The Thirteenth General Conference : Renewal in Islamic Thought
HARMONY BETWEEN ANIMAL SCIENCE
HARMONY BETWEEN ANIMAL SCIENCE AND
WHAT IS MENTIONED IN THE QUR'AN AND
Dr. M. S. Badmana
University of Nairobi
The relationship between God's revelations throughout the ages
and scientific facts is that of harmony and agreement, since the sources of
the two types of knowledge are the most reliable and authentic in nature.
Revealed knowledge comes directly from Allah (s.w), the Omniscient,
and the Wise, while scientific facts are obtained) from investigations
proved beyond doubt by well-designed experiments. However, when an
apparent contradiction appears between revelation and science, one has
to establish the nature of the disagreement in the following way:
Examine the authenticity of the nature of revelation, i.e. is it from
the Qur'an or from a reliable Sunnah (hadith sahih) Once that is
checked, then examine its interpretation; does it bear a clear-cut single
verdict that cannot have more than one meaning (qati'atud dalalah)?
If both are proved beyond doubt, that is the revelation is entirely,
authentic and its interpretation does not carry more than one meaning
then this should be taken as the truth and should not contradict science.
However, if it does contradict then the assumed scientific fact is
neglected. Otherwise such a discrepancy should not exist. Since one may
imagine something is a scientific fact when it is just a theory, or a
hypothesis trying to explain a new concept. Neither a theory nor a
hypothesis should be taken as a hundred percent reliable information.
Otherwise there is no truth, which will contradict a fact. Authentic
revelation will not disagree with true scientific knowledge. However if a
well-known established scientific law contradicts an authentic revelation
(dhatiyyatuth thubut), which no top of that has more than one
interpretation (dhatiyyatud dalalah) then the former takes precedence
over the latter (1). This is because the scientific fact is definite while the
revealed text is not.
On the other hand if the two sources of knowledge (science and
revelation) are mere conjectures, then the one which is more convincing
and reasonable takes preference. This method of establishing harmony
between science, logic and revelation has been discussed in detail a long
time ago by scholars like Ibn Taymiyah(2) and Al-Ghazali(3) and
recently by many `ulamaa' including Sheikh Abdul Majid Zindani(4)
and Dr. Zaruq(5) .
The Concept of Right And Wrong in Islam
As far as Islam is concerned, good is whatever is just, pure, and
beneficial; while bad is whatever is evil, impure, and harmful. That is
why the Holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) was sent to his Ummah to
command and them what is just and forbid them what is evil, allow them
as lawful, what is good (and pure) and prevent them from what is bad
(and impure) (6). Contrary to Kant's theory of moral philosophy, for one
to accomplish a good deed, he does not have to suppress his inclination
In fact he could even enjoy performing a nice act. In this
connection the Qur'an says: Say: (O Muhammad): Who has
forbidden, the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He has produced for
His servants and the things, clean and pure (all kinds of Halal (lawful)
thing which, He has provided) for sustenance? They are, in the life of
this world for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers)
on the Day of Resurrection (the disbelievers will not share them)(7)
Thus Islam affirms that whatever is good has also been made lawful
to the Muslim Ummah. Allah says: They ask you (O Muhammad)
what is lawful for them (as food) Say: "Lawful unto you are At-
Tayyiba [all kinds of Halal (lawful, good) foods which Allah has made
lawful (meat of slaughtered edible animals, milk products, fats,
vegetables, and fruits)](8)
On the other hand whatever is bad is made unlawful to Muslims.
As Allah (s.w.) says: " Say: (O Muhammad): "(But) the things that my
Lord has indeed forbidden are: Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every
kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly
or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression."(9)
Is the wisdom behind all the Islamic laws evident?
