Muslim Vegetarians Say Eating Less Meat Is Friendlier

hung-meatAre Muslim vegetarians creating a false campaign to discourage meat-eating?

An article by Joseph Mayton in The Guardian created some debate. He claimed that eating less meat is more Islamic. Is it? For Muslims eating meat in small proportions is “halal” (lawful) and a blessing from God. However, Mayton claims that Prophet Muhammad did not advocate ‘daily meat eating’, nor did the noted Sheikh Hamza Yusuf: “Meat is not a necessity in shariah, and in the old days most Muslims used to eat meat – if they were wealthy, like middle class – once a week on Friday. If they were poor – on the Eids.”

Beware of meat

In the Muslim world this is mostly a social product. European Muslims eat their fish, poultry and creatures with four legs daily along with salads and pastas, whereas on the Asiatic continent and in the Middle East meat-eating for many Muslims is reserved for special occasions as a result of availability and cost. In Islamic history the Prophet Muhammad faced poverty; his community broke their fasts in Ramadan with water and dates, as Muslims do today.

They were sanctioned from markets and business, which forbade them from even the basic foods. Later, as wealth generated, the Prophet’s wisdom was to prevent obesity, to prevent any illness and this is why he encouraged eating less meat to avoid a ‘love’ for it, opting for a wholesome, healthy and cleaner digestive system. “Beware of meat. It has addictiveness like the addictiveness of wine” (Malik).

Compassion, environment, and health

The Qur’an’s guidelines on healthy eating are clear: “O mankind: Eat of what is lawful and good on earth” (Quran 2:168). The message is to eat the “halal” and eat balanced, which includes meat. Animals are a source of energy for people, used as transportation, in agriculture and as food. As an eco Muslim and semi-vegetarian (I only eat meat on weekdays) stand in the middle ground that if you are able to eat to your social status do so, but do not order an extra double cheese burger as dessert when there’s a hungry population in your country.

Muslim vegetarians are on the rise for good reasons. In his article, Mayton interviewed Gamal al-Banna, a prominent Islamic scholar who said that being a vegetarian and Muslim does not break any tradition and is in no way un-Islamic. “When someone becomes vegetarian they do so for a number of reasons: compassion, environment and health reasons.”

Eating meat is not an Islamic stipulation but rather a blessing that God provides humanity. It is an option that encompasses the welfare of both animal and humans. Thus, being vegetarian is not only friendlier for the lives of animals, but also rewarding for people. So should Muslims become vegetarian for the greater good?

How full is your stomach?

The London Muslim thinks not:

‘While there are health benefits for those with high cholesterol avoiding red meat Islam does not advocate vegetarianism… My initial suspicion is the animal lobby seem to now be equating Muslims as a problem in terms of our meat consumption and appear to be attempting to establish an Islamic argument – where none exists for the advocacy of Vegetarianism.’

Perhaps the best conclusion for Muslims can be drawn from the Eco Prophet Muhammad himself in his words when he saw a man with a slightly rounder stomach than the slimmer man sat alongside, pointing at the larger man with a smile ‘that (your fuller stomach) could be on him!’ And to our vegetarian Muslims – stay green people.

:: image via hoyasmeg

More on greener lifestyles:

Help the Abu Dhabi Eco-Chicks Map Out a Green Abu Dhabi

Review of Leo Hickman’s ‘A Life Stripped Bare’

Go Green this Ramadan! (6 Steps)

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7 thoughts on “Muslim Vegetarians Say Eating Less Meat Is Friendlier”

  1. Karwan says:

    what you talking about is the Agenda 21 or Depopulation plan! and a New World Order!! listen to Alex Johns on or when humans were less on the planet animals were a lot, so it is the same, but it is the evil humans which they worship Lucifer and that is all their plan, such as using oil, chemicals, medicines, global warming etc then blame it on humans, so people like Bill Gate says lets vaccinate to depopulate!! killing little babies and sterilizing women!! please do not use their terms in a twisted language, I am a medical scientist and I know what is going on! neither global warming or CO2 or diseases ever connected with human numbers and their consumption! this is all excuses of the elites! more chemicals in us like pesticide and in air like chemtrails to manipulate the weather means less greens on earth and more CO2 therefore global poisoning and warming!

    1. Nik says:

      May Allah be consent with you brother.

  2. Shifre says:

    Matt Green:
    What about cutting down rain forests to make way for agricultural crops like soy? Doesn’t that count for something?
    Or how about animals like rice killed by tractors when harvesting those crops?
    Is that green?

    Also, if you want to talk about being green, having a baby is the least green thing you can do. Abortions are more eco-friendly then not-eating-meat. Yet that doesn’t make abortions ethical or “right”. Just because something is eco-friendly, it doesn’t make it right.

    Most of these things can be found via a google search and I don’t have much time.

    In fact, everything humankind does is “not green” but the problems with the ozone layer, etc, only started occurring during the industrial age. So if anyone should take action, it should be companies producing cosmetics, medicine, energy, etc.

    I would recommend that you listen to George Carlin about “save the Earth” (again, on youtube somewhere). Though I should warn you, it does contain taboo language.

  3. Karwan says:

    once a month is the best way to consume meat, most of the schoalars but it must be pure, i.e. no genetically modified fed animal, no alteration in food chain, 100% organic free range, plus slaughtered by the right Islamic law i.e. ( Bismilah, La ILaha ILa Allah, Allaho akbar) been said to the edible animal before slaughtering,the animal should surrender, no slaughter by force! I found this is the best and only halal way, please have a look at Mercy Halal Mercy Islamic Slaughter Part 1

    I personally believe that there is no, Pure, organic, halal meat which what Allah tell us to have, therefor stay vegetarian rather than consuming dirt, contaminated, (probably with live virus to kill the bacteria on the meat!) and fake halal meat!

  4. Munawwar S says:

    There are two Hadiths in Muwatta wherein Umar Khattab RA reprimanded
    a person for eating meat. He warned him against habitual meat eating.

  5. Matt Green says:

    Forgot the source for the climate effect of livestock which is 51%:

  6. Matt Green says:

    Meat’s not green and can never be! You can’t be “green” or “eco” if you eat meat! Meat and milk destroy the world’s last rainforests in Brazil and Indonesia, ALWAYS lead to inhumane suffering for the animals and are the climate killers no. 1 ! Even if you never drive a car or a motorcycle, have the most energy-efficient house and devices and get eco-current, a vegan will always be greener than you, even if he/she is not green in anything else!

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