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ISLAMIC DIETARY LAWS

Back To Diet Articles  

 

   

Islamic dietary laws provide a set of rules as to what Muslims eat in their diet and other areas.

Overview
Islamic jurisprudence specify what food is halāl, meaning lawful. They are found in Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, usually detailing what is unlawful, or harām.

There are some more rules added to these in fatwas by Mujtahids with various degrees of strictness, but they are not always held to be authoritative by all.

Muslim Diet Muslim Diet  


Islamic law prohibits a Muslim from consuming alcohol, eating or drinking blood and its by-products, and eating the meat of a carnivore or omnivore, such as pork, monkeys, canines, and felines (piscivorous animals however are not considered carnivorous). (Quran 5:3, 5:90). Crab meat is also seen as prohibited by some,[1] but the majority of Muslims consider all shellfish (including crabs, lobsters, shrimp, crayfish, and all non-poisonous molluscs) to be halal.

Islamic dietary laws provide a set of rules as to what Muslims eat in their diet and other areas.

Overview
Islamic jurisprudence specify what food is halāl, meaning lawful. They are found in Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, usually detailing what is unlawful, or harām.

There are some more rules added to these in fatwas by Mujtahids with various degrees of strictness, but they are not always held to be authoritative by all.

Islamic law prohibits a Muslim from consuming alcohol, eating or drinking blood and its by-products, and eating the meat of a carnivore or omnivore, such as pork, monkeys, canines, and felines (piscivorous animals however are not considered carnivorous). (Quran 5:3, 5:90). Crab meat is also seen as prohibited by some,[1] but the majority of Muslims consider all shellfish (including crabs, lobsters, shrimp, crayfish, and all non-poisonous molluscs) to be halal.

It is agreed upon by all Muslims that for the meat of a land animal to be Halal it must be slaughtered by a Muslim who pronounces the Name of Allah before killing the animal by cutting its throat. It is a matter of dispute whether or not meat slaughtered by a Person of the Book (Christian or Jew) is considered Halal. The proper Islamic method of slaughtering an animal is called Dhabiĥa.

Healthy diet
A healthy diet is also important in Islam. Overeating is a sin as stated in the Qur'an:

It is He Who produceth gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters. (Qur'an 6:141)

Food and cooking hygiene
Food and cooking hygiene is an important part of Islamic dietary laws.

Dhabiĥa: Islamic slaughter
For the meat of a land animal to be halāl it must be properly slaughtered by a Muslim or by the People of the Book (Christian or Jew), while mentioning the name of God (Allah in Arabic); for instance, the animal may not be killed by being boiled or electrocuted, and the carcass should be hung upside down long enough to be blood-free. Different rules apply to fishes and; for instance, fish with scales are always halāl, while shellfish and scaleless fishes such as catfish are harām[citation needed].

The proper Islamic method of slaughtering an animal is called Dhabiĥa. According to some fatwas, the animal must be slaughtered only by a Muslim. However, some different fatwas dispute this, and rule from the orthodox Qur'anic position, that according to verse 5:5 of the Qur'an (which declares that the food of the People of the Book to be halāl), the slaughter may be done by a Jew or a Christian. Thus, many observant Muslims will accept kosher meat if halāl options are not available. Other main references in Qur'an include 2:173, 5:3, 5:5, 5:90, 6:118, 6:145, 16:115.

Food certification
Due to the recent rise in Muslim populations in the United States and Europe, certain organizations have emerged that can certify Halal food products and ingredients for Muslim consumers. The Muslim Consumer Group is an example of an organization that places certification labels such as the H-MCG symbol to identify the Halal status of different edible and non-edible consumer products.

Prohibited food
Many items and animals are Haram to eat, that is, taboo food and drink. This includes what is regarded as unclean animals.

Alcohol
In Islam, intoxication by alcoholic beverages is generally forbidden, but Alcohol is allowed to be used for medical and other purposes, for example industrial use. Several Qur'anic verses and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad prohibit the consumption of alcohol, and dealing with such a beverage. The Koran (2:219) states:

They ask Thee concerning Wine and Gambling, Say: In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.

Blood
Eating or drinking blood and its by-products is forbidden.

Carnivores
Carnivores are prohibited to eat. Piscivorous animals (Animals that only consume fish) however are not considered carnivorous.

Omnivores
Omnivores, such as pigs, monkeys and dogs, are prohibited.

Pork
There are religious restrictions on the consumption of pork in Islam.

Selling Pork to Non-Muslims
Originally, a Muslim is not permitted to sell pork even to non-Muslim unless there is a necessity that warrants doing so such as a great financial loss that may force one out of his business altogether.

In his response to the question, Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, deputy chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states:

“Originally, pork is expressly prohibited in the Holy Qur'an. It is not permissible to sell it, either to Muslims or non-Muslims alike.

However, this ruling may be reversed as regards a Muslim living in the West; he may be permitted to sell pork to non-Muslim customers in case of extreme necessity, if the Muslim finds himself or herself forced to sell it lest he’d lose customers and have his business ruined. But while doing this, he must make sure that the profits earned from selling pork are to be kept aside and be distributed among the poor because a Muslim is not permitted to keep unlawful earnings in his possession.”

Moreover, the late, Sheikh Mustafa Az-Zarqa, professor of Jurisprudence at the Syrian Universities, adds:

“I find in the Hanafi school a permission for a Muslim who lives among dis-believers to have in his store items such as pork so that he can sell them to non-Muslim customers.

But an extreme caution is needed here, as regards to pork; he should not carry it unless it is canned, as it is impure and its impurity is transmissible through touching by the knife, hands etc.

As a precautionary measure, I think revenues earned from selling pork should be kept in a separate box, and their profits should be calculated and given to poor Muslims as an aid for the weak among them or be spent on the general interests of Muslims; the owner of the store should not take them for himself.”

In the light of the above-mentioned Fatwas, it’s clear that selling pork is never deemed permissible, under any circumstances, either to Muslims or to non-Muslims. However, as we know that Islam does not stipulate rigid rulings or teachings in the sense of making things difficult for its followers, it leaves room to flexibility as regards certain situations that may warrant excuse. Selling pork to non-Muslims in the West falls in this category. But we must stress that this is only under extreme necessities, and necessity must be put within its domain.

Other religions
Comparison of Dhabiĥa Halal and kashrut

Science
In recent years, due to a cultural phenomenon that has encouraged young Muslims to find common ground between Islam and science, there have been numerous studies undergone to try and find altruistic benefits in living a life in adherence to Islamic dietary laws. One example of this is studies that were done on trichinosis, which can be caught from consuming undercooked pork.

 

 

External Links: http://www.islamonline.com/

 
 
This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer)  
 
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