We have seen that Allah has commanded the Muslims to do what is
good and abstain from evil deeds. To answer the question posed
above, one can not give an outright affirmative reply. Though one can
confidently say that for the majority to Islamic laws their wisdom is
manifest, however, there are few others which can not be entirely
logically comprehended. For such commands, a strong faith is needed
in order to appreciate the beneficiary nature of all Islamic laws, since
we believe that Allah always enjoins what is good and forbids what is
evil. Consequently when one fails to comprehend the benefit of any of
Allah's instructions, he will attribute it to the limited amount of
knowledge he may possess,(10) as well as the lack of foresightedness in
some cases. Thus Allah rightly says: And it may be that you dislike a
thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for
you, Allah knows but you do not know.(11)
Here is where a true believer is confronted with a real test. Since
obeying what is apparent, evident, and logic is easy, when one has to
abide by the rules which are not entirely comprehensible, a strong
faith is needed to say: We hear and obey. For it is people with such
qualities that will prosper.(12)
Forbidden (Haram) Meat
Islam is a complete way of life. A comprehensive religion which
deals with all-important and vital issues including purity and
cleanliness. It emphasises purity of hearts, bodies, clothes, dwellings,
places, and everything we utilise and associate ourselves with Prophet
Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) emphasised the need of purity and cleanliness
to the extent that he said: "Cleanliness is half of faith."(13) He further
said: "Islam is cleanliness, for surely none will enter Paradise except
the one who is clean."(14) Therefore, a Muslim has to be pure, clean
and tidy and must keep off from all sources of impurities. He should
not drink or consume food which is bad, harmful, and consequently
forbidden in Islam. In this section haram meat or meat forbidden to
eat, according to Islamic law will be discussed.
The Qur'an has prohibited Muslims to eat the meat of a dead body
since it is dirty, impure, and harmful. A dead body prohibited to eat is
an animal which has lost its life on its own without being
slaughtered(15) or hunted by man, and is neither fish nor locust.(16) A
carcass forbidden to eat could have died in a number of ways. Allah
(s.w.) says: Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytah (the dead
animals- cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and
that on which Allah's Name has not been mentioned while
slaughtering (that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for other
than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols) and that which has been
killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by headlong fall, or being
gored to death- and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild
animal-unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death)(17)
In the previous verse all mentioned kinds of dead meat are forbidden
to eat whether the killing was by strangling, a violent blow, a headlong
fall, being gored to death, or by being attacked by a wild animal. In all
these cases life-blood was congealed before being taken out of body.
But if the life-blood still flows and the solemn mode of Islamic
slaughter was carried out, then it becomes lawful as food.
The wisdom behind forbidding the eating of dead meat:
Anything prohibited by the Shari'ah must be harmful or there must
be a sound reason behind it, but the issue is whether one can
comprehend the wisdom behind it or not. Here are some of the
arguments against eating animal dead bodies:
1. Eating flesh of a dead animal is repugnant to civilised and
sensible people in all societies, irrespective of the cause of death.
2. It is observed that all people believing in the divine revealed
Scriptures have not eating flesh of an animal(18) unless it is
slaughtered, though the method of slaughtering may differ.
3. Islam demands one to be accustomed to planning his
undertakings, that is, he should intend to do an act then accomplish it.
Thus one will have to decide on slaughtering an animal or hunting
rather than just getting a dead body somewhere and eat it.
4. A Muslim must have self discipline and control to the extent that
he rejects what is forbidden, even if it appeals to him and whether he
understands the wisdom behind such a rule or not.(19) This is a trial,
which every Muslim has to go through successfully in order to confirm
his total obedience and submission to Allah.
5. An animal that has died a natural death could have suffered from
an acute or chronic disease in addition to other causes. Quite a
number of per-acute or acute animal diseases are zoonotic and some
are fatal with high mortality rate in humans. Example of such diseases
are anthrax, brucellosis, tuberculosis, salmonellosis, tetanus, cowpox,
contagious pustular dermatitis, beef measles and echinococcosis, to
mention some examples.(20)
6. By prohibiting human beings from eating dead animals, Allah (s.w.)
provides a source of diet to a special type of camivorous animals which
cannot easily kill live animals for their food. These are the scavenger
animals like hyenas, foxes, and birds like vultures, eagles, and crows
which eat such carcasses. This helps too in maintaining the delicate
natural balance of animal creatures of various species.
7. We have mentioned earlier that among the dead animals forbidden
to eat is the one which has been killed, beaten to death, fallen head-
long, gored to death, or partly eaten by wild beasts, and all these could
not be slaughtered when they were still alive. It seems here that Allah,
the All Wise, wants to enforce upon every Muslim, to take the best
care for animals under his management, so that they are not
maltreated or injured and suffer bodily pain unnecessarily. They
should not be beaten unreasonably, left to fall headlong, fight each
other to death, or eaten by wild beasts unattended to.
