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Malik Al Ashtar

Why Pork is Haram in Islam?

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The consensus Jewish perspective is that there is no specific reason why pig (among other animals) is prohibited.  The general purposes of kashrut (Jewish dietary law) are to (1) elevate humans spiritually by making the act of eating, which is common to animals, a conscious and thoughtful act, and (2) minimize cruelty to animals (this refers to methods of slaughter, not which animals are permitted).  In terms of #1, any set of animals could have been chosen.  If there are health benefits too, that's great, but that is not the purpose.

The traditional Jewish view is that there is nothing inherently wrong with pork -- it is simply that they are prohibited to us by God.  In fact, one rabbi in the Talmud suggests that the pig is called "chazir" in Hebrew because in the days of the Messiah, God will return ("yachzir") it to the status of permitted food!

Thus, in the Jewish view, there is not much point arguing whether pigs are clean or slovenly or diseased -- they are simply ritually unfit for eating.

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In Islam, our beliefs in the laws laid down by God are that each ruling has the greatest wisdom behind it, and so discussions such as these intend to shed light on the wisdom behind abstenance from the consumption of pork for example, thus engaging the brain as commanded by God. Following a religion blindly with no knowledge of 'why' is a dangerous and foolish thing to do, and leads to corruption and dubious balances of power among the corrupt.

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In Islam, our beliefs in the laws laid down by God are that each ruling has the greatest wisdom behind it, and so discussions such as these intend to shed light on the wisdom behind abstenance from the consumption of pork for example, thus engaging the brain as commanded by God. Following a religion blindly with no knowledge of 'why' is a dangerous and foolish thing to do, and leads to corruption and dubious balances of power among the corrupt.

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Isn't this a little bit like arguing how many angels can fit on the head of a pin? All that human beings will ever be able to arrive at in this regard is unverified conjecture. If we take, for argument's sake, the fact that God banned pork because of the risk of trichnosis in undercooked pork (nb trichnosis which God himself created), then pork still does not become halal even if it is thoroughly cooked. Which means that any reason we could give is negated by pig being haram under all conditions.

As per the Quran, no human being can make halal haram or haram halal, which to me is a very clear indicator that any possible reasons that human beings might give for pork being haram will always be irrelevant and of no intrinsic value. Its rather like asking why God wants his creations to worship Him.

In peace,

Gulliver

Edited by Gulliver

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Isn't this a little bit like arguing how many angels can fit on the head of a pin? All that human beings will ever be able to arrive at in this regard is unverified conjecture. If we take, for argument's sake, the fact that God banned pork because of the risk of trichnosis in undercooked pork (nb trichnosis which God himself created), then pork still does not become halal even if it is thoroughly cooked.  Which means that any reason we could give is negated by pig being haram under all conditions.

As per the Quran, no human being can make halal haram or haram halal, which to me is a very clear indicator that any possible reasons that human beings might give for pork being haram will always be irrelevant and of no intrinsic value. Its rather like asking why God wants his creations to worship Him.

In peace,

Gulliver

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Fair point, but knowing the 'whys' behind your religion can only make you a better follower of that religion. The first word revealed to Mohammed (SAW) was 'iqra' meaning 'read' which suggests to me at least that as Muslims it is our duty to gain knowledge and learn.

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Fair point, but knowing the 'whys' behind your religion can only make you a better follower of that religion. The first word revealed to Mohammed (SAW) was 'iqra' meaning 'read' which suggests to me at least that as Muslims it is our duty to gain knowledge and learn.

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Possibly true, but the truest Muslim is one whose belief in the One and Only God is unshakeable and he makes every effort to do good and avoid evil. He believes God is worthy of obedience and if he cannot understand something, it does not affect his faith.

It is nice to understand everything but it is not practicable. Life is too short to allow us the opportunity to understand everything.

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Possibly true, but the truest Muslim is one whose belief in the One and Only God is unshakeable and he makes every effort to do good and avoid evil.  He believes God is worthy of obedience and if he cannot understand something, it does not affect his faith.

It is nice to understand everything but it is not practicable. Life is too short to allow us the opportunity to understand everything.

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Who said that not fully understanding the reasons behind the rules weakens your faith? Of course we cannot fully understand absolutely everything, but it should be our aim and intention to.

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There are four verses in Qur'an which directly prohibits the pork along with some other stuffs,

[2.173] He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that over which any other (name) than (that of) Allah has been invoked; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

[5.3] Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, and the strangled (animal) and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall and that killed by being smitten with the horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten, except what you slaughter, and what is sacrificed on stones set up (for idols) and that you divide by the arrows; that is a transgression. This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; but whoever is compelled by hunger, not inclining willfully to sin, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

[6.145] Say: I do not find in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden for an eater to eat of except that it be what has died of itself, or blood poured forth, or flesh of swine-- for that surely is unclean-- or that which is a transgression, other than (the name of) Allah having been invoked on it; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring nor exceeding the limit, then surely your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.

