Hanzalah and the Halaal Snacks

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There was once a boy named Hanzalah, who loved to eat sweets, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, ice creams and desserts.

One day, Hanzalah saw that his uncle was going to the supermarket, so he quickly ran to his mother and asked her if he could go with his uncle to buy some snacks. His mother said, “Ok Hanzalah, you can go, but make sure that you stay with your uncle and show him what you want before you take it.” Hanzalah was thrilled and hopped into the car, and in a few minutes, they were in the supermarket.  

When Hanzalah got to the supermarket, he took a trolley and pushed it to the aisle with the sweets, chocolates and snacks. This, was Hanzalah’s favourite part of the whole supermarket!

Hanzalah looked at the different sweets and chocolates, and there were so many to choose from that he didn’t know where to start! Finally, he started at the top of the shelf, choosing a few different sweets and chocolates that he could take and share with his friends. Thereafter, he took a few packets of chips, and finally, he took a few boxes of biscuits.

Before Hanzalah, took anything, he first showed it to his uncle and checked that it was ok, but just as they were leaving the sweet aisle, he saw one packet of sweets that was new. He quickly took it and placed it in the trolley, forgetting to show it to his uncle.

After they paid for the snacks at the till, Hanzalah and his uncle got into the car and his uncle dropped him off at home.

When Hanzalah entered his home, he made salaam loudly and recited the du‘aa for entering the home. Then, he went to the kitchen and began to unpack all the snacks, placing them neatly inside the grocery cupboard.

After a few minutes, his mother came and said, “Oh there you are Hanzalah! Did you buy the snacks that you wanted?” Hanzalah was excited and said, “Mummy! There was a new sweet today – a sweet that I never tried before! I bought it to taste it and share with my friends!” Then, as Hanzalah showed the new sweets to his mother, her face fell and she said, “Oh dear! Hanzalah! You can’t eat these – they are not halaal! Did you not show it to your uncle? He would have told you that you can’t eat it!”

Hanzalah replied, “I showed him all the other sweets and snacks, but I forgot to show him this one.” Then, Hanzalah was confused, so he asked, “But mummy, I thought halaal and haraam was only for meat like chicken and steak – not for sweets and chocolates!” His mother explained, “No Hanzalah – halaal and haraam is for everything that we eat and drink, not only for meat. Just as meat can be haraam, snacks can also be haraam. Sometimes, the sweets, chocolates, biscuits, ice creams and other tasty treats that we see have haraam ingredients inside them.”

The word ‘ingredient’ was new for Hanzalah, so he asked, “Mummy! What’s that thing you said – imbredient?” His mother laughed and said, “Not imbredient – ingredient. It means the different things that they put inside the snack when they are making it.”

His mother then explained further and said, “Hanzalah, we think that a chocolate, or sweet is just that – a simple snack. What we don’t realize is that sometimes, there are ingredients that come from animals or insects, or there is wine inside, and this makes it haraam to eat. That is why we must always be particular and check before we buy anything to eat.”

Hanzalah next asked, “Mummy! Why is it so important to only eat halaal?” His mother said, “Hanzalah, I think it’s better that you phone your Moulana and ask him. He will be able to explain better than me.” A few minutes later, Hanzalah phoned Moulana Ahmad and told him what had happened. He asked Moulana, “Moulana! Why is it so important to only eat halaal?” Moulana Ahmad replied, “Hanzalah! I am so happy that you asked me this question, and that you are worried about halaal and haraam! It is very important for a Muslim to only eat halaal. If a Muslim eats haraam, then Allah Ta‘ala will not be happy with him and he will get sin. Also, when a person eats haraam, it becomes very difficult for him to do good deeds and become a good and pious person. When he eats haraam, and it goes into his body, the effect is that it makes him think of haraam and makes him want to commit haraam actions. If you want to be a good Muslim, then you must always make sure that you only eat halaal.”

And so, from that day on, before Hanzalah ate anything, even if it was something that one of his friends wanted to share with him, he first made sure that it was halaal.

Lessons:

1. A Muslim cannot eat anything from any place. A Muslim can only eat that which is halaal.

2. Halaal is not only for meat. Rather, we must make sure that everything we eat and drink is halaal, such as biscuits, sweets, chocolates, sweets, ice creams, juices, milkshakes and all other foods.

3. A Muslim must only eat halaal. If a Muslim eats haraam, he will receive sin and Allah Ta‘ala will be unhappy with him. Also, if a person eats haraam, it will be difficult for him to do good deeds and become pious.

4. Before we leave the house or go anywhere, we must ask our parents for permission.

5. When we go anywhere out of the house, we must be with an adult so that we can be safe. Also, we must check with our parents and other adults before we buy or eat anything so that they can tell us whether it is halaal or not, or whether it will be good for us.

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