Some may ask, “How come nothing happens to those who eat haram food, such as pork?” To answer this question, we must look at not only the physical harms but also the spiritual harms of eating such food. In this article, we will go over some things that happen when someone eats haram food.
What Are Haram Foods?
We all know that certain foods and drinks are haram to consume. For example, pork, the flesh of animals that have not been slaughtered in the Islamic way, fish with no scales, all insects except locusts, and other animals, such as cats and dogs, are haram. Eating them is a sin. However, it is important to realize that even halal food such as halal meat, dairy, and bread can become haram. If the money spent to buy them is made in a haram way, that food will become haram. Likewise, if they are stolen, they will become haram.
What Are Some of the Harms of Eating Haram Food?
Eating food that is haram is likened to eating fire in our narrations and the Quran. Verse 10 of Surah Nisa reads:
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَٰلَ ٱلْيَتَٰمَىٰ ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِى بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًا ۖ وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيرًا
Indeed those who consume the property of orphans wrongfully only ingest fire into their bellies, and soon they will enter the Blaze. (Translation by Qarai)
Taking away the property or money of orphans is the same as ingesting fire. This means they will be punished in the Hereafter while the fire in their bellies burns them.
The same can be said about other haram things that are consumed.
The Noble Prophet, Muhammad (s) has said:
أَكلُ الحرامِ یَطرُدُ الایمانَ.
Haram food deprives one of faith.
His eminence has also said:
اذا وَقَعتِ اللُّقمَةُ مِن حرامٍ فی جَوفِ العَبدِ لَعَنَهُ كُلُّ مَلَكٍ فی السَّمواتِ و الأرضِ!
Therefore, we see that eating food that is prohibited in Islam seriously harms one’s spirit. If something harms the spirit, it will also harm the body because the body is the spirit’s vehicle. If the spirit cannot control the vehicle properly, it will crash. That is why we see that psychological conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and restlessness, are also detrimental to one’s physical health.
What Are the Benefits of Halal Food
So we discussed the harms and detriments of eating food that is not halal. Now, what about halal food or food that is obtained through a halal earning? We have many narrations in this regard from our Prophet (s) and the Imams (a).
Making Halal Money Is Jihad
The Noble Prophet (s) has said:
طَلَبُ الحَلالِ جِهادٌ.
This is not the only narration that emphasizes the significance of earning a halal living. There are many other narrations in which our Imams talk about the rewards of making a halal living. Doing jihad is not just fighting on the battlefield. One of the examples of jihad is striving to provide food, money, clothing, and other needs in a halal way. The reward of jihad is paradise.
Earning a Halal Living Makes One Have the Reward of a Martyr
Similar to the previous hadith, another hadith mentions the reward of earning a halal living in a different wording:
مَن طَلَبَ الدُّنیا حَلالاً فی عَفافٍ كانَ فی دَرَجَةٍ الشّهداءِ
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Eating haram food does serious harm to one’s spirit. This harm will be manifested in one’s body, too. Haram food destroys one’s faith and darkens the soul. Haram food does not only include food that is originally haram to eat, such as pork, alcohol, and the flesh of animals that have not been slaughtered in the Islamic way. Haram food also includes food that is obtained through haram earnings. For example, if someone cheats others and makes money this way, food bought using that money is haram. We should all rely on Allah and ask Him to give us the privilege of always eating halal food, whether it is originally halal food or food obtained in a halal way.
 Ma‘wiz ‘Adadiyyah, p. 153.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 63, p. 314.
 Ma‘wiz ‘Adadiyyah, p. 3.
 Al-Muhajjat al-Bayda, vol. 3, p. 203.