Haram (/ˈhɛərəm, ˈhær-/; Arabic: حَرَامḥarām [ħaˈraːm]) is an Arabic term meaning forbidden.[1]:471 This may refer to: either something sacred to which access is forbidden to the people who are not in a state of purity or who are not initiated into the sacred knowledge; or to an evil thus "sinful action that is forbidden to be done". The term also denotes something "set aside", thus being the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew concept קודש qadoš, and the concept of sacer (cf. sacred) in Roman law and religion. In Islamic jurisprudence, haram is used to refer to any act that is forbidden by Allah, and is one of five Islamic commandments (الأحكام الخمسة‎ (al-ahkam al-khamsah)) that define the morality of human action.[2]

Acts that are haram are typically prohibited in the religious texts of the Quran and the Sunnah category of haram is the highest status of prohibition. If something is considered haram, it remains prohibited no matter how good the intention is or how honorable the purpose is.[3] A haram is converted into a gravitational force on the day of judgment and placed on mizan (weighing scales).[4][5] Views of different madhabs can vary significantly regarding what is or is not haram.[6]


Actions that are haram result in harm, and are therefore considered a sin if carried out by a Muslim.[7]

They ask ye about wine and gambling. Say, "In them is great sin and (yet, some) benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit..."

— [Quran 2:219]

By bringing up the word "benefit" as an opposite to "sin" the verse 2:219 of Quran clarifies that haram is that which is harmful. In fact, everything becomes meaningful with their opposite; e.g. if there is no cold we never understand what heat is. So sin is that which hurts us. When God says "Do not", He means "do not hurt yourself". An Islamic principle related to haram is that if something is prohibited, then anything that leads to it is also considered haram. A similar principle is that the sin of haram is not limited to the person who engages in the prohibited activity, but the sin also extends to others who support the person in the activity, whether it be material or moral support.[8]

The five categories of الأحكام الخمسة (al-ahkam al-khamsah) or the hierarchy of acts from permitted to non-permitted are:[2][9]

  1. واجب / فرض (farḍ/wājib) – "Compulsory"/"duty"
  2. مستحب (mustaḥabb) – Recommended, "desirable"
  3. مباح (mubāḥ) – Neutral, "permissible"
  4. مكروه (makrūh) – Disliked
  5. حرام (ḥarām) – Sinful, "prohibited"

The two types of haram are:

  1. الحرام لذاته (al-ḥarām li-ḏātihi) – Prohibited because of its essence and harm it causes to an individual
  2. الحرام لغيره (al-ḥarām li-ġayrihi) – Prohibited because of external reasons that are not fundamentally harmful but are associated to something that is prohibited [10]
    • Ill-gotten wealth obtained through sin. Examples include money earned through cheating, stealing, corruption, murder and Interest or any means that involves harm to another human being. Also, a deal or sale during Friday's prayers salat al-jumu'ah. It is prohibited in Islam for a Muslim to profit from such haram actions. Any believer who benefits from or lives off wealth obtained through haram is a sinner.
    • Prayer in a house taken illegally.

The religious term haram, based on the Quran, is applied to:

  • Actions, such as premarital sex, murder, or getting a tattoo.
  • Policies, such as riba (usury, interest).
  • Certain food and drink, such as pork and alcohol.
  • Some ḥalāl objects, foods or actions that are normally halal but under some conditions become haram. For example, halal food and drinks at noon-time during Ramadan, or a cow or another halal animal that is not slaughtered in the Islamic way and in the name of Allah (God).
  • Certain inaction, such as abandoning the salah.


Linguistically, the root of the term haram [compare Ancient Hebrew herem, meaning 'devoted to God', 'forbidden for profane use'] is used to form a wide range of other terms that have legal implications, such as hariim (a harem) and ihraam (a state of purity). In addition, the same word (haram) is used in the Quran to denote the sacred nature of the Ka'ba and the areas of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem.[11] This category of sacred, holy, and inviolable also includes spouses and university campuses.[12] As such, the legal use of the root ح-ر-م is based on an idea of boundaries between the profane and the sacred, as opposed to prohibitions, as is normally assumed.

