in category Fiqh (Jurisprudence)

Why can't Muslims eat pork?

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A student. Took Islamiat and History as subjects, and greatly interested in Islamic and Indo-Pak history.
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Your question brings up a very important issue. Well, in every culture you can find food that is taboo. In western societies, there are certain foods that are taboo, such as meat from horses, cats and dogs. However, in some parts of east Asia, these aren't considered taboo. To some Indians, cow meat is a taboo due to their belief that the cow is a holy animal. And for us in the UAE, pork is taboo based on Islamic laws like in many other Arab nations.

The main reason pork is forbidden for Muslims is because it says in the Holy Quran that some food is allowed, while others are explicitly declared haram, which means forbidden. And pork is one of those forbidden foods. However, there is an exception that is written in the Holy Quran as well where it states that you can eat it if you are starving and there is nothing else to eat but pork. This is also in accordance with the Jewish faith, according to their laws and traditions of eating kosher meat.

Pork is not dirty but rather regarded as impure, unhealthy and harmful for humans due to the fats, toxins and bacteria it contains and the way the pig spends its life rolling around in the mud and its own excrement. The specific aspect that pork is unhealthy has even been proven by scientists, such as Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg, who argued that western populations who eat pork carry more diseases than other populations who do not eat pork.

Processed pork can also be found in many other foods in the form of gelatin. And treatments such as radiation, which supposedly kills bacteria, might seem to make pork "cleaner" but the fact remains that the meat still comes from an animal Muslims are forbidden to eat.

Muslims living in western societies often face a challenge with this issue because they have a harder time finding halal meat and determining if animals have been slaughtered in an Islamic way, or if the food they buy contains any processed pork.

"Forbidden to you (for food) are dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah(God). that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety. This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."

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