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The Dietary Laws of God

The Truth of
The Christian Abrogation of Mosaic Law
And Freedom from Dietary Limits Laid down by God
According to the Scripture
of the People of the Book

By

Jamilah Boulter

Edited by Abu Micael


Why do Christians Eat Pork?
One of the many questions that arise on the Muslim message boards in which
non-Muslims participate is the very relaxed attitude Christians have concerning
what they eat. There seems no rhyme or reason to the standards they set for
themselves, in what they eat, with the worship of our Lord.
For example, when a Christian fasts, he often allows himself bread and water. In
other words, he may abstain from those foods that he usually indulges himself
with, and keep his body and soul together with plain, monotonous fare. Even if he
abstains from all food during his fast, he will usually allow himself water. I do not
mean to diminish the sincere fasting of those Christian sects, like some Coptic
Christians in Egypt, who will abstain from all animal products, including diary
products, fish and eggs, during the entire fasting period, and who, from sunrise
to sunset they, like the Muslims, abstain from eating or drinking anything at all.
Others, however, just play lip-service to the official fasting periods, giving up a
favourite item, such as chocolate, during the period.
Another example is Lent, a forty day fasting period before the Passover1. This
period begins with a holiday, often associated with Rio de Janeiro, now commonly
a spectacle of processions of spectacular floats, and of naked flesh and flashy
costumes dancing in the street, called Carnaval. In other cities, such as New
Orleans, this festival is called Mardi Gras. The Rio event is now broadcast all
over the world so that even the people not participating can get a taste of the
excitement and a view of gyrating half, sometimes almost fully, naked bodies.
Originally, however, this was Shrove Tuesday, the holy day that people
emptied their larders of all meat products, cooking them in a great feast that
every one shared in because they would now fast (abstain from) meat for 40
days. If they left any meat in the larder, 40 days would be enough time to see
that it went off and became inedible. Hence the feast: to consume all of it and
not waste any of it. In addition, the people would build effigies of saints and carry
them on biers or litters through the streets in a procession whilst they
themselves dressed in sackcloth to show they were entering a fasting period.
These may be the origins of the huge floats now built on motorized vehicles in
Rio and the costumes the dancers now wear.
From this original holiday, we can surmise that the fast was principally the
fasting of meat, which means, of course, that one may consume fish (the
produce from fishing) or vegetables (the produce of tilling the earth). Even that
'partial', but general, fast has become diluted so that now a Christian is free to
choose what he will abstain from (if anything) during the Lent period, including
non edibles – such as using his or her car. 'What are you giving up for Lent?' is
now a common question among practicing Christians.
Among practicing Roman Catholics, it is (was?) common to eat fish on Fridays,
abstaining from the normal meat dish one eats on other days.
So why do they have these complicated and only partially adhered to rules of
diet, if all dietary Law has been repealed by Jesus, peace be upon him? I think it
1
Passover is the celebration of the successful crossing of the Red Sea and delivery of
the Jewish people by God, out of Egypt. It coincides with the Christian Easter, and used
to coincide with Ashúra – still celebrated by the Muslims, but according to the
unadjusted Lunar Calendar, which progresses around the Solar Year every 33 years or
so, rather than the Adjusted Jewish Lunar Calendar – which keeps it in Line with the
Solar Calendar that the Christians now use.
2
is because there were strict dietary laws which were gradually eroded as
Christianity absorbed more and more customs from the varied tribes of people
who took Christianity as their religion. Why? Because we can see the first stages
of the rearguard action to defend these dietary laws in Acts, where James, the
brother of Jesus, sought to stem the erosion which Paul's doctrine had already
precipitated, saying:
Trouble not them which from the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write
unto them that they abstain from meats offered to idols, and from
fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.2
The seriousness of the dietary prohibition is such that it is compared with
'fornication'. This offence doesn't seem all that serious now, since it is common
practice all over the modern world for young men and women to experiment with
sex before marriage, or 'live together' without getting married, or even go
through a succession of sexual partners for pleasure without any commitments
each to the other. Among believing Muslims, however, it is a very serious
offence. So serious that it often carries with it an unofficial death sentence due to
the shame the family feels in which fornication occurs.
This unofficial death sentence is cultural, but born of the prohibition of sex
without marriage. The Islamic Divine Law3 does not allow a death sentence in
these cases, and condemns such 'honour killings' as murder. According to Divine
Law, however, the offending parties of a fornication case, both the boy and girl,
should be scourged and then exiled from the community of Muslims in which the
event took place for one year lest, in the hereafter, their punishment were to be
roasted in a cauldron during the life of the grave4 until the Day of Judgement,
should they died on it without repentance.
The defence that the Christians I spoke to have erected to justify their non-
observance of The Torah Laws, especially concerning what they eat, is three
pronged, centring around, in the Gospels, Matthew Chapter 15 and Mark
Chapter 7. They also cite Acts 10 from Luke's scripture, and various passages
from Galatians and Romans in which Paul argues the abrogation of Mosaic Law.
These evidences I will, God willing, present and examine first. I will then discuss
dietary law using Islamic proofs. Finally, I will present evidence that Jesus, may
he be praised, came not to abrogate, but confirm, the Mosaic Law to the Jews,
and examine the claim that Jesus was to allow the people to distance themselves
from that which had been added to it by the priesthood, and his mission was, as
is written in Quran:
“to attest the Law which was before me, and to make lawful to you part of
what was (before) forbidden to you...”5
and thus that Christians are obliged, according to their scriptures, and now
according to ours, to follow the Monotheistic Laws of God that are enshrined in
the Quran, which confirms what is in the Gospel and Torah .

2
Acts 15:19-20 and 28-29, and Acts 21:24-25
3
The Divine Law derived from the Quran and official teachings of Prophet Muhammad
(May God Praise him), called al-Shariy'ah.
4
The place between Death and Resurrection often referred to as Barzakh. This life is
similar in concept to Purgatory, though not exactly the same.
5
Quran, 6:50
3
4
The Abrogation of Mosaic Law in the New Testament.
The Christians say that, according to St. Paul, the Mosaic laws of practice have
been abrogated for Christians. There is no need to follow the coercion of external
Law, embodied in the dictates of the scribes and priests of the Pharisees,
imposed on men. Rather, men should follow their inner conscience which results
in following the spiritual Laws of practice God demands’.
1. Ignorance is bliss.
Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for
conscience sake For the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof. If any of
them that believe not bid you to a feast, and you are disposed to go;
whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.6
Indeed, this seems a clear licence that anything offered up by anybody, believer
or not, is permissible to eat. It even seems to indicate you need not speak God's
blessing over the food before eating it. But Paul then gives a proviso.
If any man says unto you, ‘this (food) is offered in sacrifice unto idols,’ eat (it)
not for his sake, nor your conscience sake.7
He also says,
If I, by Grace, be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that which I give
thanks? Whether, therefore, you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do it all
to the Glory of God.8
So, even according to Paul, there is a minimum standard, if you know. It is only if
you don't know, and take care not to ask, that you have the liberty to partake of
whatever is offered. Even so, one should give thanks for God's Grace before
consuming what is set before you. Thus, according to the doctrine of Paul,
ignorance, for the Christian, even deliberate ignorance, is bliss, and you will not
be blamed for that.
2. Christians are free from the Law of Moses.
The principle behind embracing ignorance is that the old Law, exteriorly
imposed, is dead. The new Law, faith in Jesus Christ, is what is living, and
spiritually palpable.
Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law by the body
of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to him who is raised
from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in
the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the Law, did work in our
members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the
Law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in
newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.9
Paul even reasons with us giving Abraham, peace be upon him, as an example:
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham,
or to his seed, through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if
6
1Corinthians 10:25-27
7
1Corinthians 10:28
8
1Corinthians 10:30-31
9
Romans 7:4-6
5
they which are of the Law [were to be] heirs, faith is made void, and the
promise made of none effect. Because the Law works wrath: for where no
Law is, [there is] no transgression. Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might
be] by Grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that
only which is of the Law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who
is the father of us all, before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickens
the dead and calls those things which be not, as though they were.10
3. Or are they?
This vision of faith being the substitute of works is emphatically denied by
James, the brother of Jesus:
My brothers, what is the gain if anyone says he has faith, but he does not
have works? Is the faith able to save him? …
faith, if it does not have works, is dead, being by itself. …
out of the works the faith was made perfected. …
a man is justified out of works, and not out of faith only. …
as the body is dead apart from the spirit, so also faith is dead apart from
works.11
He, too, gives examples and a rationale:
But if a brother or a sister is naked and may be lacking in daily food, and any
one of you say to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, but does not give
them the things the body needs, what gain is it? So also faith, if it does not
have works, is dead being by itself.12
But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith
apart from your works, and I will show you my faith out of my works. You
believe that God is One. You do well; even the demons believe and
shudder. But are you willing to know, O vain man, that faith, apart from
works, is dead?13
Was not our father, Abraham, justified by works, offering up his son Isaac on
the altar? You see that faith worked with his works; and out of the works the
faith was made perfected. And the Scripture was fulfilled, saying, "And
Abraham believed God, and it was counted for righteousness to him;" and he
was called, Friend of God. You see, then, that a man is justified out of
works, and not out of faith only.14
But in the same way Rahab, the harlot, was also justified out of works, having
received the messengers, and sending them out by another way. For, as the
body is dead apart from the spirit, so also faith is dead apart from works.15
4. Christ redeems, not the Law!
‘However,’ the Christian replies, ‘Paul deems the Law of Moses, may God praise
him, is abrogated because Christ redeems the Christian if he breaks it’.

10
Romans 4:13-16
11
James 2:14, 17, 22, 24 and 26
12
James 2:16-17
13
James 2:18-20
14
James 2:21-24
15
James 2:25-26
6
Now we know that what things so-ever the Law says, it says to them who are
under the Law: that every mouth may be stopped, and the entire world may
become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the Law, there shall no
flesh be justified in His sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin.
But now, the righteousness of God, without the Law, is manifested, being
witnessed by the Law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God, which
is, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is
no difference. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being
justified, freely, by His Grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to
declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the
forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he
might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what Law? Of works? Nay: but by
the Law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith
without the deeds of the Law.16
‘And the Johannine Gospel, apparently, supports Paul’s doctrine,’ they continue:
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from
heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the
serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that
whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so
loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes
in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the
world through him might be saved. He that believes on him is not
condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because
he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.17
5. Christ's redemption is IN the Law.
On the other hand, Paul contradicts himself in another letter, to the Galatians,
where he proposes that the Law of Love plus the Law of faith in Jesus Christ as
Redeemer produces, in the believer, deeds of the Law inherent in him.
For, brothers, you were called to freedom. Only do not use the freedom for an
opening to the flesh. But through love serve one another. For the whole Law is
fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” But if
you bite and devour one another, be careful that you are not consumed by
one another.
But I say, ‘Walk in the spirit, and you will not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the
flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are
contrary to one another; lest whatever you may will, these things you do. But
if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under Law.’
Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fighting,
jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envying, murders,
drunkenness, revelling, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand,
as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit
the kingdom of God.
16
Romans 3:19-28
17
John 3:13-18
7
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness,
goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Against such things there is not a Law.
But the ones belonging to Christ crucify the flesh with its passions and lusts. If
we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit.18
Clearly, Paul is not saying that which was forbidden by the Law is allowed now.
Rather, he is saying that a believer living spiritually will naturally do that which is
of the spirit, and by his conscience shun, inwardly and in his actions, those works
that mark him as a disbeliever, undeserving of the final reward.
6. The separation of Gentile and Jew
So what is Paul actually driving at? I think it is that the conceit and hypocrisy of
the Jewish priesthood and their followers have taken them out of the believers
camp, and their adherence to some, but not all, of the stipulations in the Law, for
the sake of Jewish tradition, helps them in no way in the hereafter. Furthermore,
at least according to Paul, the sincerity and good will of the non-Jew who has
come to recognize the true faith produces in him the good deeds that bring
reward in the hereafter. These deeds are accepted despite the lack of strict
adherence in such to the signs of the covenant with Abraham, may God praise
him, (i.e. circumcision) and the lack of knowledge in their possession concerning
the Mosaic Law. Thus he says:
For circumcision verily profits you, if you keep the Law: but if you be a breaker
of the Law, your circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore, if the
uncircumcision keeps the righteousness of the Law, shall not his
uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision,
which is by nature, if it fulfil the Law, judge thee, who, by the Letter and
circumcision transgress the Law?19
Explaining:
For not the hearers of the Law [are] just before God, but the doers of the Law
shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the Law, do by
nature the things contained in the Law, these, having not the Law, are a Law
unto themselves. Whoso show the work of the Law written in their
hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts
between them while accusing or else excusing one another.20
Is Paul's damning indictment of the Jews actually justified? Let us see. I was
reading some letters from Rabbi Nancy Kreimer, a Jewish rabbi in Philadelphia,
written to Paul of Tarsus in absentia. In the fourth of these (7) letters, she writes:
For you, Law was revealed by God and problematic only in its keeping Jews
and Gentiles separate. For many Jews today, the divine origins of Law are
questionable and one of the main reasons for continuing distinctive Jewish
practices is precisely the separating of Jew and Gentile.
I must confess that there are some parts of Jewish Law that I uphold just for
that reason21, such as my intent to circumcise my children on the eighth day
had they been male (which they were not!).