Colloquially, the word haram takes on different meanings and operates more closely as a dichotomy with halal, which denotes the permissible. In Arabic-speaking countries, saying "haram" can mean 'what a shame' or 'what a pity' (this meaning has been adopted by Modern Hebrew slang as well, and is alike to the Italian use of peccato). The term can be used formally as a method for chastising strangers who behave inappropriately, or between friends as a form of teasing. The word is also used to instruct children in how to behave by telling them that harming other children or animals is haram, among other things.

The binary concepts of halal and haram are used in a number of cultural phrases, most notably ibn (boy) al-halal and bint (girl) al-halal. These phrases are often used to refer to appropriate spouses in marriage, and stand in contrast to ibn al-haram or bint al-haram, which are used as insults. In this case, the term haram is used to mean ill-mannered or indecent, instead of strictly meaning 'unlawful'. Halal and haram are also used in regards to money (mal). Mal al-haram means ill-gotten money, and brings destruction on those who make their living through such means.[13]

These cultural interpretations of what is haram influence and are influenced by the legal definitions used at the local level. This means that popular conceptions of haram are partly based on formal Islamic Jurisprudence and partly on regional culture, and the popular conceptions in turn change how the legal system defines and punishes haram actions.[14]

Forbidden categories of action

Food and intoxicants

In Islam, prohibitions on illegal acts or objects are observed by Muslims in accordance to their obedience to the Quranic commands.[15] In Islamic law, dietary prohibitions are said to help with the understanding of divine will.

Regarding haram meat, Muslims are prohibited from consuming flowing blood. Meats that are considered haram, such as pork, dog, cat, monkey, or any other haram animals, can only be considered lawful in emergencies when a person is facing starvation and his life has to be saved through the consumption of this meat.[16] However, necessity does not exist if the society possesses excess food. Haram foods do not become permissible when a person is in a society with excess food because the Islamic community is like a single body supporting its members, and should offer halal foods to the fellow Muslim.[17] Certain meats are deemed haram if the animal is not properly slaughtered. A halal slaughter involves a sharp knife that the animal does not see before it is slaughtered;[18] the animal must be well rested and fed before the slaughtering, and the slaughtering may not take place in front of other animals.[18] This preparation is done in order to serve the Muslim population. The proper slaughtering process involves cutting the jugular veins of the neck, in order to drain all of the blood out of the fully conscious animal. During the slaughtering process, Allah's name should be recited, by saying "Bismillah" in order to take the animal's life to meet the lawful need of food.[19][20] Animals that are slaughtered in a name other than Allah are prohibited because this goes against the belief in the oneness of Allah.

There are a number of Quranic verses regarding the prohibition of meat in Islam:

He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which has been immolated to (the name of) any other than God. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! God is Forgiving, Merciful.

— [Quran 2:173]

How should ye not eat of that over which the name of God hath been mentioned, when He hath explained unto you that which is forbidden unto you unless ye are compelled thereto. But lo! many are led astray by their own lusts through ignorance. Lo! thy Lord, He is Best Aware of the transgressors.

— [Quran 6:119]

Alcoholic intoxicants are prohibited in Islam. Khamr is the Arabic word for alcoholic drinks that cause intoxication.[21] The Prophet declared that the prohibition was not only placed on wine, but the prohibition also included beer and other alcoholic beverages that intoxicate a person. The Prophet also forbade the trading of these intoxicants, even with non-Muslims. It is not permissible for a Muslim to import or export alcoholic beverages, or to work in or own a place that sells these intoxicants.[22] Giving intoxicants as a gift is also considered haram.[23]

Other intoxicants, such as tobacco, paan, dokha, and khat have been deemed forbidden by a some scholars.

Regarding foods vanilla extract and gelatin are also forbidden either due to being an intoxicant themselves, containing certain percentages of alcohol or other forbidden items such as pig parts.

There are also a number of hadith regarding the prohibition of meat and intoxicants in Islam:

In an incident narrated by Rafi ibn Khadij, Muhammad told Muslims who wanted to slaughter some animals using reeds,

Use whatever causes blood to flow, and eat the animals if the Name of Allah has been mentioned on slaughtering them ...

