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Why we don’t eat pork

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

non muslims at my work want to know”WHY DONT WE EAT PIQ”they aware its haraam but critically want to know WHY?jazakalah



Food and drink have direct effect on our health. That is why Islam has
prescribed regulations about our food and drink. It lays great emphasis on
our physical as well as moral health, because both of these are equally
important for a healthy society. The abstention from eating pork is one of
the steps taken by Islam to practise hygiene and to attain purity of soul.
Islam, for the cultivation of inner faculties, insists upon the cleanliness
of body and the purification of soul through Salaat (prayers) Zikr
(remembrance of Allah) and other devotional duties. Islam teaches us how to
attain the virtues and how to give up bad habits because both good and bad
grow in the man according to his upbringing, education and environment.
A human being has natural desires: food, sleep and sex being the three
primary ones. He has also natural emotions: sorrow, happiness, love, fear,
disgust and avarice etc. Islam doesn’t recommend the complete abrogation of
these impulses but offers a method of controlling them through religious
education and discipline.
The prohibition of eating pork in Islam is relevant in this context. There
is a saying in English that “a man becomes what he eats.” According to
physicians and medical experts, pork is a harmful diet. Consumption of
swine-flesh creates lowliness in character and destroys moral and spiritual
faculties in a man.

Body & Soul
The life of a man is a compound of body and soul. Anything, which is harmful
for the body, hurts the soul as well. Consumption of swine-flesh reduces the
feeling of shame and as such the standard of modesty. Those nations, which
consume pork habitually, have a low standard of morality with the result
that virginity, chastity and bashfulness are becoming a thing of the past in
Europe today. The number of unwed mothers is on the increase despite the use
of pills and other contraceptives.
According to a report, 60 to 70% girls in Sweden become mothers before
marriage. The formula of “skin to skin is no sin” is having its toll but
there is hardly and feeling of shame and remorse over the end-result. Since
the European nations have become addicted to wine and pork, sexual freedom
with all its attendant evils has got ingrained in their culture.
Consequently, homosexuality has been legalized by the British Parliament.
The Holy Qur’an has prohibited the swine-flesh, hence the Muslims would not
dare touch it. The Bible has also forbidden swine-flesh, but Christians
disregarded this order and started consuming it. The Europeans now proclaim
that pork is a very powerful diet, rich in protein. Some of them further
argue that since there is a great scarcity of food-stuffs in the world and
swines are available in abundant quantity, they should be consumed in diet
to overcome the food shortage. If this argument is true, why don’t they use
dog’s meat as dogs too are available in plenty? The Europeans perhaps hate
the mention of dog’s meat in the same way as the Muslims shun pork.
Another wrong notion about swine-flesh is that its consumption lengthens
life-span, although this is a pure myth and absurdity. On the contrary,
people, who abstain from pork and liquor, have a longer span of life. The
Muslims in Central Asia bear a testimony to this truth.
However, in the consumption of flesh Muslims are required to be selective
and distinguish between Halaal (Lawful) and Haraam (Unlawful). This step
leads automatically to the deeper understanding of the need for the
cultivation of a pure human nature. As blood is virtually our life-stream
and whatever we consume ultimately affects the blood system, it is,
therefore, necessary to exercise choice in the selection of our food and
drink as per the requirements of the Shariah.
There are certain foods and drinks specified by Allah, and His Messenger
Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) as forbidden. The prohibition of these
foods and drinks is not by any means an arbitrary action or an unwarranted
decree of Allah. It is the first and foremost a divine intervention in the
best interest of man and for his own benefit.
The reasons behind the Divine intervention are numerous. They are of a
nature intellectual and spiritual, moral and mental, physical and economic.
And the sole purpose is to show man how to develop himself according to an
upright course of life in order to be a healthy unit in the structure of the
family, then of society and eventually of humanity at large.
Reliable medical doctors and social scientists are able to realize how those
foods and drinks forbidden by Islam are harmful and destructive to the human
spirit and morality as well as to the physique and moral fibre of man and to
verify the benefits of Islamic legislations on the subjects.
The prohibition is based on the aim of the purification of one’s nature,
because food, when consumed, doesn’t merely enter the stomach and intestines
and become excreta. It is absorbed and metabolized into the system and
circulated to all parts of the human body, including the brain, and this in
no small way affects man’s nature.
The pig is naturally lazy and indulgent in sex, it is dirty, greedy and
gluttonous. It dislikes sunlight and lacks the spirit and will to “fight.”
It eats almost anything, be it human excreta or anything foul and
unwholesome. Amongst all animal flesh, pork is the favoured cradle of
harmful germs. Pork also serves as a carrier of diseases to mankind. It is
for this reason that its flesh is not suitable for consumption.
Some people have argued that the “modern pig” reared in farms is given only
clean foods, therefore, its flesh should be consumable. The answer is that
you may feed the pig on clean, wholesome food, but you can’t change its
nature. It is still a pig. A pig is not a plant and you cannot change it by

