Dietary Prohibitions

In our study of the Qur’an, we find that our Lord has placed a number of restrictions and guidelines on what and what is not permissible as food. It is the objective of this article to share these finding with the reader so as to build awareness of God’s laws for those who have submitted.   

First Rule –All Food in General is Lawful

 “O people, eat from what is on the earth as good and lawful, and do not follow in the footsteps of the devil. He is to you a clear enemy.” 2:168

Whether it is snails in France or horse meat in China, the first rule that the Qur’an teaches us is that “all food,” which is beneficial, is “lawful” unless it has been restricted.

Second Rule – Avoid the Forbidden Foods

“So eat from what God has provided you, that which is good and lawful, and be thankful for the blessing of God, if it is indeed He whom you serve. He has only forbidden for you what is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was sacrificed to any other than God. But whoever is forced to, without seeking disobedience or transgression, then God is Forgiver, Merciful.” (16:114-115)

“Say: ‘I do not find in what is inspired to me to be unlawful for any eater to eat except that it be already dead, or running blood, or the meat of pig - for it is foul - or what is a wickedness, dedicated to other than God.’ But whoever is forced to, without seeking disobedience or transgression, then your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.” (6:145)

In the above verse, four categories of food have been explicitly forbidden:

  1. Animals that die of themselves – carrion;
  2. The blood of animals;
  3. The meat of pigs;
  4. Anything dedicated to other than God – as this constitutes shirk/idol worship.

Third Rule – Avoid animals upon which God’s name has not been mentioned

And do not eat from that which the name of God has not been mentioned, for it is wickedness. And the devils they inspire their supporters to argue with you; and if you obey them, then you are polytheists.” (6:121)

Slaughtering an animal without mentioning God’s name at the time of slaughter makes the animal forbidden. This is to acknowledge God’s gift of the livestock to the Children of Adam which have been highlighted in many verses and for which the entire Pilgrimage is designed (see 22:28).

Fourth Rule – Avoid Certain Slaughter Methods

“Forbidden to you is that which is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was dedicated to other than God, and that which has been strangled, and that which has been beaten to death, and that which has fallen from a height, and that which has been gored, and that which the wild animals have eaten from except what you managed to rescue, and what has been slaughtered on altars, and what you divide by the arrows of chance. This is vile...” (5:3)

Killing animals in a certain manner, such as strangulation or hitting with a blunt object – even if God’s name is being mentioned – renders the animal as unlawful

Fifth Rule – In Emergency, Exceptions are Allowed

“Forbidden to you is that which is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was dedicated to other than God, and that which has been strangled, and that which has been beaten to death, and that which has fallen from a height, and that which has been gored, and that which the wild animals have eaten from except what you managed to rescue, and what has been slaughtered on altars, and what you divide by the arrows of chance. This is vile. Today the rejecters have given up from your system, so do not be concerned by them, but be concerned by Me. Today I have perfected your system for you, and completed My blessings upon you, and I have approved submission as the system for you. So, whoever is forced by severe hunger and not seeking sin, then God is Forgiving, Merciful.” (5:3)

“So eat from what God has provided you, that which is good and lawful, and be thankful for the blessing of God, if it is indeed He whom you serve. He has only forbidden for you what is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was sacrificed to any other than God. But whoever is forced to, without seeking disobedience or transgression, then God is Forgiver, Merciful.” (16:114-115)

“Say: ‘I do not find in what is inspired to me to be unlawful for any eater to eat except that it be already dead, or running blood, or the meat of pig - for it is foul - or what is a wickedness, dedicated to other than God.’ But whoever is forced to, without seeking disobedience or transgression, then your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.” (6:145)

In God’s infinite mercy, exceptions to His rules are allows if one is in a desperate situation or in dire need.

Final Rule – Do Not Lie About God!

“And do not say, as to what your tongues falsely describe: “This is lawful, and that is forbidden;” that you seek to invent lies about God. Those who invent lies about God will not succeed.” (16:116)

“And they said: “These livestock and crops are reserved, and none shall eat from them except as we please,” by their claims; and livestock whose backs are unlawful, and livestock over which they do not mention the name of God as an innovation against Him. He will recompense them for what they invented. And they said: “What is in the bellies of these livestock is purely for our males and unlawful for our wives, and if comes out dead, then they will be partners in it.” God will recompense them for what they describe. He is Wise, Knowledgeable.” (6138-139)

“Say: “Have you seen what God has sent down to you from provisions, then you have made some of it forbidden and some lawful?” Say: “Did God authorize you, or do you invent lies about God?” (10:59)

The above makes crystal clear – claiming that God has forbidden this or that when in-fact He did not is an unforgivable sin, putting the person doing so at jeopardy from the wrath of the Almighty!

 

Stay with the path of the Almighty…That is where the winners are.

 


Written for www.free-minds.org

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