Where can I learn more about Islam? Can you tell me how to pray, how to find a mosque in my area, how to perform the hajj pilgrimage, etc?
Islamic Concern is not a comprehensive Islamic site. Our main focus is solely on providing information on animals in Islam and related topics. There are many excellent Web sites that can provide you with further information on Islam, including how to become a Muslim. We suggest you begin with the following:
Fatwas on VegetarianismMany Muslim jurists have issued legal rulings that show vegetarianism is certainly permitted in Islam. Please see those below for a small sample of rulings from across the spectrum of Muslim jurists.
Some fatwas on vegetarianism:
Hamza Yusuf on eating meat (from the audio tape "The Science of Shari'ah" - click here to buy ):
"Meat is not a necessity in Shari'ah, and in the old days most Muslims used to eat meat, if they were wealthy, like middle classonce a week on Friday. If they were pooron the Eids."
"So traditionally Muslims were semi-vegetarians. The Prophet was, I mean, technically, the Prophet (SAWS) was in that category. He was not a meat-eater. Most of his meals did not have meat in them. And the proof of that is clearly in the Muwattawhen Sayyidina Umar says, 'Beware of meat, because it has an addiction like the addiction of wine.' And the other hadith in the Muwattathere is a chapter called 'Bab al-Laham,' the chapter of laham, the chapter of meat. Both are from Sayyidina Umar. And Umar, during his khilafa, prohibited people from eating meat two days in a row. He only allowed them to eat [it] every other day. And the khalifa has that right to do that. He did not let people eat meat every day � he saw one man eating meat every day, and he said to him, 'Every time you get hungry you go out and buy meat? Right? In other words, every time your nafs wants meat, you go out and buy it?' He said, 'Yeah, Amir al-Mumineen, ana qaram,' which in Arabic, 'qaram' means 'I love meat'he's a carnivore, he loves meat. And Sayyidina Umar said, 'It would be better for you to roll up your tummy a little bit so that other people can eat.'"
"Now Umar, if there was a prophet after the Prophet, it would have been Umar. And that is really verging on prophecy, that statement. Because if you study the modern meat industry, you will find out that a lot of the famine in the world is a direct result of the overconsumption of meat in countries like the United States and Canada and Europe, because the amount of grain needed to produce 1 pound of meat, right, is much greater than the amount you need to produce grain itself. And beef in particularI really recommend Rifkin's book Beyond Beef. It's an extraordinary book. And it's interesting 'Baqara' is also a chapter of the Qur'an ('kill the cow'), because beef-eating societies just have massive impact on the environment, on natural resources, on all these things. And traditionally the Muslims were not cow-eaters, they were sheep and lamb [-eaters] when they did eat meat."Mufti Ebrahim Desai
A Muslim may be a vegetarian. However, he should not regard eating meat as prohibited.
And Allah Taãla knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Vegetarianism is halal.
Meat is not compulsory.
Any food is permissible provided it is not harmful.
Muslims are free to eat whatever they want provided it is halal.
"It is like wanting to eat a certain fruit and not the other." Sayyid FadlallahSummation of answer given by the Honorable Sayyid Fadhlullah during an online Q&A session, December 1, 2001
Wa Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatullah,
You are right that the matter of halal and haram is only the authority of Allah (SWT) as we are not allowed to make any halal haram, we are also not allowed to make any haram halal. Allah has created some animals for our food as Allah says in the Qur'an in surat an-Nahl, And cattle He has created for you. From them you drive wont and numerous benefits and of their meat, you eat. (16:5-8)
Muslims do recognize animal rights, and animal rights means that we should not abuse them, torture them, and when we have to use them for meat, we should slaughter them with a sharp knife, mentioning the name of Allah (SWT). The Prophet (SAAWS) said, Allah has prescribed goodness (ihsan) in everything. When you sacrifice, sacrifice well. Let you sharpen your knife and make it easy for the animal to be slaughtered.
So, Muslims are not vegetarianists. However, if someone prefers to eat vegetables, then they are allowed to do so. Allah has given us permission to eat meat of slaughtered animals, but He has not made it obligatory upon us.
Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid
Wa`alykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh.
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.
Welcome to the fold of Islam! We pray to Allah to make you a good Muslim. As for your question, there is nothing wrong with being a vegetarian or not eating animal products, but you need to be aware of the following:
There is a great difference between not eating a certain kind of food
because of not liking it, or one has been put off itfor example
by seeing an animal slaughtered when one was a child, which may leave
the person with a distaste for meatand other similar reasons,
and thinking that meat is Haraam by abstaining from it is an act of
worship, as the Brahmins, monks and others do.
A member of Islamic Concern for Animals asked the following question
of several leading ulema via their online question-and-answer sections:
Why are you singling out 'Eid sacrifice? What about Christmas and Thanksgiving?
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