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Why Can’t Muslims Eat Pork? (Video)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Why can’t Muslims eat pork?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

Can I Work for a Restaurant Serving Pork and Alcohol?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I just got a job as a server at a seafood restaurant. Even though I won’t be preparing the pork or alcohol directly, I’ll still have to serve it to the customer if they order it. Can I work at such a place? Should I quit the job since it serves these two things?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Actually serving pork and alcohol to customers would be problematic and impermissible. You should avoid this line of work and find an alternative.

If immediately leaving this job will cause significant difficulty to you, such as inability to pay rent and fulfill basic needs, it would be permitted for you to continue working in this role while you actively seek out an alternative and permissible line of work.

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Is Gelatin Derived From Pork Permissible to Consume? [Shafi’i]

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam aleykum,

Is gelatin derived from pork permissible to consume? Some people are saying that gelatin derived from pork underwent the process of istihala (transformation). They use the example that dung is impermissible but used as a fertilizer. Out of that fertilizer we grow crops which are permissible to consume.

Answer: Wa alaykum salam

JazakaLlah khayr for your question.

Istihalah refers to the transformation of the essence of one object to another. Istihalah, in principle, is accepted by the Shafi’i’s in a number of instances. One of them being the example of dung that eventually becomes part of crops as you cited above. Another example and perhaps the most popular, is khamr that becomes vinegar.

Important however, is the fact that the Shafi’i jurists consider the application of Istihalah restricted (mahsur) to those instances quoted in our legal texts only. They do not allow that it be applied elsewhere.

Consequently and speaking strictly according to the Shafi’is, one may not apply the reasoning of istihalah to porcine gelatin. Porcine gelatin is thus impermissible to consume. That being said, Istihalah is analogous according to other schools such as the Hanafis and Malikis, as well as one version of the Hambali School. One is thus advised to to consult local authoritative halal bodies on the issue, before spreading any one opinion in a community and thereby causing confusion and unnecessary debate.

And Allah knows best
Abdurragmaan Khan

Photo: Fabio Alessandro Locati

Can I Eat Haram Meat When I Am in a Non-Muslim Country?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Salam,

When a Muslim lives in a non-Muslim country and does not find any halal food nearby, can he eat non-halal food like chicken, beef or sheep? And if lard may have been used as cooking oil for seafood or fish what I should do?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

No, it is not permitted to eat unlawful food.

As such, you should seek out some Muslims (or organizations) who can assist you in finding reliable sources of food.

In the meantime, you should ask for clarity from the restaurant before proceeding to eat therein.

Pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah). [see: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?]

See also: Should I Eat at Restaurants With Food Cross-Contamination Problems?

