Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Surah Al Baqarah (2:173) – The Wisdom behind Prohibitions


إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللّهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَلا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that over which any other (name) than (that of) Allah has been invoked; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

M Shakir's Quran Translation


In this verse, ALLAH has stated four things, which are prohibited for human beings:

1-Dead Meat

2-Blood ingestion

3-Flesh of Swine

4-Those Animals over which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked

Ayaats with the same message

Surah Al Maida(5:4),Surah Al An'aam (6:145), Surah Al Nahl (16,115)

It is not required of the believer to always find a scientific justification for the divine prohibitions. However, if they look and find it, they must share the information, that will increase their faith. To the contrary, lack of confirmation should not question the authenticity of the Quran. Let us discuss the scientific aspect and the actual meaning of these things mentioned above:

1-Dead Meat:

The animal which died of itself is not allowed for us e.g. if an animal died during a fight with another animal. It's not allowed. Only those animals are allowed for muslims which they slaughter themselves in the path of ALLAH. There is an exception and that is of fish and that exception we find in the authentic ahadith.

Sahih Bukhari Volume no 4 Hadith no 226

Jabir bin Abdullah said, "We set out, and we were three-hundred men carrying our journey-food on our shoulders. Then we began to eat a single date each per day." A man asked (Jabir), "O Abu Abdullah! How could a person be satisfied with a single date?" Jabir replied, "We realized the value of that one date when we could not even have that much till we reached the sea-shore, when all of a sudden we saw a huge fish cast by the sea. So, we ate of it as much as we wished for eighteen days."

Al-Muwatta Volume no 25 Hadith no 10

Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam that Sad al-Jari, the mawla of Umar ibn al-Khattab asked Abdullah ibn Umar about fish which had killed each other or which had died from severe cold . He said, "There is no harm in eating them.'' Sad said,' 'I then asked Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al As and he said the same."

Al-Muwatta Volume no 25 Hadith no 111

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z-Zinad from Abu Salama ibn Abd ar-Rahman from Abu Hurayra and Zayd ibn Thabit that they saw no harm in eating what was cast up by the sea.

The exception of fish is clear from the above-mentioned hadith.

Scientific aspect of dead meat:

Dead meat is the meat of animal that died before slaughtering and blood could not flow out. Blood, which is retained inside the meat by improper killing of the animal. All hormones and antibodies are retained in the blood, and all infective organisms including virus flourish in the blood media, therefore ingestion of such will be dangerous medically. The animal might have died of a fight with any other animal that might have induced germs from any other harmful animal.


2-Blood ingestion

: The intake of blood of animal is quite dangerous. Blood ingestion is not only the drinking of blood as it was prevalent in the Arabia in the era of ignorance or even now in Africa (and in France) but also the blood which is retained inside the meat by improper killing of the animal. All hormones and antibodies are retained in the blood, and all infective organisms including virus flourish in the blood media, therefore ingestion of such will be dangerous medically.

Dr Mohammad Nezar Aldeker mentioned various harms of blood ingestion in his book Islamic Medicine Wonders. It is medically known that blood is one of the best environments for the growth of different types of microbes and as it contains the best nutrition, it is used in laboratories to prepare microbial cultures.

Blood carries different poisons, harmful wastes and compounds, as one of its important roles is the transport of food metabolism resulting wastes from the cells to be excreted; the most important ones being : Urea, Ureic acid, Keratin and carbon dioxide. Blood also carries some poisons from the intestines to the liver to be modified.

Once a big amount of blood is consumed, those carried harmful compounds and those resulting from the digestion of blood itself get absorbed and their levels increase in the body. This leads to an increase in Urea's levels, which may result in brain dysfunction leading to coma.

This is similar to the diseased state in which bleeding of the upper digestion tract occurs and, normally, the accumulated blood is removed to prevent its harm to the body and the brain (eventually coma).         

Thus, blood contains harmful compounds even if taken from a healthy animal in addition to its content of parasites and germs if taken from an originally ill animal.

Blood content of digestible proteins such as albumins, globulins and fibrinogens is little (8g/100ml) and the same is true with fats, whereas it contains a big amount of haemoglobin, which is a complex protein and so very hard to be digested, and in most cases the stomach can not stand it.

Moreover, if blood is coagulated its digestion becomes harder as fibrinogen in this case is transformed into fibrin, forming a net that contains red blood cells and fibrin is known to be one of the worst and hardest proteins to be digested.

Consequently, health experts did not consider blood in any way suitable for human consumption.

(See Islamic Medicine Wonders Vol3 By Dr Mohammad Nezar Aldeker)

3-Pork Meat:

Pork meat and fat are not only prohibited to Muslims, but were also prohibited to Jews and Christians as well because "Swine were designed to be scavengers, to eat up filth." In Old Testament Leviticus Chapter 7-8, it is mentioned about swine "Though he divides the hoof and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud, he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall you not eat." There is no mention in the Bible that Jesus ever ate pork in his life. It was Paul who declared all food and drink permissible saying, "To the pure, everything is pure", and the statement of Paul cannot overrule what Jesus himself said.

When Nelson speaks about spread of the Trichinella Spiralis in the European & American countries he , says in astonishment " the cause behind our addiction of eating swine meat - we the people of the western world- is a perplexing puzzle, especially when we are always being reminded about the risks of doing and also when we read the holy Bible . (Dr Abdul/ Hafiz Hilmi in his article (Biological Sciences Help In Interpretation Of The Quran) Intellectual World Magazine- volume 12-4 Kuwait January 1982.)