[16.115] He has only forbidden you what dies of itself and blood and flesh of swine and that over which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring nor exceeding the limit, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

The reason given in the verse in green color says its unclean.

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I got two questions;

1) What is the "Islamic" method of slaugtering? The Qur'an only says that eating stuff that is dedicated to any other then Allah is prohibited. Where can I find this neck stuff?

2) Trust me, a copper pin shot in to the animals brain (which is how animals are slaugterd these days) kill it instantly. No suffering involved.

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Hi schatoor,

I don't know all the ins and outs of halal slaughter, but apparently the animal has to be killed by cutting the throat of the animal and allowing it to bleed out. It is not in any way cruel, as long as the animal is restrained properly and a razor sharp knife is used to cut the troat in one motion. They don't feel the cut.

Animal Welfare and Humane Slaughter

To determine whether cattle feel the act of having their throat cut, Grandin (1994), at one plant, deliberately applied the head restrainer so lightly that the animals could pull their heads out; none of the 10 cattle moved or attempted to pull their heads out. Observations of hundreds of cattle and calves during kosher slaughter indicated that there was a slight quiver when the knife first contacted the throat (Grandin, 1994). Invasion of the cattle’s flight zone by touching its head caused a bigger reaction (Grandin, 1994, 1993b) than did the act of having its throat cut. The animal’s head must be restrained in such a manner that the incision does not close back over the knife. Cattle and sheep will struggle violently if the edges of the incision touch during the cut (Grandin, 1994).

The design of the knife and the cutting technique are critical for preventing the animal from reacting to an incision of its throat. In kosher slaughter, a straight, razor-sharp knife that is twice the width of the throat is required, and the cut must be made in a single continuous motion. For halal (Muslim) slaughter, there is no knife-design requirement. Halal slaughter performed with short knives and multiple hacking cuts results in vigorous reactions of cattle being treated in this manner. Fortunately, many Muslim religious authorities accept preslaughter stunning. Muslims should be encouraged to stun the cattle or to use long, straight, razor-sharp knives that are similar to the knives used for kosher slaughter.

There is much more info in the link, look under the "ritual slaughter" heading.

Western slaughter methods can involve stunning with a captive bolt shot to the head, but it is not designed to be a killer blow, but rather to render the animal insessible until death is caused by bleeding out.

Animal Welfare and Humane Slaughter

In the European Union, there is a legal requirement that all captive bolt and electrically stunned animals destined for meat consumption must be rendered insensible instantaneously and remain insensitive to pain until there is a complete loss of brain responsiveness due to exsanguination (Council Directive 93/119/C). Insensibility is not instantaineous with gas stunning. All animals stunned with gas must remain insensible until exsanguination (bleeding) has eliminated brain responsiveness. This is the main concern when the suitability of a stunning method is analyzed from an animal welfare point of view (Velarde et al., 1998). Internationally, the two most commonly used methods for commercial pre-slaughter stunning of pigs are electrical stunning and CO2 anesthetization. CO2 stunning is used more and more but electrical stunning is still widely used with the arguments for choice of method related to animal welfare and meat quality (Henckel, 1998).

Hope this helps a bit, other may have more info on halal slaughter requirements.

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In studying this topic I have passes a couple reasons that might clarify this

As far as religion

The pig has split hooves (why that is relevent not sure but it is mentioned a lot)

The pig is a scavenger (halal are not carnivorous)

Yes in the Quran Allah (swt) says not to eat them which for any Muslim is good enough reason not too ( the employer-employee relation of following rules was a great analogy)

as far as Christian the reason why some do (not all i.e. 7th day Adventist) is because St. Peter in prayer one time had a vision which said it was ok to kill because "all 'unclean' animals were made 'clean' by God" and also some say he then blessed the pigs to deem them ok to eat ( this is still speculation since at the time there was a lot of writings being influenced from the kings who still wanted to eat pork)

Science

Yes generally the pig will keep himself clean if he is in a position to do so, however, they will eat anything which means they are carnivorous and makes them a very bad thing to eat yourself.

They will eat through all their own feces and feces of other animals to eat what ever good food they can find.

Crutz-Jacobs diease is the human form of BSE which is mad cow and this can be carried over to human but also to pig as well. Now the reason for BSE is feeding cows that died to living cows and pigs. This practice again is very Haram. Even though practices "banned" this it still happens. USA has had a few reports and has had 2 major recalls. In America 1 out of every 100 cows are checked where as in EU 1 out of every 2 is checked. granted they have had more outbreaks and need to check more but the reason the US doesn't check is because of cost (which is bull[Edited Out] cause it cost $20 to check but with a herd of 1000 steers checking every other becomes 500*$20 or $10,000 dollars and they don't want to pay that)

Also Every food source will have its problems the best route to go is all natural where it is vegetable fed but that wont fix all since even plants are subject to pesticides and fertilizer with chemicals.