— Bukhari

Allah's Messenger forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs.

— Narrated by Bukhari, Narrated Abu Thaʻlabah

The Prophet said: "Allah has forbidden alcoholic drinks. Whoever this verse reaches while they still possess any of it, they are not to drink nor to sell."

— Narrated by Abu Saʻid, Muslim

Marriage and family life

Islam is very strict in prohibiting zina, whether it be adultery or sexual intercourse between two unmarried individuals. Zina is considered to lead to confusion of lineage, leniency in morals, the disconnection among families, and unstable relationships. It is also considered haram to look at members of the opposite sex with desire.[24][25]

There are Quranic verses on the prohibition of fornication:

And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way.

— [Quran 17:32]

Those who invoke not, with God, any other god, nor slay such life as God has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication – and any that does this (not only) meets punishment.

— [Quran 25:68]

In terms of marriage proposals, it is considered haram for a Muslim man to propose to a divorced or widowed woman during her Iddah (the waiting period during which she is not allowed to marry again). The man is able to express his desire for marriage, but cannot execute an actual proposal. It is also forbidden for a Muslim man to propose to a woman who is engaged to another man.[26]

It is considered haram for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man. This is due to the idea that the man is the head of the household, the one who supports the family, and the man is considered responsible for his wife. Muslims do not believe in giving women to the hands of those who do not practice Islam and having them responsible over Muslim women because they are not concerned with protecting the rites of the religion.[27][28]

Abortions are considered haram because Islam does not allow violence to be done once the pregnancy has occurred. However, this excludes the situation when the life of the mother is in jeopardy; then the abortion is no longer considered haram.[29]


According to Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, implementing a divorce during a woman's menstrual period is prohibited because during such a period, sexual relations are considered haram, so it is possible that the idea of divorce came to a man's mind due to sexual frustration or nervous tension.[30] It is also not considered permissible for a Muslim to take an oath of divorce, which involves stating that if a particular event does not occur, then there will be a divorce. This also involves threatening a spouse if they do not do something, then they will be divorced.[31] According to the shariah, the most suitable time for a divorce is when the woman is clean following her menstrual period or the period of puerperal discharge following birth and before her husband has resumed sexual relations with her.

Business ethics

Riba, any excessive addition over and above the principal, such as usury and interest, is prohibited in Islam in all forms. Interest goes against the Islamic pillar of Zakat which allows wealth to flow from the rich to the poor. Riba is prohibited because it keeps wealth in the hands of the wealthy and keeps it away from the poor. It is also believed that riba makes a man selfish and greedy.[32][33] In relation to this, cashback reward programs are also prohibited.

All business and trade practices that do not result in free and fair exchange of goods and services are considered haram, such as bribery, stealing, and gambling. Therefore, all forms of deceit and dishonesty in business are prohibited in Islam.[32][34]

There are a number of Quranic verses that relate to the prohibition of unethical business practices:

O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubling and quadrupling (the sum lent). Observe your duty to Allah, that ye may be successful.

— [Quran 3:130]

Allah hath blighted usury and made almsgiving fruitful. Allah loveth not the impious and guilty

— [Quran 2:276]


It is considered haram for a father to deprive his children of an inheritance. It is also haram for a father to deprive the females or the children of a wife who is not favorable to him an inheritance. Additionally, it is haram for one relative to deprive another relative of his inheritance through tricks.[35]

Clothing and adornment

In Islam, both gold adornments and silk cloths are prohibited for men to wear, but are permissible for women as long as they are not used to sexually attract men (other than their husbands). The prohibition of these adornments is part of a broader Islamic principle of avoiding luxurious lifestyles.[36]

It is considered haram for women to wear clothing that fails to cover the body properly and clothes that are transparent. Additionally, Islam prohibits excess beautifying that involves the altering of one's physical appearance. Physical alterations that are considered haram are tattoos and shortening of teeth.[37]

Islam also prohibits the use of gold and silver utensils and pure silk spreads in the household in order to avoid luxurious lifestyles in the home.[38] Statues are also prohibited in homes, and Muslims are prohibited from participating in making statues because of the idea of negating the Oneness of Allah.[39]


It is considered a sin for a Muslim to worship anyone other than Allah, which is known as shirk.

