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.
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.