Haraam ( _ar. حرام) is an Arabic term meaning "forbidden". In Islam it is used to refer to anything that is prohibited by the faith. Its antonym is "halaal".

Haraam is a widely-used synopsis to define all that is forbidden by God. This can be an act of sin or evil or consumption or benefit from flesh or otherwise of certain animals, or those animals that are not forbidden deemed not to have been slaughtered in accordance to God's prescribed teaching. The most obvious example of things that are haraam or "harām" are products forbidden by Muslim dietary laws, such as alcoholcite quran|5|90 and porkcite quran|5|3. Pork, or Pork-derived products such as gelatine are also forbidden. It has been said that food items such as Rice Krispie treats are haraam, seeing as they contain gelatin.

The category of "harām" also includes all manner of forbidden behaviours, from adultery to any form of abuse (emotional or physical).

"Haraam" is also an expression used by non-Muslim Arabs in or upon receipt of news about certain kinds of situations, and is basically tantamount to the English expression, "for shame". In conversational usage, it is also used to express sympathy towards a living being. Children are commonly told not to mistreat other children or animals because it is 'haraam'.

It also appears in Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia. It connotes the same idea of prohibition on religious grounds, however it is used by Christians in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, including bans on pork (more out of Jewish dietary laws, not Islamic).

Forms of Haraam

Other than alcohol and pork which are considered Haraam or illegal to consume in Islam there are a lot of other forms of haraam that are considered very sinful and are unlawful.

It is haraam to eat meat that was slaughtered without the name of Allah. Meat that is slain with the name of Allah is considered zabiha and is halal or lawful to eat.

Shirk is considered haraam and is the most forbidden act in Islam. It is when one equates something else with God. It is very sinful to commit shirk in Islam and it is not considered easily forgiven by God.

It is also haraam to be a hypocrite in Islam. People that go around committing acts of violence, consuming alcohol or doing forbidden things and claiming that they are a Muslim are considered hypocrites. They insult what Islam really is and are not easily forgiven by God, but it is forgiven.

Adultery is also very sinful in Islam and is considered haraam. It is forbidden in Islam for a man and a woman to have an illicit relationship and to have sex outside marriage. This means no married man or woman can have an illicit relationship with someone other than their spouse and no form of homosexuality is allowed which is also haraam [ [http://www.geocities.com/mikailtariq/haram.htm Haraam and Khamr Geocities website] ] . However, the Qur’an gives a man permission to have sexual relations with his wives: “The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame” (23:1-6). A Muslim is not to have sexual relations with a woman who is married to someone else “And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you” (4:24).

Sex outside marriage, though, is circumvented in Shia Islam by allowing temporary marriages. "We used to participate in the holy wars carried on by the Prophet and we had no women (wives) with us. So we said (to the Prophet ). "Shall we castrate ourselves?" But the Prophet forbade us to do that and thenceforth he allowed us to marry a woman (temporarily) by giving her even a garment, and then he recited: "O you who believe! Do not make unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you.""(Bukhari (60:139), quoting Sura (5:87))

Wearing revealing clothes is also considered haraam. Women and even men have a duty to be modest in Islam and it is forbidden to wear clothes that accentuate the body. Women should draw a covering over her general daily covering (known as jilbab or abaya) whilst ensuring that only the face and hands are visible. Men should not wear tight jeans or shorts that go above their knees.

Any act of violence, theft, threatening to hurt someone, fraudulent behavior, rape or being untruthful toward other Muslims is also haraam and extremely forbidden in Islam. Islam means submission and Muslims that act in such a way toward other Muslims are considered fasiq (sinners).

Quranic verses about Haraam

Here are some well known verses that are commonly referenced in regard to unlawful food or drinks:

"He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful"."cite quran|2|173 [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/002.qmt.html#002.173]

"How should ye not eat of that over which the name of Allah hath been mentioned, when He hath explained unto you that which is forbidden unto you unless ye are compelled thereto. But lo! many are led astray by their own lusts through ignorance. Lo! thy Lord, He is Best Aware of the transgressors." cite quran|6|119 [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/006.qmt.html#006.119]

Here are verses that reference fornication being haraam:

"And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way." cite quran|17|32 [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/017.qmt.html#017.032]

"Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication; - and any that does this (not only) meets punishment." cite quran|25|68 [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/025.qmt.html#025.068]

Here is a verse that references shirk being haraam:

"Say: I am forbidden to worship those on whom ye call instead of Allah. Say: I will not follow your desires, for then should I go astray and I should not be of the rightly guided." cite quran|6|56 [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/006.qmt.html#006.056]

Hadith sayings about Haraam

The Hadith is a compilation of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad and there are a several sayings of the Prophet that relate to unlawful acts or food in the Islam religion. Below are some sayings from the Hadith collections:

Hadith mentioning haraam food and prohibition of alcohol:

In an incident narrated by Rafi’ bin Khadij, the Prophet told Muslims who wanted to slaughter some animals using reeds, "“Use whatever causes blood to flow, and eat the animals if the Name of Allah has been mentioned on slaughtering them...”"(Bukhari).

Narrated Abu Thalaba: "Allah’s Messenger forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs "(Narrated by Bukhari).

From Muslim (from Abi Said): The Prophet said: "Allah has forbidden alcoholic drinks. Whoever this verse reaches while they still possess any of it, they are not to drink nor to sell."

Hadith mentioning fornication as haraam:

Prophet Muhammad explained: "If one of you were to be stabbed in the head with a piece of iron it would be better for him than if he were to touch a woman whom it is not permissible for him to touch."

Hadith mentioning shirk as haraam:

It is reported on the authority of Ibn Mas'ood that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever died while supplicating another deity besides Allah, will enter the Fire." (Narrated by Bukhari)

See also

*List of Arabic phrases
*Difference between Halal and Dhabiha
*Word of Wisdom
*Cherem (related Hebrew word)
*Haram (related Arabic word)
*Ḥ-R-M (triconsonantal root of these words in Arabic)


2. [http://www.eathalal.ca/articles/haramlist.html Haram List]

External links

* [http://religion.atspace.com/Islamfood00table.htm Laws of Islam concerning food]

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