Blood is the life stream of the human body. Healthy blood nourishes all the organs enabling them to function well. Good blood is produced from healthy, wholesome food. On the contrary, unhealthy food produces unhealthy blood, causing the entire body to be weakened and one then suffers a host of illnesses. Hence, the direct link between what one consumes and physical health is evident.
A similar link exists between one’s sustenance and one’s spiritual health. If one’s sustenance is pure, wholesome and from halaal earnings, it has a direct effect in boosting one’s spiritual levels. The heart then desires to do good while the limbs easily move towards acts of piety and righteousness. However, if the food is not pure and wholesome, or it is halaal in itself but was acquired from haraam earnings, it spiritually contaminates the blood. This contaminated blood is then pumped throughout the body. As a result, the heart almost continuously thrives on evil. The limbs easily move towards sin and have no strength to perform good deeds. Even salaah, the most fundamental command after imaan, becomes a burden and is easily left out. If this critical situation is not remedied in time, spiritual cancer sets in. Allah Ta‘ala forbid, such a person then sometimes even sells his imaan for monetary gain.
The direct link between what one consumes and good actions is most evident from the Quraan Majeed itself. Allah Ta‘ala addresses the sinless galaxy of Rasools (Messengers) with the command “O messengers, eat of pure and wholesome things and do righteous actions.” (Surah Mu-minoon v51) The lesson for the followers of the Rasool is that eating what is pure will lead to righteous actions.
This lesson has tragically been forgotten by many people. The incidents of “shady” deals and openly haraam transactions have escalated to unprecedented levels. Deception, fraud, cheating in weight and measure, cheating the customer by concealing the fault in the goods or in any other way, charging interest, dealing in haraam goods, buying goods from dubious sources, not paying creditors despite living in luxury, etc., have become the order of the day. Yet, this is a recipe for disaster in this world as well as in the Hereafter. Many general calamities and personal crisis occur in this world as a result of cheating and deceiving in business. One’s du‘aas are rejected and one’s ‘ibaadah is also not accepted. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has clearly declared: “The fire of hell is more worthy of the flesh that was nourished with haraam.” (Sunan Tirmizi #614)
Due to the fundamental importance of earning only halaal income, our pious predecessors exercised extreme caution in this regard. Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) once bought a consignment of goods to resell. He discovered that the goods had a defect. He therefore instructed his agent to inform the customer of the defect when selling the goods. The agent, by chance, completely forgot to inform the customer. When Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) learnt of this, he was very grieved. He then took the entire sum of money that was earned from the sale of the goods (the capital amount and the profit) and gave it away in charity. (Al-Khairaatul Hisaan pg. 44)
Numerous other incidents of this nature have occurred in the lives of the pious. This purity of income contributed tremendously towards the barakah (blessing) in their lives, wealth and also in the work that they did. Thus, centuries have passed but their legacies live on up to this day.
In order to protect us from ever slipping into haraam, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has warned us against dealing in what is doubtful. Explaining this by means of a beautiful parable, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) declares, “Halaal is clear and haraam is clear. Between them are doubtful things, the reality of which is not known to many people. Its example is that of a shepherd who grazes his sheep on the borders of the royal pastures (which is exclusive and not permitted for public grazing). This shepherd is most likely to end up grazing inside the royal pastures (thereby doing what was forbidden).” (Saheeh Bukhaari #52) Therefore, the best and safest way is to adopt the golden rule, “WHEN IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT.”
Thus, it is imperative to stop and take stock. An effort must be made to develop contentment. This is the foundation for restricting oneself to only what is halaal. Minus contentment and one will easily slip into doubtful things, thus paving the way towards haraam. Contentment is acquired by being in the company of those pious people whose hearts are attached to the Hereafter and disinclined from this world. It comes from strengthening one’s imaan and developing a zeal to acquire Jannah. Daily reading the book “Fazaail e Sadaqaat – Virtues of Charity” by Shaykh Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahimahullah) will assist greatly in attaining contentment.
Furthermore, one should choose an experienced, pious ‘Aalim as a guide in all one’s matters. Refer to him only, while respecting everyone else. Check all one’s dealings with him. In matters of doubt, where there are different opinions and verdicts of the ‘Ulama, stick to the person you have chosen for guidance. Insha-Allah, in this way one will be saved from following one’s nafs (base desires) and falling into destruction.
May Allah Ta‘ala save us from the minutest bit of haraam as well as what is doubtful. May He grant us halaal sustenance that is full of barakah, aameen.