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Are Dishes in Which Pork and Other Haram Food was Eaten Made Pure Just by Washing?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: Assalamu alaykum,
I live with my non-Muslim family who eats non-halal food. We share the same utensils, pans, plates and so on. How precautious should I be using the same as my family use? Is it necessary to wash a certain number of times or are the things pure after washing them with water and no signs of filth remains? Also, are the utensils considered pure after they have been washed in the dish machine?
Answer: walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
The rulings of purity (tahara) are very simple and straightforward. Washing, even once, is considered to remove ritual impurity (najasa). [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
As such, if your family’s dishes and utentils are washed–whether by hand or in a dishwasher, with or without soap–they would be considered pure and permissible to use.
Note that over-investigation in matters of purity is considered “baseless misgivings” (waswasa). It is not from praiseworthy caution, and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) warned against it. He said, “Truly, this religion is ease, and no one makes the religion difficult for themselves except that it will overwhelm them.”
See: A Reader on Baseless Misgivings (waswasa): A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)
And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.
wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Permissible to Eat at a Place Owned by a Non-Muslim?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Asalamualaykum,
Is it permissible to eat dishes prepared with ritually slaughtered ingredients in non-Muslim restaurants? When eating at non-Muslim restaurants, there is a possibility that ritually slaughtered ingredients may be cross-contaminated with non-ritually slaughtered ingredients, but it is impossible to know with certainty.
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I pray this reaches you in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Yes, ​you can eat the permissible at a place owned by a non-Muslim.
In general, you should exercise caution when there is a strong possibility of contamination. ​ If in doubt, you should ask the staff regarding their procedures. ​
Please also see: Should I Eat at Restaurants With Food Cross-Contamination Problems?
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Should I Eat at Restaurants With Food Cross-Contamination Problems?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: In the past I have seen food being contaminated in a restaurant/food selling place that also sells haram food. For this reason I have avoided such places for approximately 3 years. Should I go by these doubts? How did the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his companions go about in such situation? If it is allowed then how about the knife they use to cut sandwiches (if same knife used for vegetarian and haram food)? Are we allowed to eat from the same utensils on which haram food/alcohol has been served (provided it has been washed)?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that this finds you in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.
If you are reasonably sure that there are contamination issues, it would be an emphasized sunna to exercise caution in eating from such a place.
And yes, you can eat from utensils that were used for unlawful (haram) substances, but have since been washed.
What is Caution (ihtiyat)?
Linguistically, caution is preservation, protection, or guarding.
And technically, it is defined as “guarding oneself against falling into sin.” [Tahanawi, Kashshaf Istilihat al-Funun, quoting Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani]
In general, the legal ruling of caution (ihtiyat) is that it is recommended (mustahab).
Caution has differing rulings depending on circumstance:
It is obligatory to be cautious from the clearly unlawful (haram),
(2) Highly emphasised sunna when there is a reasonable possibility of the unlawful,
(3) Praiseworthy and encouraged when there is a reasonable possibility of the disliked,
(4) Disliked when there is no reasonable basis for it, and
(5) Impermissible when without basis, and it leads to a wrong or the unlawful.
Restaurants and the Presence of Sin
The primary purpose of a restaurant is to serve food. Thus it is not sinful in and of itself to sit in and eat from such a place, irrespective of any secondary activity.
However, it is disliked and blameworthy to choose to be in a place wherein sin is taking place, such as the presence of background music or alcohol. This is in the case it is not unavoidable.
Therefore, and according to our aforementioned principles, it would be praiseworthy to exercise caution in even eating from a place in which there is the secondary presence of sin.
Eating at Restaurants & Contamination Issues
If there is a reasonable possibility of contamination— whether due to bad practice of not using exclusive cutlery for vegetables and unlawful meat, or a shared use of oils for deep-frying, for example— then you should ask for details on how they prepare their food before deciding to eat something.
If you are certain that there are contamination issues, it would be obligatory to be cautious.
As an aside, Sheikh Nuh Keller writes, “Restaurants, coffee shops, and fast-food places are showcases of gluttony, nafs, and worldliness. They should only be used in unpremeditated cases that are not for the enjoyment of the self but for others, and not for the love of the fare or socialising but because they are pressing needs.” [Keller, Sea without Shore]
The Way of Taqwa
Mindfulness (taqwa) is an inward restraint that enables one to avoid that which displeases or distances from Allah–and to embrace all that pleases and draws close to Allah. It is a state of the heart, manifest in one’s attitude and actions–in one’s character and conduct. [see: The Book of Certainty: Qur’anic Themes & Reflections ]
When you have the choice, higher spiritual resolve and true Godfearingness (taqwa) would entail being cautious.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.” [Tirmidhi]
However, when difficult or there are other reasonable considerations, then you should stay within the limits, and you’ll be rewarded as per your intention and not as to what actually happened. This is the mercy of our Religion.
See also: Eating at Restaurants That Play Music  and: A Guide for Consuming Various Meats, Foods, Alcohol, Animal By-Product Ingredients, and Cosmetics
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Use Boar for Any Purpose?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is it permissible to use the boar for any purpose, including its hair?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

A boar takes the ruling of a pig in that it is essentially filthy (najis al-`ayn). [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

This is affirmed by numerous explicit Qur’anic texts, such as, “You are forbidden to eat carrion; blood; pig’s meat; any animal over which any name other than God’s has been invoked.” [5.3]

Thus it would not be lawful to use its hairs.

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Is Ghusl (Purification Bath) Required Before Prayer if I Drink Alcohol or Eat Pork?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Does one need to make ghusl after eating or drinking the haram things such as pork or wine before praying?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

1. Neither one’s ablutions (wudu) nor one’s ritual bath (ghusl) are invalidated by sins such as eating pork or drinking wine. Therefore, it is not legally necessary to renew one’s purification.

2. However, such actions are sins. Therefore, it is obligatory to repent from them.

Wassalam

Faraz Rabbani

Answers on Repentance:

Prayer of Repentance: Salat al-Tawba

Chapter on Repentance: From Imam Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous

What is the Difference Between ”Tawbah”, ”Inabah”, and ”Awba”?

Does Sincere Repentance Eradicate Sin?

How Do You Know If Your Repentance is Sincere?

Is Repentance Always Accepted?

Is it Permissible to Take Medicine That Contains Gelatin?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I have a medical condition for which I have been given medication by my consultant. The medication contains gelatin and is not available in any other form. There is nothing I can take as a substitute for this medication either. According to the Hanafi Madhab, would it be permissible for me to take this medication?

Answer: Walaikum assalaam,

Most Hanafi fuqaha in our times consider gelatin to be an impure substance if derived from pork or an animal not Islamically slaughtered, holding that the change it undergoes from its original state is not sufficient to be considered ‘essential transformation’ (tabdil al-mahiyya).

As such, gelatin from such sources would be considered filthy (najis). Therefore, this issues goes back to using impure substances as medicine.

The general ruling is that it is impermissible to use impure substances for medical purposes.

However, as mentioned by Ibn Abidin and others, it is permitted to use impure substances for medical purposes if:

– it is reasonably known that the medicine will be effective, and is needed;

– there is no permissible alternative reasonably available;

– and this has been established by an expert Muslim doctor who is at least outwardly upright, or through part experience, or clear signs (e.g. it is clearly known to one and all that this is the only medical alternative, for example).

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani