In Singapore, we are fortunate to have many halal-certified eateries that we can dine at without worry. However, there are also many more eateries that aren't halal-certified, but are Muslim owned. Does that mean it's safe to consume their products? What about places that claim to have "NO PORK, NO LARD"?
In this segment of TheBlackScreen, Ustaz Firdaus Ismail highlights the importance of halal and haram, and staying away from the grey area between them known as "waswas", meaning "whispers" (of Satan) in Arabic.
The Prophet (S.A.W) said:"Verily, what is halal is clear, and what is haram is clear, and between them are doubtful things that many do not know of ...". (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
As Ustaz explains, this hadith makes it clear that Muslims are forbidden to consume anything that is haram, and are encouraged to stay away from substances that they are unsure of. He gives us an example taught to him by his own teacher; Person A who drinks alcohol on purpose, and Person B who consumes it by accident, not knowing that it was in his food.
Person A, who knowingly put haram substances into his body, has surely sinned and defiled his body and his heart in the eyes of Allah. But what about Person B? Even though he did not consume it intentionally, he is still guilty of allowing haram substances to defile his body, and so even though he has not sinned, his heart and body are still unclean in the eyes of Allah.
Thus, Ustaz Firdaus reminds us that if we consume food or drinks from places that have not been halal-certified, it will be our responsibility to answer to Allah in the afterlife if we accidentally ingest something that is haram. He reminds us that when our prayers go unanswered, it is sometimes because our bodies have been dirtied by haram substances. Islam tells us to monitor our food intake closely not just for our health, but to maintain the purity of our hearts in order to worship Allah.
It is clear that we should not consume food or drinks from eateries unless we're sure that they are halal. As Ustaz says, there is an abundance of already halal-certified eateries in Singapore where we can satisfy our cravings, so why take the risk? However, he also advises us to use our common sense when discerning between halal and haram - it's not necessary to harass your local coffee shop's uncle just to find out if his coffee is halal! As Muslims, moderation is also a big part of living our lives, as is manners and consideration towards others.
Watch the video here to hear more on Ustaz Firdaus’ explanation on the topic.