How Do I Know If Something Is Haram and Avoid It?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


How do I tell if something is Haram or not? There are many Harams in Islam, and I want to be able to avoid them. I do not want to commit a sin and disobey Allah.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

The only way to know whether any particular action is prohibited (haram) or permissible (halal) is by acquiring a basic understanding of the Sacred Law of Islam (shari’a).

Seeking this level of knowledge is an obligation.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Seeking Sacred knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” [Tabarani]

Higher Levels of Understanding

Having a basic understanding of the Sacred Law will suffice you in most situations. Aside from this, there will be scenarios that basic knowledge may not answer.

In these cases, one must find a reliable scholar to ask one’s questions.

Allah Most High says, “We did not send (messengers) before you (O Prophet) except mere men inspired by Us. If you (polytheists) do not know (this already), then ask those who have knowledge (of the Scriptures).” [Quran, 16:43]


Seek out any local or online opportunities to seek Sacred knowledge at a basic, foundational level. After that, if you encounter a scenario you have no knowledge about, consult a local scholar before acting. 

Please join this course to start your journey as a seeker: Living Right: Halal and Haram and Living Prophetic Excellence (Hanafi)

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.