8. It has been mentioned that one of the major causes of animal death
is disease. Once again Allah (s.w.) enjoins every Muslim to combat this
cause and reduce it to the minimum. Thus we should use preventive
medicine as much as possible.
Islam prohibits one to consume blood whether it is from live or
dead animal, raw or cooked. It considers blood to be one source of
forbidden (haram) food,(21) which is also impure (najis).
The wisdom behind the prohibition of food consumption:
Flowing blood can neither be consumed from live nor dead animals.
There are so many reasons to justify the discouragement of such a
practice. An attempt will be made to elaborate some of them:
1. Blood is repugnant, detestable, disliked, and unpleasant to decent
2. The divine Scriptures revealed before the Qur'an also prohibited
3. If flowing blood is taken from a living animal, the procedure will
subject it to pain and injury and will be considered as an act of cruelty
to animals. Depending upon how much blood is taken at a time, it
could affect the health of the animal or even cause its death.
4. If the same needle or other instruments are used to draw some
blood from other animals as well, and sufficient hygienic and sterile
measures are not taken, this can cause the spreading of infectious
diseases like hemorrhagic septicemia and rinderpest, which are both
acute contagious diseases affecting cattle, sheep, goats, etc.
5. If the consumed blood is not well cooked and is obtained from a
slaughtered animal suffering from bacteriemic zoonotic diseases such
as anthrax, brucellosis, tuberculosis, salmonellosis, etc, which affect
cattle, sheep, goats, and other animals it will usually infect the
eater.(23) Indeed, Bacillus anthracis as a rule is present in the blood in
great numbers just prior to death. One could also be affected if he
consumed blood from animals suffering from fever caused by diseases
such as rickettsia or leptospirosis(24).
Infected dead carcasses suffering from zoonotic diseases
characterised by viraemic, toxaemic, pyaemia could affect the blood
consumer of such animals. Streptococci and staphylococci bacteria,
which could infect humans, are the commonest pathogens associated
with pyaemia, but they may also be related with organisms of the
salmonella group, which are harmful to humans.(25)
Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) is not known for certain
where it actually originated, but a probable primate source is often
suggested, and appears highly plausible. HIV-2 (one of the major
strains of HIV) may be a mutant that jumped into humans from an
African monkey known as the sorty mangabey, probably when
monkey hunters or trappers touched their body tissues. So are
Marburg and Ebola viruses.
6. Biochemical analysis of blood reveals that it contains high
concentrations of uric acid(26), which is highly toxic. It also contains
cholesterol, which affects the health of the consumer and predisposes
him to hypertension. Blood, in addition takes long to be digested and
could ferment within the alimentary canal and cause some digestive
disorders detrimental to the health of the consumer.
7. Blood is an excellent media for the growth of various pathological
organisms. Red corpuscles contained in the blood decompose fast
immediately after an animal dies. Thus blood can easily be
contaminated, and the harmful organisms multiply quickly within a
very short period, so that by the time one consumes it he will be
infected with a higher dose of pathogenic organisms.
Swine flesh is also among the meat forbidden to eat. Allah (s.w.)
says: Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytah (the dead animals),
blood, and the flesh of swine.(27)
Consequently all types of pig meat like bacon, pork, etc., are
The wisdom behind the prohibition of eating swine meat:
1. The pig is unclean, dirty, filthy, and disliked by all descent
people of sound mind.
2. All the people believing in the divine Scriptures revealed
before the Qur'an believed that eating swine flesh is forbidden. The
Bible says: "And the swine, he is unclean to you. Of the flesh ye shall
not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch, they are unclean to
you."(28) In fact Dr. E. A. Widmer quotes in his article Pork, Man
and Disease by saying: "Pork although one of the most common
articles of diet, is one of the most injurious. God did not prohibit the
Hebrews from eating swine's flesh merely to show His authority, but
because it was not proper article of food for man."(29) Thus swine
had been regarded as unclean by Phoenicians and Egyptians. To the
Jews swine's flesh was abominable; the pig was the emblem of filth
and curseness. (30)
3. The pig is very dirty animal, which likes to live in a muddy,
stinking environment, eating filthy diet including its own faeces.
