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Halal Is Clear & Haram Is Clear: Roadmap for Pure Heart

  • Editor’s note: The following text is not strictly verbatim transcript of the video. Some editorial modification were made to make the text publishable as an article.
  • About Ustadha Lobna Mulla

An-Nu`man ibn Bashir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) say:

The halal (lawful) is clear and the haram (prohibited) is clear, and between them are unclear matters that are unknown to most people.

Whoever is wary of these unclear matters, has absolved his religion and honor. And whoever indulges in them, has indulged in the haram (prohibited).

It is like a shepherd who herds his sheep too close to a preserved sanctuary, and they will eventually graze in it.

Every king has a sanctuary, and sanctuary of Allah is what He has made haram (prohibited).

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There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily, this piece is the heart.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

This hadith stresses that what is permissible and what is impermissible in Islam are clear. It is such an important concept but it is so basic. Allah Almighty has sent to us the Qur’an and clearly stated in it what we are allowed to do and what we are prohibited to do.

Sticking to acts that are permissible and avoiding those that are impermissible gives you the pleasure of Allah, a goal that every Muslims should strive for.

On the contrary, when a teacher starts a class saying, ‘Open page fifty four, we are going to start with the math lesson’, then you know what you need to do and thus you are focused on accomplishing your tasks.

So, Alhamdulillah, Allah sent to us Prophet Muhammad as the best teacher. He exemplified the guidelines of Islam, as his wife `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) described him as a “walking Qur’an”, so we can emulate him in every way and know how to lead a guided life.

What a mercy it is that we do not have to search for how to live our life; rather our struggle is to be focused on how to overcome our own weaknesses to accomplish that lofty way of life clearly set for us by Allah.

Another point to learn from this hadith is to avoid doubtful matters:

Whoever is wary of these unclear matters, has absolved his religion and honor. And whoever indulges in them, has indulged in the haram (prohibited).

Avoiding doubtful matters keeps your heart pure and that leads us to the next part of the hadith:

There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound. 

So the question then is how do we keep our heart pure?

Well, think of walking into a home that needs a lot of repair. How can you know what needs to be fixed if you don’t know what is broken? I think the first thing to do, and Allah knows best, is to first take account of your heart: what are the problems you struggle with in your life? Are you a jealous person? Are you missing your Prayers? Are you an angry person?

When you take account of yourself and look inwards with honesty, then you can begin to know how to fix yourself  and do tazkiyah which is purifying one’s self.

One easy way for keeping your heart pure is to think about three things: people, places and things. If you surround yourself with good people: people who would remind you to pray, people who constantly take you to good places, to lectures  and mosques and where you can be able to remember Allah, then they will be your best support group .

On the contrary, if you are the only person in a group who has to get up to pray, the only one who is not comfortable with the group’s bad practices, then you will be going through a constant struggle. So, to keep yourself pure, you need to surround yourself with pure people.

The same thing with places: go to pure places. For example, many scholars have mentioned that smoking cigarettes, hookah, etc.  is at minimum makruh, i.e., reprehensible, if not completely haram and prohibited.  Now, many hookah places appeared in the US, unfortunately, and became places to hang out.

Buy your sandwich from a good place!

For some people who don’t want to smoke, they just want to go there perhaps to buy some sandwich. Don’t go to buy a sandwich from a bad place because that is not a place that is going to remind you of Allah Almighty.

Perhaps you are going to miss your Prayers, or delve in a conversation you would not normally delve into had you been with the same group of friends elsewhere. So again, always be on pure places.

And finally, let’s surround our hearts with pure things. Let’s care for what we take in with our eyes, with our mouth and with our ears, for example, TV and movies. Alhamdulillah, there is a wealth of halal entertainment that we can really expose ourselves and our children to.

Remember that Television and movies with inappropriate content are not good for our souls. We slowly desensitize our souls  to inappropriate words and inappropriate content.

Often times we think: well, I am not going to let my kids watch it; I will watch it for myself. But remember that what is not good for kids, it is not good for the adults either.

Sometimes there is a fine line, of course, but overall we want to finally intake the good through our eyes and through our ears.

Hopefully when we stick to these or begin with these three things: people, places and things and keep these three pure, we can begin to really cleanse our hearts and these would affect our whole body in a pure way inshaa’ Allah.

Ustadha Lobna Mulla was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She graduated from California State University, Northridge with a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting. In 2005, she moved to Egypt with her husband, Sheikh Suhail Mulla, and her children for three years where she studied Arabic, Islamic Studies and Tajweed, before moving back to the States.

Ustadha Lobna has been working with the youth for the past 15 years in various capacities such as assisting with youth camps, leading halaqat, teaching tajweed classes, and leading a MAS Girl Scout troop among others. Currently, Ustadha Lobna lives in Orange County with her husband and four children and is an active member in MAS Greater LA.