18
Galatians 5:13-25
19
Romans 2:25-27
20
Romans 2:13-15
21
For the sake of separating the Jew from the gentile, rather than for the sake of God
alone.
8
But that is not the whole story. I do not believe, as you did believe, that
the Law is from God.
It seems, therefore, that he is right. The Law is simply a badge of Jewry, no
longer a means of salvation for the Jews, because they do not believe with their
hearts.
7. Liberty (from the Letter of the Law) does not grant licence (to break the
Law).
Commenting on the words “There is liberty” in 2 Corinthians, 3:17,22 the well
known Biblical commentator, Russel, says:
When a Christian is converted, receiving the Holy Spirit as an earnest of
redemption, there is bestowed at the same time freedom: (1) from the law
(Galatians 4:18); (2) from fear (Romans 8:13); (3) from the law of sin and
death (Romans 8:2); (4) from sin (Romans 6:18); and (5) from corruption
(Romans 8:21). The “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not” of the Old Testament
disappear in the presence of the Spirit of adoption (Galatians 4:7) through
which we become imitators of God as beloved children (Ephesians 5:1),
walking in love. 23
However, other commentators disagree about this verse here, and the whole of
the chapter it is a part of. One commentator says:
The above comment from Russell is typical of many false deductions based
upon Paul's teaching in this chapter. Jesus our Lord gave many negative
commandments which may not be ignored by any Christian who hopes to be
received in heaven. (See Matthew 5:19). There are seven negative
commandments in the first twenty verses of Matthew 6. It is simply not true
that “in Christ” we are freed from any “you shall” or “you shall not”
commands. Liberty in Christ does not grant license.24
So, even according to Pauline doctrine, the Christians are not excused from the
Law, but expected to live according to it, justified by faith in God through Jesus.
Living by the Law in itself is not enough. What is required is Works AND Faith.
8. The Muslim perspective on Works
The deed and intention
Hasif Salahuddin comments25 on the following verses and authentic
narrations:
And they were commanded not but they should worship God, and worship
none but Him Alone, and to perform the ritual prayer26 and give the poor
due27, and that is the right religion.28

22
Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
liberty.
23
F30
24
The Coffman Commentary
25
The translation of Ar-Riyádh us Sólihíyn by Imam Nawawiy, published by
Darussalam,.
26
Iqáma-s-Saláh is the 5 obligatory prayers Muslims pray every day
27
az-Zakáh is the yearly tax on wealth imposed on Muslims for the state welfare
program on behalf of God. It is regarded as obligatory charity.
28
Quran, 98:5
9
It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches God, but it is piety from
you that reaches Him.29
And
Say! 'Whether you hide what is in your breast or reveal it, God knows.'30
The Messenger of God also said the following. The first authentic narration31 is
from the son of the second Caliph, ibn 'Umar bin Al-Khatab, whilst the second
is from the most prolific of narrators of authentic reports32 about the Prophet,
Abú Hurrayrah.
The reward of deeds depends upon the intention, and a person will get the
reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly
benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration will be for what he emigrated
for.33
God looks not at your figures, nor at your outward appearance, but he looks at
your hearts and deeds.34
On the basis of these sayings, Islamic scholars are of the unanimous opinion
that the real foundation of one's action is intention and everyone will get a
reward or punishment according to one's intention It is true that one's intention
is founded in ones heart. That is to say, one has first to make up ones mind for
what one subsequently proceeds to do. Furthermore, it is not appropriate to
express verbally that which you intend, nor is ritually doing so part of Islamic
practice according to the Prophetic traditions. Evident from this is the point that
sincerity is a necessity in every action. In other words, every righteous deed
must be done for the pleasure of God if it is to be accepted, and mixing your
intention for a purpose other than sincerity is hypocrisy and will not be accepted
by Him. Therefore, it is essential that every noble action be based on the two
virtues of the heart and the deed – the sincerity, which includes faith because it
is sincere for God, and works, which should be far from that which is base or evil.
The Heart should be purged of the lust for all things that destroy the noble deed,
such as hypocrisy, ostentation, and greed for wealth, and similar mean things fall
into the category of such evil. Since the true condition of the heart is known only
to God, the true position of ones actions will be known only on the Day of
Judgment, when one will receive reward or retribution from God. Never-the-less,
in this world, one should be treated according to one's apparent condition (by
society), whilst leaving the hidden to God to deal with as, and when, He sees fit.
According to ’Abdullah ibn ’Abbás, a foster son of the Prophet whom he
prayed would be the foremost in knowledge concerning the Quran, the
Messenger of Allah also said:
My Lord (God) said 'Verily God, ta'ála (the Highest), has ordered that the good
deeds and bad deeds be written down. Then He explained clearly how (they
would be written). He who intends to do a good deed and does not do it35,
then God records it for him as a full good deed, but if he carries out his
29
Quran, 22:37
30
Quran, 3:29
31
The way of the Prophet recorded in the narration of his words and deeds as witnessed
by his companions, the Sahaba.
32
Ibid.
33
Al-Bukhári & Muslim
34
Muslim
10
intention, God writes it down for him with Him from 10 to 700 times over, or
even many times more. But if he intends to do and evil deed and does not do
it36, then God writes down for with Him a full good deed, but if he intends it
and does it, God writes it down (just) as one (full) bad deed.’’37
This last narration is what is known as hadiyth qudsi38 because Messenger of
God specifically indicates that the content is a direct order from God that he has
been told to convey. They are next to Quran as a source of Islamic jurisprudence.
Such narrations are palpably revealed to the Prophet by means of inspiration.
This one mentions the magnitude of Devine Blessings which He (God) bestows
upon His faithful worshippers now (in the believers' records & perhaps for their
lives in the Mundane world), and will bestow upon His worshippers on the Day of
Judgment for one's life in the Hereafter.
9. The Lawful39 and Forbidden40 food
Specifically to do with eating forbidden food, God says in the Quran,
But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination towards sin,
then surely God is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.41
And,
But if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing
the due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, God is Oft Forgiving, Most
Merciful.42
Concerning the Mercy and Justice of God, Ibn 'Umar reported that Messenger
of God said:
God likes that his allowances be used, just as He dislikes that disobedience to
Him is committed.43
Therefore, in similar circumstances, we should do as the Messenger of God ruled
on the following question. Abu Waqid Al-Layth narrated that some of the
Companions asked the Prophet:
‘O Messenger of God! We live in a land where famine often strikes us.
Therefore, when are we allowed to eat the meat of forbidden animals44?’
35
Some scholars are of the opinion that this means the person was prevented from
doing it, or that he or she forgot to do it when he had the opportunity, and so missed
the chance. They do not think it applies to the man or woman who withdraws from the
intention deliberately, in which case perhaps nothing is recorded. And God knows best.
36
Conversely, this probably means the person who deliberately turns away from doing
the deed when he has the opportunity. Although I am not an authority on the matter, I
don't think it applies to the person who is prevented or forgets to do the deed. In the
latter case, perhaps nothing is recorded. And God knows best.
37
Al-Bukhári & Muslim
38
Authentic Narrations, usually translated as Sacred Narrations, in which The
Messenger of God says he has been told by God to tell us (a thing), and yet the
saying is not assigned a place as part of the revealed Quran.
39
Al-Halal
40
Al-Harám
41
Quran, 5:3
42
Quran, 2:173
43
Musnad Ibn Hibban
44
In this case, they were referring to carrion. But the ruling equally applies to other
kinds of forbidden animals their and derivatives.
11
Messenger of God replied, ‘When you neither find food for lunch and
dinner nor have any produce to eat, then eat from it’45
These verses and narrations show us the infinite Mercy of God, who not only
makes allowances for His worshippers' difficulties, but encourages them to take
advantage of those allowances when appropriate. If you are in difficulty and
don't make use of His allowance, that is reprehensible in itself – and God alone
knows how He will deal with such ingratitude. So, when you are in dire need, the
forbidden becomes lawful during that need. But that does not mean forever.46
Once the crisis is past, one should repent the occasion that led to partaking of
the normally forbidden and return back to the fine and lawful.
Specifically referring to food that is lawful, God says,
The food of the People of the Book is lawful to you and your food is lawful to
them.47
In the Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Quran in the English
Language, the authors48 mention that Az-Zuhri said – and it is said that ’Ali ibn
Talib, the fourth Caliph and the Prophet’s son in Law, gave a similar verdict,
There is no harm in eating animals slaughtered by Christians. But if you hear
the one who slaughters the animals mentioning other than God's name, don't
eat of it; But if you do not hear that, then God has allowed the eating of
animals slaughtered by them, though He knows their disbelief.
They also reported that Al Hasan and Ibrahím said,
There is no harm in eating of an animal slaughtered by an uncircumcised
person.49
Finally, Ibn Kathír reports in his abridged explanation of the Quran that
Bukhári recorded that ’A‘ishah narrated that some companions asked,
‘O Messenger of God! Some people, recently converted from disbelief, bring
us some meat over which we do not know if God's name was mentioned or
not!’
Messenger of God replied, ‘Mention God's Name on it and eat from it!’ 50
10.Conclusion

45
Imam Ahmad
46
The majority of scholars state that one can only eat of the forbidden in this dire need
that which would keep one alive.
47
Quran, 5:5
48
M. Taqi-ud-Din Al Hilâli & M. Muhsin Khan.
49
Tafsír Máníy-il-Quran il-Karíym bil-Lugat-il-Injlízíy
50
Al-Misbáh il-Muníru fíy Tahdhíybi Tafsír Ibn Kathír
12
In general, then, if not in the details, the difference between the Muslim position
and the position of Paul concerning what is lawful or forbidden to eat, is that the
Muslim must endeavour to ensure what he eats is lawful, and only eat a thing
that is forbidden to eat if he has no alternative to keeping body and soul
together. If the latter situation occurs, then he must pronounce the name of God
over the food before eating it. Paul, on the other hand, says you must avoid
eating a thing only if you know it is forbidden. If you do not know that a thing is
forbidden, you are free to eat it as long as you thank God for its provision. The
difference is subtle, but telling, but not so different as the position that many
Christians take; that all restrictions are off.
Even so, it is a difference that should be corrected in your heart; corrected to
submission to One God.
James, the brother and apostle of Jesus, reminded us that even the demons that
God is One and shudder even as they act against Him. Then he asks,
‘But are you willing to know, O vain man, that faith, apart from works, is
dead?’51
Faith and works are needed, and that means fully submitting to God. If you
decide to do so, such submission and acknowledgement will be rewarded
abundantly. God says in the Quran about the Christian who hears it and believes,
and then acts on that belief:
Indeed now we have conveyed the Word to them, in order that they may
remember. Those to whom we gave the Book, before it, believe in it. And when
it is recited to them, they say, ‘We believe in it. Verily, it is the Truth
from our Lord. Indeed, even before it we were Muslims52.’ These will be
given their reward twice over because they are patient, repel evil with good,
and expend (in charity) what we provide for them. And when they hear evil,
they withdraw from it, saying, ‘To us our deeds, and to you your deeds.
Peace be unto you. We seek not (the way of) the ignorant’.53

51
James 2:20
52
The word used, here, is ‘muslimíyn’, which means ‘those who submit’ (to God).
53
Quran, 28:51-55

13
Everything has been Made Lawful to Eat by Inspiration.
The second of the arguments, which Christians corresponding with Muslims have
used to back up their claim, is that Acts 10 makes what was previously
forbidden to eat now lawful. The chapter relates a dream inspired in the chief
apostle and co-leader of the disciples54, Peter.
The verses most quoted in support of their argument are just five: Verses 11-
15.
And he saw the heaven being opened and a certain vessel like a great sheet
coming down on him, bound by four corners, and being let down onto the
earth by them. Therein were all the kinds of four-footed animals of the earth,
and the wild beasts, and the creeping things, and the birds of the heaven. And
a voice came to him, saying, ‘Rise, Kill, slay and eat!’
But Peter said, ‘Not so, Lord, because I have never eaten any thing anything
impure or unclean.’
And again a voice came to him a second time, saying, ‘What things God made
clean, do not call impure.’55
The verses are actually in the context of a visit he was about to receive from the
servants of a Gentile, the first Gentile Peter was to minister to. Hitherto, despite
the martyrdom of Stephen, Peter, like all the disciples, had seen his mission as
being only to the Jews, just as Jesus' injunction had ordered. This is clear from a
verse in the next chapter, demonstrating the resistance he had to overcome to
change its orientation.
Indeed, they who were scattered by the oppression taking place over Stephen
passed through to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the Word to no
one except only to Jews. 56
This vision changed that orientation and converted Peter to Paul's camp, and
eventually persuaded him, unlike James, the brother of Jesus, that his services
were needed to guide the new Christians living among the Romans.
Does it make sense, therefore, to interpret it literally? Is it true that every kind
of living animal thing that walks on four legs, such as a lion or cheetah or wild
dog, or monitor lizard, could now be eaten by Christians? Is it true that any
creature that stoops from the air is edible; a bat, for instance, or falcon or
vulture, perhaps? That any creeping thing is allowed as your repast, such as
roaches, rats and cobras, or wild beasts such as killer whales, sharks and
crocodiles? Does it make sense? Would you actually utilize such a license?
If you would not, are you not being ungrateful? Remember the lesson that Jesus
taught in John 8 concerning the manna from heaven that the Jews got bored
with. The context of the story from Numbers 11 was the lust of the Children of
Israel, who craved alimentary variety, saying:
Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in
Egypt for nought; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the