Therefore, it is associated with all heath hazards found with
4. The pig is an omnivorous animal whose food habits resemble that
of humans, hence it competes for the same diet. Therefore, rather
than use this monogastric animal to provide a sauce of meat for men,
it will be preferred in developing countries where food resources are
limited to raise ruminants through pasture, a diet not used by
humans to produce products such as meat and milk.
5. Swine meat has a very high concentration of boric acid, which is
toxic to humans. Other species are able to excrete boric acid in urine.
For example, human beings can excrete 90% of boric acid in urine
while pigs excrete only 2%. The rest is retained in its meat and is
passed over to the meat consumer resulting in high blood
6. The pig is omnivorous, eating almost anything that it encounters,
including rats, which are the cause of so many diseases. Swine is
responsible for a considerable number of human diseases like
anthrax, brucellosis, listeriosis, and tuberculosis.
Among the pig parasitic diseases communicable to man,
Trichinosis is the most important one. The disease is caused by
Trichinella spirals (Trichina worm). Dr. Glen Shepherd wrote this
concerning the disease: "One in six people in the United States of
America and Canada have Trichinella worms in their muscles from
eating pork infected with Trichinosis."(32)
Taenia Solium is a tapeworm affecting pigs and is communicable to
man. According to Stoll's estimate (1947) about 2.5 million people
were infected with T. solium. Once man is infected with it he can
carry it for years. The Muslim population and orthodox Jewish
communities are free from the tapeworm. This disease is endemic in
a lot of countries where people raise pigs.
Coprophagous animal (AI-Jallalah) :
Al-Jallalah is an animal that eats the waste of other animals, such
as camels, cows, sheep, chicken, geese and so on.(33) Prophet
Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) prohibited eating the meat of al-Jallalah or
drinking its milk.(34) This prohibition is taken as haram (not allowed)
and not makruh (not favoured) as has been suggested by a group of
the Shafi'iy school of thought. It is also the verdict of the Hanbali
school of thought, Ibn Daqiq al-Eid, Abu Ishaq al-Marwazy, Al-
Qaffal, Imamul Haramain Abu's Ma'ali AI-Jawaini, AI-Baghwy, and
Al-Ghazaly. They also included in the prohibition of meat its milk and
However, one can eat the meat of al-Jallalah or its milk or eggs if
the animal stops consuming stool. Ar-Raf'ii says some scholars have
estimated that if al-Jallalah stops eating stool and feeds on other clean
diets for forty days as far as camels and cows are concerned it should
be okay. Thereafter one can eat the products of such animal. As for
sheep and goats they should stop eating animal waste and consume
clean diets for seven days, while for poultry three days,(36) before
they can be consumed.
The wisdom behind forbidding the eating of coprophagous
1. Any animal that eats the stool of others is dirty and filthy, and
natural instinct will detest it.
2. The animal, which eats the stool of others, has a very high
probability of being infected with the contaminated food it consumes,
and in turn may infect other animals. Animal waste could be a
potential source of pathogenic organisms like bacteria, moulds, and
yeasts depending upon the type of animals it originated from and their
managemental system. Parasitic infections could also easily be
transmitted from animal stools to the ones eating it. These materials
could pose a health hazard to the animal consuming it and may even
be passed to others.(37) From several samples examined, pathogen
isolates of the genus, clostridium, corynebacterium, salmonella, and
mycobacteria were found present in the waste.(38) Other pathogens
identified include Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, viruses,
and members of Enterobacteriaceae. Other pathogens of animal
health concern found in poultry waste are listed as salmonella
pullorum, which infect cattle and swine.
3. Coprophagous animal (Al-Jallalah) will not only be infected with
the stool it consumes, but it will transmit such diseases to the one who
eats its products either in the form of meat, milk, or eggs from
poultry. An elaboration of such cases will be detailed below.
