The Religion of Islam is pure, similarly, a Muslim must make sure what he eats is also from among the pure things. He must exert his utmost to verify that which he is eating has been slaughtered in accordance to the parameters set by the Religion. He must eat pure to ensure his actions are pure. The famous saying ‘You are what you eat’, aptly suits this notion.
The famous Hadith which is used in regards to consuming pure food has been narrated by Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him): “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Allah, exalted is He, is pure and only accepts that which is pure. Allah orders the believers with that with which he ordered the Messengers, and He says, exalted is He: “Messengers, eat of the good things (tayyibat) and act rightly” (23:51) and He says, exalted is He: “You who have Iman! eat of the good things (tayyibat) We have provided for you.”(2:171)’ Then he mentioned a disheveled dusty man lengthening his journey and stretching out his hands to the sky, [saying], ‘Lord,Lord!’ and his food is haram, his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been fed on the haram, so how can that be answered?” (Muslim) Look at the outcome of this man, even though he was calling unto his Lord, it was unaccepted because of his impure lifestyle. His food was impermissible, how many Muslims at this point in time are knowingly consuming haram? How can we expect the Help of Allah if such a basic thing is neglected?
What is meant by the aforementioned tradition, is that the Messengers and their communities are commanded to eat of the pure things which are halal, and [they are commanded] to do right action, and that as long as the food is halal, then the action is acceptable. However, when the food is not halal, how can the action be acceptable?
This concept of something haram stopping a person’s actions from being accepted can be found in various prophetic traditions, of them one is: “The prayer is not accepted without purity nor sadaqah from [property acquired] dishonestly” (Muslim) This shows the importance of not only keeping our bodies pure, but also ensuring that which we put inside of our bodies is pure. We should spare no effort in this regard.
We should be cautious that not only the food we purchase is halal, but, the money we purchase it with is also halal. The messenger has stated: “No one gives sadaqah from pure earnings – and Allah only accepts that which is pure – but that the All-Merciful takes it in His right hand…” (Bukhari) (Muslim) The Prophet of Allah has also stated: “A slave [of Allah] who earns property which is haram then spends out of it so he can have blessing in it; or gives sadaqah, so it can be accepted from him, or leaves it behind him, it will be his provision for the Fire. Allah does not efface evil with evil, but Allah effaces evil by good. That which i foul does not efface that which is foul.” (Ahmad) Let this be a severe warning to those who think that they can cheat Allah, who think that they can disobey Him and then try to expiate their sins with impure earnings. Do not surmise that you can scam the Owner of all things, this is baseless conjecture.
Some people will consume haram nonchalantly because they are induced, they are spurred on by their whims and desires, Allah has stated about pure and impure things: “Say, “Not equal are the evil and the good, although the abundance of evil might impress you.” So fear Allah , O you of understanding, that you may be successful.” (5:100) Do not be deceived, just because something appears attractive, in reality it is fire in the Hereafter. A Believer can only attain true success when he stays safe from the evil things. Even if he is amazed by the impure things, he should not indulge in them.
As for one who has taken his desires as his guide, and does not heed the words of Allah and his Messenger; Allah has stated about that person: “Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire, and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put over his vision a veil? So who will guide him after Allah ? Then will you not be reminded?” (45:23) How unfortunate is this person?! Verily without Allah’s permission their can be no guidance. We should not make our desires a partner with Allah, as this will earn us eternal torment. Alas, it seems as though this is the condition of the masses. This is what happens when avarice is left unchecked and the hearts of men are tainted.
May Allah give us the ability to earn and to eat halal. May he forgive our mistakes. May he also purify our bodies and hearts. Ameen.