According to the usage in the Reading the word, Haram means denied, deprive, restrict, forbid or prohibit.
For example, there are three verses where the word bayta is suffixed with the word Haram to denote the specific restriction to the bayta.
When the same word is attached to the word masajid (consented decree) it signifies the specific restrictions of the decree. For clarity, it is called the sanction: a course or way imposed by God intended to make the people obey specific restrictions. However, in normal usage it can be said to mean ‘the sanctions of the system’ or the ‘specified restrictions of the consented decrees’ when referring to the restrictions in the bayta/system and masjid/consented decree.
For example, in 5:2 it says, aminal baytal-Harami1. It means the peaceful harmony of the sanctions in the system.
Another way of saying it is the peaceful harmony of the specified restrictions in the system2. The sanctions in this verse refer to the limits imposed by God in respect of His decrees so as to maintain the perfect harmony in His system.
This word appears only once, in 5:2. This verse talks about the violations of God’s decrees. In the same verse it also mentions shahrul-Harama indicating the restricted months, hadya/guidance, qola-ida/the indicator marking the restriction on hunting, which encompasses the harmony of the sanctions or the restrictions in God’s system.
On a similar note, upon receiving the revelations, the Prophet was instructed to focus himself towards the consented sanctions or the masajidal-Harami3. It includes the details of the sanctions prescribed in the Scripture.
You shall focus yourself to the consented sanctions (masajidal-Harami). Wherever you may be you shall focus yourself towards it. Even those who received the previous Scripture recognise that this is the truth from their Lord. (2:144)
The word Haram – when used as the ground form independently – means denied or deprived. The word Hurumun is derived from the same root and signifies the indefinite noun meaning restricted. Other words generated from the same root for example, Hurimat or yu-Harimu when used as the ground form can either be a perfect or imperfect active and mean forbidden.
The Palestinian Arabs exposed the hypocrisy of the religionists when they gave a new name to Jerusalem calling the city baytul-muqadis by their reckoning. If – as the religionists contend – baytal-Harami also meant ‘sacred house’ then the Palestinians would have never used the word baitul-muqadis for Jerusalem, as it is incorrect in both form and function.
Changing the word Haram to become sacred is an attempt to alter the message of the Reading because the word quddus is used in the Reading to mean sacred. In the Reading this word is used to refer to the sacred land (ard muqoddasa-talati) assigned to the Children of Israel. In 5:21 it says they refused to enter the sacred land. In 20:12 and 79:16 the same word is used to refer to the sacred valley of Tuwa (mu-qod-dasi-tuwa), the location of the burning bush. Lastly, the sacred self or rohil qudus (which loosely translated means holy spirit) is used to describe the existence of the sacred spirit in Jesus the son of Mary. Other than these, nothing is sacred but God.
This word is attributed to God at two different places in the Reading.
Huwal-lah hul-lazi laaila ha-il-laaha il-laa huwa al-malikil quddus sus-salam-mul mukminu muhai-minul a’zizu jab-barul mutakab-bir, subhanal-lah hi a’m-ma yus-rikun. (59:23)
He is the God, there is no god but Him, the Supreme Power, the Sacred, the Peace, the Faithful, the Supreme, the Almighty, the Compassionate, the Dignified, God be glorified above what they have associated with Him. (59:23)
Yu-sabihu lil-lah ma-fis-samawa ti-wa-ma fil- ard, al-malikul-qudusi, ‘zizil-hakim. (62:1)
Glorify God everything in the heaven and the earth, the King, the Sacred, the Almighty and the Judge. (62:1)
Here we see clearly that quddus is sacred and not Haram.
Baytal-Harami simply means the sanctioned system and a’inda-bayti-ka-mu-Harami means by ‘Your sanctioned system’. The religionists, however, are willing to say baytal-Harami is sacred house and that a’inda-Bayti-ka-muHarami means near Your Sacred house.
The Reading tells us Abraham was led to this bayta or system. Those who wish to follow his way should commit themselves to the same system. Abraham used the word a’inda-baytika-mu-Harami in 14:37 to indicate he wanted his progeny to live ‘by’ the sanctions in God’s system, the same system to which he is committed. It is illogical to say that Abraham told God he wished that his progeny and all the people around the world who follow his footsteps would become God’s neighbour.
- The word bayti-ya: in 2:125 God directs Abraham and Ishmael to cleanse ‘My system’ referring to God’s system, and in 22:26 it says Abraham was given a place in My system or bayti-ya. It is ridiculous to say Abraham and Ishmael cleansed a physical house belonging to God and then were given a place to share the house with God.
- In 5:2 the word aminal-bayti-Harama is mentioned to indicate God’s sanctions in the system about wildlife conservation. The sanction was prescribed for the harmonious preservation of His system.
- In 14:37 Abraham said: I am placing my progeny by Your sanctioned system (or a’inda-baytika-muHarami) meaning to say his progeny should uphold their commitments according to the sanctions prescribed in God’s system.
- In 3:97 it says: those people who are convinced may take the challenge to God’s system or Haj-jul baytin manis thadhor a’ ilaihi sabila if they can find their way to it. The verse also gives some indications that in the system there are profound signs regarding the status of Abraham.
Therefore, in the Reading bayta refers to system and not house. If we explore a little further the subject of the family of Abraham in the Reading we see the relevance of his position in God’s system – and not in God’s ‘house’.
1 The Muslims were deceived by the religionists that this word means sacred.
2 Do not upset nature. Wildlife conservation is one deed He sanctioned in the system or Baytal-harama. He created everything in the heavens and the earth in perfect balance. Thus hunting of wildlife should be allowed only during specific period.
3 The Arabs deceived everyone that this word refers to their mosque in Mecca.