Impurities (Najasah) of animal origin
Impurities (najasah) are dirty substances that a Muslim has to keep
off from so that they do not contaminate his body, clothes, or places of
use, etc. Should these items be soiled with any impurities they must be
washed and cleaned. Thus Allah (s.w.) commands His Prophet
(p.b.u.h.) and all Muslims by saying: And your garments purify! And
keep away from Ar-Rujz (the idols)(39)
Dead body, blood, and swine:
The prohibition of eating dead body, blood, swine, and al-
Jallalah has been discussed earlier. We now want to expand and
explain that it is not only the eating of these items that has been
forbidden by Islam but even using them, since they are considered
impure(40) and dirty and could harm the consumer. This is a very
helpful phenomenon in preventive veterinary medicine. A dead body
whose cause of death is not known is not only unfit for human
consumption but is an impure piece of material (najas) and has to be
handled with care if one has to do so. Consequently, it should not
contaminate a Muslim's body, clothes, or place of use. In case it does
then one has to wash the affected area thoroughly. What a more
health precautionary measure would one want to take beyond this
recommended by Islam?
Hides and skins of dead animals:
Hides and skins of dead animals are considered impure unless they
are tanned. Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) said: "Once the skin is
tanned, it is purified."(41) Because he said: "Tanning removes its
Why should the hides and skins be considered impure until
they are tanned?
We have discussed the danger of eating dead meat and blood as
well as the filthy and the impurity (najis) status of the two items.
Equally, hides and skins are more or less of the same nature. The
disease risk associated with the dead body and blood will in most cases
be the same as with the untanned hides and skins, since they will also
be infected or contaminated. Hence they should not be used until after
The hide or skin of an animal which died a natural death can be
removed from the carcass before it decomposes. Then it has to be
tanned and preserved in a clean state. There are various types of
tanning materials but all of them enhance removing the remaining
pieces of flesh sticking to the skin and render the hide or skin fit to be
utilised by humans without much risk of infection or health hazards.
Otherwise if hides and skins of dead animals were to be used without
tanning, they could pose a danger of transmitting diseases to animals
Utensil licked by a dog
Amongst the things considered unclean (p.b.u.h.) said: "When a
dog (licks a utensil belonging to anyone of you (the thing contained in it)
should be thrown away and then (the utensil) should be washed seven
times.(43) He also said: "The purification of the utensil belonging to
anyone of you, after it is licked by a dog, lies in washing it seven times,
using sand, (or earth) for the first time.(44)
The two hadiths mentioned enlighten us on the following:
1. That dog's mouth is impure. (45)
2. The remaining water left after being licked by a dog is also
impure hence it has to be thrown away and cannot be used by human
3. A utensil licked by a dog has to be washed seven times
4. The licked utensil has to be cleaned first by using sand (or earth)
then washed six times with water. Using sand entails mixing sand with
water or vice versa and then cleaning the utensil with the mixture of the
The wisdom behind the prohibition of utilising utensil licked
by a dog:
1. Dogs are unclean beasts according to Islam and eating of their
flesh is forbidden.
2. Dogs bark at visitors and chase them away and disturb
neighbours at their resting and sleeping times. They can even bite them,
while Islam on the contrary encourages people to visit one another, show
hospitality to known people and even strangers.
3. Dogs scare away the needy and the poor who ask for charity or
shelter, while Islam emphasises giving assistance by saying: Nor repulse
him who asks (for assistance).(48)
4. The Western people have become very fond of keeping pets at
the expense of taking good care of the deserving human beings like the
orphans, poor relatives, and the needy. To elaborate the point further, in
Britain alone dog population was approximately three million in 1956,
while in America they were twenty-five million in l957(49). More recent
figures show that dog population in USA was estimated to be 52.5 million
in December 31, 1991.(50) In the same year there was 94.5 million
households in USA, out of which 36.5% kept dogs at a mean of 1-2 (1.52)
dogs per owning household .( 51)
Mean veterinary visits per household for dogs was 2.64 visits per
year. Total veterinary expenditure in the same year was estimated at
a mean of US 131.84 per dog-owning household. On this base
veterinary expenditure in 1991 were nearly US 4.6 billion. (52)
5. Dogs are looked after more lavishly and luxuriously by the rich
people than the way they look after their poor relatives, orphans or the
needy. Some dog owners play with their pets, entertain them or even
take them as their sexual partners. So many of such cases have been
reported in the Western world.