The following is a Quranic verse on shirk:

Say: I am forbidden to worship those on whom ye call instead of God. Say: I will not follow your desires, for then should I go astray and I should not be of the rightly guided.

— [Quran 6:56]

The following is a Hadith relating to the practice of shirk:

It is reported on the authority of Ibn Masʻūd that Muhammad said: "Whoever died while supplicating another deity besides Allah, will enter the Fire."

— Narrated by Bukhari

See also


  1. ^ Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi (26 March 2016). The Laws of Islam (PDF). Enlight Press. ISBN 978-0994240989. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b Adamec, Ludwig (2009). Historical Dictionary of Islam, 2nd Edition. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 102. ISBN 9780810861619.
  3. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 26.
  4. ^ American-Arab Message – p. 92, Muhammad Karoub – 2006
  5. ^ The Holy City: Jerusalem in the theology of the Old Testament – p. 20, Leslie J. Hoppe – 2000
  6. ^ The Palgrave Handbook of Spirituality and Business – p. 142, Professor Luk Bouckaert, Professor Laszlo Zsolnai – 2011
  7. ^ Faruki, Kemal (March 1966). "Al-Ahkam Al-Khamsah: The Five Values". Islamic Studies. 5: 43.
  8. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 22.
  9. ^ Gibb, H. A. R. (editor) (1960). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill. p. 257.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Mahbubi Ali, Mohammad; Lokmanulhakim Hussain (9 February 2013). "A Framework of Income Purification for Islamic Financial Institutions". Proceeding of Sharia Economics Conference: 109.
  11. ^ McAuliffe, Jane Dammen (2001). "Forbidden". Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an. 2: 224–225.
  12. ^ Al Jallad, Nader (2008). "The concepts of al-haram in the Arab-Muslim culture: a translational and lexicographical study" (PDF). Language Design. 10: 80.
  13. ^ Al Jallad, Nader (2008). "The concepts of al-halal and al-haram in the Arab-Muslim culture: a translational and lexicographical study". Language Design. 10: 81–84.
  14. ^ Nanji, Azim A, editor (1996). The Muslim Almanac: A Reference Work on the History, Faith, Culture, and Peoples of Islam. Detroit: Gale Research Inc. p. 273.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Siddiqui, Mona (2012). The Good Muslim. Cambridge University Press. p. 88.
  16. ^ Samiullah, Muhammad (Spring 1982). "The Meat: Lawful and Unlawful in Islam". Islamic Studies. 21 (1): 75.
  17. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 46.
  18. ^ a b Chaudry, Dr. Muhammad Munir; Regenstein, Joe M. (2009). "Animal Welfare Policy and Practice: Cultural and Religious Issues" (PDF). OIE: Organisation for Animal Health. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  19. ^ Samiullah, Muhammad (Spring 1982). "The Meat: Lawful and Unlawful in Islam". Islamic Studies. 21 (1): 76.
  20. ^ Samiullah, Muhammad (Spring 1982). "The Meat: Lawful and Unlawful in Islam". Islamic Studies. 21 (1): 77.
  21. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 67.
  22. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 68.
  23. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 70.
  24. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 146.
  25. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 148.
  26. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 171.
  27. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 179.
  28. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 180.
  29. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 196.
  30. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 207.
  31. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 208.
  32. ^ a b Samiullah, Muhammad (Summer 1982). "Prohibition of Riba (Interest) & Insurance in the Light of Islam". Islamic Studies. 2. 21: 53.
  33. ^ Samiullah, Muhammad (Summer 1982). "Prohibition of Riba (Interest) & Insurance in the Light of Islam". Islamic Studies. 2. 21: 54.
  34. ^ Samiullah, Muhammad (Summer 1982). "Prohibition of Riba (Interest) & Insurance in the Light of Islam". Islamic Studies. 2. 21: 58.
  35. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 226.
  36. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 82.
  37. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 85.
  38. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 96.
  39. ^ Al-Qardawi, Yusuf (1999). The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications. p. 99.

