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Why Can’t Muslims Eat Pork?

03 July, 2024
Q 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!


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.

In this fatwa:

Muslims can’t eat pork for the following reasons:

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  • Consumption of pork causes several diseases.
  • Pork has fat building material.
  • The pig is one of the filthiest animals on earth.

As regards the reason behind the prohibition of pork, we would like to cite the words of Dr. Zakir Naik, the President of Islamic Research Foundation, Mumbai:

The fact that consumption of pork is prohibited in Islam is well known. The following points explain various aspects of the prohibition of pork:

Pork is prohibited in the Quran

The Quran 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 has been invoked a name other than that of Allah.} (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)

The above verses of the Glorious Quran are sufficient to satisfy a Muslim as to why pork is forbidden.

Pork is prohibited in the Bible

Addressing the Christian who is likely to be convinced by his religious scriptures, the Bible prohibits the consumption of pork, in the book of Leviticus: “…and the swine, as he divideth the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch, they are unclean to you.” (Leviticus chapter 11 verse 7 and 8)

Pork is also prohibited in the book of Deuteronomy: “And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you. Ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.” (Deuteronomy chapter 14 verse 8)

A similar prohibition is repeated in the book of Isaiah chapter 65 verse 2-5.

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.

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.

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.


Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.