses God has cursed the liars. In Surah Noor God says:
“The curse of Allah be upon him if he should be among the liars.”Surah Noor
Pride and arrogance are not allowed in Islam. It is Haram and muslims have been strongly directed to avoid this evil. In Holy Quran, Allah has clearly advised the believers to stay away from pride and arrogance. Satan was expelled from heaven due to his pride. In surah az zumar, God states the destiny of the pride and arrogant in the following manner: “(To them) it will be said,
“Enter the gates of Hell to abide eternally therein, and wretched is the residence of the arrogant.”
13: Abusive language
You should try your best to not call someone by bad names or abuse someone because it is prohibited in Islam.
14: Superstitions and myths
Superstitions and myths based on the telling of diviners and soothsayers are condemned in Islam. At the time of the Prophet (PBUH), these practices were followed by the people. Holy Prophet prohibited this practice and now it is considered as Haram.
After the detailed explanation of the topic, we hope that your question i.e. What is Haram in Islam would be fully answered.