External links

1979 Grand Mosque seizure

The Grand Mosque seizure occurred during November and December 1979 when insurgents calling for the overthrow of the House of Saud took over Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The insurgents declared that the Mahdi (the "redeemer of Islam") had arrived in the form of one of their leaders – Mohammed Abdullah al-Qahtani – and called on Muslims to obey him. For nearly two weeks Saudi Special Forces, assisted by Pakistani and French commandos, fought battles to reclaim the compound.The seizure of Islam's holiest site, the taking of hostages from among the worshippers and the deaths of hundreds of militants, security forces and hostages caught in the crossfire in the ensuing battles for control of the site, shocked the Islamic world. The siege ended two weeks after the takeover began and the mosque was cleared. Al-Qahtani was killed in the recapture of the mosque but Juhayman and 67 of his fellow rebels who survived the assault were captured and later beheaded.Following the attack, the Saudi King Khaled implemented a stricter enforcement of Shariah (Islamic law), he gave the ulama and religious conservatives more power over the next decade, and religious police became more assertive.

2015 Niger raid

The 2015 Niger raid was an unsuccessful assault on the Nigerien towns Bosso and Diffa, perpetrated by Boko Haram. The incident occurred on 6 February 2015, marking the first major Boko Haram incursion into Niger.

2015 West African offensive

Starting in late January 2015, a coalition of West African troops launched an offensive against the Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria.

Abad-e Eram Posht

Abad-e Eram Posht (Persian: ابادارم پشت‎, also Romanized as Abād-e Eram Posht; also known as Eram Dasht, Eram Posht, Ḩaram Posht, and Qal‘ehābād) is a village in Baraan-e Shomali Rural District, in the Central District of Isfahan County, Isfahan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 296, in 62 families.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

Al-Aqsa Mosque (Arabic: ٱلْـمَـسْـجِـد الْاَقْـصَى‎, translit. Al-Masjid al-Aqṣā, IPA: [ʔælˈmæsdʒɪd ælˈʔɑqsˤɑ] (listen), "the Farthest Mosque"), located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is the third holiest site in Islam. The mosque was built on top of the Temple Mount, known as Haram esh-Sharif in Islam. Muslims believe that Muhammad was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to al-Aqsa during the Night Journey. Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad led prayers towards this site until the 17th month after his migration from Mecca to Medina, when Allāh directed him to turn towards the Kaaba in Mecca.

The covered mosque building was originally a small prayer house erected by Umar, the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, but was rebuilt and expanded by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik and finished by his son al-Walid in 705 CE. The mosque was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 746 and rebuilt by the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur in 754. It was rebuilt again in 780. Another earthquake destroyed most of al-Aqsa in 1033, but two years later the Fatimid caliph Ali az-Zahir built another mosque whose outline is preserved in the current structure. The mosaics on the arch at the qibla end of the nave also go back to his time.

During the periodic renovations undertaken, the various ruling dynasties of the Islamic Caliphate constructed additions to the mosque and its precincts, such as its dome, facade, its minbar, minarets and the interior structure. When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, they used the mosque as a palace and the Dome of the Rock as a church, but its function as a mosque was restored after its recapture by Saladin in 1187. More renovations, repairs and additions were undertaken in the later centuries by the Ayyubids, Mamluks, Ottomans, the Supreme Muslim Council, and Jordan. Today, the Old City is under Israeli control, but the mosque remains under the administration of the Jordanian/Palestinian-led Islamic Waqf.

The mosque is located in close proximity to historical sites significant in Judaism and Christianity, most notably the site of the Second Temple, the holiest site in Judaism. As a result, the area is highly sensitive, and has been a flashpoint in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Al-Haram, Jaffa

Al-Haram (El Haram ʿAly Ibn ʿAleim, also Sayyiduna Ali or Sidna Ali "sanctuary of ʿAli [Ibn ʿAleim]"), was a Palestinian Arab village in the Jaffa Subdistrict, in Mandatory Palestine. It was located 16 km north of Jaffa, adjacent to the ruins of the medieval fortress of Arsuf, and its extent was estimated to range between 9,653 and 11,698 dunams of which 5,150 were accounted for in the cadastral registrations. It was depopulated during the 1948 war.

