By Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Many Muslims think anything associated with pigs is haram, e.g. cartoon characters, story book characters, fairy tales with pigs in them, even saying the word ‘pig’ or it’s equivalents in any language!
When did the average Muslim become so ignorant of the message of Allah SWT to our Human Family, namely, the Holy Quran?
“He has forbidden you only carrion, blood, the flesh of the swine, and that which has been offered to other than Allah. But should someone be compelled, without being rebellious or aggressive, there shall be no sin upon him. Indeed Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful.”
~ Holy Quran 2:173 (al-quran.info)
“Say, ‘I do not find in what has been revealed to me that anyone be forbidden to eat anything except carrion or spilt blood, or the flesh of swine —for that is indeed unclean— or an impiety offered to other than Allah.’ But should someone be compelled, without being rebellious or aggressive, indeed your Lord is all-forgiving, all-merciful.”
~ Holy Quran 6:145 (al-quran.info)
Clearly, there is nothing in these verses that prohibits anything related to pigs, except eating them. Another point to consider, is that when these verses are recited, the reciter reads aloud the Arabic word for pig, and Muslims have been doing that for the past 14 centuries.
Islam’s dietary laws comprise part of an adaption and continuation of the Law of Moses (Musa), peace be upon him, found in the Torah.
“The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them: Speak to the Israelite people thus:
These are the creatures that you may eat from among all the land animals: any animal that has true hoofs, with clefts through the hoofs, and that chews the cud – such you may eat. The following, however, of those that either chew the cud or have true hoofs, you shall not eat:
the camel – although it chews the cud, it has no true hoofs: it is unclean for you;
the daman – although it chews the cud, it has no true hoofs: it is unclean for you;
the hare – although it chews the cud, it has no true hoofs: it is unclean for you;
and the swine – although it has true hoofs, with hoofs cleft through, it does not chew the cud: it is unclean for you.
You shall not eat of their flesh or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you”
~ Torah, Leviticus (Va-yikra) 11:1-8 (JPS 1985)
The same dietary laws are discussed in the Torah book of Deuteronomy (Devarim) 14:3-21. Many Muslims will notice that we don’t follow exactly the same dietary guidelines as those advocated in the Torah, but the Holy Quran certainly makes reference to them and Islam’s dietary laws are clearly modelled after them.
Rather than extending dietary prohibitions to cartoons, story books and even language, should we not be more concerned about the apparent obsession of some mullahs and preachers with pretending everything is haram? Islam liberates people from superstition and serfdom at the feet of priests. So why are some Muslims following the word of preachers over the word of Allah SWT?
Indeed, there are clear warnings in the Holy Quran against following the false religious teachings of preachers of deception over the word of Allah, but how many take the time to study the book of Allah?
“[Say,] ‘Shall I seek a judge other than Allah, while it is He who has sent down to you the Book, well-elaborated?’ Those whom We have given the Book know that it has been sent down from your Lord with the truth; so do not be one of the skeptics.”
~ Holy Quran 6:114 (al-quran.info)
“And they swore by Allah with solemn oaths that if a warner were to come to them they would be better guided than any of the nations. But when a warner came to them it only increased them in aversion, acting arrogantly in the land and devising evil schemes; and evil schemes beset only their authors. So do they await anything except the precedent of the ancients? Yet you will never find any change in Allah’s precedent, and you will never find any revision in Allah’s precedent.”
~ Holy Quran 35:43 (al-quran.info)
“Read in the Name of your Lord…” (96:1) the Holy Quran to discover the true Islam, and avoid the deception of those who are taking Muslims away from Islam.