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Why is Swine Flesh Forbidden for Consumption?
« on: October 11, 2012, 01:23:06 AM »
Salamun Alaikum Brother Joseph,

In your article 'Why is Swine Flesh Forbidden for Consumption?',  you state that Allah has not provided us with a reason as to why the pig was made haraam. However, in 6:145 Allah states that swine is impure. Furthermore, we get a negative understanding of the pig from 5:60 in which Allah transformed a group of people into apes and swine for being wicked.

Can you please elaborate?

Thank You,

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Why is Swine Flesh Forbidden for Consumption?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 02:37:37 AM »
Salamun Alaikum,

I have shared the following reason in the article as to why swine flesh is ‘rijs’ (impure).

“The Quran makes it 'forbidden' (haram) to eat the meat of swine (2:173; 5:3; 6:145 and 16:115) without elaborating on the reasons. Once it is 'forbidden' (made haram) it becomes impure (Arabic: rijs 6:145) for consumption by believing humans.”

It is important to note that in its classical sense, the word ‘rijs’ also means something that is unlawful or forbidden and not something which is simply ‘filthy’. I have accepted this well attested classical understanding and have argued that the flesh of swine is ‘rijs’ for human consumption as a consequence of it being made ‘forbidden’ and not because it is inherently impure as a creature. Please note that going against something that God has prohibited is a disobedience which is also clear from the Arabic ‘fisqan’ which is also used along with ‘rijs’ in the same verse (6:145).

With respect, I find that the negative connotation of a pig or ape advanced in 5:60 has little to do with consumption of a pig as a food item.

If you accept the position that you seem to allude to that the pig is inherently ‘impure’, then the onus respectfully is on you to explain why does God create ‘impure’ creatures when He is perfect? Please note that from a Quran’s perspective, humans and jinn only become ‘impure’ by their own actions and as a consequence of exercising volition, not because they were created ‘impure’.

It is important to note that God does not create ‘evil’ or ‘impurity’. Everything that has been created by God in this Universe has a purpose. Even the bacteria and insects that exist in faeces have a purpose.

For example, God creates a fly 22:73, but it has a purpose even though during its life cycle it feeds on decaying organic material such as refuse and faeces.

Impurity and evil is a result of ‘choice’ and ‘volition’ and not a direct result of a perfect Creator.  God is perfect as I’m sure you will agree.

I hope this helps, God willing.

'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell