How I came back to eating Halal Foods only – True Story.
This story comes from a real-life experience from one of our lovely contributors – Sister Aida Saab – she lives in the USA with her husband, 3 grown children and 2 granddaughters. This story touches on several points that touch a sensitive point in many Muslims living in the west / non-Muslim countries today. Funny, poignant, and so true.
One day I had a long distance call from my cousin who lives in Germany, when I was enjoying my favorite chicken quesadilla fast food for my lunch break. During the call, my cousin found out what I was eating, he interrupted me and asked, “Fast food? Chicken quesadilla? That means the chicken is not Halal!”
I said yes, I knew that, but I had no choice! I was hungry and I like chicken!
He asked, “So, why don’t you eat Halal meat?”
I replied that I do. But the Halal meat here in the United States was not always available everywhere. To go buy it from the “halal store”, I would have to drive like 20 minutes away!
I thought with my easy answer I had got away from his hard question and I would be innocently excused but I was really shocked when he replied, “Where I live, I have to drive two hours from my home every week to go buy Halal meat from the Arabic store! I have been living in Germany for 13 years, and I buy, eat and feed my family only Halal meat!”
He continued, asking, “If Halal meat is not available, why didn’t you have a vegetarian meal? What’s wrong if you substituted it with fresh vegetables or beans, fish or pasta? You will not die if you don’t eat meat for one day or even for one week.”
I was dumbfounded.
“If we don’t have Halal meat, it is not a problem. It is not the end of the world if we don’t eat chicken, beef, goat or lamb for two, three or four days. Also, it is not healthy to eat meat every day. Furthermore, non-Halal meat is prohibited by God. We absolutely have to obey this command. It’s the same like fasting. Besides, Halal meat is healthy, for this reason. We need to purify our Annafs (body and spirit) from all the roots of sins. How can we ask Allah in our Doa’a when we pray, and we have something prohibited running in our blood? How can we expect God to accept the Doa’a if we are not purified and clean, not just on the outside, but inside as well?”
Those words went quickly from my cousin’s mouth through my ears to my heart and led me to challenge myself. I agree, if I don’t have Halal meat, I will not die if one week passed without me eating chicken or beef.
Since that moment, I told myself, if my cousin could do it, so could I. Why not? I am a Muslim, I will try to be perfect in my faith. My Iman has to be stronger and I have to be more patient, especially when we fast in Ramadan. I will not feed myself or my family prohibited food, just Halal food.
Since that day, or actually since that call, five years ago, I decided seriously not to cook or eat any meat if it’s not Halal, especially when we go out for dinner. I would order fish or shrimp or veggie in the restaurant when before I used to order steak or chicken. It wasn’t hard, everything became easy. Now I feel happy and peaceful with my decision, because it is straight and right. And, al hamdoulellah, now all my family eat Halal meat.
I thank God always for letting my cousin call me that day, because it puts me back on the right way. And I always remember and repeat the Hadith of the prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, which says:
Allah is Pure & Accepts Only Pure Deeds! On the authority of Abu Huraira who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Verily Allah, the Exalted, is pure and accepts only that which is pure. Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers. The Exalted has said, ‘O Messengers! Eat of the good things and do right.’ And the Exalted also said, ‘O believers! Eat of the good things that we have provided for you.’” Then he [the Prophet peace be upon him] mentioned a man who after a long journey is disheveled and dust coloured. “[The man] stretches his hands out toward the sky and says, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How is he to be answered [in such a state]? (recorded in Sahih Muslim).
May Allah Guide Us to the straight path… and if you happen to be in the USA check this site out: Zabihah.com
Sister Aida Saab