As we grow up we learn that there are some things that we can do that please people, parents, friends etc. and some things that make people cross. At home and at school there are certain rules that you have to obey in order to keep the family or school running smoothly. These rules might be simple and easy to keep, like making your bed every day, or more difficult, like not talking in class. Keeping to the rules helps everyone in the community work together and feel secure.
Muslims also have rules that are part of their religion and which help them to live their lives pleasing Allah. These rules are commanded by Allah in the Qur’an and fall into two main groups, halal, things that are allowed, and haram, things that are forbidden.
For Muslims, Islam is not just a system of beliefs but a complete way of life, and knowing what is halal and what is haram is important so that they can please Allah in all aspects of life. Actions and things that are forbidden, haram, are clearly written in the Qur’an. There is no doubt about them, and Muslims believe that doing these things brings about punishment from Allah and bars their entry into paradise.
Everything else that is not haram is halal, but there are some things that, although they are not forbidden, are not considered the best things to do. There are five groups into which actions fall: