Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why is pork meat forbidden in Islam?

The "bottom-line" reason for the prohibition of pork consumption is simply that Allah has prohibited it. No specific sanitary or other reason is specified in the QurĂ¢€™an or Sunnah. We do believe that Allah is al-Hakeem, the Wise, whose orders and prohibitions are not meaningless, but rather contain rationale and wisdom. Therefore, we can rest assured that, in the final analysis, the harms of eating pork outweigh its benefits, even if we have not yet learned or discovered the details of this.
That having been said, scientific research has discovered some health hazards related to pork . The following summary is extracted from a scientific paper on the website of the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences:
"The more important and definitely proven hazards connected with the consumption of pork are the two parasitic zoonoses, trichinellosis and systemic cysticercosis. Both these infections can be life threatening and their prevention requires difficult measures including change of food habits.
Of the non-communicable diseases attributable to pork consumption (food) allergy and liver cirrhosis have been shown to occur, though more work is needed to prove its aetiological role in cirrhosis.

Consumption of pork and lard can give rise to hyperlipidaemia, constituting a risk factor in cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, high pork and lard consumption in a low fiber diet would have a correlation with high incidence of cancer of the colon. However, these risk factors are shared by pork with other meats and foods of animal origin.
Of the additives used in curing pork for preparation of ham, bacon, sausages, etc. nitrites could be a hazard as they are converted to nitrosamines which have been shown to be carcinogenic in animals. The exact risk for man is not known and nitrites are present in many other foods including vegetables and sometimes in drinking water.
Pig breeding establishments can be sources of transmission of zoonoses to people exposed to living animals; these include leptospirosis (swineherds disease), brucellosis, erysipeloid and anthrax. Pigs may also increase chances of spread of balantidial dysentery and Japanese encephalitis. However, other meat animals can also act as sources of some of these zoonoses and of others which may be equally (or more) dangerous.
Pigs can cause strong psychological reactions (e.g. disgust) especially when scavenging on rubbish heaps or wallowing in mud mixed with their own excreta."
[As of 03 March 2007, the entire paper could still be viewed at:]
The Qur'an clearly prohibits pork, and informs us of its uncleanness or impurity.
"Say: I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be or the flesh of swine, for indeed it is impure (rijs)." [Quran, 6:145]
Therefore, as believers, we believe and affirm, with conviction and submission, that the pig is unclean. It is possible that this includes sanitary uncleanness (it is said that pigs eat or wallow in their own excrement, for example), and the health hazards mentioned above. However, this does not rule a spiritual uncleanness, such that even if one hypothetically postulates a pork free of all microbes and adverse effects to health (indeed, some of the hazards can reportedly be eliminated or reduced), this would not justify making it permissible. Allah's knowledge is greater and deeper than ours, and perfect and all-embracing, whereas science is not all-encompassing, and is constantly changing -- new discoveries are made, old theories are abandoned. Hence, even if “ hypothetically" we cannot discover any of the wisdom or rationale behind a particular divine injunction, this does not exempt us from following it.
And Allah knows best.

Answered by: Sidi Suheil Laher (


Anonymous said...

very interesting.

Learner said...

WOW! this was very to the point reply. Keep it up dude.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sidi Suheil, A very sensible reply in deed. But again I have known some of my Muslim friends who do not even utter the work 'pig' and were forbidden to do so even by their elders (during younger days). I definitely understand the rationale behind not eating pig meat but I fail to understand why such hatred is shown towards pigs when it is God who has created them too. Does this have any reasoning too? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ravi, I don't think there is hatred but its disliked for sure.

Farid said...

I think it is for health reason. God loves us that He gives us the dietary law so that we stay healthy. Christian should not eat pork too.

Not All Meats Are Food

Anonymous said...

God said that everything he made was good and very good.

abdullah said...

Anonymous you siad "God said that everything he made was good and very good." can you provide us with some evidence instead of blankly saying it without any proof.

Anonymous said...

Come on people. How can you be satisfied with such an answer? The restrictions on the consumption of pork sprang from practical responses to the limits of Middle Eastern environments to provide feed for both pigs and humans. In the absence of basic secular education religion was the medium required to pass this message along. The dogmatic nature of Islam (or Judaism) has insured that a religious interpretation of a practical matter exists to this day.

Abdullah said...

OK! you got to read the article because its gives all the facts from the religion. Another things is if you can't provide the facts we take you comment and put in trash.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I really appreciated this article, as a non-Muslim (Christian) trying to learn more about Islam. I also do not eat pork, though I do eat some other animals. My reasoning is that pigs are highly intelligent animals, and I would not want to eat a highly intelligent animal. In the spirit of thinking why God (in whom I believe) might prohibit something, perhaps God may not have wanted us to eat a highly intelligent creature. Again, respectfully, would this kind of idea - which I find consistent with Christianity, and of course reflected in the OT of the Bible - make any theological sense in Islam as well?

Meme said...

pigs do not have necks therefore cannot be slaughtered properly... this is among many other reasons y we should not eat pork. Meme.

Anonymous said...

Bleh...more than 5.7 billion ppl on this planet eat pork..why are they not suffering from diseases and plague?..all the chinese , americans and latinos are not suffering due to pork...i've seen doctor oppose smoking, alcohol drugs but not to claim medical reasons for not having pork is wrong..try some other reason to defend your stand..

Abdullah said...

Anonymous I guess you didn't read the beginning of the article or didn't read it with open mind because the first two lines answer the question in simple and straight forward way. May I ask you which religion do you follow.

Anonymous said...

hi by the way the person who called the writer an athiest needs to get a life and second of all this i very interesting if you are not muslim yourself why should you judge others when you have not experienced it yourself??????

Sal said...

Anonymous who told you that none of them are suffering from any diseases after eating pork.. If you would have asked proper doctors you would have come to know and more over you say you want to follow Islam and on the other hand you don't even trust what is there in holy Quran..

Better you first decide what you want to know bcoz have already set up your answer in your mind and you don't want come out of it..

It's also mentioned in the Quran eat whatever is god for you I have grapes fruits etc for you but don't eat the things which harm you like alcohol and pork..

Anonymous said...

Common sense seems to go out the door in a lot of these instances where there are demands of scientific proof. The animal eats literally anything, including swine and HUMAN flesh.

What sensible person would think that it's a good idea to eat an animal that behaves this way?

Farid Hossain (Rocky). said...

Assalamo alaikum, this article is very interesting
i would like to invite all to visit my islamic blog:
and find the truth.

noor said...

thaks for the information. before i read this blog, i only know that muslims cannot eat pork. but now i know the real reason why muslims cannot eat pork.