Islamic Laws

Laws Pertaining To Food, Dress, and Ways of Self-Protection

By: Ayatullah Ali Meshkini
246. It is obligatory to protect oneself against any significant harm and against any food, drink, and bodily movement, which causes notable harm or serious disease.
247. It is obligatory to defend oneself in any possible way against danger and causes of death, whether the menace is human, animal, or an event in nature, even if the defense causes harm, injury, or death to the attacker.
248. It is forbidden to eat the meat, eggs, and other body parts of marine animals, except for fish with scales. Also, it is forbidden to eat the eggs and body parts of animals whose meat is haram.
249. It is obligatory to slaughter, according to Islamic standards, the animals whose meat is halal for eating and other uses and to slaughter, according to Islamic standards, the animals whose meat is haram for uses and benefits other than eating. There are certain Islamic standards for slaughtering any animal. For instance, camels are slaughtered from the jugular notch, i.e. the hollow at the bottom of their necks, (this type of slaughter is used for camels and it is called nahr), other animals by cutting their jugular veins, wild animals by hunting, marine animals by bringing them out of water while still alive, and grasshoppers by trapping them in a container or a special place for this purpose, or by emergency slaughtering. In cases of emergency, animals may be slaughtered in a non-standard form. For example, a cow that falls into a well and is about to die may be stabbed with a piece of iron while pronouncing the phrase ‘bismillahi (in the Name of God)’ so that its blood is shed and slaughtering takes place.
250. It is forbidden to eat the meat of a dead animal (i.e. an animal that is not slaughtered in a lawful way), be it domestic, wild, desert, or marine, such as the strangled, the dead through beating, the dead through falling from a height, that which has been killed by the goring of horns, that which is killed by wild beasts, and that which has been immolated unto idols. In any of these cases, however, if the animal can be slaughtered according to Islamic standards before death their meat is halal. Also, in cases of emergency the aforementioned meat may be consumed. The prohibition of eating the meat of dead animals is the same whether the flesh of the dead animal is impure, i.e. najis, (such as dog and swine) or pure, i.e. tayyib, (such as fish). However, whether or not it is legal to use the body parts of animals whose flesh is impure is controversial, such as the skins of swine and dogs.
251. It is forbidden to eat the meat obtained from the markets of unbelievers, from an unbeliever in non-Muslims markets, or from a Muslim who has bought it from an unbeliever. The skin of an animal obtained in this way is impure and it is wrong to use it.
252. It is forbidden to eat the meat of various small ground and sky animals, whether they have gushing blood—like rats and porcupines—or not—like frogs and snakes—except for grasshoppers, which are halal.
253. Of the domestic animals, it is forbidden to eat the meat of cats and dogs.
254. It is forbidden to eat the meat of predatory animals such as lions, leopards, wolves, fox, hyenas, and jackals.
255. It is forbidden to eat the meat of the various metamorphosed creatures—creatures that were originally evil humans of ancient rebellious nations, transformed by God the Almighty as punishment—such as elephants, monkeys, pigs, bears, and rabbits.
256. It is forbidden to eat the meat of birds that have talons, such as hawks, eagles, falcons, and vultures.
257. It is forbidden to eat the meat of the various kinds of crows, whether black, spotted, or otherwise. This issue is controversial.
258. It is forbidden to eat the meat of birds that always or usually fly with open wings, without flapping them, and birds that do not have crops, gizzards, and spurs, except those that are specifically stated as halal in traditions.
259. It is forbidden to eat the eggs of the birds whose meat is haram.
260. It is forbidden to eat the meat of halal animals that have become used to eating human excrement. This prohibition remains effective until the habit is broken and its normal cleanliness is restored.
261. It is forbidden to eat the meat of a halal animal with which a human being has committed a sexual act. It is also forbidden to drink their milk, eat their eggs, or even eat the meat of the offspring of such animals.
262. Some body parts of halal animals are forbidden to eat even if they have been slaughtered legally. These parts are namely: (1) both male and female genital organs, (2) uterus, (3) bodily glands, (4) testicles, (5) pea-like parts of the brain, (5) spinal cord, (6) the fat on the two sides of the backbone, (6) gall bladder, (7) spleen, (8) urinary bladder, (9) pupil of the eye, and (10) the center of hooves. However, some above items are subject to controversy.
263. It is forbidden to eat and drink impure things (najis), such as dead bodies, blood, the meat of a dog or swine, wine, and all other intoxicating liquids.
264. It is forbidden to eat and drink pure and clean foods and drinks that are unpurified due to contact with impure things.
265. It is forbidden to use things that are normally intoxicating, even if they do not intoxicate on exception. The prohibition of using such things include eating, drinking, injecting, smoking, rubbing on the body, sniffing, or even wearing, since there are certain clothes that cause intoxication.
266. It is forbidden to take part in a gathering in which alcoholic and intoxicating liquids are served.
267. It is forbidden to drink beer, even if it does not cause intoxication.
268. It is forbidden to drink the grape juice that has boiled on fire and two thirds of its quantity have not evaporated. This is also true in case that it has boiled under sunlight or on its own.
269. It is forbidden to eat and drink anything that causes notable harm to the body and to use any thing that causes notable harm, whether it causes death, paralysis of limbs, impairment of constitution, or disablement of any of the bodily abilities, like the ability to reproduce and give birth.
It is forbidden to cut off any of the body parts unless there is justifiable reason. It is also forbidden to use any substance that brings about obvious harm to the mind and spirit.
270. It is forbidden to eat any kind of dust or mud, whether small or large in amount.
271. It is forbidden to abstain forever from eating the good things God had deemed legal. These good things include allowed actions, allowed pure food and clothing, and all the natural gifts and bounties that Islam has not forbidden. To abstain forever from doing something is to claim that this thing is forbidden in the law of Islam.

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