Medical Reports
Dr. E. Kazim. M.D. in his article “Medical aspects of forbidden foods in
Islam” (July 1981 issue of Muslim Journal has described diseases carried or
caused by the flesh of the swine. He writes:
The pig is a scavenger. It is an omnivorous animal. It eats everything.
There are many disease carried from swine to man, particularly parasite
infestations. Lately extensive research has been focused on senility-old age
is characterized by hardening of inner lining of the blood vessels of the
heart, brain etc. a process called atheroselerosis. When a clot forms, it
results in coronary thrombosis or a heart attack, cerebral thrombosis or
Different dietary factors are responsible for atheroselerosis. Gross
atheroma may be produced in rabbit by feeding it with cholesterol, but when
you add lard (derived from hog fat) to the cholesterol, the incidence of
atheroma is increased and thus you would produce coronary thrombosis, and
myocardial infraction.
Besides, lard contains 2800 units of vitamin D per 100 grams and no vitamin
A at all. Lately vitamin D has been held responsible for atheroma, by
causing increased absorption of calcium in the blood vessels. In human
beings, serum cholesterol is not dependent on the intake of cholesterol in
the diet, but depends upon the proportion of animal fats in the diet, which
elevate the beta-lipo protein level in the blood. Animal fats contain
saturated fatty acids and these saturated fatty acids have been found to be
as one of the causes of atheroma in man. Medium fat bacon contains 25%
proteins and 55% fat.”
According to medical research, the fat content in pork is more than any
other meat (beef, mutton etc.) and it takes longer to digest. Dr. M Jaffer
in an article in the Islamic Review (London) of January 1997 issue has
listed 16 kinds of harmful germs, which have been discovered in pork in
modern researches and the diseases, which could be caused by them. The
number of patients suffering from tapeworm disease is the highest in the
world among pork eating nations. Other diseases attributed to pigs are
caused by tri-chinelia spirates and intestinal worms occupy first place
among such nations too.
Dr. Glen Shepherd wrote the following on the dangers of eating pork in
Washington Post (31 May 1952).
“One in six people in USA and Canada have germs in their muscles –
trichinosis 8 from eating pork infected with trichina worms. Many people so
infected have no symptoms. Most of those, who do have, recover slowly. Some
die; some are reduced to permanent invalids. All were careless pork caters”.
He continued “No one is immune from the disease and there is no cure.
Neither antibiotics nor drugs or vaccines affect these tiny deadly worms.
Preventing infection is the real answer.”
After reading the statement of Dr. Shepherd, one can realize that there is
no real guarantee of safety when eating pork that one would not be affected
by trichina worm. That is why modern doctors advise three prohibitions
during illness: no liquor, no pork and no smoking.
Muslims follow the divine law which is much higher than the medical advice.
The Glorious Qur’an says, “So eat of the lawful and good food which Allah
has provided for you, and thank the bounty of your Lord if it is Him you
serve. He has forbidden for you only carrion and  blood and swine-flesh and
that which has been immolated in the name of any other than Allah; but he
who is driven thereto, neither craving nor transgressing, Lo! then Allah is
Forgiving, Merciful.” (16:114-115)
The above is the order from the Creator of the universe and Supreme
Law-Giver. All Muslims are under the obligation to obey it. This is a plain
and straightforward answer to those, who usually ask why Muslims abstain
from eating pork. Nevertheless, there is no sin, if a Muslims is forced by
famine or starvation to eat pork in order to save his life.

Rashid Shamsi (The Muslim World League Journal, Rajab 1420 – October 1999)

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