Although there are many important aspects in daily living which are Lawful or Prohibited in Islam, for the purpose of this article, only the most common ones will be discussed together with the reasoning behind why it is either forbidden or allowed.
- One of the first things every Muslim child learns is what food and drinks are allowed (Halaal) and prohibited (Haraam) in Islam. With the exception of pork and animals or birds which tear their prey apart (namely: lions, falcons, eagles, hawk, leopard, wolf etc.), all other meat is lawful (halaal), in Islam; provided that these meats, meet certain criteria.
- An important ruling to bear in mind is the fact that the meat of sheep, cows, chicken, buffalos etc will only be permissible if the animal has been slaughtered in the correct Islamic manner, which entails that the animal should not be allowed to suffer, it should be killed in the quickest and least painful manner
- Any Alcohol, which causes intoxication, is forbidden in Islam. The reason for this being that intoxication has harmful effects on the individuals mind, his health, his work, every aspect of his life, in a nutshell anything that befogs the mind regardless of the quantity whether it be one teaspoon or a litre is forbidden in Islam.
- Drugs such as opium, heroin, cocaine etc. like alcohol impairs the reasoning and effects sensory perception, and are therefore also prohibited.
- Hitting a woman or made to suffer pain is prohibited in Islam, as it is an insult to a woman's dignity.
- Gambling in any form is prohibited in Islam, whether it takes place in a Casino, or it is in the form of a lottery or for a charitable organization, any game of chance is considered gambling. The reason for this being that the person who gambles, depends on his winnings to support him and in the process gives up honest, hard work. Gambling because of its addiction is also a danger to the individual, because it dulls his sense of value; and in turn he becomes a danger to society.
- Treating the parents, especially when getting old, without tender and without enough respect is forbidden.
- Mistreating wives and children is forbidden.
- Cruelty in treating animals is forbidden.
- Cutting tress without justification and spoiling water of rivers and springs is forbidden.
- Terrifying innocents and civilians is forbidden.
- Hate against other cultures and/or religion is forbidden.
As my second book's setting is in the Middle East, I'm absorbing as much information I can find about the Islamic population, their trials and tribulations, hopes and fears. This is not easy, though there is more information on the web than I could possibly absorb. The difficulty is in finding facts that are not colored by hatred or bigotry.
I've been a guest at a local mosque wherein the Imam was most generous of his time and educational material. "Find the middle," was his advice. The second challenge is that I would love to interview people who are living or who spent a great deal of their time living in the Middle East. My objective is to learn about the lifestyle of the average Muslim - if there is such a possibility as an 'average' Muslim. Living conditions, I believe, vary greatly in a part of the world that has undergone invasion and internal turmoil.
My objective in writing this fiction novel is to be respectful of the Islamic culture, be realistic of the environmental conditions currently existing in the Middle East.