6. Having stray dogs around, which may easily spread diseases like
rabies, etc., is totally discouraged in Islam; so is having them as pets. But
keeping dogs for a good purpose is allowed. Thus the Prophet (p.b.u.h.)
says: "If one keeps a dog which is meant for neither guarding a farm nor
cattle one (a large measure) of the reward of his good deeds is deducted
daily qirat. (53)
7. Dogs are unclean and can be a cause of health hazards
Consequently they are not to be reared or kept by people unless their
services are necessary. There are so many infectious diseases affecting
dogs, which can be transmitted easily to humans. We will give just a
few examples, quoting Dr. Gerard Finstimer,(54) a German scientist,
who explains how dangerous to human health is keeping dogs or
coming in contact with them. He says: "The increasing interest shown
by many people in recent times in keeping dogs as pets has compelled
us to draw public attention to the dangers which result from this,
especially because pet dogs are hugged and kissed, and permitted to
lick the hands of the young and the old, and what is worse, to lick the
plates and utensils which are used by human beings for eating and
drinking. From the medical point of view, which is our main concern
here, the hazards to human health and life from keeping and playing
with dogs are not to be ignored. Many people have paid a high price
for their ignorance, as the tapeworm (cestodes) carried by dogs is a
cause of chronic disease, echinococcosis sometimes resulting in death."
In addition dogs are also afflicted with a large number of other
parasites, which affect humans. For example they are the chief hosts
of protozoan diseases like leishmaina, both cutaneous and visceral
form, amoebas (entamoeba histolytica), American trypanomiasis
(Chaga's disease) and toxoplasmosis. (55)
Other zoonotic diseases caused by different pathogenic
organisms include viruses. Rabies is another zoonotic disease affecting
dogs. It is distributed world-wide and among all animals affected, the
dog is mainly responsible for the spread of the disease.
Transmission of the disease is through the medium of saliva
from the infected animal. The virus is present in saliva and the
infected bite or abrasion serves as the portal of entry. The disease is
not communicable except by direct or indirect contact with salivary
secretion of a rabid animal. (56)
Protection after a bite consists of prompt washing and flushing
with soap and water, detergent or even water alone. Thus there is a
big possibility that cleaning a utensil which has been licked by a dog
six times with water, as has been instructed in Islam, acts as flushing
the area with water as to enhance the removal of the rabid viruses
which have contaminated the licked container. So is the throwing
away of the water left over after being drunk by a dog. Thus water has
a big possibility of being infected with rabid virus if the animal was
suffering from the disease.
Therefore, part of the wisdom behind thorough washing of the
utensil licked by a dog is to protect man from being infected through
its saliva. More than 64 species of bacteria may be found in the
mouths of dogs (57)
The normal flesh of dogs include Pasteurella multocide
Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermis, Staphylococcus
saprophyticus, Streptococcus species, Neiseria species, Moraxella
species, Escharichua coli, Enteriobacter calcoaceticus,
Corynebacterium species, Actimyces species, Bacillus species,
Caryophanon species, Mycoplasma species and alphanumeric Strains.
Furthermore, Islam through Prophet Muhammad's traditions
instructs that the licked utensil is to be washed seven times; the first of
which with sand (or earth). Sand is to be mixed with water to scrub
the container. It is known that sand has some lethal effect on some
pathogenic organisms. (59) It is possible that the action of cleaning the
utensil with sand could have a germicidal effect on rabid virus, as well
as some other harmful organisms hence with its use.
Stools of animals whose meat is not permissible to eat
Another item considered to be impure is stools of animals that are
not permissible to eat. Ibn Mas'uud related that the Messenger of Allah
(p.b.u.h.) went to answer the call of nature. He asked Abdullali Ibn
Mas'uud to bring three stones. Abdullah said: "I could not find three
stones, but I found two stones and animal dung and brought them to
him. He took the two stones and threw away the dung, saying: "It is
impure." One narration states: "It is impure.(60) It is the stool of a
Therefore the stool of an animal not permissible to eat is
considered to be impure. We will now attempt to elaborate the wisdom
behind this Islamic rule.