54
The name given by the Quran for the followers of Jesus is hawáriyyún, who were with
him while he was manifest on earth, expounding his mission.
55
Acts 10:11-15
56
Acts 11:19
14
onions, and the garlic: but now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all
save this manna to look upon.57
What happened when they rejected God's bounty? In the same chapter, God
furiously condemns the rejection of manna as their source of sustenance
because, in wishing for tasty meat, they complained they had been better off in
Egypt – from whence they had been delivered: He told them,
You shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor
twenty days, but a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be
loathsome unto you; because of the fact that you have rejected The Lord, who
is among you, and have wept before him, saying, ‘Why came we forth out of
Egypt?’58
However, God is merciful in this world as well as the next, and he toned down
the manner of granting them what they wished. So God told Moses to:
Say unto the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves against to-morrow, and you shall eat flesh;
for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, “Who shall give us flesh to eat? For it
was well with us in Egypt”. Therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and you shall eat.’ 59
That, however, didn’t prevent the Just punishment from befalling them once
their base desires had been satiated. When it was over, the people were decimated
by a plague, and Moses
called that place Kibroth Hatta'awah because they buried there the people that had
lusted. 60
So, if you don't eat all those nasty carnivores, scavengers and creepy crawlies
that He has permitted, does it not mean you are in danger of a similar vengeance
being brought down on you because you do not?
Of course it doesn't. Most of them may actually be bad for you and your
digestion. Because this is not a literal licence to eat what you may. It is a
symbolic dream, which Peter understood all too well, that draws a parallel
between the “untouchable, impure Gentile”, and the “untouchable, impure food”
referred to, each type of animal representing the different and varied tribes of
people the world over. One is clearly forbidden, but the other (the Gentile) is not.
And Peter understood the dream that way.
Incidentally, it is significant, here, that Peter recognized all the animals
presented to him as being impure to eat. This means that the concept of certain
types of food being impure continued to be part of the disciples mindset,
indicating that their teacher, Jesus, had not taught them any differently.
Let us now look at the context of the dream. Peter had been in Lydda, but was
called to Joppa because a certain lady disciple, Tabitha, well known for her good
works and charity, had died. He stayed with a certain Simon, a tanner, in Joppa,
and whilst he was there, came to her house and raised her up alive again. For
this his fame spread far and wide.
A certain Roman, who was also a believer and generous alms giver, received a
visit from an angel who told him;

57
Numbers11:4-6
58
Numbers 11:18
59
Numbers11:19-20
60
Numbers 11:34
15
Cornelius! Your prayers and your alms went up for a memorial before God. And
now send men to Joppa and call for Simon who is surnamed Peter. This one is
lodged with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you
what you must do.61
The next day, when the men Cornelius sent were
passing along on the road, and drawing near to the city, Peter went up on the
roof to pray about the sixth hour. And he became hungry and wished to taste
food. But as they were preparing it, an ecstasy fell on him. 62
Whereupon the vision, mentioned earlier, occurred. Peter's reaction to the vision
was to doubt
within himself what the vision which he saw might be, 63
and just
as Peter pondered concerning the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold,
three men are seeking you. But rising up, go down and go with them, not
discriminating, because I have sent them’. 64
On passing, please note that in verse 3 and 7 of Acts 10, the messenger
identified as telling Cornelius to send his men to find Peter was an angel, but
the messenger who says to Peter ‘I sent (the men at your gate)’ is called the
Spirit. This identifies, yet again, The Spirit with an angel of God, just as the
Quran does.
Coming back to the storyline in Acts 10 and 11, when Peter arrives at the
Centurion's house, he says
You know how unlawful it is for a man, a Jew, to unite with or to come near to
one of another race. Yet God showed to me not to call a man impure or
unclean. Therefore, I also came without complaint, being summoned.65
So Cornelius told him about the visit he had received from the angel, and said
‘At once I sent to you, and you did well to come. Now then, we are all present
before God to hear all the things having been commanded you by God.’
And opening his mouth, Peter said, ‘Truly I see that God is not a respecter
of faces, but in every nation the one fearing Him and working
righteousness is acceptable to Him.’ 66
The Jews that had come with him, and there were a lot who had accompanied
him, were amazed at this change in policy, witnessing
the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the nations also. For they heard
them speaking in languages and magnifying God. Then Peter answered, ‘Can
anyone forbid the water that these not be baptized, who the Holy
Spirit received, even as we also?’67

61
Acts 10:4-6
62
Acts 10:9-10
63
Acts 10:17
64
Acts 10:19
65
Acts 10:28-29
66
Acts 10:33-35
67
Acts 10:45-47
16
When Peter recounted these events to the other disciples in Joppa in Acts 11,
he reported that
the Spirit said to me to go with them, not discriminating.68
And after they had heard the whole story, their reaction was to keep silent and
(then) to
glorify God, saying, ‘Then God also has granted to the nations69 repentance
unto life.’70
It should be stressed, here, that being a gentile does not, and never has, cut
people off from God’s mercy and guidance. Mere custom had solidified the
division, conceived of and made law by the scholars among the Jews, between
the Children of Israel and the other descendents of Abraham.
In fact it is one of the many misconceptions concerning the gentiles that they
were foreign to his covenant because they were not Jews, descendants of Jacob.
However, this is an error. The Jews were helped against the gentiles in the wars
of God because the gentiles had lapsed, had become idolaters, not because they
were foreign. Jews that rebelled, or became idolaters were just as subject to
God's wrath as were the non-Jews, and non-Jews had their own prophets come to
them, as can be seen even in the Bible with the prophet-hood of Jethro, Balam,
Job and Jonah and the prophet-hood of Shu'ayb, Saleh, Ayoub, Younus 71 and Hud
in the Quran.
This is evident in the covenant of circumcision which Abraham made with God
so that he would bless the descendants of his son, Ishmael in the land between
the Euphrates and the Nile, and also his future son Isaac in the land of Canaan.72
After hearing Peter and glorifying God,
some men from them, Cypriots and Cyrenians, who had come to Antioch,
spoke to the Hellenists, announcing the gospel of the Lord Jesus. And the hand
of the Lord was with them, and a great number believing, they turned to the
Lord. … And a considerable crowd was added to the Lord.
And Barnabas went out to Tarsus to seek Saul. And finding him, he brought
him to Antioch. And it happened that many of them were gathered to them in
the assembly a whole year. And they taught a considerable crowd. And the
disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.73
Conclusion
So, as we have seen, the vision of Peter was not about food, even though he
was hungry when the vision came to him (which may have been the reason he
received the parable comparing nations to forbidden [animals for] food made
legal for slaughter), but about breaking down the barriers of discrimination
between Jewish Christians and the Christian followers growing among the
Gentiles. Nowhere in the three chapters that give us the context of the dream
does it even suggest that the literal interpretation (eating forbidden food) should
68
Acts 11:12
69
Gentiles
70
Acts 11:18
71
Ayoub and Younus are the names of Job and Jonah in Arabic as they are pronounced
in the Quran.
72
Genesis 17
73
Acts 10:9-10, Acts 11:20-21 & 24-26
17
be applied. In fact, it isn't until much later that the subject of what is lawful to eat
for the Gentiles is mentioned, when James, the brother of Jesus ordered a letter
to be written and taken by the proselytising apostles wherever they preached,
saying,
hold back from sacrifices to idols, and blood, and that strangled, and from
fornication; from which continually keeping yourselves, you will do well.74
because
in every city from ancient generations Moses has those proclaiming him,
having been read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.75
Although the letter does not conclusively deny that previously forbidden species
of animals may now be eaten, it certainly confirms that certain methods of
slaughter makes the eating of them unlawful, and cites the authority of Moses as
the source of these prohibitions. The natural conclusion, therefore, is that none of
the animals mentioned in Peter's dreams are actually permissible to eat, and his
vision does not entail the relaxing of the prohibition from eating pork and pork
derivatives.

74
Acts 15:29
75
Acts 15:21
18
19
It is Not What Goes into, Rather What Comes out of, the
Mouth that Defiles a Man
The third prong of the Christian defence, are the passages in the Gospels of St.
Matthew 15 and St. Mark 7. These passages really should be dealt together,
since they describe the same event. So, despite differing in small points, an
overall view can be obtained by examining the different viewpoints of the same
event. This 'combination' or 'synopsis' of an event is a key defence of Christianity
against the accusation levelled at their Scripture being 'self contradictory' or
'corrupted'. They say there is no conflict if one understands these are simply
different viewpoints that account for the gaps in the other's narratives.
In these passages, the Christians interpret the statement that
‘There is nothing from without a man that entering into him can defile him.
But things that come out of him, those are they that defile the man.’ 76
To mean all restrictions are off concerning what we eat. As in the earlier
chapters, I hope to show that this is a gross misinterpretation of Jesus's
statement, and that, rather than making legal what was prohibited in the Torah,
actually upholds the Law of Moses against innovation.
Immediately following this verse is a statement of Jesus which I know depict in
bold,
‘If any man has ears, let him hear.’77
This verse is a huge signal that this is a PARABLE: a story designed to confuse
the educated but elucidate the open heart, as Jesus explained,
‘because they, seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they
understand. And in them are fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which says, “By
hearing ye shall hear, and not understand; and seeing, you shall see but not
perceive”.’ 78
So, when we look at the context of Mark 7; 2-9 and the explanation of the
PARABLE in Matthew 15; 17-20, we can come close to an understanding of this
statement. Let’s look at this explanation,
‘Don’t you understand yet that whatever enters in at the mouth goes into the
belly and is cast out into the draught?’79
So, whatever we eat, it is processed in the stomach and ejected through the
bowels. That which is ejected is obviously defiled, but whatever goes in is
filtered, or processed, by our bodily functions, so we take of it only that which
nourishes. This is not an absolute, of course, since the imbibing of poison will
actually defile the body to such an extent as to make it ill or make it die. But how
the food is served up does not alter its composition to that extent.
‘But those things that proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart;
and they defile a man.’ 80

76
Mark 7:15 & Matthew 15, 11
77
Mark 7:16
78
Matthew 13:13-14
79
Matthew 15:17
80
Matthew 15:18
20
Well, this refers to belief and sincerity. If one’s belief and sincerity is mistaken or
malevolent, it obviously will defile its target. But what if one’s belief and sincerity
is pure and beneficent? Does that defile you? Again, we are not talking in
absolutes. The matter is made clear in the next verse.
‘For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adultery, fornication,
theft, false witness and Blasphemies.’ 81
Now what defiles is as clear as daylight. What about what does not defile?
‘These are the things which defile a man; but to eat with unwashed hands
does not defile a man.’ 82
Again, what does not defile is as clear as daylight.
Now this is the explanation of the PARABLE, given by Jesus himself. So why do
Christians ignore it and give themselves licenses which were not ordained?
A response to this very simple and obvious explanation above is that one cannot
pick and choose verses to their liking, but must use the entire dialogue or story
to completely understand the message. So let us proceed to do that.
The verses from Mark 7 support, rather than undermine, what I said about the
explanation in Matthew 15. Let's look at them a little closer. I have put in bold
significant statements from which I make my analysis.
Then the Pharisees and certain of the Scribes, which came from
Jerusalem, came together unto him. And when they saw some of his
disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashed hands, they
found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their
hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they
come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other
things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of
cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables.
Then the Pharisees and Scribes asked him, ‘Why don't your disciples walk
according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed
hands?’. 83
So, First of all we are given the context.
a) The disciples ate bread without washing their hands before eating.
b) The washing of hands is a Jewish Tradition taught by their elders - that is, the
scholars of Judaism.
c) Other traditions of cleaning pots, pans, plates, cups and table surfaces, are of
the same kind - Traditions taught by the Jewish scholars.
d) The learned men from the Pharisees ask,
‘Why don't your disciples follow (the Jewish) traditions of the (Jewish)
elders?’
He answered and said unto them, 'Well hath Esaias prophesied of you
hypocrites, as it is written, “These people honour me with their lips, but their
heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of men?”

81
Matthew 15:19
82
Matthew 15:20
83
Mark 7:1-5
21
For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of
men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you
do.'
And he said unto them, 'Full well you reject the commandment of God,
that you may keep your own tradition.'84
Please note carefully answer Jesus gives. Does he say, ‘You can lay aside the
commandments of God!’?
Indeed he does not. He likens the traditions named (such as washing pots and
cups and other things) to “Doctrines of Men”, which they follow instead of the
commandments God legislated that they had laid aside. Implicit in the statement
is that they do wrong not only in following the traditions of men, but also in
rejecting the commandments of God. This is in keeping with his earlier statement
when he said,
‘Think not that I have come to destroy the Law, or the prophets. I have
come not to destroy (them), but to fulfil (them).’85
The question has got to be, then, are dietary laws also commandments? James
seemed to think so, when he had this letter to the Gentiles written for the
proselytizers, in The Acts86
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater
burden than these necessary things: That you abstain from meats
offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and
from fornication. If you keep yourself from them, you will do well.

