Why Pork is Forbidden in Islam?

Islam is a holistic way of life, taking into account physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being, each a separate but overlapping part of the structure of a human being. God created us with a purpose; to worship Him, (Quran 51:56) but He did not abandon us to a world of instability and insecurity. He gave us a book of guidance, the Quran, and the example of Prophets and

Messengers to explain that trusting in God was the way for us to achieve success in this life and in the hereafter. A Muslim spends his or her life endeavoring to please God by worshipping Him and obeying His laws, or rules.

One of those rules is that eating pork, or pork products is forbidden. At first, one might wonder what harm could come from pork, a product eaten in many parts of the world, and the fact that pork

contains parasites and diseases harmful to man may spring to mind as a justifiable reason for abstaining. However, when analysing

why Muslims are forbidden to eat pork, this becomes a secondary reason. Muslims simply do not eat pork or pork products because God has prohibited it.

“He has forbidden you only dead animals, and blood, and the swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than God.” (Quran 2:173)

Sometimes we may never know or understand why God has ordained some things and prohibited others. In the case of pork, no specific reason for the prohibition is given except in Quran 6: 145 when God says, in reference to the flesh of swine (pig), “for that surely is impure”.

A Muslim submits to God’s commands willingly, without needing to know the reason behind the divine rule. Moreover, God has expressly stated that a believer hears the words of his Lord and obeys them.

“‘We hear, and we obey.’ And such are the successful (who will live forever in Paradise).” (Quran 24:51)

“When God and His Messenger have decreed a matter, they (the believers) should not have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys God and His Messenger; he has indeed strayed into a plain error.” (Quran 33:36)

A believer understands that God is the Most Wise and the Most Just; therefore, His rules are designed to benefit us in our daily

needs, be they physical, emotional, or spiritual. The Creator acutely aware of the dangers of eating things that are forbidden

and therefore, make concerted efforts to seek out permissible food, even if it involves extra effort or expense. If a believer consumes pork unknowingly or by mistake, there is no sin of him or her. God does not punish anyone for lack of knowledge, nor for unintentional mistakes or forgetfulness.

However, if a believer is certain, or thinks that any pork, or pork products may be in his food, drinks, or medicines then it is not permissible for him or her to consume it.

If he has doubts, then he must make an effort to inquire about the ingredients or ask for details. 2 Nowadays knowledge about ingredients and the manufacturing process is readily available, and the prohibition applies whether there is a small amount of pork or pork products, or a large amount.

The scholars of Islam differ over the issue of whether or not changing the form of the impurity (in this case pork products) lifts the prohibition. The Islamic Organisation for Medical Sciences is of the opinion that changing the form (for example, food, and medicine additives) so that it becomes something different, does lift the prohibition.

However, there is no doubt and no difference of opinion that it is forbidden to consume meat derived from the pig, including ham and bacon.

The recent outbreak of swine flu in Mexico and North America led some countries to slaughter pigs en masse however there is ample scientific evidence to suggest that pigs harbor parasites that are harmful to humans and the pig has long been considered

the ideal breeding ground for influenza. knows the best way for His creation to live in this world and prepare for the next. It is not permissible for a Muslim to consume pork under any circumstances except in cases of dire necessity, such as, if a person’s life depends on eating it. In cases of dire necessity, prohibited things are permitted.

God allows us to enjoy all the good lawful things and forbids us to partake of those things that may be harmful to our beliefs, health, wellbeing, or morals. 1 Consequently, Muslims are In Part 1 we discussed the primary reason for Muslims abstaining from eating pork and pork products, and that is, that God has forbidden it.

As the Creator of humankind and all that exists, God knows what is good for us, and He has sent guidance enabling us to make wise decisions.

Just as a computer would not work properly if it were incorrectly programmed, a human being is not able to function if he is not nourished correctly. Islam is a holistic religion that recognises the interconnectedness of spiritual, emotional, and physical health. What a person eats, and drinks has a direct bearing on their overall health and well-being.

Virologists have long been aware that the pig is an ideal breeding ground for influenza, so it is no surprise that the latest threat, swine flu, originated in pigs. Microbiologist and immunology expert, Dr Graham Burgess says, “Viruses that would normally grow in the chicken can potentially grow in the pig.

And ones that grow in humans will potentially grow in pigs. So, we consider the pig a great mixing pot for viruses, and this is where it can play a real role in generating new viruses”.

The pig is known to harbor parasites as well as bacteria and viruses. Cysticercosis is an infection caused by the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. Infection occurs when the tapeworm larvae enter the body and form cysticerci (cysts). When cysticerci are found in the brain, the condition is called neurocysticercosis.

This tapeworm in pigs is found worldwide but is most problematic in poor and developing countries where pigs are allowed to roam freely and often eat human faeces.

This infection can occur even in modern developed countries but the CDC reports that it is very rare in Muslim countries where eating pork is forbidden. 4 Trichinellosis, also called trichinosis, is caused by eating raw or undercooked meat of animals infected with the larvae of a species of worm called Trichinella.

