Allah says in the Holy Quraan:
“O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He whom ye worship” (2:172).
“He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (2:173).
Halaal and Haraam are concepts we as Muslims are familiar with and there must be no compromise on the issue. However when it comes to explaining the difference to non-Muslims, the issue can become complicated and confusing. Besides the basics of halaal and haraam, there is a scientific explanation that is brilliant in its approach in educating enquiring minds and those that are naïve or unfamiliar on the topic.
So if one day a non-Muslim approaches you and poses the question: “Why is it that a Muslim is very particular about the words Halaal and Haraam; what do they mean?” You can answer the question as follows:
That which is termed permissible is Halaal and that which is termed not permissible is Haraam and it is the Quraan which draws the distinction between the two. Islam has prohibited blood of any type. It is agreed that a chemical analysis of blood shows that it contains and abundance of uric acid, a chemical substance which can be injurious to human health.
Uric acid has a toxic nature and in the human body it is excreted as a waste product and in-fact it is known that 98% of the body’s uric acid is extracted from the blood by the kidneys and removed through urination. Therefore the special prescribed method of slaughter in Islam becomes more appreciated. When the wielder of the knife, whilst taking the name of the Almighty Allah, makes an incision through the jugular veins, leaving all other veins and organs intact. The reason for this is that if the organs, like the heart, liver or brain are crippled, the animal could die immediately and its blood would congeal in its veins and would eventually permeate the flesh…
This implies that animals flesh would be permeated and contaminated with uric acid and therefore very poisonous; and only today did dieticians realize such a thing. So by making an incision though the jugular vein, the death of the animal is caused by the total loss of blood from the body, rather than an injury to any vital organs.
Muslims also condemn the consuming of pork or ham or any other foods derived from pig or swine and apart from the Quraan, prohibiting this, in fact the bible too in Leviticus chapter 11, verse 8, regarding swine says: “of their flesh (of the swine, another name for a pig) shall you not eat, and of their carcass you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.” Further to this there is an amazing fact that a pig cannot be slaughtered at the neck for it does not have a neck; that is according to its natural anatomy. From this a Muslim reasons that if a pig was meant to be slaughtered and fit for human consumption, Allah would have provided it with a neck. None the less all that aside, there are many harmful effects of consumption of pork or any pork related products.
Medical science has discovered that there is a risk for various diseases, the pig is found to be a host for many parasites and potential diseases. Apart from this, it is important to note that the pig’s biochemistry excretes only 2% of its total uric acid content. The 98% remains as an integral part of the body.
With the festive season upon us, companies embark on hosting their Christmas parties and yearend functions at restaurants and venues where there is no distinction between halaal and haraam. As Muslims we must remain steadfast in our quest to uphold the sunnah of our beloved Nabi (SAW) and refrain from frequenting such places where the dignity of well respected employees are torn to shreds through inebriations and folly. We must strive to awaken the interest and kindle enthusiasm in others in a sure way to encourage and educate them about our beautiful Islam, but most of all we must lead by example so that when we stand before Allah Almighty on the day of Qiaamah, our Noble Nabi (SAW) can be proud and intercede for us before Allah.