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Why Eating Pork Is Forbidden In Islam?

- Published in News paper Saudi Gazette Jeddah On 29 October 2007

ISLAM is a religion which conforms to human nature. Its injunctions ensure good for all humanity and prohibit all such things which may cause harm to human beings.

Allah has forbidden the believers to eat the flesh of swine, pig or hog. Its meat is known as pork or bacon. This ban came in the 7th century when nothing was known about its harmful effects. It was only in the 19th century that medical science discovered that hog carries certain infectious diseases.

There are about 670 million hogs throughout the world. About one-third of the world’s hog population is in China.

Hogs eat human and other excrements and thus become prone to infectious disease like cholera. This disease is quickly transmitted to the persons handling hogs and who eat its meat. It may be noted that hogs are not only kept in farms but many villagers raise them in open grounds. Therefore, hogs’ eating human excrements cannot be ruled out.

A bacterium produces Bang’s disease or brucellosis among hogs. Men handling hogs and who eat its meat contact the disease. Foot and mouth disease also attacks hogs. This is also due to their eating filth and refuse. Such hogs are required to be destroyed under government supervision, but mostly they are killed by their keepers and their meet is sold, thus spreading this disease. It is also found that trichina worms mostly infect pork. This causes trichinosis in human beings who consume pork.

All these hard Encyclopedias facts were unknown previously, but Allah the Omniscient knew them as He is the Creator of all that exists. Therefore He called the flesh of swine as “rijs” (meaning foul, abhorrent, impure, squalid) in the Holy Qur’an.

No doubt to consume hog meat is dangerous for human health. This is one aspect of its being forbidden.

The other aspect of its ban is that Islam has allowed only such animals and birds to be eaten that live in pairs and maintain a certain degree of ethics and they attack when another animal or bird of their specie infringes upon their privacy. It is also an established fact that the meat which we eat will produce in us the same natural instincts that animals and birds from whom that meat comes. But the hog is pair less animal. It never objects if another hog comes and have a go on its sow. It’s meat may produce the same affect.

The man is a social animal and instinctively loves privacy. Any infringement of privacy shatters family ties. The modern civilization has almost discarded the code of ethics in the name of freedom, which has given rise to thousands of mothers outside the wedlock. That is to say the family life has completely broken down. Should we not call it a civilization at war with human nature? Or are men and women acting like pigs.

Thus we find that the Islamic teachings stand for the welfare of the humanity and are in complete harmony with human nature which is so essential for building a perfect family and social life.

- By Ahmad Wahaj Al-Siddiqui Al-Taimi