Infection occurs most commonly in certain wild carnivorous (meat-eating) animals, but it may also occur in domestic pigs. The CDC warns that if a human eats meat containing infective Trichinella cysts, the acid in the stomach dissolves the hard covering of the cyst and releases the worms.

The worms pass into the small intestine and, in 1-2 days, become mature. After mating, adult females lay eggs. These eggs develop into immature worms, travel through the arteries, and are transported to muscles. Within the muscles, the worms curl into a ball and encyst (become enclosed in a capsule).

This infection occurs when these encysted worms are consumed in meat. The number of cases of trichinellosis throughout the world has steadily decreased due to an awareness of the dangers of eating raw and undercooked pork products and legislation prohibiting feeding raw meat garbage to pigs. 5

Pigs are omnivores, which means they consume both plants and animals. Pigs will scavenge and eat any type of food, including dead insects, worms, tree bark, rotting carcasses, garbage, and even other pigs. Pigs have very few sweat glands so therefore they are unable to completely rid their bodies of toxins. New evidence indicates that farming practices are leading directly to the spread of human bacterial infections.

Pigs often live in the small spaces and fetid conditions that exist in many modern factory farms and studies are revealing that pigs frequently harbour antibiotic resistant staph bacteria. This drug resistant bacterium is now entering our food supply. 

And recent investigations in the United States of America indicate that 49% of pigs and 45% of pig workers now harbour these bacteria responsible for killing more than 18,000 people in the US every year. 6 “He has forbidden you only dead animals, and blood, and the flesh of swine…” (Quran 2:173)

“For that surely is impure” (Quran 6:145) Muslims refrain from eating pork and pork products because God has forbidden it. However, a little investigation into the anatomy and lifestyle of the pig reveals that it is certainly an unclean animal. Those interested in consuming healthy, natural, and pure foods would do well to abstain from pork and pork products.

Despite the Bible having been partially corrupted from an Islamic point of view, we as Muslims acknowledge that there is some truth remaining within the existing Bible as a testimony against those who have chosen to corrupt the Bible and violate Almighty Allah’s ten commandments and the rest of his rules.

34 Bible Verses about pork

Deuteronomy 14:8

The pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, it is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses.

Leviticus 11:7

and the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you.

Isaiah 66:17

“Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go to the gardens, Following one in the center,

Who eat swine’s flesh, detestable things and mice, Will come to an end altogether,” declares the Lord.

Isaiah 65:4

Who sit among graves and spend the night in secret places; Who eat swine’s flesh, And the broth of unclean meat is in their pots.

Leviticus 11:12

Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you.

Leviticus 11:35

Everything, moreover, on which part of their carcass may fall becomes unclean; an oven or a stove shall be smashed; they are unclean and shall continue as unclean to you.

Leviticus 11:8

You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.

1 Corinthians 10:27

If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake.

Leviticus 11:3

Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat.

Matthew 8:32

And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.

Deuteronomy 14:21

“You shall not eat anything which dies of itself. You may give it to the alien who is in your town, so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Acts 10:14

But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.”

Matthew 7:6

“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Leviticus 11:9

‘These you may eat, whatever is in the water: all that have fins and scales, those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat.

Proverbs 11:22

As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.

2 Peter 2:22

It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

Romans 14:21

It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.

Romans 14:20

Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense.

Matthew 8:31

The demons began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.”

Colossians 2:21

“Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”

Romans 14:3

The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.

Luke 8:33

And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

Leviticus 5:2

Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean beast or the carcass of unclean cattle or a carcass of unclean swarming things, though it is hidden from him and he is unclean, then he will be guilty.

Romans 14:2

One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.

Exodus 12:9

Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails.

1 Timothy 4:4

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.

Isaiah 66:16

For the Lord will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all flesh, and those slain by the Lord will be many.

1 Corinthians 8:13

Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

Daniel 1:8

But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so, he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.

Matthew 8:30

Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them.

Isaiah 66:3

“But he who kills an ox is like one who slays a man; He who sacrifices a lamb is like the one who breaks a dog’s neck.

He who offers a grain offering is like one who offers swine’s blood; He who burns incense is like the one who blesses an idol. As they have chosen their own ways, And their soul delights in their abominations,

Mark 5:9

And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he *said to Him, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”

Acts 10:15

Again, a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.”

Acts 10:11

and he *saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground,

Allah knows Best.

Reference:

1 At Tabarani (classified as authentic by Sheikh al Albani)

2 Scholars of the Standing Committee for issuing Fatwas (Islamic rulings) Saudi

Arabia

3 James Cook University, Queensland Australia.

(http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/27/2554021.htm)

4(http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/cysticercosis/factsht_cysticercosis.htm)

5(http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/trichinosis/factsht_trichinosis.htm)

6 (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=sick-farms-infected-food) &

(http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=new-drug-resistant-mrsa-in-pigs)

Almighty Allah is the highest and most knowledgeable, and the attribution of knowledge to him is the safest.

Right from Almighty Allah and wrong from me and Satan

Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar- Australia.

www.IslamCompass.com 

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