Pork Is Forbidden: But Why? 1 Question Dear scholars of Islam, as-Salamu `alaykum! I would like to know why eating pork is prohibited in Islam, despite the fact that some people claim that pigs are very useful, especially when compared to the slow rate of energy conversion to flesh (7% only) whereas the rate of pig’s conversion to flesh is 20%? I just want to know the wisdom behind the prohibition of pork in Islam. Jazakum Allah Khayran! Name of Mufti IOL Shari`ah Researchers Topic Foods & Drinks Answer Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear brother in Islam, thank you very much for having confidence in us and we implore Allah to guide us all to the best and to direct you to that which pleases Him, Amen. As regards your question, we’d like to make it clear that every committed Muslim should accept Allah’s Commands willingly, even without realizing the wisdom behind the Divine rule in question. If man manages to realize the wisdom behind certain prohibited things, it is well and good. If his mind lacks comprehending that Divine Wisdom, then he should accept the truth as it is, keeping in mind that Allah Almighty is the Omniscient of that which is beneficial to His Creatures. When Allah Almighty prohibits something for His servants, He does so certainly out of His overflowing mercy on them, to save them from all what may bring them harm; He is indeed Ever-Kind and Most Glorious! As regards the reason why eating pork is prohibited, we’d like to cite for the words of Dr. Zakir Naik, the president of Islamic Research Foundation, Mumbai. He states the following: “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 the Qur’an: The Qur’an prohibits the consumption of pork in no less than 4 different places. It’s prohibited in 2:173, 5:3, 6:145 and 16:115. For instance, Allah says: “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-Ma’idah: 3) The above verses of the Glorious Qur’an are sufficient to satisfy a Muslim as to why pork is forbidden. 2. 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 harbors 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 Trichuriasis. 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. 3. 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. 4. The 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, filth and dirt. In the villages they don’t have modern toilets and the villagers excrete in the open air. Very often excreta are 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 neighbor’s excreta. ” Allah Almighty knows best. 2 Question : Can I use gloves (surgical gloves which are thicker than the disposable plastic ones) to handle pork? Also, can I handle frozen pork that is already vacuum-wrapped with plastic for delivery? I'm asking this in view of certain aspects of certain jobs which require the handling of pork. Name of Counsellor Islamic Religious Council of Singapore Answer In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Thanks for your question, and we implore Allah earnestly to guide us to the best ways to help us remain steadfast in adhering to Allah's Commands. Undoubtedly pork is impure, so there is nothing wrong with using gloves as a barrier to prevent you from directly coming into contact with pork. Gloves used for handling pork should be purified or thrown away if they are disposable. Responding to the question, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore has stated the following: Pork and pork by-products are considered to be major impurities (najis). As such, if one's clothing or body becomes contaminated with pork, one cannot perform prayer until the contaminated area has been properly purified. One must use one part earth and water and six parts water for the purification process. Using gloves or any other material as a barrier to avoid direct contact with pork is allowed. But if the material contaminates one's body or one's clothes, then it should be purified. Handling vacuum-wrapped pork is allowed because the impurity is contained inside the wrapping. But as a precaution, one should wear gloves in the event that the wrapper gets punctured or has been previously contaminated. Gloves that have been used to handle pork should be purified accordingly, or else they should be thrown away if they are disposable. [COLOR="DeepSkyBlue"]3 Question: As-Salamu `alaykum. I work in a store where lottery tickets and pork sandwiches are sold. Due to my circumstances, it’s hard for me to find another job. Is it permissible to work there? [/color] Name of Mufti Muzammil Siddiqi Answer Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear questioner, we commend your pursuit of knowledge and your keenness to seek what is lawful and avoid what is not. We earnestly implore Allah to bless your efforts in this honorable way. The basic principle is that every Muslim is required to seek a halal job so as to earn his living in a lawful way, and to steer clear of doubtful matters and that which is haram. A Muslim who works in a store where pork and lottery tickets are sold should quit that place and search for a lawful job. In case he has no means but to remain in that place for a while until he finds a lawful job because he is financially straitened, then he is permitted to do so. However, he should quit the place the moment he gets another opportunity, even if he must take a cut in pay. Responding to the question, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and member of the Fiqh Council of North America, states: "For a Muslim, it is forbidden or haram to sell things that are forbidden. You should try to find a halal job as soon as possible. Be active in seeking another job even if it pays a little less than what you earn now. If you cannot afford to live and maintain yourself and your family without a job, then work at this job until you find another one. Quit this job as soon as you find a halal position. May Allah help you." May Allah guide you to the straight path, and guide you to that which pleases Him, Amen. Allah Almighty knows best.