Life of a Vegetarian Muslim

“Muslim and A Vegetarian ? How can it be? ” This is the only question I face every time I eat out with a new person. I am a practicing Muslim and a Pure Vegetarian. Everyone has a general conception that all muslims are Meat lovers. Its true. The society that I live in doesn’t have the word ‘Vegetarian’ in their dictionary. A meal without meat or chicken in any ceremony would be nothing but low quality and cheap. A society which considers it holy to consume meat. A society where a child is a meat eater every single day of the week. He/she would go hungry on a day when vegetables would have been cooked. And I was no different. I grew up in this society.

I can say that I have consumed meat like no one else. I went hungry on days my mother cooked vegetables and expressed extreme anger on her for doing so. I used to coax her for not taking care of me. Then I used to rush to a near by restaurant to grab minced meat and bread. It was my favorite. I still smell the same Arabian/Mughalai Minced meat when I pass by that restaurant. I consumed meat for the first 16 years of my life and then I quit.

People taunted me with various fallacies, primarily one which I still get from others : “You’re not even a muslim if you don’t eat meat once in 40 days.”. That hurt sometime, but I ignored. At some point it made me feel that I was committing a sin. I only knew that I may be different and may not be right, but I wasn’t wrong and not a sinner. I am a strong believer of God, the one and only one God. This fact is enough for me to still call myself a Muslim.

I had no reasons to quit meat eating, but something happened when there was a Goat sacrifice in our house on the day of Eid-uz-Zoha. Hours after the Goat was sacrificed, I saw the raw meat on the plate still shivering. As if it still had life in it. Islamic way of sacrifice is no doubt the most scientific method of killing with minimal pain, but I just couldn’t tolerate the view of the pieces of meat shivering in front of my eyes. Some more hours passed by, the meat was cooked -A fantastic dish was served. I just couldn’t consume it. I didn’t see any physical movement on the cooked meat but could feel the shivering. I just couldn’t consume that meat.

It is said that before any sacrifice, the animal comes to know that its going to be sacrificed.  It has already given up the hope. The animal stops eating from the night before. I have seen in the animal’s eyes. Its deep. Its dark. Its scared. When the time comes there is a ceremony in which the animal should drink a few gulps of water just before the knife is rubbed against the skin. This is the most difficult part. The animal refuses to drink the last drink. Just to extend its life for a few more minutes. And when the animal is forced to drink, just when the water reaches its throat, the slaughter begins with prayers. I shall not go into the details of the processes involved in slaughtering. But its all these hurt me more than anything else in the world. The sight is too frightful for me.

Most Islamic clergymen would outcast me or have a Fatwa on me if I said that every time I see a dead animal, I recite the prayers which muslims recite when they come across death of any human. Such is my faith.

At this point, I must confess that I am a food lover; I live to eat rather than eat to live; During my days of Vegetarianism since the age of 16, the most supportive people are my parents, Specially my mother. I take the opportunity to publicly thank her for all the trouble she has taken to cook separately for me Pure Vegetarian food. I may not trust a veg restaurant, but I would trust her that no matter what, she would cook vegetarian food for me where even a single spoon of Oil wouldn’t be shared between their non-veg cooking and my veg cooking.

I am mostly cut from my cultural foodie events. I do not go because the food is non-veg, and no one is that caring enough (except family) to prepare veg food for me. I don’t expect them to understand either.

Once in a blue moon, my parents would casually say to me “Why don’t you start eating for a change?”. I just chuckle.

I don’t force anyone to be a vegetarian though I advocate it. I never win and neither they lose. They respect my vegetarianism because I am not doing anything against the religion or against Islam. Just like any other ‘ideal’ muslim, I pray daily prayers, I don’t indulge in Usury or Interest on money, I offer charity, I don’t gamble, drink, smoke and most importantly, I believe that there is no god, but God. These are the basic pillars of Islam and I don’t think I am breaking them.

Its time when people should know the fact that in the Holy Quran, it is mentioned that one may eat permissible non-vegetarian food, for God has created animals for human consumption but it is not compulsory. It is also mentioned that Animals such as Pig and Pork meat is strictly prohibited (It has a scientific reason). A muslim can be a good practicing muslim by being a Vegetarian.

58 thoughts on “Life of a Vegetarian Muslim

  1. agathe

    I am a muslim. However, I believe that meat is provided to be halal consumed by human, as in the time of the Prophet (SAW) meat contain source of vitamin and mineral which couldn’t be derived from other sources.
    But now with the advance of medicine research and technology, it is possible for human to receive those vitamins from other sources than meat.
    I have been a vegan for years, following my uncle who also muslim vegan (he didn’t dare to perform slaughtering qurban animal on his pilgrimage, and from that day his compassion toward animals turned him into fully vegan). I substitute the needs of protein and vit. B12 with soya products, nuts, B12 supplements and some of natural food supplements.
    So far, I feel healthy, sleep better, less emotional, and think more clearly.

  2. ritesh singh choudhary

    can u tel me sir, hw islamic way f slaughtering is the scientific method creating least pain? i bcam a veg at age f 7, as i hated the scrifical offrng in name f god, i’m nt stopping them frm eating flesh,bt who gav them the rt over others animal’s lf,to sacrifice in name f god…,!?

  3. sunny

    Dear Hussain,

    Hello!!
    This is Such A well article that everyone in the world ,Irrespective of their religion, beliefs, food habits etc. needs to read this. Choosing a Life of kindness over cruelty and changing your habits for the well being of the animals is the most noble thing to do. You are awesome…God bless you.