Pig is not mentioned there, nor camel or hare, all of which are mentioned as
forbidden in Leviticus. However, pig is mentioned (along with these prohibitions)
in the Quran, in Surat Al Ma'idah, as follows
Forbidden to you are carrion, blood, the flesh of pig, and that on which has
been invoked a name other than God. (Also) that which has been killed by
strangling, or stunning, or by a headlong fall, or savaged to death (by
animals), or partly eaten (by those animals), unless you are able to slaughter
it. (Also) that which is sacrificed on altars and the division (of meat) by
raffling.87
which indicates that the prohibition against eating pig has never been revoked or
abrogated.
‘For Moses said, “Honour thy father and thy mother'; and, “Whoso
curses father or mother, let him die the death.”
But you say, “If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban”,
that is to say, a gift, “by whatsoever you might be profited by me; he
shall be free.”
And you suffer him no more to do aught for his father or his mother; making
the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have
delivered: and many such like things do you.’ 88
84
Mark 7:6-9
85
Matthew 5:17
86
Acts 15:28-29
87
Quran, 5:3
88
Mark 7:10-13
22
Now Jesus refers to the commandment to honour one's parents, and NOT take
them for granted as if they OWED you what they have given you. This is like the
Quranic commandment which says,
Be kind to your parents, whether one or both of them attain old age in your
life. Say not a word to them of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in
terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them your wing of humility,
and say, 'My Lord, bestow on them your mercy, even as they cherished me in
childhood'. 89
telling us We owe Them. Again Jesus says the falling away of the Jews into taking
their parents for granted is taking tradition before the commandments of God.
And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, ‘Hearken
unto me every one of you, and understand: there is nothing from without a
man that, entering into him, can defile him: but the things which come out of
him, those are they that defile the man.
If any man having ears to hear, let him hear.’90
We have the telegraphed indication of a parable again, marked by that signal
phrase in verse 16. So it needed to be explained,
And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked
him concerning the parable.
And he said unto them, ‘Are ye so without understanding also? Do you not
perceive that whatsoever thing from without enters into the man, it cannot
defile him, because it enters not into his heart, but into the belly, and goes
out into the draught, purging all meats?’91
Purging the meat of what? Well, to purge means,
To make physically clean by removing all dirt and waste.92
It also means “to make spiritually, or morally, pure, or ritually clean” ...
but how do you make meat morally or ritually pure just by eating it?
Note, 'out into the draught' means by defecation or urination, that is; the
physical filth that comes out of the man that, instead of defiling him, lets him
clean out his insides. In the last part of the chapter, the filth that comes out of
the heart (spiritual filth) has the result of defiling, rather the purging, a man.
This seems to be talking of the dirt on meat, put there by using unwashed
utensils or unwashed hands, maybe. It reminds me of a narration reported by
both Jábir and Anas from the Prophet who said,
If a morsel of food falls from any of you, he should pick it up, wipe of the
(surface) dirt and then eat it. He should not leave it for Satan.93
The Christian says, that that is precisely their point. The LORD Jesus said as
much. It wouldn't matter if you ate wood shavings, THEY DON'T DEFILE YOU. It is
the evil in ones own heart that defiles them. Hence the statement that what goes
IN doesn't defile but what comes OUT. What good is it for a person to eat certain

89
Quran, 17:23-24
90
Mark 7:14-16
91
Mark 7:17-19
92
The New Shorter Oxford Dictionary
93
Riyádh us-Sáliheen by Imam Nawawi (from Muslim), Chapter 109, n° 751-753
23
foods but still not love their neighbour as themselves? Jesus was trying to make
this point to a generation of people that had lost touch with what GOD really
wants from us. They were worshipping a SYSTEM and not HIM. For he said
‘That which comes out of the man that defiles the man; for from within, out of
the heart of men, proceeds evil thoughts: adulteries, fornications, murders,
thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye,
blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and
defile the man’.94
However, I think they miss the point. The system that God is warning us against
is the man invented system of religious habits which had become ritual, not the
de-establishment of God's commands and rules of life. He is not saying, through
His messenger 'ignore My commandments'. He is saying, 'do not take man made
rituals as My commandments'.
So the message seems to be that lawful food has not the power to defile you. It
does not say that “some foods that are defiled defile you because they
are forbidden, but that any food, defiled or not by dirt form unwashed
hands, or from non-adherence to man made commandments, would be
purged of defilement by passage in the body anyway.” Rather than a license to
eat anything, this seems to be a warning against ignoring the commandments
listed in the verse, each of which is regarded as evil in thought.
These commandments are Not to
a) commit adultery
b) fornicate
c) murder
d) Steal
e) Covet (what another has)
These commandments are also broadened into principles, which discourage the
people from
a) giving the evil eye
b) deceiving someone
c) blasphemy
d) pride
e) foolishness
f) lasciviousness (greed)
Conclusion
From this, and from Matthew 15, we understand that these verses do not
constitute permission to ignore dietary Laws and the Commandments of God, but
are, instead, a diatribe against the following of man-made doctrines, and an
urging to follow God's Commandments in general, and permission, specifically, to
ignore all the rituals of culinary hygiene introduced into the religion by the Jews
as innovations. Hence, this is not a specific abrogation against the prohibition of
eating pork or meat sacrificed to deities other than God. But it does serve as an
abrogation of the various cooking and cleaning rituals that had become
established as religiously necessary with the cooking and eating of food.

94
Mark 7:20-23
24
25
Whatsoever the Soul Lusts After
The strangest defence I have met from a Christian is reference to the source of
the prohibition itself as foreshadowing the lifting of that prohibition even in the
time of Moses and the Torah. The implication made is that Deuteronomy 12 and
15 serve as a relaxation of the Laws detailed in Leviticus 11, and
Deuteronomy 14, respectively, which were in force while the Tribes were
wandering in the wilderness until they went over into the Promised Land. When
they finally went over into the Promised Land was when they could eat
whatsoever their souls lusted after, and that happened after the death of
Moses. Also suggested is that the food that is sacrificed to the Lord is the
forbidden food to eat, but that all other food became okay.
The claim seems a little strange to me, but it can never the less be effectively
addressed from the very texts that are used to try and prove the thesis. The first
lacuna in their theory is that the events of Deuteronomy 12 occurred well
before the Israelites entered the Promised Land. Rather, they had camped
beyond the River Jordan, well before they crossed it. They were still travelling,
which is a possible reason for any relaxation to have taken place. Yet I will argue
there was no relaxation, even so. Moreover, once they were settled, just two
chapters later, in Deuteronomy 14, the rules laid out in Leviticus are imposed
in full force upon the people of Moses.
Deuteronomy 14 reproduces almost exactly, bar things strangled and the
details about insects, what is said in Leviticus. So it is Deuteronomy 12 that is
abrogated, if any abrogation takes place, not Leviticus 11. Furthermore,
Leviticus does not deal with the wandering of the Israelites in the wilderness,
but are the commandments laid upon them whilst they were settled around
Mount Sinai during the two years they sojourned there in the land they had come
into after the crossing of the Red Sea.
Let us begin by making a list of what Leviticus 11 forbade the Jews. It was
permitted to eat any cloven footed animals that chew the cud. However,
if an animal possessed one of the characteristics, but not the other, it was
forbidden as food. The following are listed as forbidden.
1. a) The camel, the rabbit, the hare,
1.b) The swine are all forbidden.
The Torah specifies that the former type are forbidden because, though they
chew the cud, they are not cloven footed, while the latter type are classed as
unsuitable because, despite being cloven footed, they do not chew the cud.
2. Any animal without cloven feet and which does not chew the cud is
forbidden.
3. Anything that swims, lives or moves in the sea or rivers is forbidden,
except animals with scales and fins.
Fowls (birds) are not forbidden except:
4.a) those that ‘creep’, and
4. b) flesh eating birds.
Leviticus lists as forbidden: the eagle, the ossifrage, the osprey, the vulture, the
kite, the raven, the owl, the night hawk, the great owl, the swan, the pelican, the
geyer eagle, the stork, the heron, the lapwing and the bat (and their kind).

26
5. Animals that have paws and claws are forbidden as food (carnivores).
6.Creeping and flying insects are forbidden except those insects (with long back
legs) that leap:
Locusts, grasshoppers, and beetles are all permitted, but no other.
6. a) Many of the creeping things, are designated as unclean.
The following (and their kind) are listed in Leviticus: The weasel, the mouse,
the tortoise, the ferret, the chameleon, the lizard, the snail, and the mole.
6. b) Anything multi-footed or that creeps upon its belly is forbidden.
7. Finally mentioned is any animal that dies of itself (i.e. carrion).
We will be looking at this list in more detail later, when we discuss the Islamic
dietary rules.
If we ask whether Jesus ate pork, nearly all Christians will say that, while he was
alive, he was under the Old Testament Law, because the prophecies concerning
his death and its function (to remit believers of their sins) had not yet been
fulfilled. Only with his death were the prophecies of the promised one fulfilled,
thereby not changing the laws, but, rather, opening another door to go in and
live by. So, through his death, people can ignore the rules forbidding certain
types of food. To support this statement, some use this passage:
Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart
from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God
hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know
the truth.95
I think The emphasis laid on 'latter times' by proponents of this theory of
abrogation appears to want to infer that it refers to people from after Jesus
including misled Christians, die-hard Jews and, particularly Muslims. The
implication preferred is that the ‘hypocrites’ herein mentioned are those who had
chosen Islam as their religion. If that is the case, little do they know Islam; far
from forbidding the pious to marry, Muslims are encouraged to celebrate
marriage and produce Muslim offspring in great numbers. Rather, it is various
Christian sects, including the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, which encourage
men and women to live cloistered lives, celibate and single in their devotion to
the Christ.
As for abstaining from permitted food, it is the Catholic Church, among others,
that insist that followers abstain from all meat on certain days of the week (such
as Fridays) – substituting it with fish, or just vegetables and grains. They
especially abstain whilst in a period of fasting, even during the hours they are
allowed to eat a meal. So on both counts, if such an intention exists, the actuality
is reflected on Christian, rather than Muslim, practicants.
The passage continues:
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be
received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and
prayer.96

95
1 Timothy 4:1-3
96
1 Timothy 4:2-5
27
The words highlighted above are the crux of the arguments used, combined with
several verses in Deuteronomy 12 and 15, to prove that any creature can be
eaten. The two chapters in the Torah are supposed to prove that freedom from
restriction is the Law handed down, and therefore that is what has not changed
and what Jesus confirmed. Before going on to those arguments, however, I would
like to examine more closely these two passages from 1 Timothy.
Some of the words highlighted are in the phrase ‘commanding to abstain
from meats’. This translation is supposed to remind us of animals, but other
translations render the word 'meats' as ‘foods’, and the word ‘commanding’,
which is not in he original Greek, as ‘recommending’. That is, commanding or
recommending people to fast from foods that are defined, by a relative clause.
The definition is “foods that God created for partaking of with thanksgiving by
the believers and those knowing the truth’. As for the elided word in the Greek
sentence, the English translators insert ‘commanding’, as the carried verb from
the previous sentence which says “forbidden to marry”.
In other words, if no word is inserted, the translation would read ‘forbidding to
marry and to abstain from meats.” Does not that literally have the meaning of
stopping people from fasting? Among the three religions of Christianity, Judaism
and Islam, only one commands everyone to truly fast for more than one day in
the year – actually a full month – and that is Islam.
What are the meats that God created for Christians and Jews to eat of which the
hypocrites of the passage will either forbid or command to fast from? The Torah
tells us that God said,
These are the animals which you shall eat: the ox, the flocked sheep, and the
flocked goat, the hart and gazelle, and roebuck, and wild goat, and
antelope, and oryx, and mouflon. And you may eat every animal that divides
the hoof, and divides two hoofs wholly, and chews the cud among the
animals.
These you shall eat of all in the waters: you shall eat all that have fins and
scales.
You shall eat of all clean birds.97
Other words highlighted are in the phrases ‘every creature of God is good,
and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving. Also the
word sanctified, in the next sentence, choosing not to say what it is that is
sanctified. The inference we are asked to make by the proponents of historical
abrogation is that all creatures of God are good to eat, and clean. But we know
that not to be true from Leviticus 1 and Deuteronomy 14. So what does he
mean?
Well, every creature has his place and function, including permitted animals (to
eat). God says:
They ask you what is lawful for them. Say: ‘Lawful to you are the fine things98.
And (from) those beasts of prey you employ as hounds, trained and taught to
catch in the manner directed to you by God, eat of what they catch for you.
But pronounce the name of God over it, and have awe of God. Verily, God
is swift in reckoning.’99
97
Deuteronomy 14:4-6, 9 & 11
98
Al-tayyibat: the good things from God – i.e. that which is the clean and legal.
99
Quran, 5:4
28
The wording in 1 Timothy 4, verses 4 and 5, however, is confusing. A verb or
two seem to be missing. If it were to read as some wish it to be interpreted, then
it should have been written “all creatures of God are good to eat, and no creature
is to be refused if it is received with a prayer of thanksgiving.” Instead, their
interpretation relies on emphasis being placed on the words if and
thanksgiving, which is supposed to tell us that only thanking God is sufficient to
make any food, whether clean or unclean, lawful to eat.
However, strategically placing the word ‘which’, removing ‘and’ and including a
second needed verb (is) will help us make a more sensible interpretation. To wit:
If verse 4 read “For every creature of God which is good is nothing to be
refuse,” the verses the scripture suddenly becomes meaningful and the rest of
the verses fit in.
In other words, in order for (even) lawful food to be accepted as ‘Kosher’, one
should thank God for its provision and dedicate it’s eating to Him (by saying
grace when you eat or slaughter it, and giving thanks when you finish eating).
This is born out by the next verse, which says, “For it is sanctified by the
word of God and prayer.” This attitude reflects the attitude of the Muslim. For
it is reported that the Messenger of God taught his step son, Umar bin abu
Salamah saying:
“Mention God’s name, eat with your right hand, and eat from the part of the
plate directly in front of you.”100
He also taught us to say after eating:
“Praise be to God – Praise be in abundance! Good and Blessings be in it. It
cannot be repaid, or left (aside), nor can it be done without, our Lord.”101
Having made some commentary on the verses from 1 Timothy and shown
where they are similar to Muslim practice, it is now time to examine how the
concept of 'every animal being good to eat' fits into the two verses which are
supposed to have abrogated the dietary Laws concerning the clean and unclean
in the Torah even before they were properly put into effect.
Arguing the case for the proponents of historical abrogation, it is said that the
Law definitely was not changed by Jesus. The whole chapter of Leviticus 1,
where the prohibition against eating pork is to be found, is for the Israelites to
make them Holy at that time, as God himself is Holy. In order to collect the
promise God had made to their forefathers, they had to be obedient unto God,
too. But when they came to the Promised Land, so it is argued, God gave them
rest. He said:
When the Lord your God shall enlarge thy border, as he has promised you, and
you shall say, I will eat flesh, because your soul longs to eat flesh; you may
eat flesh, whatsoever your soul lusts after. If the place which the Lord
your God has chosen to put his name there be too far from you, then you shall
kill of your herd and of your flock, which the Lord has given you, as I have
commanded you, and you will eat in your gates whatsoever your soul lusts
after. Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so you shall eat them, the
unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike. Only be sure that you eat

