Tomorrow is one the biggest days in Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice. Muslims around the world sacrifice goats, sheeps, cows, camels, etc., and share the meats with families, friends, neighbours, and the poor and needy.
Some friends were asking why muslims only eat halal food?
The one and only reason is because The Quran says so, and we follow whatever The Quran says as its the reference of our way of life. However, below’s a short discussion that might give you some ideas about the wisdom behind muslims dietary restrictions. Regardless some scientific evidence supporting our belief, our only reason remains because of the Quran.
Bob: Tell me why is it that a Muslim is very particular about the words Halaal and Haraam; what do they mean?
Yunus: That which is permissible is termed Halaal and that which is not permissible is termed Haraam and it is the Qur’an which draws the distinction between the two
Bob: Can you give me an example?
Yunus: Yes, Islam has prohibited consuming blood of any type. You will agree that a chemical analysis of blood shows that it contains an abundance of uric acid, a chemical substance which can be injurious to human health
Bob: You’re right about the toxic nature of uric acid, in the human being it is excreted as a waste product and in fact we are told that 98% of the body’s uric acid is extracted from the blood by the kidneys and removed through urination
Yunus: Now I think that you’ll appreciate the special prescribed method of animal slaughter in Islam.
Bob: What do you mean?
Yunus: You see, the wielder of the knife, whilst taking the name of the Almighty’, makes an incision through the jugular veins, leaving all other veins and organs intact.
Bob: I see, this causes the death of the animal by a total loss of blood from the body, rather than an injury to any vital organ.
Yunus: Yes, were the organs, example the heart, the liver, or the brain crippled or damaged, the animal could die immediately and its blood would congeal in its veins and would eventually permeate the flesh. This implies that the animal flesh would be permeated and contaminated with uric acid and therefore very poisonous; only today did our dieticians realize such a thing
Bob: Again, while on the topic of food; why do Muslims condemn the eating of pork or ham or any foods related to pigs or swine.
Yunus: Actually, apart from the Qur’an prohibiting the consumption of pork, bacon (pig flesh); in fact the Bible too in Leviticus chapter 11, verse 8, regarding swine it says, “Of their flesh (of the swine another name for pig) shall you not eat, and of their carcass you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.” Further, did you know that a pig cannot be slaughtered at the neck for it does not have a neck; that is according to its natural anatomy? A Muslim reasons that if the pig was to be slaughtered and fit for human consumption the Creator would have provided it with a neck. Nonetheless, all that aside, I am sure you are well informed about the harmful effects of the consumption of pork, in any form, be it pork chops, ham, bacon.
Bob: The medical science finds that there is a risk for various diseases as the pig is found to be a host for many parasites and potential diseases.
Yunus: Yes, even apart from that, as we talked about uric acid content in the blood, it is important to note that the pig’s biochemistry excretes only 2% of its total uric acid content, the remaining 98% remains as an integral part of the body.