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Lesson 5 - Dietary Laws in Islam

“O ye who believe! Fulfill (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are all four-footed animals with the exceptions named….”

(Al Qur’an 5:1)

Today’s topic is dietary laws in Islam. Many questions circulate in our minds, such as why slaughtering and eating animals is not forbidden when it is a ruthless act. We’ll go through all the questions that arise and take a clear look at the dietary laws in Islam.

Eating Non Vegetarian Food

The dietary laws in Islam nowhere mention that a Muslim can’t be a vegetarian or he must eat meat.

  • A Muslim can be a pure vegetarian
  • Quran permits Muslims to have non-vegetarian food

“And cattle He has created for you (men): from them, ye derive warmth and numerous benefits, and of their (meat) you eat.” (Al Qur’an 16:5)

  • Meat is rich in proteins
  • Humans have an omnivorous set of teeth

Humans have flat as well as pointed teeth suited for both carnivorous and herbivorous diets. God gave us both sets so we could have both kinds of food according to the dietary laws in Islam.

  • Humans can digest both kinds of food

The digestive system of humans can eat both vegetables and meat, thus indicating a positive argument towards Muslim dietary laws.

  • Hindu scriptures give permission to eat non-vegetarian food

Hindus are strictly against eating meat, but there is some Hindu scripture that mentions saints consuming a non-vegetarian diet. These scriptures mention:

  • God Himself created some animals to be eaten
  • Eating meat in a sacrifice is a rule of the gods
  • Killing in a sacrifice is not killing
  • A dialogue between Bhishma and Yudhishtira about sacrificing animals for the dead ancestors
  • Rama used to have meat

Hinduism was Influenced by Other Religions

Hindu scriptures allow them to eat meat, but they are influenced by other religions such as Jainism.

  • Even plants have life and feel pain

Certain religions forbid eating meat cause they are living creatures, but in this sense, they should not even consume vegetables

  • Killing a living creature with two senses less is not a lesser crime
  • Overpopulation of cattle

If all humans were non-vegetarian, then there would be an overpopulation of cattle. Allah wants to keep things in balance. The dietary laws in Islam are made to keep balance.

  • The cost of meat is reasonable when not all are non-vegetarians

Islamic Way of Killing Animals Appears Ruthless

Zakkaytum is a verb derived from the root word Zakaah  (to purify). The Islamic laws require the following conditions

  • Slaughter with a sharp object
  • Cut the windpipe, throat, and vessels
  • Blood should be drained

Blood Is a Medium for Infections

The Muslim way of slaughtering is hygienic and prevents many infections.

Meat Remains Fresh For a Longer Time

Dietary laws in Islam make sure the meat can be used for a longer time

Animals Do Not Feel Pain

The slow cutting allows the animal to not feel pain.

Non-Vegetarian Food Makes Muslims Violent

Only eating herbivorous animals is allowed as they are docile. The hadith mentions what is terrible for people, and it clearly says the animals that are forbidden. Dietary laws in Islam are the best for maintaining good human health. All the harmful things are declared haram in  Muslim dietary laws.

Pork Forbidden

As mentioned in the Quran, the dietary laws of Islam prohibit the use of pork because pork causes diseases, it is a filthy animal, and it is a fat-building material.

Learn more about dietary laws in Islam and everything related to them as we sit in an exclusive session with Dr. Zakir Naik in the common misconceptions about Islam course to learn more. Enroll in our course to learn more.