100
Bukhari and Muslim
101
Bukhari and Termidhi
29
not the blood: for the blood is the life; and you may not eat the life with the
flesh.102
In another set of verses, He said:
You shall eat it before the Lord your God year by year in the place which the
Lord shall choose, you and your household. And if there be any blemish
therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, you shall not
sacrifice it unto the Lord your God. You shall eat it within your gates: the
unclean and the clean person shall eat it alike, as the roebuck, and as the
hart. Only you shall not eat the blood thereof; thou shall pour it upon the
ground as water.103
So, it is argued, only eating the blood would be the abomination. In verse 22,
Moses uses the Roebuck and the Hart just as an example of all unclean or
clean meat. Therefore, is the conclusion, Christians can eat pork because it is
not a sin.
The Laws were being obeyed in the wilderness, so the argument goes, but when
they went over into the Promised Land; that is when they could eat what their
souls lusted after, and that happened after the death of Moses. The Food that is
sacrificed to the Lord is the forbidden food to eat. But all other food is okay.
Besides this overt argument put forward is a covert one. The verses above
contain the words “the Lord shall choose”. Would the proponents of historical
abrogation like to portray 'the Lord' as Jesus Christ, and the 'shall' as referring to
the time of his manifestation? It may be that they would also like to link the word
“Lord” in these verses to the word “Word” in the verses from 1Timothy at the
same time. If that is the case, God says:
O People of the Book! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of God
(aught) save the truth. The Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, was (no more than) a
messenger of God and His Word, whom he bestowed upon Mary, and a spirit
from Him.104
God is reminding especially the Christians, but also Jews and others, whose
religions originate from His revealed message in their Scripture, that they have
exceeded the limits set for them, and taken the licenses He gave too far. One
such license played fast and lose with are in their dietary habits. Another is
taking others as figures to worship beside God. He continues, in the same
verse:
So believe in God and His messengers. Say not “three!” Cease! It is better for
you. For God is the only One God, Glorified is He above having a son. To Him
belongs all that is in the heavens and on the earth. And God is Self Sufficient
as the Disposer of affairs.105
Self-sufficiency means not being in need of a helper in Creation, nor in
dispensing Mercy and Comfort. God is the Compassionate and Merciful.
“The word” in this verse does not mean the Lord Creator. Nor does the word
“Lord” when addressed to Jesus necessarily mean Creator and Ultimate Judge.
The truth is that the word “Lord” has different levels of meaning, and can be

102
Deuteronomy 12:20-23
103
Deuteronomy 15:20-23
104
Quran, 4:171
105
Ibid.
30
applied to men, not just to God. One of those levels of meaning is “the one
whom we obey”. Since the ones using the title “Lord” in the Gospels were
contemporaries of Jesus and since God orders us to obey His Messengers, there
is nothing wrong in attributing such a reference to Jesus as such.
However, there should be no confusion in the matter. We obey the Messengers
of God because they are Messengers who speak not of themselves, but what God
wills. By obeying them, we are obeying God. But this does not make them gods.
Nor can we confuse their “Lordship” with that of God, from whom every benefit
stems, and on whom we depend for our very creation and continued existence.
One further point; the proponents that say the Israelites’ entry into the
promised land demarcates the separation between dietary limitations being
applied and being relaxed forget that all the chapters of the Torah were supposed
to be written, or at least edited, by Moses long before the Children of Israel went
into the Promised Land, which God had promised. Moses was not allowed to go
into the Promised Land. So how can one book be referring to a time after
settling in the promised land, and another book be referring to a time that the
tribes were still wandering. Surely I must be because one book is a prophecy, not
an account of what really happened later? These points aside, let us now
examine the verses for what they really say, rather than what the proponents of
historical abrogation would like them to say.
Permitted and not permitted food
The two sets of verses chosen by the proponents of the theory that God already
abrogated the dietary Laws immediately after the death of Moses are very
similar. However, the phrase “whatsoever thy soul lusts after” in
Deuteronomy 12, which is one of the lynchpins of their argument, is absent in
the later passage (Deuteronomy 15), and therefore it is not viable using the
latter as significant in abrogating Chapter 14. The proponents of historical
abrogation take “Whatsoever thy soul lusts after” to mean “any animal,
even illegal animals, you want to eat”. However, if we diligently search
through the rest of the Torah for these words in relation to meat, we find that
God became angry when the Israelites lusted for meat instead of manna106, and,
in Numbers 11:34, He decimated them because of their lust, with a plague.
So to lust after something does not necessarily have good connotations, and
may just be referring to what the people were allowed to eat after the supply of
manna was suspended. Let us therefore look at the context, or definition, of
exactly what one can “lust after”.
And you shall pay the silver for whatever your soul desires: for oxen, or for
sheep, or for wine, or for fermented drink, or for whatever your soul
desires (i.e. from the permitted foods listed in verses 4-6, 9 & 11 in this
chapter). And you shall eat there before the Lord your God; and you shall
rejoice; you and your household.107
Furthermore, just as confirmation, from whence can you lust after whatever
your soul desires, God says,

106
Numbers 11:10
107
Deuteronomy 14:26
31
You shall kill of your herd and of your flock, which the Lord has given you,
as I have commanded you, and you shall eat within your gates whatsoever
your soul lusts after. 108
So, even if the phrase meant “any meat you lusted for”, the meat so
indicated is defined as coming from “herd” and “flocks”.
Herd = a number of cattle of like kind kept together (cattle = bovine
animals), or a number of wild (herbivorous) animals that stick together as they
migrate for mutual protection. (Derived from herta).109
Flock = a group of wool producing animals assembled and kept together
or a group of (down producing) birds assembled together. (Derived from
flocculus).110
Both types of animal are “lawful” for eating in Deuteronomy 14 and
Leviticus 11 - whichever you fancy.
These proponents of misdirection also say that both sets of verses mention the
hart and the roebuck, and associate them with the unclean and the clean.
Again, the argument is very weak. Firstly, a quick, honest assessment of the
sentences containing these words in Deuteronomy their discursive markers
makes it obvious that the clean and unclean are not congruous with the two
animals mentioned, but another object. Further more, this paired object interacts
with the two animals by consuming them, but on certain conditions. For
instance, in Deuteronomy 12 it says,
Even as the roebuck and the hart are eaten, so you shall eat them; the
unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike. 111
“Them” in both the first and second clause, refers to something similar to
(as) the two animals. The “unclean and the clean” are congruent with “you”.
Compare that with
You shall eat it within your gates: the unclean and the clean person shall eat
it alike, as the roebuck, and as the hart. 112
Again, “You” is congruent with “the unclean and the clean person”. The fact
that the clean and unclean describe a person rules out any congruency with
animals. “It”, however, is compared to each animal.
Secondly, neither animal is unclean, as can be seen from verse 5 of
Deuteronomy 14, “These are the animals which you shall eat … the hart and
gazelle, and roebuck, and wild goat, and …”, which lists the lawful animals the
Israelites were permitted to eat.
And, if one cavils at accepting that “You” can refer to “the unclean” because
God chose the Jews – and He would not choose anything unclean, you need but
turn to the last two verses in Deuteronomy 14 for confirmation that “You”
includes the stranger, who is “unclean” to the Jews:
At the end of three years, even the same year, you shall bring forth all the
tithe of your increase, and shall lay it up within your gates. And the

108
Deuteronomy 12:21
109
The New Oxford Shorter Dictionary
110
Ibid.
111
Deuteronomy 12:22
112
Deuteronomy 15:22
32
Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the alien,
and the fatherless, and the widow who are within your gates shall come and
shall eat and be satisfied; so that Lord your God may bless you in all the work
of your hand which you do.113
So what about the conditions for eating “whatsoever your soul lusts after,
as the hart and as the roebuck”?
1. In Deuteronomy 12, the condition is that the herd or flock owner is unable to
get to the place “the Lord your God has chosen to put his name” because it is
too far away. From this verse in Deuteronomy 15, “You shall eat it before the
Lord your God year by year in the place which the Lord shall choose”, It can
be deduced that this refers to the religious centre, the synagogue or temple or
stone, where sacrifices can be officiated adequately. Sacrifices, remember, are
limited to domesticated animals such as goats, sheep or oxen. Wild animals,
like the hart and roebuck, are not suitable for sacrifice.
2. Nor are the domestic animals referred to in Deuteronomy 15 that are “lame,
or blind, or have any ill blemish” suitable for Sacrifice. And only the pure can
partake of the sacrifice.
Therefore the condition for anybody eating as one pleases boils down to the
food eaten not being a sacrificial animal. Anybody can eat a permitted wild
or blemished animal – whatsoever ones soul lusts for – even the impure
alien, the non-Jew, because they are merely slaughtered, not sacrificed.
Finally, the suggestion is made through emphasizing the rule against eating
blood (and the reference that it should be poured onto the ground), that
sacrificial meat is forbidden. Well. that whole argument seems irrelevant, here.
The blood is forbidden because the consumption of blood is forbidden by God,
even for Christians114, sacrificial or not. In this case, pouring it out on the ground
like water indicates the animal is simply to be slaughtered, not sacrificed,
because Jewish sacrifice involves collecting the blood and then spraying it on the
congregation by Jewish tradition.115 And this is confirmed by the context – what is
to be done if the owner of flocks or herds is unable to get to the place of sacrifice
or only has blemished domestic animals. What is forbidden is the eating of that
blood, not the animal from which it comes.
Conclusion
Thus this additional prong of the Christian defence for non-compliance to Devine
commands concerning diet is comprehensively voided due to the incredible
misreading of the texts cited. The only point that has any substance is from 1
Timothy, but it is totally unrelated to the texts chosen in the Torah, as we have
seen. Therefore Whatsoever the Soul Lusts After does not infer free choice of
whatever Christians would like to eat, but a choice limited by what God has
legislated as fine things (good) and lawful (permitted).

