The Debate on Islam and Vegetarianism- Part 2

Fruit stall in a market in Barcelona, Spain.

Colourful Fruit and Veg: Image via Wikipedia

A while back, I posted an article here on the issue of whether Islam condones or recommends or even encourages vegetarianism as I felt that there were alot of views out there and no real solid answers. I am afraid, I still have no solid answers but the debates continues.

Rianne ten Veen, author of ’99 ways to please god‘ who also works with IFEES (and is one of the best Green Muslims I know) added these interesting points which I wanted to share:

I agree the Quran doesn’t state ‘thou shalt be an exclusive vegetarian’; however, there are at least 4 verses in the Quran which positively encourage the non-animal food blessings:

50:9-11 – “We caused to grow gardens, grains for harvest, tall palm-trees with their spathes, piled one above the other-sustenance for (Our) servants.”
6:141 – “It is He Who produces gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters.”

and none that encourage meat … just that certain animals are definitely haram/ forbidden and that if you want to eat those which are not haram, then kill it properly, e.g:

6:142 – “Of the cattle are some for burden and some for meat: eat what Allah hath provided for you, and follow not the footsteps of Satan: for he is to you and avowed enemy.” – Satan mentioned in same sentence as meat eating… so eating too much of it can be easily done, and things like factory farming (where vast majority of meat nowadays available in many countries now comes from!) should be a definite no-no!

Please note that Rianne’s response was edited. See here for her full comment.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Arwa
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 18:31:08

    Jzkallah Khair for taking time to make this comment and enlighten us all. You really are a fountain of knowledge mashalla


  2. greenmuslima
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 16:17:03

    Oh yes, forgot to add last time, many Muslims who eat lots of meat seem to do so as ‘Prophet liked meat’, based on the hadith ‘the superiority of Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. a meat and bread dish) to other meals.’ (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 623) – the thing is: are we not completely going against what Prophet PBUH meant? Almost ‘degrading’ Aisha by ‘demoting’ meat to a staple dish, while meat was meant to be eaten so seldomly that it was special occasion (and that in an era and climate where meat might be more easily available than vegetables than for many of us now). Obsessing on ‘halal’ when all veg are halal by nature, but not aware of this, e.g. when looking for a suitable place to eat in a strange city… just eat a veg (non-alcoholic) dish… all the choice in the world in most places.
    NB: I’m personally a vegetarian in the sense that I SO much prefer vegetables (the definition the initial vegetarians in the West gave to their ‘movement’, i.e. it doesn’t include ‘making meat haram’), but do eat limited amounts of fish and meat when a guest somewhere (either not to offend my hosts, or because veggies have not been included in the food buffet…). The first and almost still only Arab vegetarian I’ve met is the Jordanian Director of Friends of the Earth Middle-East.


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