Personally I try to stay with a vegetarian Diet with occasional all natural chicken. Avoids all major religious querals including Hinduism not eating of cows (avoiding CJD) and Islamic not eating pigs

Would love to hear some input/ corrections people want to add

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I always thought that pig was haram because they were once human as it states in the quran in surat al Ma'idah ( the table)"....... and we transformed them into detested swine and apes' correct me if im wrong please, but thats my understanding.....

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Pork is haraam because of many reasons.

Primarily, it is the most shameless of all animals. People who eat pork are more likely to be Promiscuous, Shameless, more tolerant to nudity and of loose morals

To read more on why Pork could be haraam, read this book

Pork

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Primarily, it is the most shameless of all animals. People who eat pork are more likely to be Promiscuous, Shameless, more tolerant to nudity and of loose morals

Why do you use the word "shameless" to describe the actions of pigs? Do muslims believe that pigs have knowledge of "good and evil" and engage in activities which they know are wrong?

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Why do you use the word "shameless" to describe the actions of pigs? Do muslims believe that pigs have knowledge of "good and evil" and engage in activities which they know are wrong?

Since I am not a scholar, I cannot comment on behalf of all Muslims on that.

IMO, animals may or may not have knowledge of good and evil, but they do have animalistic instincts. Whether what they do as per their instinct is good or bad is for more knowledgeable creations to decide.

Eg: an insane person may stand in the midday sun everyday and cause harm to his health or eat sand for that matter. To him, what he is doing is perfectly normal and okay. It is you the sane person who will say that he is mad to do so.

In the same way, it is in lion’s nature to kill and eat other animals for food. It is quite a normal thing for the lion. He does not have to have knowledge of good or evil to decide to do that or not. He survives on animal instincts.

Similarly, a pig being shameless is from our perspective (at least Muslim perspective. I do not think the shamelessness mentioned above is seen as decayed morals in some cultures). To a pig, what it does is normal.

It is we humans who have aql to know what is good and evil.

Again, that’s IMO

Better read the book linked to above to get a scholarly view on why pork is haraam

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To a pig, what it does is normal.

Agreed.

I would also say that it makes no sense to use "animal morality" as a basis for deciding which animals can be eaten and which can't be eaten.

I sure hope that muslims don't believe that they are allowed to eat sheep because sheep are "more moral" than pigs.

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BaZaRi wrote:Better read the book linked to above to get a scholarly view on why pork is haraam

What an exciting book! It had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I especially liked the part near the end where the ignorant Christian says (and I quote):

"Now I am fully convinced that pork is not a food but a package of poisons."

If that poorly written piece of emotional propaganda is what passes as a "scholarly view" by muslims, then Islamic scholarship is desperately in need of some sort of renaissance.

Edited by Tigger

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Chickens Are Omnivores: It's No Dilemma

One of the points I always try to convey when I host farm tours at Polyface Farm is that chickens are omnivores. Visitors have no problem with the fact that pastured poultry eat lots of green grass, herbs and clover, but cringe at the notion that these beautiful, healthy birds also supplement their diet with plenty of animal foods as well. In the green season, the birds (chickens) eat lots of grasshoppers and fly larvae (out of the cow pies).

But what happens when the chickens go indoors for the winter, and insect life is all but nonexistent except for the occasional pill bug and spider in the deep bedding material? Traditionally this is when farm flocks were supplemented with vermin, cut open for easier access to the internal organs. Chickens gladly and voraciously tear at the flesh and guts of a freshly shot groundhog, opossum or raccoon. Chickens have a featherless face for a reason—it is easier to keep clean after indulging in flesh. We see the same physiology in wild avian scavengers like vultures.

Source -- http://www.westonapr...no-dilemma.html

Like a pig, a chicken will eat almost anything, and the rooster will shamelessly mate with as many hens as possible.

Kind Regards,

Farside

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The simple reason is that during the earlier days, pigs used to eat everything include human excretion ( [Edited Out]) and all other rubbish lying around. This led to 'tape worms' which attacks

human brain. Its a life taking disease. It also effects the dogs. Even tough today, they are bred differently, the disease is now in their genes. Americans are the biggest/largest pork eating

nation, no wonder half the population is crazy. No offence intended.

I completely agree. I considered becoming vegetarian a while ago, not because I disagree with the principle of eating meat, but because I disagree with the way animals are treated during their lives, but since we hardly eat meat in our house anyway such a protest wouldn't really make a difference.

I totally agree with you.

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