113
Deuteronomy 14:28-29
114
See Acts 15:28-29 and the forbidding of blood consumption.
115
See Leviticus 4:4-7
33
34
What about Camel Meat!
Often a proselytizer whose proofs have not been sufficient to convince their
audience of the veracity of their religion is to attack one or more of the tenets of
the religion of their audience. The Christians and Jews have naturally picked up
on the fact that Muslims eat camels, whilst the Torah says that camel meat is an
unclean meat just as much as pork is. They ask if Muslims eat camel meat and,
when they are answered in the affirmative, enquire why Muslims criticize
Christians for breaking the Law by eating pork when the Muslims do the
same thing by eating camel.
There is, of course, a big difference. The Christians have no textual proof of their
assertion that they are free of God's restriction and ordinances, whereas the
Muslims have a plethora of proofs.
I begin my defence in the Quran, where God has specifically told us we not only
may eat camel meat, but should use the camel as a sacrificial animal.
Restrictions on eating it, however, apply from the prophetic traditions. The first
evidence that camel meat is permissible is indirect:
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 God loves not the wasters.
And of cattle (He created) beasts of burden and those which are fit for
slaughter only; eat of what God hath provided for you, and follow not the
footsteps of Satan: for he is to you and avowed enemy.116
Say: "I do not find in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden
for an eater to eat of except that it be what has died of itself, or blood poured
forth, or flesh of swine - for that surely is unclean - or that which is a
transgression, other than God having been invoked on it; but whoever is
driven to necessity, not desiring nor exceeding the limit, then surely your Lord
is Forgiving, Merciful.117
First of all, we are enjoined to eat what has been provided to us by God, which
includes beasts of burden (camels), and then we are told specifically what is
forbidden to eat – which does not include 'beasts of burden'.
Later on in the Quran, camels are specifically mentioned as being a fit (desired)
animal not simply to eat, but also for sacrifice and to be fed to the poor.
And the camels! We have made them of the signs of the religion of God for
you. Therein you have much good. So mention the name of God over them
when they are drawn up in lines. Then when they fall on their flanks (dead),
eat thereof and feed such as (beg not but) live in contentment, and such as
beg with due humility. Thus have We made them subject unto you, that you
may be grateful.
It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches God: it is your piety that
reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you, that you may glorify
God for His Guidance to you and proclaim the good news to all who do right.118

116
Quran, 6:141-142
117
Quran, 6:145
118
Quran, 22:36-37
35
The restrictions on the Jews, even concerning meat consumption in some cases,
they brought upon themselves (due to their obstinate disobedience). So some
restrictions are for them alone.
For those who followed the Jewish Law, We forbade every (animal) with
undivided hoof, and We forbade them that fat of the ox and the sheep, except
what adheres to their backs or their entrails, or is mixed up with a bone: this in
recompense for their wilful disobedience: for verily We are Truthful.119
Given that the Quran makes the eating of camel meat legal, and God’s rules
never change, perhaps the presence of the law against its consumption was
brought upon the Jews by themselves or added to the law on their own authority.
The possibility of the latter I would like to examine from reference to the text
itself in Leviticus. For instance, is the classification of the camel as not having a
split hoof correct? If it is, then the text which says such must be man altered, as
God makes no mistakes.
Clean and Unclean Food
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Say to the Israelites: 'Of all the animals
that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: You may eat any animal
that has a split hoof completely divided and that chews the cud.'"
There are some that only chew the cud or only have a split hoof, but you
must not eat them.
The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is
ceremonially unclean for you.120
This first criterion is questionable. The definition which defines the type of
animal a camel is follows:
TYLOPODA (Gr. for boss-footed, in reference to the cushion-like pads forming
the soles of the feet), the scientific name of the section of ruminating
artiodactyle ungulate mammals (see ARTIODACTYLA) now represented by the
Old World camels (see CAMEL) and the South American Llamas (see LLAMA)
The limbs are long, but with only two digits (the third and fourth) developed
on each, no traces of any of the others being present. The trapezoid and
magnum of the carpus, and the cuboid and navicular of the tarsus are distinct.
The two cannon-bones of each limb are confluent for the greater part of their
length, though separated for a considerable distance at the lower end.
Their lower articular surfaces, instead of being pulley-like, with deep ridges
and grooves, as in other Artiodactyla,121 are simple, rounded and smooth. The
first phalanges are expanded at their lower ends, and the wide, depressed
middle phalanges embedded in a broad cutaneous pad, forming the sole of
the foot, on which the animal rests in walking instead of on the hoofs. The
terminal phalanges are small and nodular, not flattened on their inner or
opposed surfaces, and not completely encased in hoofs, but bearing nails on
their upper surface only.122
The second criterion is clear, however, and the biological dictionary supports the
assertion.

119
Quran, 6:146
120
Leviticus 11:1-4
121
Not only is the hoof split, but part of the leg too. And the foot is called a hoof
122
http://answers.com
36
The coney, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean
for you.
The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean
for you.123
Co´ny
Noun 1. cony - any of several small ungulate mammals of Africa and Asia
with rodent-like incisors and feet with hoof-like124 toes das, dassie, hyrax,
coney Procavia capensis, rock hyrax, rock rabbit – a hyrax that lives in rocky
areas.
family Procaviidae, Procaviidae - includes all recent members of the order
Hyracoidea.125
The third criterion needs no further investigation, as it is agreed in the both
Judaism and Islam.
And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the
cud126; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat nor touch their
carcasses; they are unclean for you.127
If this examination of the text satisfactorily casts doubt as to its authenticity as
God’s word, are there any grounds in Islamic law that indicate that camel meat
is impure in any way, needing ritual purification of the meat before a person can
eat it, or purification of the person after he or she has eaten it? If so, it may have
provided a causal basis for Jacob’s descendents to have classified it as impure for
consumption.
In Islam, purity is imparted upon consumables by pronouncing God’s name over
it, and the meat of an animal becomes pure if you kill it, either by slaughtering or
hunting, in the name of Allah. So if the meat was impure in itself, merely killing it
according to the Law would purify it. Therefore, if any restriction on eating it
exists, it should be of the latter type. In other words, any restriction pertaining to
camel meat concerns whether or not eating it breaks one's state of ritual
purity128, and therefore obligating the renewal of ablution129. Concerning this
question, there are several Legal religious verdicts130, and the following
information is derived from a reliable internet site131. The question asked was
because the Muslim questioner wanted to be sure he was not breaking any of
God’s laws in his dietary habits
Does eating camel meat break ritual purity?
According to the Islamic questions and answers site, the most correct view is
that when one eats camel meat, whatever the sex or age of the camel or

123
Leviticus 11:5-6
124
Hoof-like, so not a hoof
125
http://answers.com
126
Like a horse (which has a single 'toe' hoof (not split)) a pig is not a ruminant. A camel
(which has a split hoof) is.
127
Leviticus 11:7-8
128
Tahárah for acts of worship, such as the prayer.
129
The general translation of the Arabic ‘wudú’
130
Legal religious verdicts
131
Islam Q&A, maintained by Shaykh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid at www.islam-
qa.com.
37
whether or not it is cooked or raw, one to make ablution after doing so. The
evidence used to support this opinion is from several reports from the
companions of the prophet about what he taught. The first is the following, from
Jábir:
The Prophet was asked, ‘Should I make ablution after eating camel meat?’
He said, ‘Yes.’
The person said: “Should I make ablution after eating mutton?”
He said, ‘If you wish.’132
Another companion, Al-Bará’, reported also that the Messenger of God was
asked about eating camel meat.
He said, ‘Make ablution after eating it.’
When he was asked about mutton, and he said, ‘Do not make ablution.’133
These two sayings make it clear that ablution after eating camel meat is
obligatory, but is not necessary after eating mutton or lamb.
However, there is a contrary view, which considers ablution to be necessary
only if the meat is not cooked, and extends to other uncooked meats, too. They
also base their opinions on what the companions narrated.
They consider the rule to be abrogated by a narration from Jábir, who said that
the last of the two commands from the Messenger of God was:
‘There was no need to make ablution after eating food that had been touched
by fire.’134
Their argument is that the first two reports applied still applied only to uncooked
meat, but once it is cooked, any meat that required ablution after eating it, is
voided. However, there is no evidence in this narration that the ‘food’ mentioned
here includes camel meat, which is specifically indicated as needing ablution, or
is in general reference to a practice that had developed without specific direction
for any food, meat or otherwise. The proponents of the correct view put forward
what seems to me to be a spurious argument, saying that this narration does not
refute the specific meaning of the authentic one quoted above from Muslim, nor
did it abrogate anything from it because, when they asked whether they should
make ablution after eating mutton, and the Messenger of God had said, ‘If you
wish.’ They also argue that if the Muslim narration was abrogated, the ruling on
mutton would also be abrogated. I cannot quite see any problem with either of
these positions, for the wording of the Abu Dawúd narration implies that even if
the earlier ruling still applied to meat that is eaten without being cooked, the
later ruling abrogated what concerned cooked food.
The people who stick by the earlier ruling argue that “If you wish” indicates that
their narrations must have come after the narration of Jábir, concluding that in
cases of abrogation there must be evidence that what is being abrogated came
first chronologically. Why exactly the saying “if you wish” makes the Muslim
narration follow the Abu Dawúd one, I am at loss to say. For despite the fact
they see no evidence here that the Abu Dawúd succeeds the Muslim narration,
that evidence is supplied by the former narration itself. First of all, one of the

132
Muslim
133
Al-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawúd
134
Abu Dawúd and al-Nisá’i
38
narrators of the first two reports in Muslim and Termidhi is the same person
who reported the ‘abrogating’ narration of Abu Dawúd. Secondly, this narrator,
Jábir, says about the latter that it was the second of his two last commands,
which necessitates the Muslim and Termidhi narrations being before it.
Never the less, the Abu Dawúd narration is general in application, but the
Muslim and Termidhi narrations about camel meat are more specific. According
to matters of Law, a specific ruling takes precedence over a general one.
Therefore, camel meat is excluded from the general ruling, which applies to other
lawful meat. The fact that in the Muslim narration the person also asked about
mutton makes it clear that the issue here is not whether the meat has been
touched by fire for, if that were the case, then camel meat and mutton would be
regarded in the same way.
Some people are inclined to argue that there was no clear order to purify oneself
after eating camel meat in the first place. They say that what is meant by the
phrase “make ablution after eating it” in the Muslim narration is to wash the
hands and mouth, because camel meat has an unpleasant odour and is very
greasy, unlike mutton. This interpretation is unlikely, because the apparent
meaning here is ablution as prescribed in Law, not just in the linguistic sense of
merely washing one's hands and mouth. When the terminology of Law is used, it
is obligatory to interpret it in accordance with the meanings of Law.
The opinion that camel meat needs no purification before or after eating it is
also pressed by a group of people using three very shaky pieces of evidence. The
first is a narration which is classed as weak by al-Bayhaqi and al-Dáraqutni
due to three faults in the chain of narration.135 In it, it is reported that the
messenger of God said,
‘Ablution has to do with what comes out, not what goes in.’
Some of them also take as evidence a story that has no basis in any authentic
narrations or elsewhere in reliable books of explanation and practice.136 The story
in question may be summed up as follows:
The Prophet was addressing the people one day, and one of them emitted an
odour (i.e., passed wind), but he felt too shy to get up from among the people.
He had also eaten camel meat, so the Messenger of God said, covering for him,
‘Whoever has eaten camel meat, let him make ablution.’
So a group of people who had eaten camel meat got up and went and
performed ablution.
Therefore the opinion of Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid regarding this matter
is that the ruling on not performing ablution after eating anything that has been
touched by fire has been abrogated, but it is obligatory to make ablution after
eating camel meat. 137
According to Al-Nawawi, The view of the following historical scholars is that
ablution is necessary after eating camel meat, whether raw or cooked: Ahmad
ibn Hanbal, Isháq ibn Ráhawayh, Yahyá ibn Yahyá, Abu Bakr ibn al-
Mundhir and Ibn Khuzaymah. Al-Háfiz Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi was also of
the opinion that eating camel meat breaks ritual purity. Among modern scholars,
135
Shaykh al-Albáni, in al-Silsilah al-Da’îfah
136
Ibid.
137
Islam Q&A, maintained by Shaykh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid at
www.islam-qa.com.
39
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azîz ibn Báz, Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymîn and Shaykh al-Albáni
also said this.138
However, it has to be said that the majority responded to this with the authentic
narration of Jábir which reports that the last of the two commands from the
Messenger of God was that there was no need to make ablution after eating
meat that had been touched by fire, the merits of which we discussed earlier. If
the opinion that Camel meat breaks ritual purity is true, it may have been the
basis of including it among the prohibited meats in the Laws of the Israelites. If it
is false, then its inclusion in the Law of Moses seems perverse.
Conclusion
So the issue of camel meat being fine things (good and legal) is moot, in Islam.
We take the view that is permissible to us from the explicit evidence in the Quran
and Authentic narrations from the companions of the Prophet, but, if it was
forbidden for the Children of Israel, as the evidence in Leviticus suggests it was,
it was made forbidden for them due to their rebellion and wilful disobedience, as
stated in Quran, 6:146.

