halaal, halal Something that is permitted to Muslims but is not compulsory can be described as being halal. It is the opposite of haram, which means forbidden. For something to be deemed halal it must have been judged not to break any Islamic laws. One of the best known manifestations of halal in the West is food, where food is regularly described as being halal in restaurants and cafés. This is a badge of permissibility, giving Muslims the peace of mind that they can safely eat in the establishment because the food does not breach any Islamic laws, namely: it contains no pork or pork derivatives; all animals have been properly slaughtered; the food contains no alcohol or other forms of intoxicant; the food contains no meat from carnivorous animals or birds of prey; and that no food is contaminated with any of the above.
Hamas A strictly Islamist political party based in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in present-day Israel. Its main rival within the Palestinian Territories is Fatah, which shares many aims with Hamas (largely the freedom of the Arabic people from Israeli rule), but is considered by Western administrations to be more moderate and secular than Hamas.
hamish gedyyah A deposit paid by a buyer to prove that he or she is serious about a future purchase, made at the request of the seller. If the buyer then goes on not to buy the items and they are of the quality and quantity promised in the agreement, the seller will cover his or her costs from the deposit.
Hanafi One of the four main schools of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) within Sunni Islam, named after Abu Hanifa. The other three are Hanbali, Maliki and Shafi’i. With roughly one-third of all Muslims following this madh’hab, the Hanafi school is the most widely followed individual school of fiqh in the whole of Islam, largely thanks to its adoption as the dominant school in the Abbasid Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire; it is also the oldest school. The Hanafi school is considered the most liberal in that it allows reason and logic to determine decisions where the Qur’an and the Hadith cannot be found to offer solutions to specific issues.