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The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 10

Page 15

The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 10

merely because they have not been included in the list of prohibi-

tions. As regards the criterion for judging whether a thing is pure

or not, it should be noticed that all those things are pure which are

not unclean according to any principle of Islamic Law, or which are

not offensive to good taste or have not universally been regarded

as repugnant by cultured people.

After stating this general principle with regard to permissible foods,

the Qur’an specifies the prohibited foods in these words,

“He has

only forbidden you dead meat and blood and swine flesh, and

that (food) over which the name of other than God has been

invoked; but if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobe-

dience nor transgressing due limits, then truly God is Forgiving,

Merciful.” (Qur’an 16:115 and 2:173)

These four things are absolutely forbidden in Islam for reasons

best known to God. However, research in these things has shown

that some of them are injurious to human health (as dead meat;

blood and swine flesh) and some are harmful to moral health as

well (as flesh of swine) and still others to spiritual health (as food

over which the name of any other than God has been invoked).

This list of prohibited foods also includes the following,


which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by

a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which has been

(partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless you are able to slaughter

it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); and

(forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows.

This is impiety.” (Qur’an 5:3)

Alcohol is also prohibited because its harmfulness is greater than

its benefits.

They ask you (O Muhammad) concerning alcoholic drink and

gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin, and (some) belefit, but

the sin of them is greater than their benefit.” (Qur’an 2:219)

“You who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, idols, and raffles,

are only a filthy work of Satan; turn aside from them so that you

may prosper. Satan only wants to stir up enmity and jealousy

among you by means of intoxicants and gambling, and to hinder

you from remembering God, and from praying. So will you not

then abstain?” (Qur’an 5:90-91)

The physical, moral, social and spiritual evils of intoxicants and

gambling are clearly referred to in the above verse of the Qur’an.





The Qur’an has also given very useful tips regarding a balanced diet

which contains every useful ingredient necessary for the growth,

strength and repair of the human body, including animal protein,

fat, calcium, iron, salts, etc. The most balanced diet consists of

meat, fish, fresh milk, cheese and fruit.

Fish is considered to be food of very high protein and very important

for human consumption. The Qur’an refers to this fresh food in

these words,

“It is He Who has made the sea subject, that you

may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender.” (Qur’an 16:14)

And again in Surah Al-Fatir, we read,

“Yet from each (kind of water)

you do eat flesh fresh and tender.” (Qur’an 35:12)

The Qur’an then refers to the importance of animal protein in

general in human diet.

“And the cattle He has created for you; from them you derive

warmth, and numerous benefits, and of their meat you eat.”

(Qur’an 16:5)

And in Surah Al-Mu’min, we read,

“It is God Who has made

cattle for you, that you may use some for riding and some for

food.” (Qur’an 40:79)

The usefulness of fresh milk is stressed in these words,

“And in the

cattle there is truly a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that

which is in their bellies; there are in them, (besides), numerous

other benefits for you; and of their meat you eat.” (Qur’an 23:21)

And in Surah Al-Nahl, we read,

“And truly in the cattle there is

a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their

bellies, between the refuse and the blood, pure milk palatable

to the drinkers.” (Qur’an 16:66)

Fish is considered to be food nourishment is described in these


“And of the fruits of the date-palm, and grapes, you get out

wholesome drink and also good nourishment (as food). Behold,

in this also is a Sign for those who are wise.” (Qur’an 16:67)

“(And We produce) grapes and nutritious plants, and olives

and dates, and enclosed gardens of thick foliage, and fruits and

fodder, provision for you and your cattle.” (Qur’an 80:28-32)

In Surah Al-Rahman, we have:

“Wherein is fruit, the date-palm

and pomegranate. Then which of the favors of your Lord will you

deny?” (Qur’an 55:68-69)

The righteous are promised all kinds of fruits in Paradise.

“Every fruit will be there for them, and they shall have whatever

they call for.” (Qur’an 36:57)

In Surah Al- Zukhruf, we read,

“You shall have therein abundance

of fruits, fromwhich you shall eat (those of your choice).” (Qur’an


And in Surah Al-Waqi’ah are these words,

“And with fruits, any

that they may select.” (Qur’an 56:20)

Again, in the same Surah, we read,

“And fruit in plenty, neither

out of reach nor (supply) limited.” (Qur’an 56:32-33)

The Qur’an also reminds man of the many Bounties of God, espe-

cially various kinds of fruit.

“Then We produce for you therewith gardens of date-palms

and grapes, wherein is much fruit for you and whereof you eat.”

(Qur’an 23:19)






: T



ay of



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With the global resurgence of Islam, there is a keen desire in the

western world, particularly in the United States, to knowmore about

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of people assemble, but their knowledge if Islam is usually shallow

and superficial.

They usually possess distorted views and misconceptions about

the Muslim faith. For example, what is frequently heard from these

sources are that Muslims can have four wives, that Islam was spread

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Now an excellent opportunity is offered to the Muslims to present

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The author of “God is One...” is R. Marston Speight. He is an

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Mr. Speight holds a Ph.D. degree in History of Religions from the

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and spent 28 years in Algeria and Tunisia as a committed Christian



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Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of God (pbuh), saying:

“Allah said ‘Every action of the son of Adam is for him except fasting,

for that is solely for Me. I give the reward for it. The fast is a shield.”