138
Ibid.
40
Dietary Law in Islam
This article is not a legal verdict on what is lawful and forbidden to eat in Islam.
It is a collection verses from the Quran and of authentic narrations on the
subject, interspersed with legal verdicts and opinions from Muslim scholars.
Where I myself express an opinion contrary to the majority, it is a personal
opinion that has no legal standing, and should not be taken as such.
Taking into account the above disclaimer, the broad categories of what is legal
and good to eat and what is forbidden is laid out in Quran, 5:4139, as I mentioned
earlier.
God also makes lawful the food of the Christians and the Jews (as long as it does
not contravene a primary regulation): He says:
Made lawful to you this day are the fine things. The food of the People of the
Scripture is lawful to you, and your food is lawful to them.140
Even if you are not certain the food has been slaughtered in God’s name or not,
it is still lawful to eat, being made so by uttering what a non-Muslim might term
as “grace”.
It is reported that The Messenger of God taught his step son, Umar bin abu
Salamah, saying:
‘Mention God’s name, eat with your right hand, and eat from the part of the
plate directly in front of you.’141
A’isha said:
They asked, ‘O messenger of God! Some recently converted people from
disbelief have brought us some meats, and we do not know if the name of God
has been mentioned over them or not.’
He said, ‘Mention God’s name on it and eat from it!’142
Even unlawful food is allowed, with the mention of God’s name, if you are in dire
need and there is no other provision to be had. God says:
But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin, he
can eat of these (forbidden) categories. Then surely, God is Oft Forgiving, Most
Merciful.143
The categories referred to are mentioned clearly in other parts of the Quran:
Lawful to you are all beasts of cattle (and game) except that which will be
announced to you herein.144

139
They ask you what is lawful for them. Say: ‘Lawful to you are the fine
things. And (from) those beasts of prey you employ as ‘hounds’, trained and
taught to catch in the manner directed to you by God, eat of what they catch
for you. But pronounce the name of God over it, and have awe of God. Verily,
God is swift in reckoning.
140
Quran, 5:5
141
Bukhari & Muslim
142
Bukhari
143
Quran, 16:115
144
Quran, 5:1
41
Forbidden for you is carrion, blood, and the flesh of swine, or that which has
been slaughtered as a sacrifice to other than God. Also forbidden are animals
which are killed by strangulation, a violent blow, a headlong fall, or the goring
of horns. That which has been partly eaten by wild animals is also forbidden –
unless you are able to slaughter it before it dies. And that which is sacrificed
on stone alters.145
However, we are told to beware. God says:
Do not eat of that which God's Name has not been pronounced, for it is surely
disobedience. Verily the devils146 inspire their friends to dispute with you, and
if you obey them, then you would indeed be polytheists147.148
Derived from the preceding we get just one species of animal149 forbidden in the
Quran itself by name: swine. All other prohibitions concern the manner of death
(except blood). Animals ‘gored’ to death include animals killed by carnivores,
unless they are tamed hunting animals released on God’s word.
God makes no restrictions on sea food. He says,
Lawful to you is the pursuit of water game and its use for food.150
and
It is He Who has made the sea subject to you, that ye may eat thereof flesh
that is fresh and tender, and that you may extract there-from ornaments to
wear; and you see the ships therein that plough the waves, that you may seek
(thus) of the bounty of God and that ye may be grateful.151
and
The two seas are not alike. This is palatable, sweet and pleasant to drink,
while that is salt and bitter. And from them both you eat fresh, tender meat
and derive the ornaments you wear. And you see the ships cleaving, that you
may seek of His Bounty, and that you may give thanks.152
Other restrictions are known that tally with some of the restrictions in the Torah;
those of forbidding the eating of frogs, donkeys, and raptors and carnivorous land
animals, for example. All these prohibitions are known through authentic
narrations from the companions of the Prophet. Three short narrations are in
Muslim:
Jábir bin Abdullah narrated:
On the day of Khaybar, The Messenger of God forbade the eating of donkey’s
meat, but permitted the eating horse meat.153
Ibn 'Abbas narrated:

145
Quran, 5:3
146
The devils among the Jinn, and also among mankind.
147
Mushrikíyn = Those associating others as partners with God
148
Quran, 6:121
149
When God makes lawful the cattle and game, the unspoken assumption is that the
beast of prey, the hunter or scavenger, is unlawful.
150
Quran, 5:96
151
Quran, 16:14
152
Quran, 35:12
153
Bukhári & Muslim
42
The Messenger of God prohibited eating any bird which had talons or any
animal with canine teeth.154
'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Uthman al Qurayshi narrated:
A physician consulted he Messenger of God about extracting medicine from
frogs, so he so he prohibited killing them.155
Generally speaking, Muslims will include in this prohibition not eating any
‘fanged animal’, including snakes or animal ‘with tusks’, to be on the safe side,
and most Muslims include all amphibians in the prohibition against frogs – though
this is not a consensus of opinion.
If we list what is included above, Muslims are forbidden:
1. Swine,
2. Donkeys,
3. Carnivorous land mammals. According to the majority opinion, other land
animals, including reptiles, with tusks or fangs, such as elephants, hippos,
crocodiles and snakes, fall under this category
4. Raptors.
5. Frogs (and, according to some, other amphibians)
Also forbidden is the following:
6. Blood,
7. Carrion meat,
8. Animals specifically slaughtered on stone altars and in the name of
pagan deities,
9. Animals killed by stunning or strangulation (before the blood has flowed out of
them).
Any of the above can be eaten if there is dire need, and the name of God is
mentioned before eating.
The verses above are backed up by explanatory narrations. For instance, we
know that sea mammals, living wholly within the sea, are acceptable because of
an authentic narration about a stranded whale, and this confirms that sea food is
allowed even if it does not have gills, fins and scales. Abu Zubair, narrated:
Jábir reported: ‘Messenger of God sent troops to capture a caravan of the
Quraysh and appointed Abu 'Ubaida as their chief, and they were 300 men.
Our journey food was dates, and Abu 'Ubaida kept on giving us our daily
ration from it little by little until the supply had got so low that he was giving
us but one date each per day.’
I said: ‘What did you do with it?’
Jábir said: ‘We sucked the date just as a baby sucks and then drank water
after that, and it sufficed us until night. We would then beat tree branches
with the help of our staffs, and soak the fallen leaves with water, and then eat
them.

154
Muslim
155
Ahmad bin Hanbal
43
Then we reached the sea coast, where we found a fish like creature the size of
a small mountain. It was a spermaceti whale. Abu 'Ubaida said. “It is
dead156.”
Then he said: “No, we have been sent by the Messenger of God and we are
out in the cause of God, and are hard pressed for food, so we should eat it.”
We were three hundred in number, and stayed there for a month, until we
grew bulky. I saw how we extracted pitcher after pitcher full of fat from the
cavity of its eye and sliced from it compact pieces of meat equal to a bull or
like a bull. Abu 'Ubaida called for thirteen volunteers from us and he made
them sit in the cavity of its eye, and he took one of the ribs of its chest and
fixed it (in the sand, like an arch), and a camel rider passed under it (without
touching). And we provided ourselves with pieces of boiled meat.’
Jábir continued: ‘When we returned to Medina, we informed Messenger of
God about it (what we had done).
He said: “That was a provision which God had brought forth for you, so give us
some if you have any (meat) left.”’
Jábir said: ‘Some of us gave Messenger of God some of its meat and he ate
it.’157
The significance of this narration is that the Prophet was not in need when he
ate of the creature's meat, which proves that if a sea creature dies of itself,
without being slaughtered, we can eat from it even if it is a mammal.
Another authentic narration explains the part of the verse about hunting, and
using hounds to hunt.
'Adi bin Hatim reported the following:
I asked the Messenger of God about the game hunted with a Mi‘rad .
158

He said, ‘If the game is killed with its sharp edge, you can eat of it, but if it is
killed by its broad side (shaft), you cannot eat of it, for then it is like an animal
beaten to death with a club.’
I said, ‘O Messenger of God! I let loose my hound after a game and mention
God's Name on sending it.’
the Messenger of God said, ‘If the hound catches and kills the game for
you, then eat from it, for killing the game by hound is like slaughtering it. But
if you let loose your hound after a game, and you mention God's Name on
sending it, but the hound then eats of it, then it is not lawful to eat of it, for it
has killed it for itself.’
I said, ‘Sometimes when I send my hound after a game, I find another hound
along with it and I do not know which of them has caught the game.’
He said, ‘You must not eat of it because you have not mentioned, the Name of
God except on sending your own hound, and you did not mention it on the
other hound.’159

156
Islam forbids the eating of slain animals (carrion) except when there is dire need, as in
Quran, 6:145
157
Muslim
158
A sharp edged piece of wood or a piece of wood provided with a sharp piece of iron
used for hunting
44
Some people have a problem reconciling what Muslims are allowed to eat with
what the Jews were prohibited from eating, such as lizards, rabbits, sea mammals
and shellfish. These are allowed by specific authentic narrations. For example, we
know that it is permissible to eat camel, rabbit and lizard, because the first is
mentioned as recommended for sacrifice in the Quran160, and the latter two
endorsed as legal in the Prophetic traditions. Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
The Prophet said, ‘I do not eat Sand Lizard, but I do not prohibit its
eating.’161
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Once we provoked a rabbit at Marr-az-Zahran till it started jumping. The
people chased it till they were exhausted. Then I overpowered it and caught it
and brought it to Abu Talha, who slaughtered it and then sent both its thighs
to the Prophet and the Prophet accepted it. When asked if the Prophet
ate from it Anas confirmed: ‘He ate from it.’162
Other narrations make legal what is made legal in the Torah and prohibits a
thing that which is prohibited therein. Narrated ibn Abî Aufa:
We participated with the Prophet in six or seven military expeditions and we
used to eat locusts with him.163
Ibn 'Abbas narrated:
‘The Messenger of God prohibited the killing of four creatures; ants, bees,
hoopoes and shrikes.’164
Having dealt with the prohibited, or forbidden, we can now turn to that which is
permitted. There are five categories of food that are permitted.
1. Slaughtered with the name of God
Bovine Cattle, such as cows, oxen, buffalo
Artiodactyle Cattle, such as camels, llamas
Ovine or Caprine Cattle such as sheep, goats
Equine Cattle, such as domesticated horses (but not donkeys)
Herbivorous game of the ground or
(Seed eating) Birds of the air, which are neither scavengers nor raptors
2. Not slaughtered, but eaten with the name of God mentioned
All sorts of river and seafood that live wholly within the water

159
Bukhári & Muslim. This is a combined narration in the order of narration in Muslim.
Muslim mentions the killing by hound being like slaughtering, and Bukhári mentions
the game being eaten by the hound making the meat forbidden.
160
And the camels! We have made them of the signs of the religion of God for you.
Therein you have much good. So mention the name of God over them when they are
drawn up in lines. Then when they fall on their flanks (dead), eat thereof and feed such
as (beg not but) live in contentment, and such as beg with due humility. Thus have We
made them subject unto you, that you may be grateful. Quran, 22:36
161
Bukhári
162
Bukhári
163
Bukhári
164
Abu Dawúd & Ahmad Hanbal
45
Locusts; this category may include grasshoppers, as they are of the same
species.
3. Slaughtered by the people of the Book
All the animals above, mentioning God's name before you eat, except if you are
sure that it was slaughtered in the name of idols.
4. Slaughtered by non-Muslims who are not from the category 3, above
It is better avoided. If you are not sure who slaughtered it, one of the opinions
of scholars, and perhaps it is the majority opinion from the schools of thought, is
that it is forbidden. However, I am not satisfied by the proofs, based upon the
narration quoted earlier from A’isha in Bukhári, when she asked about some new
Muslims bringing with them meat. It is not mentioned whether the new Muslims
were from the Christians, Jews or the Arab idolaters. If they were the latter,
perhaps all those animals that are mentioned in the first category, so long as you
are sure they have not been slaughtered in the name of idols are permitted, God
willing, on the obligatory condition that you mention God's name on the food
before you eat it.165
5. Forbidden food
Only in dire need, and as much as is necessary to survive, mentioning God's
name before eating.
Living among non-Muslims
If a Muslim is part of a minority living in the lands where people of the Book or
idolaters are the rulers, it is better, and safer, to eat food from Muslim butchers if
it is available, or slaughter it themselves. It is also preferred to eat out of
tableware belonging to Muslims.
Conclusion
The Muslim Dietary Laws are based on the principle that anything not
specifically forbidden in the Prophetic traditions or the Quran is permitted. As
such, they are very practical Laws with built in leeway. In fact, a narration tells
us:
Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas narrated:
The people of pre-Islamic times used to eat some things and leave others
alone, considering them unclean. Then God sent His Prophet and sent down
His Book, marking some things lawful and others unlawful; so what He made
lawful is lawful, what he made unlawful is unlawful, and what he said nothing
about is allowable.
And he recited: ‘Say: I find not in that which has been inspired to me any
(meat) forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it....’ up to the end of
the verse.166
And the Quran says,

165
This is a personal opinion, so it is safer, I think, to go along with the majority opinion
until such time as one’s knowledge is sufficient to come to one’s own opinion. And God
knows best.
166
Abu Dawúd
46
All food was lawful to the Children of Israel167, except what Israel168 made
unlawful for himself, before the Torah was revealed.169
And
Say: ‘I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden to be
eaten by one who wishes to eat it, except … 170.’171
They172 dispense with the earlier rulings in the Torah and Gospel, providing a
simplified code to follow. This code releases you from the self imposed
restrictions the Jews made for themselves in slavishly following their elders to the
expense of the Criterion173 given to Moses, which is the Torah. And they put no
hardship upon you. Adopting them will bring you one step closer to God, and
strict monotheism, for, in Hadiyth Qudsi174, God tells us directly:
I am as My servant thinks of Me. I am with him when he makes mention of Me.
If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if
he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an
assembly even better than that. And if he takes one step towards Me, I take
ten steps towards him. And if he comes walking to Me, I go running towards
him.175
So why not take the first step, and turn back towards Him by eating according to
His command?
167
Meaning the descendants of Jacob – the Jews.
168
The Prophet Jacob,
169
Quran, 3:93
170
then he mentions the 4 categories of forbidden food already quoted, before.
171
Quran, 6:145
172
the Muslim dietary Laws
173
The Evidence that distinguishes between Truth and Falsehood, Wrong and Right
174
See footnote 38 in The Abrogation of Mosaic Law in the New Testament
175
Al-Bukhári