Boko Haram

The Islamic State in West Africa or Islamic State's West Africa Province (abbreviated as ISWA or ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād (Arabic: جماعة أهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد‎, "Group of the People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad") and commonly known as Boko Haram until March 2015, is a jihadist terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon.Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the group has been led by Abubakar Shekau since 2009. When Boko Haram first formed, their actions were nonviolent. Their main goal was to "purify Islam in northern Nigeria." From March 2015 to August 2016, the group was aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Since the current insurgency started in 2009, Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was ranked as the world's deadliest terror group by the Global Terrorism Index in 2015.After its founding in 2002, Boko Haram's increasing radicalisation led to a violent uprising in July 2009 in which its leader was summarily executed. Its unexpected resurgence, following a mass prison break in September 2010, was accompanied by increasingly sophisticated attacks, initially against soft targets, but progressing in 2011 to include suicide bombings of police buildings and the United Nations office in Abuja. The government's establishment of a state of emergency at the beginning of 2012, extended in the following year to cover the entire northeast of Nigeria, led to an increase in both security force abuses and militant attacks.Of the 2.3 million people displaced by the conflict since May 2013, at least 250,000 have left Nigeria and fled into Cameroon, Chad or Niger. Boko Haram killed over 6,600 in 2014. The group have carried out mass abductions including the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014. Corruption in the security services and human rights abuses committed by them have hampered efforts to counter the unrest.In mid-2014, the militants gained control of swathes of territory in and around their home state of Borno, estimated at 50,000 square kilometres (20,000 sq mi) in January 2015, but did not capture the state capital, Maiduguri, where the group was originally based. On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, rebranding as Islamic State in West Africa. In September 2015, the Director of Information at the Defence Headquarters of Nigeria announced that all Boko Haram camps had been destroyed.

Boko Haram insurgency

The Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009, when the jihadist group Boko Haram started an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. The conflict takes place within the context of long-standing issues of religious violence between Nigeria's Muslim and Christian communities, and the insurgents' ultimate aim is to establish an Islamic state in the region.

Boko Haram's initial uprising failed, and its leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed by the Nigerian government. The movement consequently fractured into autonomous groups and started an insurgency, though rebel commander Abubakar Shekau managed to achieve a kind of primacy among the insurgents. Though challenged by internal rivals, such as Abu Usmatul al-Ansari's Salafist conservative faction and the Ansaru faction, Shekau became the insurgency's de facto leader and mostly kept the different Boko Haram factions from fighting each other, instead focusing on overthrowing the Nigerian government. Supported by other Jihadist organizations such as al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab, Shekau's tactics were marked by extreme brutality and explicit targeting of civilians.

After years of fighting, the insurgents became increasingly aggressive, and started to seize large areas in northeastern Nigeria. The violence escalated dramatically in 2014, with 10,849 deaths, while Boko Haram drastically expanded its territories. At the same time, the insurgency spread to neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, thus becoming a major regional conflict. Meanwhile, Shekau attempted to improve his international standing among Jihadists by tacitly aligning with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in March 2015, with Boko Haram becoming the "Islamic State's West Africa Province" (ISWAP).

The insurgents were driven back during the 2015 West African offensive by a Nigeria-led coalition of African and Western states, forcing the Islamists to retreat into Sambisa Forest and bases at Lake Chad. Discontent about various issues consequently grew among Boko Haram. Dissidents among the movement allied themselves with ISIL's central command and challenged Shekau's leadership, resulting in a violent split of the insurgents. Since then, Shekau and his loyalist group are generally referred to as "Boko Haram", whereas the dissidents continued to operate as ISWAP under Abu Musab al-Barnawi. The two factions consequently fought against each other while waging insurgencies against the local governments. After a period of reversals, Boko Haram and ISWAP launched new offensives in 2018 and 2019, again growing in strength.