  4. Azad Jain

    BRAVO. you are really a Brave person who gone against everyone’s will and done what your heart felt and use your brain to find logic. GREAT, SUPERB. You know human body is only made to digest vegetarian diets. Read- TEN PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CARNIVORES (MEAT EATERS) AND HERBIVORES (PLANT EATERS).
    IS THE HUMAN BODY DESIGNED TO EAT ANIMAL PRODUCTS?
    1.A carnivore’s teeth are long, sharp and pointed. These are tools that are useful for the task of piercing into flesh. Omnivore’s (meat and plant eaters) teeth are similar to that of carnivores. Man’s, as well as other herbivore’s teeth are not pointed, but flat edged. These are useful tools for biting, crushing and grinding.
    2.A carnivore’s jaws move up and down with minimal sideways motion. The jaw motion of an omnivore is similar. These are tools that are useful for the tasks of shearing, ripping and tearing flesh and swallowing it whole. Omnivores swallow their food whole and/or with simple crushing. Man’s, as well as other herbivore’s jaws cannot shear, but have good side to side and back to front motion. These are tools that are useful for extensive chewing, crushing and grinding of grains and other high fiber foods. Animal flesh cannot be crushed, ground and chewed with the tools Yahweh gave man without some degenerating process such as cooking or frying.
    3.A carnivore or omnivore’s saliva does not contain digestive enzymes. Man’s, as well as other herbivore’s saliva is alkaline, containing carbohydrate digestive enzymes.
    4.A carnivore’s stomach secretes powerful digestive enzymes with about 10 times the amount of hydrochloric acid than a human or herbivore. The pH is less than or equal to “1″ with food in the stomach, for a carnivore or omnivore. For humans or other herbivores, the pH ranges from 4 to 5 with food in the stomach. Hence, man must prepare his meats with laborious cooking or frying methods. E. Coli bacteria, salmonella, campylobacter, trichina worms [parasites] or other pathogens would not survive in the stomach of a lion.
    5.A carnivore’s or omnivore’s small intestine is three to six times the length of its trunk. This is a tool designed for rapid elimination of food that rots quickly. Man’s, as well as other herbivore’s small intestines are 10 to 12 times the length of their body, and winds itself back and forth in random directions. This is a tool designed for keeping food in it for long enough periods of time so that all the valuable nutrients and minerals can be extracted from it before it enters the large intestine.
    6.A carnivore’s or omnivore’s large intestine is relatively short and simple, like a pipe. This passage is also relatively smooth and runs fairly straight so that fatty wastes high in cholesterol can easily slide out before they start to putrefy. Man’s, as well as other herbivore’s large intestines, or colons, are puckered and pouched, an apparatus that runs in three directions (ascending, traversing and descending), designed to hold wastes that originally were foods high in water content. This is so that the fluids can be extracted from these wastes, now that all the useful nutrients and minerals have been extracted and the long journey through the small intestine is over. Substances high in fat and cholesterol that have been putrefying for hours during their long stay in the small intestine tend to get stuck in the pockets that line the large intestine.
    The long human intestinal tract actually makes it dangerous for people to eat meat. The bacteria in meat have extra time to multiply during the long trip through the digestive system, and meat actually begins to rot while it makes its way through the intestines. Many studies have shown the link between meat eating and colon cancer in humans.
    7.Animal flesh, composed of the most highly complex type of protein that exists, requires vast amounts of uric acid to process. Uric acid is released into the system in amounts necessary to break proteins down into amino acids. Uric acid is a toxic substance responsible for the aging process and must be flushed out and dealt with. That is one of the jobs of the liver. In relative terms, a carnivore’s liver is a tool designed with the capacity to eliminate ten times as much uric acid as the liver of man or other plant eater.
    8.A predator has a gait, large paws and claws, which enable him to hunt, chase and trap his prey. These are tools meant to kill. Man’s gait, as well as other herbivore’s is designed only for mobility. Examine your hand, fingers and fingernails. Is this an apparatus properly designed for catching, trapping, killing and ripping apart cattle, hogs, chicken and fish? How does this work for picking fruit from trees or harvesting vegetables? The foods your hands were meant to gather are typically, high in water content, high also in fiber to sweep the wastes out of those intestines, and collectively contain every vitamin and mineral necessary to sustain human life.
    9.A carnivore’s frame of mind is totally geared for hunting and killing. Man’s frame of mind is compassionate, friendly and reveres life. When the lion spots another furry animal, something might instinctively click in his head that tells him to hurry up and get dinner. When man spots a furry animal, rather than show his children how to take its life and eat it, a more likely instinct is to pull over, get the camera out and take a picture. Put a young baby chick and an apple in a crib with a six-month-old baby. What will he instinctively attempt to eat and play with?
    10. Man is not a natural hunter. Every predator, in order to go hunting, MUST be hungry. Man cannot go hunting if he IS hungry! He must have a meal first. Hunger must precede a predator to go hunting. Hunger must follow man’s desire to go hunting, it cannot precede it.
    And Elohim (God) said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.”

  5. Mithila

    I’m happy to read this. Thank you so much. Everyone please watch ‘Earthlings’ online for free, to watch how humans regard animals.

  6. Rahul Dahale

    Dear , u r correct ….
    I heard ek saccha nastik hi saccha astik hota hai, becoz he tally everything before accepting. I am not really mean u r nastik please not feel bad …I said this becoz lot of bhramin jain Gujarati eat meat as their religion / family not permitted it but they do as their lust for tongue more than a life . but u still to preffered to veg because u see animal shivering , u feel its pain and u r heat filled with Allah’s light that make u that tasteless is really gr8 .

  7. narendra

    My Hearty Well Wishes To All Indian Muslim Vegetarian. Al Mighty GOD Bless All Of You Happy & Prosperous Life.

    “Be Happy” :) :-)

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