Wisdom behind considering impure the stool of animals
not permissible to eat
1. Stool of an animal not permissible to eat is filthy, stinking, and
unclean. Thus it is considered by everybody with right taste and conduct
to be impure (najis).
2. Stools of animals not permissible to eat are considered impure and
could be the cause of spreading various animal diseases to man. We have
just elaborated zoonotic diseases affecting dogs. The majority of parasitic
diseases namely, protozoan, nematodal, and cestodal diseases are
transferred to humans through their faces.
3. Stool of animals could be a source of spreading disease within the
species affected or between different species. Examples of such diseases
are salmellosis, higellosis, trichinosis, trichoriasis, cystisercosis,
echimococcosis, microspordiosis, stronsylridiasis, taeniasis, fascioliasis,
enterobiasis (62), and many others.
4. According to Islam, stools of animals not permissible to eat are
impure; hence one will have to keep off from such material. In case one
has to handle the stool he will try to make sure it contaminates him the
least, be it his body, his clothes, or place of use. However, if such material
infests the mentioned items one will quickly wash it off thoroughly. This
is because we know that a Muslim cannot pray when his body has an
impurity, nor can he do so if his clothes or place of worship is
contaminated with any impurities. This strict Islamic practice of
personal hygiene keeps him off from being infected with various zoonotic
diseases as well as prevent the spread of a lot of contagious and infectious
1. Ibnu Taymiyah Taqiyyud-Din Ibnul Abbas Ahmad, Arrad Alal
Mantiqiyyun, Lahore Idaara Tarjumaan As-Sunnah, 1420 H. p.273.
2. Ibnu Tayimiyah-Din Ibnul Abbas Ahmad, Daraa Taarudhul Aql
Wa annaql. Vol. 1. p. 86-87 Tahqiq Muhammad Rishad Salim. Matabi
Jamiatul Imaam Muhammad bin Suuud Al-Islamiyyah, 1399 H.
2. "Dr. Abdallah Hassan Zarouq. Nadhariyatul Marifa Inda Al-
Ghazali, Al Muslimul Muasir 484, 1998 pp. 27-51
4. "Sheikh Abdul Majid A. Zindani. In Abstract of Papers of 1st Int.
Scientific Miracles of Qur'an and Sunnah, pp.8-9.
5. Dr. Abdallah Hassan Zarouq. Al Islam wal Ilmut: Silsilatul ilm wal
Iman (2), Al Markazul Alami Liabhathil Iman, 1992, pp.84-115
6. The Quran, 7:157.
8. Ibid, 5:4
9. Ibid, 7:33
10. Ibid, 17:85
11. Ibid, 2:216
12. Ibid, 24:51
13. Sahih Muslim, Kitab at Taharah, bab fadhhlul wudhu, hadith 223.
15. Sayyid Sabiq, Fiqhu Sunnah, Darul Fiki, Beriut, 1411 H.,Vol. 1,p.20
16. Musnad Ahmad, 1/279
17. The Qur'an, 5:3
18. The Bible, Leviticus, 17:15-16; Levi, 22:8, Exodus, 22:31; Deut.,
19. The Qur'an, 4:65
20. Callin. W. Schwabe. Veterinary Medicine and Human Health. The
williams and Wilkins Co., 1969.
21. Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradhawy, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam.
International Islamic Federation of Students Organisation (I.I.F.S.O.),
22. The Bible Genesis, 9:4, Lev, 19:26; Lev, Lev, 7:26; 10:14; Deut.,
23. Thomas G. Hull. C. Chartes Diseases Transmitted from Animals to
Man. Edited by Thomas Publisher, Sprinfield, Illinois, USA., 1963.
24. Saint Louis. Communicable and Infectious Diseases. Edited by
Frankline H. Tops and Paul F. Wehne, The C.V. Mogby Co, 1972, pp.
25. Horace Thornton and J.F. Gracey. Textbook of meat Hygiene
Bailliere Trindale, Sixth Edition (1974), p.293.
26. Wahidu Din Khan, Al Islamu Yatahadda. Taarib Dhwafr Insaan
Khan, Edited: Dr. Abdul Sabur Shahin.
