The first thing I was taught when I was younger (much like most young Muslims) is that eating pig is haram. Having any connection to pig whatsoever is haram. I was not told why it was haram but seeing as my mother would press the matter, I would never ask. In fact, before reading this question, I have not even researched the reasons as to why the swine is haram. So, I hope this article enlightens you as it has me.
What does the Qur'an say?
The Qur'an mentions the term "swine" (khanzeer) four times. Each time the swine is mentioned, it is followed closely by the word forbidden.
Allah has allowed us to eat many animals, so long we slaughter it in the correct way. But he has forbidden us from eating the swine even if we try to slaughter it in a halal way. None the less, in each verse you can see that Allah tells us, if we are forced to eat it from necessity or compulsion then Allah is most forgiving.
حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلَّا مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُوا بِالْأَزْلَامِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ ۗ الْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِ ۚ الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا ۚ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ فِي مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لِّإِثْمٍ ۙ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ - 5:3
Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah, and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
This verse above tells us about all the types animals/ meat that is haram to a Muslim. But as you can see, he has specifically used the word swine. This must mean that god is pressing this matter for there to be no confusion between Muslims when it come to the consummation of swine.
Is it just haram to eat pig?
Well after further research our god has told us that all parts of a pig are haram. The bones, the blood and the flesh.
قُل لَّا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَىٰ طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَن يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَّسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ ۚ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Say, "I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine - for indeed, it is impure - or it be [that slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful." (Qur'an 6:145)
So not only can we not eat the pig, but we cannot use any of its body for materialistic objects such as brushes, wood adhesive, calcium phosphate etc.
But why is pig forbidden?
Well there are many possible reasons pig is forbidden - all remaining speculative given Allah has not given us a specific reason. So in Islamic law we refrain from positing a specific reason and abstain from the animal regardless of the situation.
For those who want to consider the possible reasons, we can talk about:
All of these reasons may collectively or individually explain why pig is haram but even if they did not exist, as God's imperative is there without a specific reason cited, we abstain from pig, as even as I have managed to explain these points, you could still argue the point.
"But what if we create a pig using science that doesn't have any diseases and is kept clean all of its life?"
My conclusion is the pig is a disgusting animal containing many diseases and sicknesses.
But if a Muslim is forced into eating it (maybe due to hunger and that being the only food to eat) then Allah is very forgiving. We should consider it a favour from Allah that the pig is haram.
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