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The Fundaments of Halal!
THE HALAL THAT IS FOR ALL!
BOSNIAN / BOSANSKI
The world is a gift of God...
We, the humanity, are just part of a multiverse. Indeed, we are part and parcel of a universe of this multiverse, the universe that is created by the Powerful Creator.
The point of this universe where we humans live is called the planet earth. This earth we call the world is created as well. The flora and fauna of this world are created for our use and benefit. Hence, this world is a gift of God to all the world creatures. It belongs to God, the Creator. It doesn't belong to anyone else exclusively.
Those humans who used to claim that this world belongs to them have long gone, leaving behind a mute traces of their false claim. The today's world billionaires and politicians must understand that this world doesn't belong to them exclusively either despite the fact that on current trends – by next year, 1% of them will own more wealth than the rest of 99% of world's population.
This is what the anti-poverty charity Oxfam said at this year annual meeting of the Economic Forum in Davos as it demanded urgent action to narrow the gap between rich and poor. The charity's shows that the share of the world’s wealth owned by the best-off 1% has increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014, while the least well-off 80% currently own just 5.5%. Oxfam added that on current trends the richest 1% would own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016. This state of affairs of the world wealth is Haram, unacceptable because we have it in the Qur'an:
- God it is who has created for you all that is on earth... [not for some only...] (Qur'an, 2:29).
- And God has made subservient to you, [as a gift] from Himself, all that is in the heavens and on earth... (Qur'an, 45:13)
- Are you not aware that God has made subservient to you all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and has lavished upon you His blessings, both outward and inward? And yet, among men there is many a one that argues about God without having any knowledge [of Him], without any guidance, and without any light-giving revelation. (Qur'an, 31:20)
The world is created on the principle of al-ibahah, freedom...
Al-aslu fil ashya' al-ibahatun, the principle in all things in the world is that they are created free for human use except those things, which are declared to be banned.
As we all know from the common Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition in the time of a human pristine state in paradise, there was only one food prohibition when God said to Adam and his wife: - Eat of its fruits to your hearts’ content wherever you will. But never approach this tree or you shall both become transgressors... (Qur'an, 2:35; 7:19).
The tree in question was the tree of immortality, shajarat al-khuld (Qur'an 20:120). Seduce by their enemy Satan into defying God, Adam and his wife suffered banishment from paradise. The food prohibitions to Adam’s descendants are offered in the same spirit: - Men, eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth and do not walk in Satan’s footsteps, for he is your inveterate foe... (Qur'an, 2:168; 6: 142;); - Be grateful to God if it is him you worship... (Qur'an, 2:172).
The Muslim exegeses explain these verses to mean that whereas God himself had permitted what was lawful and wholesome, pre-Islamic food prohibitions followed obedience of the devil or the customs of the tribal fathers and ancestors. For example, peoples of the jahiliyya had prohibited the eating of certain camels, whereas Islamic prohibitions did not embrace these, as they were not enumerated by God (Qur'an, 2:173; 6:142-5; 5:3-4).
Here are the four prohibited items mentioned in the Qur'an: carrion (mayta), blood (damm), flesh of swine (lahm khinzir), and meat consecrated to anything other than God. Blood in this passage is interpreted to mean the ”spilt blood”, damm masfuh (Qur'an, 6:145) of a correctly executed slaughter which then according to a prophetic tradition, permitted the consumption of the animal’s organs, kidney and spleen. As for swine, the flesh of both domestic and wild species was prohibited. Meat slaughtered without consecration to God alone meant flesh dedicated to created objects such as graven images.
In connection with carrion (mayta), we should notice the next five items prohibited in this Qur'anic verse: - You are forbidden the flesh of strangled animals (munkhaniqa), and of those beaten to death (mawqudha); of those killed by a fall (mutaraddiya) or gored (natiha) to death; or mangled by beats of prey (ma akala l-sabu’u)... (Qur'an, 5:3). The phrase immediately following, ”except what you have (lawfully) slaughtered yourselves,” was interpreted to mean that if any of the preceding categories of animal were still alive, evidenced by the blinking of an eye or other movement, then its flesh was permitted if it were properly sacrificed.
There is an interesting story reported by al-Tabari that a group of idolaters asked the Prophet: - When a sheep dies, who or what causes it to die? The Prophet replied: - God causes it to die...! Upon this they said: - So you claim that what you and your companions slaughter is permissible to eat, but what God kills is forbidden! This was the occasion for the revelation of the verse, which declared that you may eat only meat consecrated in God’s name...
God, however, forgives the eating of prohibited meat when one is driven by hunger and where no sin is intended. - But if one is driven by necessity - neither coveting it nor exceeding his immediate need -no sin shall be upon him: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace... (Qur'an, 2:173). The Muslim scholars have inferred from this verse that one could eat prohibited meat only from fear of dying of hunger.
I like the conclusion of the great Muslim exegesis al-Tabari, while commenting this 173 verse of the chapter tow of the Qur'an, who said: - Intending neither to sin nor to transgress when compelled to eat forbidden meat entails the intention neither to disassociate oneself from the way of God nor to withdraw from the community of believers... Also, another problem al-Tabari has resolved as well: - The food of those who received the book is lawful to you, and yours to them. Al-Tabari comments that the sacrificial meat and food of Jews and Christians who had received, respectively, the Torah and the Gospels was permitted...
- No blame shall be attached to those that have embraced the faith and done good works in regard to any food they may have eaten, so long as they fear God and believe in him and do good works... (Qur'an, 5:93).
This world is the best of all possible worlds...
One of the greatest Muslim jurists, theologians and mystical thinkers Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) said that this is the most perfect and best possible world that we have. Indeed, he said: - Laisa fil imkani aslan ahsana minhu wa la atamma wa la akmala… “In principle, it is not possible to have a better, nor more perfect, nor more complete world than this one…”
Similarly, the philosophy of the 17th–18th-century Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz thought that this is the best of all possible worlds. He reasoned that among all possible that God could have created, his actual choice of this one over the others required a “sufficient reason,” which, for Leibniz, was the fact that this world was the “best”—despite the existence of evident evils, for any other “possible world” would have had evils of its own sort of even greater magnitude.
Based on these three fundaments, we may conclude the following fundaments:
The world is based on the principle of Halal...
If the world is based on the principle of Halal, the Haram is an Accident...
The principle of Halal entails the principle of tayyib, the beautiful...
The principle of tayyib, the beautiful entails the principle of khair, the good...
If the Halal entails the tayyib and the tayyib entails the khair, then the Halal is the principle of both beautiful and good... then the Haram, the Khabith and the Sharr are the accidents bad, ugly and evil.
The Halal covers everything good and beautiful...
The Halal is good for all...
Now, I would like to conclude by expressing my two fears and two hopes.
My first fear is the lack of Muslim continuity in projects of such importance as the project of Halal food as an overall concept of Muslim life.
My second fear is the lack of mechanism to insure the global credibility of the concept of Halal in the global market of an deadly competition for profit..
My two hopes are, first, that the concept of Halal comes as an innovation that will cover all areas of human activity like the Halal Mal (the Halal Finance) without corruption, the Harm Mal...
And, second, I hope for a Halal Politics in the world where the 1% of the wealthy will reach out the 99% un-wealthy population of the world with the sense of the Halal Mind, the Halal Heart and the Halal Spirit in order to correctoo the Haram Mind, the Haram Heart and the Haram Spirit, which is currently spreading around the world.