27.The Qur'an 5:3
28. The Bible, Leviticus, 11:8, Deuteronomy, 14:8
29. E.A. Winder, Pork, Men and Diseases. Good Health, Vol. 69, No.1.
30. The Bible, Isaiah 65:4-6.
31. Wahidu din Khan, Al4slamu Yatahadda, Tarrib Dhwafr Insaan
Khan, Edited by Abdul Sabur Shahin, p.151.
32. An article written by Glan Shepherd in Washington Post, 31st May,
33. Sayyid Sabiq, Fiqhu Sunnah, Darul Fikr, Beirut, Vol 1,p.260, 1411
34. Abu Daud, Kitab at altimah Bab Annahy `an Akl al-Jallalah; hadith
3785. At-trmidhy, kitab alat'iimah, Bab fi akl luhum al-Jallalah, hadith
35. Fat'hul Bary Sharhu Sahihul Bukhary, Kitabu Dhabaaih, p.684.
Darul Maarifah, Beirut, Lebanon.
36. Hayatul Hayawanil Kubraa, Vol, 2, p.180 Darul Fikr, Beirut,
37. Kinzel J.H. Yokohama M. T. Shull, I.R., Flegal, C.J., Krenbiel, J.D.,
Sleight, S.D. and Anstead, J.R. and Mangee, W.T. (1983). Feeding of
dehydrated poultry manure to steers on performance, blood and urine
parameters and liver drug metabolising enzymes activities. can. J.
Animal Science. 63:1639-177
38. Webb, K.E. and Fontenot, J.P. (1975). Medicinal drugs residues in
broiler litter and tissues from cattle fed litter. J. Animal Science,
39. The Qur'an 74:4-5
40. Al-qurtuby, Al-Jamiu Li-Ahkamil Qur'an-Vol. 2,pp. 220-223.
Muassasatu Manahil `Irfaan, Beirut. Al San'any-Subulu Ssalaam-
Sharhu Bulughil Ma'raam.
41. Sahih, Muslim Bab, Taharat Juludil Maitat Biddibagh, hadith 366.
42. Al-Timirdhy, fillibas, Bab Julud al Maitat dubighat, hadith 1728
43. Sahih, Muslim Kitab at tahara, Bab hukm wulughilkalb, hadith 279.
45. Abdul Qadir Shaybah, Fiqhul Islaam-Sharhu Bulughul Maraam
Min Jamil Adillatil Ahkaam Vol., 1,pp. 14-15
46. This is the opinion of Imam Shafii' and the majority of the Scholars
48. The Qur'an, 93:10
49. Thomas G. Hull, C. Charles Diseases Transmitted from Animals to
Man Edited. Thomas Publishers. Springfields, IIinios, USA, 1963,p. 892
50. J. Karl Wise, The information Exchange, Veterinary Service Market
for Companion Animals, Part 1, Companion Ownership and
Demographics, Vol, 201, No.7, Oct. 1, 1992. pp.990-992
52. J. Karl Wise, The information Exchange, Veterinary Service Market
for Companion Animals, Part 1, Companion Ownership and
Demographics, Vol, 201, No. 8, Oct. 1, 1992. pp. 1174-1176
53. Sahih al Bukhari, 3/516
54. Quoted from German magazine Kosinos, cited in "The lawful and
the Prohibited in Islam." Yusuf al Qaradhawy, IIFSO, 1414/1993, pp.
55. Thomas G. Hull, C. Charles Diseases Transmitted from Animals to
Man Edited. Thomas Publishers. Springfields, Illinios, USA, 1963, p.
56. Franklin H. Top and Paul F. Whole. Communicable and Infectious
Diseases. Ed. The C.V. Mosby Co., 1972, p. 500-509
57. Callaham. M. Dog- bite Wounds. JAMA. 1980, 144: 2327-2328
58. Zoonosis Updates, Jornal of the American Vet. Med. Association,
Second Edition, 1995. American Vet. Med. Schaumburg, Illinois, 1995.
59. Personal Communcation with Dr. Gitau, a virologist of University of
60. Sahih al Bukhari, 1/158. Ibn Majah and Ibn Khuzaymah.
61. Ibn Khuzaymah.
62. Harison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th Edition. Vol.1.pp.