In Gurbani, ‘haq-halal’ refers to righteously earned food


Theme for the Week: This week’s words relate to actions that we carry out from morning to evening and from birth to death.

The relating verses will reveal the spiritual meanings and significance of some interesting words and phrases in Gurbani.

ਖਾਣਾ (khaaṇaa)

Meaning: noun: Food, eating.


ਹਕੁ ਹਲਾਲੁ ਬਖੋਰਹੁ ਖਾਣਾ॥
ਹੱਕ ਹਲਾਲ (ਜਾਇਜ਼ ਅਧਿਕਾਰ) ਵਾਲਾ ਖਾਣਾ ਖਾਓ।

hak halaal bakhorahu khaaṇaa

Eat that food which is earned righteously and honestly, that is, which rightfully belongs to you. -Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 1084

MESSAGE: Of ‘haq-halal’

Food is one of the basic needs for survival and good health. Using Muslim words or terms like halal (but not in their ritual usages), the Guru advises us to live an honest and moral life.

The ‘haq-halal’ literally refers to what is permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law. In Gurbani, however, it refers to righteously earned food.

We are advised to take or consume what rightfully belongs to us or is earned through honest, hard work. To take what rightfully belongs to another is considered unlawful. We cannot earn peace of mind by mere practice of a ritual. We need to live by ethical values in our daily actions.

ਹਕੁ ਪਰਾਇਆ ਨਾਨਕਾ   ਉਸੁ ਸੂਅਰ ਉਸੁ ਗਾਇ॥

To take what belongs to another is like eating pork for a Muslim and beef for a Hindu. – Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 141

Etymology: From Sanskrit khaadan (eating, food) → Pali khaadan → Prakrit khaaṇ → Lahndi khaaṇaa (meal).

Source: A Word A Thought (AWAT)


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What is ‘thaal’ in Gurbani? (Asia Samachar, 2 Sept 2017)


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