Take-out. Yum! In my judgement, made all the more appetizing by the fact that you don’t have to do anything. No setting the table, no washing the dishes and no food preparation. Heaven on Earth.
Hell on Earth, on the flip side, would be eating at a restaurant that serves just about anything that’s Haraam. Even though their ‘sea food’ platter is 100% Halaal. Eating in such an environment is not encouraged.
There are, of course, cases when necessity prevailed. And yes, it’s supposed to be in the past tense (Don’t you go blaming AutoCorrect). ‘If one needs to take food from such a restaurant, and he cannot find any other place to take his food, then this issue is one that rests upon hardship, difficulty and a sincere need.’ That statement, in my opinion, doesn’t apply to us, because c’mon, there must be a Spar or Shoprite even in the bundu’s! You’ll survive with a packet of chips.
The Prophet (S.A.W) said: “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not sit at a table where liquor is served.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (2801)]
I honestly doubt that there is any way for me to simplify that Hadith further. And that’s saying something, because my 2 cents are plentiful (that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a female). Now, of course, because we live in the generation of loopholes (must be a side effect of all the pot holes on the road. Hey, I’m funny! What do you know?), we get technical.
“Nabi (S.A.W) said we shouldn’t sit at the table alcohol is served, not anything about being in the vicinity”. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Calm your ketchup filled arteries.
Muhammad (S.A.W) warns Muslims to stay aloof from those places where one could be accused of participating in Haraam. Besides the fact that we wouldn’t know if the grapes in your cup are fermented or not, what of contamination?
I cook. (My mom might not completely agree, but her keyboard keeps ‘running away’, so she won’t be able to say otherwise. Never get involved with my mum and her touch screen issues). Ask me. There is no way they went to fetch a new spoon to stir the ‘Halaal’ chicken if it needed turning. There is no way one of the waiters didn’t spill even a tiny drop of alcohol on the counter where the food is set out. And there is no way they can keep an accurate track of which oil is for what. The fact remains that it doesn’t make an iota of a difference to them. Let’s be honest, if I hear something fall in the fridge as I close the door, I’m not re-opening it to set it right. It ain’t my problem anymore, darlin’. What makes you think they’d be so particular?
The food outlet must be owned (not managed) by reliable, trustworthy Muslims. They should be conscious and sensitive to Islamic requirements. If you are in doubt, avoid it. It’s best for your Taqwa and for the betterment of your Imaan.
Bottom line- If Haraam is sold in the outlet, get out. Go seek a viable alternative. Is the grub really worth the risk? I’m just a lowly teenager and I can tell you that the food in Jannah far surpasses the expectations in this world. And isn’t that ultimately what we’re working towards?
Remember, you take one step towards Allah, Allah takes ten steps towards you.
May Allah protect us all and grant us the ability to overcome our Nafs.
Love and Duas,