“If one is fasting, he should not use foul language, raise his voice,

or behave foolishly. If someone reviles him or fights with him, he

should say, ‘I am fasting,’ twice.”

“By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the [bad]

breath of the one who is fasting is better in the sight of Allah on

the Day of Resurrection than the smell of musk.”

“The one who is fasting is happy at two times: when he breaks his

fast he is happy with it, and when he meets his Lord he will be

happy that he has fasted.”

This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and an-Nasa’i.

A similar version was recorded by al-Bukhari and Abu Dawud, but

with the following addition:

“He leaves his food, drink, and desires for My sake. His fasting is

for Me ...I will give the reward for it, and for every good deed, he

will receive ten similar to it.”

Abdullah ibn Amr reported that the Messenger of God (pbuh) said:

“The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah

on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented

him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for

him.’ The Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night.

Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted.”

Ahmad related this hadith with a sahih chain.

Abu Umamah reported: “I came to the Messenger of God and said:

‘Order me to do a deed that will allow me to enter Paradise.’ He

said: ‘Stick to fasting, as there is no equivalent to it.’ Then I came

to him again and he said: ‘Stick to fasting’.”

Abu Said al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of God said: “No

servant fasts on a day in the path of Allah except that Allah removes

the hellfire seventy years further away from his face.”

Sahl ibn Sa’d reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “There is a

gate to Paradise that is called ar-Rayyan. On the Day of Resurrec-

tion it will say: ‘Where are those who fasted?’ When the last [one]

has passed through the gate, it will be locked.” This is related by

al- Bukhari and Muslim.


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There are two types of fasting: obligatory and voluntary. Obligatory

can be further subdivided into the fast of Ramadan, the fast of

expiation and the fast of fulfilling a vow. In this issue we shall only

discuss the Fast of Ramadan.

The fast of Ramadan according to the Qur’an and Sunnah is oblig-

atory. The evidence from the Qur’an consists of the following two


‘O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was

prescribed for the people before you in order for you to gain


“...The month of Ramadan, during which the Qur’an was re-

vealed, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance

and the criterion; and whoever of you is resident, let him fast

the month.” (Qur’an 2:185)

From the Sunnah we have the following statements of the Holy

Prophet (pbuh): “Islam is built upon [the following] five pillars:

testifying that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is

His Messenger, the establishment of the prayer, the giving of zakah,

the fast of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Makkah.”

Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah reported that a man came to the Prophet

(pbuh) and said: “OMessenger of Allah, tell me what Allah requires

of me as regards fasting.” He answered, ‘The month of Ramadan.’

The man asked: “Is there any other [fast]?” The Prophet answered:

“No, unless you do so voluntarily.”




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Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The blessed

month has come to you. Allah has opened the gates of paradise and

closed the gates of hellfire, and the devils are chained. There is a

night [during this month] which is better than a thousand months.

Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived [of something


Abu Sa’id al Khudri reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Who-

ever fasts the month of Ramadan, obeying all of its limitations and

guarding himself against what is forbidden, has in fact atoned for

any sins he committed before it.”




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This event is confirmed by sighting the new moon, even if it is seen

by only one just person, or by the passage of thirty days in the

immediately preceding month of Shaban. Ibn ‘Umar said: “The

people were looking for the new moon and when I reported to the

Messenger of Allah that I had seen it, he fasted and ordered the

people to fast.”

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (pbuh) instructed: “Fast

after you have seen it [the new crescent] and end the fast [at the

end of the month] when you see it. If it is hidden from you, then

wait until the thirty days of Sha’ban have passed.” This is related by

al-Bukhari and Muslim.





Many verses of the Quran draw man’s attention to his own self and

invite him carefully and seriously to study his body and soul and

the nature of their mutual relationship. It is therefore necessary to

keep the physical body very healthy so that other things (i.e., spirit

and soul) may also remain healthy and so help him in the service

of both his material and spiritual attainment. Diet has therefore

played an important role in Islamic medicine. Islam has prohibited

certain foods because of their ill effects and allowed all other pure,

good and clean things.

“O Muhammad! Ask them who has forbidden the decent and

clean things that God has produced for His servants and (who

has forbidden) the good and pure things of life granted by Him.

Say: All these things are for the believers in this world but on

the Day of Resurrection, these shall be exclusively for them.

Thus do We make clear Our revelations to those who possess

knowledge.” (Qur’an 7:32)

And in Surah Al-Baqara, we read, “

O believers! Eat of the good

and pure things that We have provided for you and be grateful

to God, if you are true worshipers of God.” (Qur’an 2:172)

Then people in general are advised to eat good and pure things and

not to indulge in impure, bad and harmful things, following their

open enemy, the Devil.

“O People! Eat of what is lawful and good on earth and do not

follow the footsteps of the Evil One, for he is your open enemy.”

(Qur’an 2:168)

It may be here pointed out that the word ‘pure’ has been qualified

with the word ‘lawful’ so that impure things may not be made lawful


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