47
Jesus was Sent to Re-establish the Letter and Spirit of The
Law in our Hearts
God reports Jesus as saying,
I have come confirming that which has come before me of the Torah, and to
make lawful part of which was forbidden to you, and I have come with a proof
from your Lord. So fear God, and obey me!176
Furthermore, Jesus says, in the Gospel of St. Matthew
Do not think that I came to annul the Law or the Prophets? I did not come to
annul, but to fulfil!
Truly I say to you, ‘Until the heaven and the earth pass away, in no way shall
one iota or one point pass away from the Law until all comes to pass.’
Therefore, whoever relaxes one of these commandments in the least, and
shall teach (other) men (to do) so, he shall be called least in the Kingdom of
Heaven. But whoever does and teaches them, that one shall be called great in
the Kingdom of Heaven.
For I say to you, ‘If your righteousness shall not exceed that of the scribes and
Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of God,’ never!177
But not only this, but a short passage in the Gospel tells you what Jesus said is
needed to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
And he, having gone out into the highway, behold! Running up, coming near,
and kneeling down to him, one certain ruler asked him, saying, ‘Good Teacher,
what good things may I do to inherit eternal life?’
But Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except One:
God! But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.’
He said to him, ‘Which?’
And Jesus said, ‘Do not commit adultery, or commit murder, or steal, nor bear
false witness. Do not defraud, but honour your father and mother, and love
your neighbour as yourself.’178
How do these compare with the Torah commandments?
Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded
you, so that your days may be prolonged, and so that it may be well with you
in the land which the Lord your God is giving to you. You shall not commit
murder. And you shall not commit adultery. And you shall not steal. And you
shall not testify a witness of falsehood (bear false witness) against your
neighbour.179
And
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your
people; but you shall love your neighbour as yourself.180

176
Quran, 3:50
177
Matthew 5:17-20
178
Mark 10:17-19, Luke 18:18-20 and Matthew 19:16-19
179
Deuteronomy 5:16-20 and Exodus 20:12-16
180
Leviticus 19:18
48
So Jesus is saying that the letter of the Law is required in order for you to enter
eternal life. But is 'the letter of the Law' enough? No, indeed! When asked if
anything is required beyond the letter, by this same man, Jesus replied:
Yet one thing is lacking to you. If you desire to be perfect, go, sell as much
property as you have, and give to the poor. And you will have treasure in
Heaven. And come, follow me.181
The man's reaction showed a serious lack of faith, for
Having heard these things he became very sad at the word, and the young
man went away grieving; for he had many possessions and was exceedingly
rich.182
His heart was not in it, especially the part about neighbourliness and charity.
About such the Quran stipulates that piety, after belief and fulfilling what God
ordains in terms of practice, must include
Expending ones wealth, in spite of ones love for it, on kinsfolk, the orphans,
the poor (who beg not), the wayfarer (the travelling stranger), the beggar (in
need), and (justly) on slaves183.184
And Jesus obliquely refers to this when he said to his disciples,
Truly I say to you, 'Those having riches shall only with great difficulty enter
into the Kingdom of Heaven!' And again I say to you, 'For it is easier for a
camel to pass through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter the
Kingdom of God'.185
The same oblique reference is made by God, in the Quran,
To those who reject Our verses and treat them with arrogance, no opening will
there be of the gates of heaven, nor will they enter the garden, until the camel
can pass through the eye of the needle: Such is Our reward for those in sin.186
Arrogance is the characteristic of the opulently rich, like Kor’ah. God says of him,
Indeed, Kor’ah was of Moses’ people, but he behaved arrogantly towards
them. We gave him of Our treasures that of which the keys would have been a
burden to a group of strong men. When his people said to him: ‘Do not exult!
God dislikes those who exult. Seek, rather, with that which God bestowed on
you, the home of the Hereafter. And do good, as God has done good to you,
seeking not mischief in the land. Verily, God dislikes the corrupters.’
He said, ‘This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I have.’

Those who were desirous of worldly life said, ‘Ahhh, that we might have the
like of what Kor’ah has been given. He is, indeed, the owner of great fortune!’

181
Mark 10:21, Luke 18:22 and Matthew 19:21
182
Mark 10:22, Matthew 19:22 and Luke 18:23
183
The majority of commentaries say this refers to manumitting slaves, i.e. setting them
free with a ‘stake’.
184
Quran, 2:177
185
Mark 10:23, Luke 18:24-5 and Matthew 19:23-4
186
Quran, 7:40
49
But those with true knowledge said, ‘Woe to you (all)! The reward with God is
better for the believers and doer of good deeds, and none will attain (it)
except the meek187.’188
Therefore, if heaven is your objective, the Torah serves as a guideline for the
manifestation of piety and belief. If you don't apply the letter of the Law
hypocritically to your lives, it should, at least, be reflected in your actions,
including the dietary laws stipulated by God, if you are true believers. Hypocrisy
would see you giving lip-service for the sake of others to see, but belief would be
reflected in your whole character, and therefore your deeds.
When the Sadducees, who believe that life terminates in the here and now, and
any reward/punishment is reflected in our worldly life rather than in the
Hereafter, questioned him about a theoretical case where a woman went through
several husbands before dying herself (unwed), Jesus replies,
Concerning the dead, that they are raised, have you not read in the book of
Moses, as God spoke to him at the Bush, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham,
and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead,
but God of the living. Therefore, you greatly err.189
Reminding them of this verse,
And He said, 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of
Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face, for he feared to look
upon God.190
That is, even generations after Abraham, his sons and their sons ‫ و‬God acted to
re-establish the Children of Israel in Canaan. So, even after the generations since
Moses and the further generations since David and Solomon God was still acting
for the living, and the living were accountable to Him. The Hereafter was, and is,
a reality we must all work for – not the mere recognition and admiration of our
peers.
This reminder was given shortly before the Pharisee scribes, appreciating his
confounding reply to the Sadducees, put a testing question to him themselves.
‘O Master! Which is the first, great commandment?’
And Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: "Hear, Israel.
The Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your
strength." This is the first, and great, commandment.
And the second is like this, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself."
There is not another commandment greater than these. On these two
commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’

187
Al Sabirún refers to those who patiently endure, with both forbearance and
perseverance, and keep their duty to God. Both Ayoub (Job) and Yusuf (Joseph) are
prime prophetic examples of this.
188
Quran, 28:76-80
189
Mark 12:26-7
190
Exodus 3:6
50
And the scribe said to him, ‘You say well, Teacher. You have spoken according
to truth, that God is one, and there is no other besides Him; and to love
Him from all the heart, and from all the understanding, and from all the soul,
and from all the strength; and to love one's neighbour as oneself is more than
all the burnt offerings and the sacrifices.’
And seeing that he answered intelligently, Jesus said to him, ‘You are not far
from the kingdom of God.’191
Though the question was framed so that the first of the Ten Commandments
could have been the reply elicited, Jesus chose to go to the heart of the matter. It
is not enough just to refrain from worshipping false gods and graven images –
one must love and worship, with true sincerity, the One God. This is truly the
greater concept. Is he abrogating the Ten Commandments? No, indeed! For the
Law is not just the Ten Commandments, but the statutes in the whole of the
Torah, which include:
Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord. And you shall love the Lord your
God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.192
And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be on your
heart.193
To you it was revealed, so that you might know that the Lord is God, and no
one else besides Him.194
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your
people; but you shall love your neighbour as yourself; I am the Lord.195
And also: the prohibition of pork, among other dietary prohibitions.
Those who believe that Paul abrogated this directive from revelation after Jesus's
ascension should think again. In a letter to his erstwhile pupil, Timothy, he wrote;
The end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart and a good
conscience, and faith not pretended, from which, having missed the mark,
some turned aside to empty talking, wishing to be teachers of Law, neither
understanding what they say, nor about that which they confidently affirm.
And we know that the Law is good, if anyone uses it lawfully. Knowing
this, that Law is not laid down for a righteous one, but for lawless and
undisciplined ones, for ungodly and sinful ones, for unholy and profane ones,
for slayers of fathers and slayers of mothers, for murderers, for
fornicators, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers,
and any other thing that opposes sound doctrine, according to the gospel
of the glory of the blessed God with which I was entrusted.196
If you look at Christianity today, what is the attitude towards publicity, dating and
sex before marriage, homosexuality, exploitation, drinking, extra-marital sex, and
the like, in the name of Democracy and Capitalism? What is the state of belief in
God, and in the Hereafter? Does it not point to a dire need to go back to a Law
laid down; a Law that calls upon the believer to act sincerely?

191
Mark 12:28-34 and Matthew 22:36-40
192
Knowledge, Spirit and Actions.
193
Deuteronomy 6:4-5
194
Deuteronomy 4:35
195
Leviticus 19:18
196
1Timothy 1:9-10
51
Writing to the Romans, Paul says,
Owe no man anything, except to love one another. For the one loving the
other has fulfilled the Law. For, 'do not commit adultery, nor murder, nor
steal, nor bear false witness, nor lust,' and if there is any other
commandment, in this Word it is summed up, in the words, ‘You shall
love your neighbour as yourself.’
Love does not work evil to the neighbour. Then Love is the fulfilment of
Law.197
So, if loving is the fulfilment of the Law, the visible manifestation of Love is
seen in sincere obedience to the Law.
Jesus is supposed to have said, in the early part of his ministry, according to St.
John,
Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one accusing you,
Moses, in whom you have hoped. For if you believed Moses, you would then
believe me; for that one wrote concerning me. But if you do not believe his
writings, how will you believe my Words?198
And, according to St. Luke, he later affirmed just before his ascension,
These are the Words which I spoke to you yet being with you, that all the
things must be fulfilled having been written in the Law of Moses, and
the Prophets, and the Psalms.199
About the (formerly) Christian, and Jewish, believer, God says,
You will find the nearest in Love to the believers those who say, 'we are
Christians.' That is because, among them, there are priests and monks who
are not proud; and they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger.
You see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the Truth they have
recognized. They say, ‘Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among
the witnesses! And why should we not believe in God and in what has
come to us of the Truth? And we wish for our Lord to admit us (into
Paradise) along with the upright people.’
Because of what they have said, God has rewarded them Gardens 200 under
which rivers flow, and they will abide therein forever. Such is the reward of the
God Conscious201.202
and
Those to whom we gave the Book before it (the Quran) believe in it. And when
it is recited to them, they say, ‘We believe in it! Verily, all of it is the Truth from
our Lord. Indeed, even before it we have been Muslims203.’
These have been given their reward twice over, because they are meek
(patient), and repel evil with good, and expend what we have provided them
197
Romans 13:8-10
198
John 5:45-47
199
Luke 24:44
200
Jannah (Arabic), or Gennah in Greek
201
Muhsiníyn - Those whose every deed is governed by there awareness that, even if
they cannot see Him, God can see them and their every thought, word and action
202
Quran, 5:82-85
203
Muslimíyn - People utterly submissive to the One God (God)
52
(in charity). And when they hear rigmarole, they withdraw from it, and say, ‘To
us our deeds, and to you, your deeds. Peace be unto you; we seek not the
ignorant.’
Verily, you guide not whom you like, but God guides whom he wills. And He
knows best whom are (to be) guided.204
This last admonition, addressed to Muhammad at the time of revelation, is now
addressed to us, the proselytizers of Islam, and the ordinary Muslims, telling us
that it is not we who guide you. From inside you, somewhere, must come the
spark; the initial urge to know God, the One True God, and be guided; not only
the desire, but the active impulse to seek. I earlier gave you a Hadiyth Qudsi,
which told you that
‘If you take one step towards God, He takes ten steps towards you. And if you
come walking to Him, He goes running towards you.’
You have to take that initial step.
It is better for you, then, to look at the Prophetic traditions and Quran for
guidance in this matter because God will reward you twice over for your
observance of the Law of the previous Book and then your submission to the Law
in the Final Book. There is a narration narrated Abu Hurrayrah, addressed
directly to the People of the Book, which says:
Messenger of God said, ‘By Him Whose hand Muhammad's soul rests, there is
none from amongst the Christians and the Jews who hears about me, and then
dies without believing in the Message with which I have been sent, but he will
be from among the dwellers of the Fire.’ 205
The question, then, is why do Christians allow for themselves that which God
(God) has forbidden? Is their heart really with God so that they comply through
the Spirit of the Law to its Letter? Ask yourselves, ‘Where is the Letter and Spirit
of God's Law perfectly combined?’ I think you will recognize that only one religion
provides the perfect balance of social justice, sincere belief in One Ilah (God),
and true awe and love of God (Allah): Islam.
God said, within the main verses that prescribe the lawful and unlawful:
Today I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour on you, and
chosen for you Islam as your religion.206
Is it not time you take for your religion that which God has chosen for you? You
will never make a wiser decision.
May God guide me and make my efforts bear fruit. Any mistakes or errors herein
are from myself and any benefit and guidance is from God.

204
Quran, 28:52-56
205
Muslim
206
Quran, 5:3
53
54