Why Can't Muslims Eat Pork?

Name of Questioner: Amelie

Date: 20-4-2016 02:21:46 PM

Consultant: Ask About Islam Editorial Staff


Why does Islam prohibit Muslims to eat pork?

Salam Amelie,

Thank you for your question.

The short answer is because God forbade it – a prohibition that predated Islam by centuries, and was accepted by the Jews long before the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), in the law given to Moses (Deuteronomy 14:8 and Leviticus 11:7–8).

Incidentally, Jesus – being a Jew – also never ate pork, and he ordered his followers to keep all the Jewish laws (Mt 5:19). Yet shortly after his death, the ruling was changed, thanks to a dream experienced by Jesus’ disciple, Peter (Acts 10:3–7).

Pork was declared haram (unlawful) to Muslims in Surahs Al-Baqarah and Al-Ma’idah.

He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (Al-Baqarah 2:173)

Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah , and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)

Apart from the religious prohibition, pork seems as a meat to contain the greatest proportion of germs and parasites, most of which are contagious and some of which are fatal.

The pork tapeworm (balantidium coli), the largest protozoan affecting humans, lodges in the intestine. Trichina roundworms (Trichinella Spiralis) are now very common in Europe and the USA, and are responsible for all sorts of ill-health. Pork products treated carelessly in hot weather are also some of the most common causes of food poisoning. People who do eat pork should always cook it very thoroughly.

Because of the religious prohibition, Muslims also check whether products containing animal fat or ‘shortening’ include pork lard. Gelatine made from the skin or bones of the pig is also avoided by Muslims.


Source: Taken from a book entitled What Every Christian Should Know about Islam.