Like Orthodox Jews and some Christians, Muslims maintain dietary restrictions that prohibit eating pork. Swine flesh is considered haraam, or unlawful, and all but the most secular Muslims respect the Quran's declaration of the meat as haraam, even though the sacred text doesn't discuss the reasons for the prohibition.
Muslims often view pigs as shameful simply because the Quran prohibits the consumption of their flesh without giving any specific reasons. According to the Islamic Research Foundation, eating pork is forbidden in four places within the text, including 2:173, 5:3, 6:145 and 16:115. The bans are explicit; 5:3 states, “Prohibited to you (is...) the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah." Muslims believe that Allah is all-wise, and so even without knowing all of the reasons for the prohibition, they feel the command must be for the benefit of humankind.
Despite the Quran’s silence on the reason for prohibiting pork, Muslim scholars have pointed to a variety of justifications, including potential physical health problems. According to a study conducted by Qamar and Raza, pork contains more fat and cholesterol than other meats, which can contribute to cardiovascular disease. Additionally, pigs serve as carriers for parasitic infections that can be transmitted to human beings through consumption of pork.
In their research study, Qamar and Raza write that Muslims consider pigs dirty, lazy, greedy, and indiscriminate in their sexual behavior, and shameless in their feeding to the extent of even eating excrement. Muslims regard the human body and soul as interconnected, and so anything which enters the body as food is thought to have a spiritual effect. Therefore the nourishment provided by swine flesh may damage a person’s soul.
While the prohibition of pork consumption is unquestionable in the Quran, according to Islam Today in some cases it's permissible to eat halaal -- lawful food -- out of dishes that previously contained pork. To do so, however, must be a question of absolute necessity, and the dishes must have been thoroughly cleaned.
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