What does Islam say about Food?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 Science tells us that whatever one eats, it has an effect on one's behavior. This is one of the reasons that Islam prohibits the eating of carnivorous animals like lion, tiger, leopard, etc. who are violent and ferocious. The consumption of the meat of such animals would probably make a person violent and ferocious. Islam only allows the eating of herbivorous animals like cow, goat, sheep, which are peaceful and docile.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, prohibited the eating of wild animals with canine teeth and meat eating carnivorous animals such as lions, tigers, cats, dogs, wolfs, and hyenas and certain rodents like mice, rats, and rabbits with claws. Also reptiles like snakes and alligators. Birds of prey with talons or claws, like vultures, eagle, crows and owl are also prohibited.

Islam requires that in order to maintain a pure heart and a sound mind, to nourish an aspiring soul and a clean healthy body, special attention should be given to the diet on which man lives. The general principle of Islam in this respect is that all those things, which are pure and good for men and women, are lawful, as long as they are taken in moderate quantities. And all those things, which are impure, bad or harmful, are unlawful under all ordinary circumstances. There is always room and flexibility for exceptions to meet cases of absolute necessity.

Beyond this general principle, there are certain foods and drinks specified by God as forbidden. Among these are: meat of dead animals and birds, the flesh of swine and that of any animal which is slaughtered with the invocation of any name other than that of God. The Prophet said: “Your body has rights over you," and at another time he said, “No one is given any gift better than health.” Wholesome food and leading a healthy life style are considered religious obligations. The drinks which Islam considers harmful and destructive to the human spirit and morality as well as to the physique are included in the Qur'anic verse which forbids all intoxicants and all forms of gambling or games of chance.

Tags: What does Islam say about Food?, Food in Islam, Islam, Muslim
References: What is Islam? The Institute of Islamic Knowledge, al-quraan.org