Islamic View on Pork
In Western countries, I am assuming that most people are aware that Muslims don’t eat any food that contains pork, and they clearly know that we believe that pig is a dirty animal. This is also believed by the people of the scriptures (Jews and Christians) but surprisingly it is the most consumed meat in the world. The disadvantages of eating food like pork is no longer a debate; there are thousands of articles, books and other research materials proving that pork is a toxic meat and it is harmful for the body. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be recognized by many people due to the fact that Satan’s followers (humans and jinns) are working really hard to ensure corruption within society. Even if technology has improved and pork is less harmful than before and all toxics are gone (which is impossible), Muslims are not willing to compromise over the deen (religion). Even if pig is a clean animal, we obey Allah’s commandments as He knows what is best for us.
What Other Food is Forbidden?
“Prohibited for you is the dead, blood, meat of swine (pig), what has been offered to anyone other than Allah, and that which had a fatal strangle, that which have been beaten to death, that which had fatal fall, that which is gored by horns, that which a beast of prey has eaten, except for what you slaughter yourselves, (Also forbidden) that is sacrificed on alters, and what is allocated by divining arrows (a type of gamble before Islam). That is abomination for you. Today, those who disbelieved have become hopeless with regards to your religion so do not fear them, but fear Me” (Chapter Al-Ana’am, verse 3).This verse does not only show the type of meats that we can’t consume, but it also explains animal abuse that we are forbidden from doing. This truly shows the mercy of Allah and how even animals have rights in our beautiful religion.
Halal Food (Meat)
In Islam, we are only permitted to consume “halal meat” which is a term used as a summary to the laws mentioned in the above verse. As we learned from our prophet Mohammed (PBUH), we should follow a specific method when we slaughter animals and this technique is scientifically proven as a mercy from God on animals and beneficial for the human’s health. In chapter Al-Maidah, verse 118: “Therefore eat of that on which Allah’s name has been mentioned if you are believers in His verses”. We mention Allah’s name on the animal being slaughtered by saying: “Bismi Allah, Allahu Akbar”, and using a sharp knife, we cut a tip of the neck so the blood drains out of the body. If the entire head is removed with one hit, then the animal’s brain is no longer functioning and, as a result, no signals will be sent to the heart and so most of the blood will not leave the body.
Food of People of the Scriptures
If you are living in a Western country, some Islamic scholars (but not all) permit Muslims to eat from local stores/restaurants if halal meat is not accessible. This is because Muslims are permitted to eat from the food of Ahlu Alkitab (people of the book: Christians and Jews). This is in Chapter Al-Maidah, verse 5: “This day (all) good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the scriptures (Ahlu Al-kitab) is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them”. People are taking this into the next level when they are assuming that McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC are Ahlu Alkitab! I am not a scholar of Islam so I cannot comment on this matter but I think we should be cautious of what we eat. In major cities/towns in North America and Europe, halal meat butchers, groceries and restaurants are available everywhere and so I don’t think there is an excuse for Muslims and Allah Knows best.
Also, always say bismillah (in the name of Allah) before you start eating food/drinking liquid and alhamdulilah (all praises to Allah) after completion as it is the sunnah (practice) of our beloved prophet Mohammed (prayers and peace be upon him).