Boko Haram has been called the world's deadliest terrorist group, in terms of the number of people it has killed.

Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping

On the night of 14–15 April 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria. Responsibility for the kidnappings was claimed by Boko Haram, an extremist terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria. 57 of the schoolgirls managed to escape over the next few months and some have described their capture in appearances at international human rights conferences. A child born to one of the girls and believed by medical personnel to be about 20 months old also was released, according to the Nigerian president's office.Since then hopes were raised on various occasions that the 219 remaining girls might be released. Newspaper reports suggested that Boko Haram was hoping to use the girls as negotiating pawns in exchange for some of their commanders in jail.In May 2016, one of the missing girls, Amina Ali, was found. She claimed that the remaining girls were still there, but that six had died. A further 21 girls were freed in October 2016, while another was rescued the next month. Another was found in January 2017. 82 more girls were freed in May 2017. One of the girls was rescued in January 2018.

Great Mosque of Mecca

The Great Mosque of Mecca (Arabic: ٱلْـمَـسْـجِـد ٱلْـحَـرَام‎, translit. al-Masjid al-Ḥarām, lit. 'The Sacred Mosque') is a mosque that surrounds the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is a site of pilgrimage for the Hajj, which every Muslim must do at least once in their lives if able, the rites of which includes circumambulating the Kaaba within the mosque. It is also the main phase for the ‘Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage that can be undertaken any time of the year. The Great Mosque includes other important significant sites, including the Black Stone, the Zamzam Well, Maqam Ibrahim, and the hills Safa and Marwa. It is open, regardless of date or time.The Great Mosque is the largest mosque in the world and has undergone major renovations and expansions through the years. It has passed through the control of various caliphs, sultans and kings, and is now under the control of the King of Saudi Arabia who is titled the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. It is located in front of the Abraj Al Bait, the tallest clock tower in the world, the construction of which has been surrounded by controversy concerning the destruction of early Islamic heritage sites by the Saudi government.


Halal (; Arabic: حلال‎ ḥalāl, "permissible"), also spelled hallal or halaal, refers to what is permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law. It is frequently applied to permissible food and drinks.

In the Quran, the word halal is contrasted with haram (forbidden). In Islamic jurisprudence, this binary opposition was elaborated into a more complex classification known as "the five decisions": mandatory, recommended, neutral, reprehensible, and forbidden. Islamic jurists disagree on whether the term halal covers the first three or the first four of these categories. In recent times, Islamic movements seeking to mobilize the masses and authors writing for a popular audience have emphasized the simpler distinction of halal and haram.The term halal is particularly associated with Islamic dietary laws, and especially meat processed and prepared in accordance with those requirements.

Haram, Iran

Haram (Persian: حرم علياوحرم سفلي‎, also Romanized as Ḩaram-ye ‘Olyā va Ḩaram-ye Soflá; also known as Ḩaram Qeshlāq) is a village in Yaft Rural District, Moradlu District, Meshgin Shahr County, Ardabil Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 29, in 7 families.

Haram (site)

The Arabic term ḥaram (Arabic: حَـرَم‎) has a meaning of "sanctuary" or "holy shrine" in the Islamic faith or Arabic language.

Haram Rud-e Olya Rural District

Haram Rud-e Olya Rural District (Persian: دهستان حرم رودعليا‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in the Central District of Malayer County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 8,251, in 2,106 families. The rural district has 18 villages.

Haram Rud-e Sofla Rural District

Haram Rud-e Sofla Rural District (Persian: دهستان حرم رودسفلي‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in Samen District, Malayer County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 9,194, in 2,405 families. The rural district has 17 villages.


Maiduguri , also called Yerwa by locals, is the capital and the largest city of Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria. The city sits along the seasonal Ngadda River which disappears into the Firki swamps in the areas around Lake Chad. Maiduguri was founded in 1907 as a military outpost by the British and has since grown rapidly with a population exceeding a million by 2007.


Muḥarram (Arabic: مُحَرَّم‎) is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year during which warfare is forbidden. It is held to be the second holiest month, after Ramaḍān. Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, Muharram moves from year to year when compared with the Gregorian calendar.