Why Pork Fat is different from other animal fat:

Fats are lipids which are a source of energy. They can be of vegetable source or of animal source. Triglycerides are neutral fats with one molecule of glycerol and three fatty acids. The fatty acids can be saturated or unsaturated. The more unsaturated fats have high melting points. The iodine value of fat gives the degree of un saturation. The iodine value of lard is 65, beef 45, and mutton 32. After ingestion, emulsification of fat takes place in the stomach by gastric lipase. By pancreatic lipase, hydrolysis of triglyceride into glycerol and fatty acids takes place. The fatty acids and glycerol are used by various tissues like muscle, heart, kidney, and liver for an energy source. Herbivorous (plant eating) animals have unsaturated fatty acid on the position 2 of the triglyceride (tg) molecule, while the carnivorous (meat eating) animals have saturated fatty acid at the position 2. Pancreatic lipase (pl) can not hydrolyze TG molecule if saturated fatty acid at position 2. Fat of dogs, rats, cats, and pork, have saturated fatty acids on positions 2. If a person eats fat of herbivorous animal, the fat will be hydrolyzed, absorbed, and then re synthesized and stored as human fat, while that of carnivorous animals and pork fat will not be hydrolyzed and therefore has to be deposited in humans as pork fat in the adipose tissue.

What has deposition of pork fat to do with hormone and behavior in humans

Circulating hormones are in bound form and free form. The free form has to be attached to receptor in fat tissue before becoming active. Obesity decreases the number of receptors; therefore, the hormones cannot be utilized. Therefore, if the hormone is insulin, it leads to diabetes (type 2 i.e. non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: NIDDM); and if it is testosterone, it leads to sub fertility and amenorrhea. The amount of fat also controls hormone release. It can be postulated that in humans who have pork fat deposit there is derangement in the binding of hormones, therefore they have a higher level of circulating active hormone. It is possible that the sexual promiscuity and deviant sexual practices of pork eating society is due to what they eat! After all, it has been said by nutritionists, "You are what you eat."

The above mentioned facts about the pork meat have been excerpted from Shahid Athar's (Doctor of Medicine , M.D.) report "Effects Of Prohibited Foods, Intoxicants, And Ingredients On Human Hormones And Behavior" presented on September 20, 1986 at the Fourth Annual Convention of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, held at the Muslim Community Center, Chicago. There are many other things to add to the above mentioned. In fact there are many books written on the subject proving the harms of eating pork meat on a person's medical, sexual and psychological life.


Professor Roff has found that the cholesterol, which exists in the mobile cancer cells, is similar to the cholesterol that composes when the swine meat is eaten. (See The forbiddance Of The Swine meat as Ordained in the Holy Quran By Dr. Mohammed Nazar Al-Dagger)


4-Those Animals over which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked

Muslims have a specific way of slaughtering the animals.

We have included the sacrificial camels among the Symbols of Allah, for there is much good for you in them. Therefore, pronounce the name of Allah over them while standing, and when they fall down on their sides after slaughter, when their movement completely stops, then eat of their meat, feed the contented (poor who do not ask) and the beggars (poor who ask). Thus, We have subjected these animals to you so that you may be grateful.
(Surah Hajj22:36)

The method mentioned in the ahadith and in the Quran pays special attention on two things:

1- Less pain for the animal being slaughtered

2- The medical ethics for humans who ate the slaughtered animal

The Prophets advised the Muslims:

  1. To use a sharp knife when a slaughtering an animal so that it feels less pain
  2. Not to slaughter one animal in front of another animal
  3. To slaughter the animal from their neck
  4. To take the name of ALLAH on the animal before slaughtering the animal


Sahih Muslim Hadith no 910

Narrated Shaddad ibn Aws: Two are the things which I remember Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) having said: Verily Allah has enjoined goodness to everything; so when you kill, kill in a good way and when you slaughter, slaughter in a good way. So every one of you should sharpen his knife, and let the slaughtered animal die comfortably.


The Islamic method of slaughtering the animals in known as 'zabeeha'. When we slaughter, we cut the blood vessels of the neck hence, we stop the blood supply going to the nerves, which feel pain. As a result, the animal does not feel pain. The animal kicks and shivers due to the gush of flow. The contractions and relaxation is due to the lack of blood in that part of that part.

Sunan Abu-Dawood Hadith no 1220

Narrated Adi ibn-e-Hatim: I said: Apostle of Allah, tell me when one of us catches game and has no knife; may he slaughter with a flint and a splinter of stick. He said: Cause the blood to flow with whatever you like and mention Allah's name.

When we slaughter from the neck, we cut the throat, wind pipe and blood vessels of the neck without damaging the spinal cord. Had the spinal cord been damaged there would have been a cardiac arrest. When spinal cord is not damaged heart is pumping most of the blood and most of the blood flows out. We know that blood is a very good media of germ and bacteria. By the Islamic method of slaughtering, we almost reduce the chance of getting diseases from the animal to a great extent and also the meat remains fresh for a more time. In short the zabeeha (Islamic method of slaughter) is the best method both for the animals being slaughtered and humans eating the meat of the slaughtered animal.





See the complete list of Scientific Miracles in Surah Baqarah here


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Anonymous said...

'It is possible that the sexual promiscuity and deviant sexual practices of pork eating society is due to what they eat! After all, it has been said by nutritionists, "You are what you eat."'

Pseudoscience. But then again, it's for believing audience... And one more lie won't hurt the deluded.

Muhammad Awais Tahir said...

I didn't use the statement 'you are what you eat', as a proof. If you want to skip this argument you can. There are many other scientific arguments that make perfect sense. Surely, there is a divine wisdom in the prohibition of pork.

As this is not proven science I'll remove it anyway, if you are unhappy with it :)

Welcome said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. <---did you skip this part intentionally if not what are your thoughts

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