By Dr. Zakir Naik
There are many non-Muslims who have studied Islam. Most of them have only read books on Islam written by biased critics of Islam. These non-Muslims have a different set of twenty common misconceptions about Islam. For instance, they claim to have found contradictions in the Qur'an, they contend that the Qur'an is unscientific etc. In this issue I shall deal with Why is Pork Forbidden?
Question: Why is the eating of pork forbidden in Islam?
Answer: The fact that consumption of pork is prohibited in Islam is well known. The following points explain various aspects of this prohibition:
1. Pork-prohibited in Qur’an
The Qur’an prohibits the consumption of pork in no less than 4 different places. Its prohibited in 2:173, 5:3, 6:145 and 16:115.
Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked a name other than that of Allah. [Al-Qur’an 5:3] The above verses of the Holy Qur’an are sufficient to satisfy a Muslim as to why pork is forbidden.
2. Pork prohibited in the Bible
The Christian is likely to be convinced by his religious scriptures. The Bible prohibits the consumption of pork, in the book of Leviticus and the swine, as he divideth the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch, they are unclean to you. Leviticus chapter 11 verse 7 and 8:
Pork is also prohibited in the book of Deuteronomy
And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you. Ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass. Deuteronomy chapter 14 verse 8:
A similar prohibition is repeated in the book of Isaiah chapter 65 verse 2-5.
3. Consumption of pork causes several diseases
The other non-Muslims and atheists will agree only if convinced through reason, logic and science. Eating of pork can cause no less than seventy different types of diseases. A person can have various Helminthes, like roundworm, pinworm, hookworm, etc. One of the most dangerous is Taenia Solium, which in a layman’s terminology is called tapeworm. It harbours in the intestine and is very long. Its ova i.e. eggs, enter the blood stream and can reach almost all the organs of the body. If it enters the brain it can cause memory loss. If it enters the heart it can cause heart attack and if it enters the eye it can cause blindness. If it enters the liver it can cause liver damage. It can damage almost all the organs of the body.
Another dangerous helminthes is Taenia Tichurasis. A common misconception about pork is that if it is cooked well, these ova die. In a research project undertaken in America, it was found that out of twenty-four people suffering from
Taenia tichurasis, twenty two had cooked the pork very well. This indicates that the ovas present in the pork do not die under normal cooking temperature.
4. Pork has fat building material
Pork has very little muscle building material and contains excess of fat. This fat gets deposited in the vessels and can cause hypertension and heart attack. It is not surprising that over 50% of Americans suffer from hypertension.
5. Pig is one of the filthiest animals on earth
The pig is one of the filthiest animals on earth. It lives and thrives on muck, faeces and dirt. It is the best scavenger that I know that God has produced. In the villages they don’t have modern toilets and the villagers excrete in the open air. Very often excreta is cleared by pigs.
Some may argue that in advanced countries like Australia, pigs are bred in very clean and hygienic conditions. Even in these hygienic conditions the pigs are kept together in sties. No matter how hard you try to keep them clean they are filthy by nature. They eat and enjoy their own as well as their neighbour’s excreta.
6. Pig is the most shameless animal
The pig is the most shameless animal on the face of the earth. It is the only animal that invites its friends to have sex with its mate. It feels no jealousy. And among people who consume pork, the practice of wife swapping and other forms of promiscuous behaviour is common.
(The auther is the president of Islamic Research Foundation, Mumbai. Email: email@example.com, http://www.irf.net)