The tenth day of Muharram is known as the Day of Ashura, part of the Mourning of Muharram for Shia Muslims and a day of fasting for Sunni Muslims. The practice of fasting during Ashura stems from the hadith that Musa (Moses) and his people obtained a victory over the Egyptian Pharaoh on the 10th day of Muharram; accordingly Muhammad asked Muslims to fast on this day and on the day prior, the Day of Tasu'a.

Shia Muslims mourn the death of Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī and his family, honoring the martyrs by prayer and abstinence from joyous events. Shia Muslims do not fast on the 10th of Muharram, but some will not eat or drink until zawal (afternoon) to show their sympathy with Husayn. In addition there is an important ziyarat book, the Ziyarat Ashura about Husayn ibn Ali. In the Shia sect, it is popular to read this ziyarat on this date.


Muzdalifah (Arabic: مُـزْدَلِـفَـة‎) is an open, level area near Mecca in Saudi Arabia that is associated with the Ḥajj (Arabic: حَـجّ‎, "Pilgrimage"). It lies just southeast of Mina, on the route between Mina and Arafat.

Temple Mount

The Temple Mount (Hebrew: הַר הַבַּיִת‎, Har HaBáyit, "Mount of the House (of God, i.e. the Temple in Jerusalem)"), known to Muslims as the Haram esh-Sharif (Arabic: الحرم الشريف‎, al-Ḥaram al-Šarīf, "the Noble Sanctuary", or الحرم القدسي الشريف, al-Ḥaram al-Qudsī al-Šarīf, "the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem") and the Al Aqsa Compound is a hill located in the Old City of Jerusalem that for thousands of years has been venerated as a holy site, in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike.

The present site is a flat plaza surrounded by retaining walls (including the Western Wall) which was built during the reign of Herod the Great for an expansion of the temple. The plaza is dominated by three monumental structures from the early Umayyad period: the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Dome of the Chain, as well as four minarets. Herodian walls and gates, with additions from the late Byzantine and early Islamic periods, cut through the flanks of the Mount. Currently it can be reached through eleven gates, ten reserved for Muslims and one for non-Muslims, with guard posts of Israeli police in the vicinity of each.According to the Bible, the Jewish Temples stood on the Temple Mount. According to Jewish tradition and scripture, the First Temple was built by King Solomon the son of King David in 957 BCE and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE – however no substantial archaeological evidence has verified this. The second was constructed under the auspices of Zerubbabel in 516 BCE and destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 CE. Jewish tradition maintains it is here that a third and final Temple will also be built. The location is the holiest site in Judaism and is the place Jews turn towards during prayer. Due to its extreme sanctity, many Jews will not walk on the Mount itself, to avoid unintentionally entering the area where the Holy of Holies stood, since according to Rabbinical law, some aspect of the divine presence is still present at the site.Among Muslims, the Mount is the site of one of the three Sacred Mosques, the holiest sites in Islam. Amongst Sunni Muslims, it is considered the third holiest site in Islam. Revered as the Noble Sanctuary, the location of Muhammad's journey to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven, the site is also associated with Jewish biblical prophets who are also venerated in Islam. Umayyad Caliphs commissioned the construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock on the site. The Dome was completed in 692 CE, making it one of the oldest extant Islamic structures in the world. The Al Aqsa Mosque rests on the far southern side of the Mount, facing Mecca. The Dome of the Rock currently sits in the middle, occupying or close to the area where the Holy Temple previously stood.In light of the dual claims of both Judaism and Islam, it is one of the most contested religious sites in the world. Since the Crusades, the Muslim community of Jerusalem has managed the site as a Waqf. The Temple Mount is within the Old City, which has been controlled by Israel since 1967. After the Six-Day War, Israel handed administration of the site back to the Waqf under Jordanian custodianship, while maintaining Israeli security control. It remains a major focal point of the Arab–Israeli conflict. In an attempt to keep the status quo, the Israeli government enforces a controversial ban on prayer by non-Muslims.

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