Debunking the Taboos of Eating Pork [Part 3]
- August 8, 2023
Disliking Pork on the grounds of Islamic [Quran] Laws
The Quran does not point to any concrete religious reason for prohibiting pork. As a matter of fact, in the entire Quran book, the instruction is given once, in 2:173 and backed in 5:3, 6:145, and 16:115. In summary, Surah al-Baqarah 2:173, Surah al-Md’idah 5:3, and Surah al-Nahl 16:115 warn that “He [Allah] 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, there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful”. (Quran :173). Emphatically, the Quran points out in 6:145 that the prohibition is strictly made to ensure that people maintain good health. It is a matter of common-sense to understand why dead animals are not to be eaten.
The people at that time had no proper veterinary service and medical knowledge to understand the nature of certain strange animal diseases. We do know that when an animal dies of a disease, there is a higher tendency that people who consume the animal’s meat might contract the same disease. Similarly, Surah al-Ma’idah 5:3 includes the prohibition of animals devoured by beasts or preys. The health-base explanation to this prohibition is that certain animals have poisonous attacking mechanisms that they use on their victims.
Also, animals that sustain cut injury or open wound during attack or in a fight may be exposed to infections. Whether infected or poisoned, eating such animals will result in a dire health. These are part of the reasons why such prohibition is made. As discussed in part 2, the pig was prohibited because of its inability to chew the cud. And we can understand from it that the whole law on food selection is for the betterment of our health.
The Quran reiterates that “whoever is forced by necessity, neither desiring it nor transgressing, there is no sin upon him” to assure us that there is no religious curse on eating a pig. My interest is in the phrase “forced by necessity”. Necessity, by definition, is an indispensable thing or the fact of being required. Considering the rate at which our population is increasing, we need farm animals that have the physical capacity to withstand adverse environmental and agricultural conditions, and with the ability of reproducing many offspring within a brief period to help us reduce hunger and starvation in our country. Pig is agriculturally economical and has proven to solve food crisis in the advanced countries.
It is high time we start thinking constructively for the betterment of our lives, instead of being slaves to some laws that were written thousands of years ago to guide people who could not reason for themselves.
It is really a shame to term this food “haram”. There are thousands of children in the northern parts of Ghana that need to be saved from hunger and starvation. Together, we can do better for Ghana. We should change our primitive way of thinking and be rational, if we want to develop in every aspect of life.