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Islam and Pork (i) Print

In response to the question, "Why does Islam forbid pork?" many Muslims offer a host of scientific and medical explanations. It should be remembered that the basis of good and bad is the decree of Allah. When Allah commands an act it is good whether we understand it or not. When He forbids an act it is evil whether we understand it or not.


Pork is forbidden because Allah has forbidden it, whether it is medically harmful or not. Yes, appreciating the prohibition through scientific enquiry is an entirely different matter, but should not be offered as the basis of prohibition.



Had Allah revealed only one verse prohibiting pork, we, the slaves of Allah, would have accepted it as serious enough. Yet Allah did not stop at one, but revealed several verses to that effect. The strong emphasis on abstaining from pork (and Haraam in general) should thus be understood. The Quraan has prohibited pork in the following words:

"Forbidden unto you is carrion, blood, the flesh of swine..." [al-Maaidah:3]

"Verily He has prohibited unto you carrion, blood, the flesh of swine..." [al-Baqarah:173] "Say: I do not see in what has been revealed to me anything prohibited to eat except carrion, flowing blood, and the flesh of swine, because it is impure." [ al-An`aam: 145].

The Arabic word for pig, Khinzeer, is derived from Khanzarah, meaning filth. [al-Qaamoos] The filthy nature of the pig is enough to repel one from it even if there had been no Quraanic prohibition.



A common misconception is that only Muslims are forbidden to consume pork. This is viewed as an idiosyncrasy of an exotic Arab religion. The truth is that Islam is a universal religion in terms of not only race and geography but time as well. In line with this is the prohibition of pork. The prohibition is not a novelty brought about 1400 years ago but was divinely legislated thousands of years ago.


Islam is the primordial faith of man, perfected by the Final Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah had sent previous Prophets such as Adam, Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) (peace be upon them all) as Prophets of Islam with a set of laws for their people. Concerning the prohibition of pork, we find reference to it in previous Divine scriptures too. The Tawraah (Bible) states:

"And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass." [Deuteronomy 14:8] "And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you." [Leviticus 11:7]

The Injeel (Bible) describes sinners thus:

"A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;" [Isaiah 65:3-4]

The Talmud states,

"It is not proper to raise pigs," [Bava Kama 79b] and

"Cursed is he who raises pigs." [Bava Kama 82b]

Thus the prohibition of pork is not unique to Muslims. Allah had forbidden it unto the Jews as well. This prohibition was continuous and not abrogated by any later Prophet. Mathew chapter 5 verse 17 quotes Jesus as saying, "Do not for a moment suppose that I have come to abrogate the Law or the Prophets: I have not come to abrogate them but to give them their completion.


This indicates the prohibition of pork was continuous from Musa (Moses) (peace be upon him) to Isa (peace be upon him) and confirmed by the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).



Allah is our Creator and owns us – mind, body and soul. He says, "Verily Allah has purchased from the believers their wealth and lives in exchange for Jannah..." [at-Tawbah ]


Also, "He cannot be questioned as to what He does and they are questioned." [al-Ambiyaa:23]


As slaves of Allah we do not question His laws. On the other hand, the Noble Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said that the creation is the family (or dependants) of Allah. We are the family of Allah and Allah loves us. He does not wish us to be lost and astray. He has given us laws as divine guidance. His wisdom and knowledge is supreme and ours are limited and deficient. In deferring to His greater and perfect wisdom we follow the straight path. In obeying His loving laws we attain His love and success in both worlds.


That is why we do not eat pork.


sk/2007-11-02 14:32:47

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