Much debate has been had regarding the exact specificity of the fourth dietary prohibition. The crux of the argument rests if this dietary prohibition encompasses any food that is merely dedicated to other than God, or is it limited to animals that were specifically sacrificed to other than God.

4 Dietary Prohibition Verses

Below are the translations for the four verses that discuss the dietary prohibitions.

[6:145] Say, “I do not find in the revelations given to me any food that is prohibited for any eater except: (1) carrion, (2) running blood, (3) the meat of pigs, for it is contaminated, and (4) the meat of animals blasphemously dedicated to other than GOD.” If one is forced (to eat these), without being deliberate or malicious, then your Lord is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

[2:172] O you who believe, eat from the good things we provided for you, and be thankful to GOD, if you do worship Him alone. [2:173] He only prohibits for you the eating of animals that die of themselves (without human interference), blood, the meat of pigs, and animals dedicated to other than GOD. If one is forced (to eat these), without being malicious or deliberate, he incurs no sin. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

[5:3] Prohibited for you are animals that die of themselves, blood, the meat of pigs,* and animals dedicated to other than GOD. (Animals that die of themselves include those) strangled, struck with an object, fallen from a height, gored, attacked by a wild animal—unless you save your animal before it dies—and animals sacrificed on altars. Also prohibited is dividing the meat through a game of chance; this is an abomination. Today, the disbelievers have given up concerning (the eradication of) your religion; do not fear them and fear Me instead. Today, I have completed your religion, perfected My blessing upon you, and I have decreed Submission as the religion for you. If one is forced by famine (to eat prohibited food), without being deliberately sinful, then GOD is Forgiver, Merciful.

[16:115] He only prohibits for you dead animals, blood, the meat of pigs, and food which is dedicated to other than GOD. If one is forced (to eat these), without being deliberate or malicious, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

The table below is a chart showing how each of the four dietary prohibitions are described per the four verses.

1st Prohibition2nd Prohibition 3rd Prohibition4th Prohibition
2:173animals that die of themselves (without human interference)bloodthe meat of pigsanimals dedicated to other than GOD
6:145carrionrunning bloodthe meat of pigs, for it is contaminatedthe meat of animals blasphemously dedicated to other than GOD
5:3animals that die of themselvesbloodthe meat of pigsanimals dedicated to other than GOD
16:115dead animalsbloodthe meat of pigsfood which is dedicated to other than GOD


From a side-by-side comparison of these verses, we see that the most specific verse on the dietary prohibitions that encompasses the entirety of all the dietary prohibitions occurs only in 6:145. As this is the only verse that states the full extent of the dietary prohibitions, as well as the only verse that states unequivocally that the only dietary prohibitions for anyone who eats food are what is specifically listed in this verse.

If we were to look at any other verse in isolation one would have to still reference 6:145 in order to fully understand the dietary prohibitions. For instance, if we were to look at only 2:173 or 5:3, then we would think that roadkill would be lawful to eat because roadkill implies that it was killed via human interference, as well as any blood rather than only running blood. If we were to look only at 16:115, it would imply all dead animals are prohibited as well as any blood, and not just running blood. Only 6:145 provides the full list of dietary prohibitions. This is why it is referenced in every footnote for these four verses as well as Appendix 16 on this topic.

Subtitles

If we look at the subtitles and footnotes for these verses while the ones for 2:173, 5:3, and 16:115 are more general, again we see that 6:145 states that this verse contains “The Only Dietary Prohibitions” further reinforcing that this verse encompasses all the dietary prohibitions in our religion.

[2:172-173] Only Four Meats Prohibited*
[6:145] The Only Dietary Prohibitions*
[5:3] Only Four Meats Prohibited “Animals that die of themselves” Defined
[16:115] Only Four Foods Prohibited

Some argue that since Sura 6 is entitled Livestock this means that 6:145 only encompasses the animal dietary prohibitions as opposed to all dietary prohibitions. This contradicts not only the subtitle but also the verse when it states that these are the only dietary prohibitions that God has decreed for the followers of the Quran.

But if we look at the preceding verses we see that it discusses both animal and non-animal products. So there is no reason to think 6:145 is only the “animal” dietary prohibitions as opposed to all of the dietary prohibitions.

6:136: Crops and livestock
6:138: Livestock and crops
6:139: Inside belies of livestock 
6:141: Crops with different tastes, including olives, pomegranate.
6:142: All foods in the form of: “Eat from GOD’s provisions to you
6:143: Livestock
6:144: Livestock

Wahi (Revelations)

It is worth pointing out that 6:145 uses the term “wahi” for revelations. Wahi encompasses all the communication that was ever given to the messenger and is not just limited to the Quran. If this was in reference to just the Quran, then it would state Kitab or Quran, but since it references wahi we know that this is in reference to all form of divine revelation. This means from any inspiration of communication that the messenger received again what is stated in 6:145 is the only dietary prohibition.

[6:145] Say, “I do not find in the revelations (wahi) given to me any food that is prohibited for any eater except

 قُلْ لَا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَىٰ طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا

Individuals who claim that this statement from this verse only applies up until this specific revelation was given to the prophet would have to believe that this verse was abrogated by a future verse in a later revelation. This would imply that the verses of the Quran could be abrogated which is a contradiction to the repeated statements in the Quran that the Quran does not have any contradictions (4:82) and that God’s verses in the Quran can never be abrogated (6:115, 18:27, 78:37).

Footnotes

If we look at the four footnotes for the dietary prohibitions we see that every footnote points to 6:145, while only 16:115 and 2:173 additionally point to Appendix 16 as well. Also note that the footnote of 2:173 references 16:115 implying that verse 16:115 is in reference to meat.

Footnote 2:172-173: Throughout the Quran, only four meats are prohibited (6:145, 16:115, Appendix 16). Dietary prohibitions beyond these four are tantamount to idol worship (6:121,148, 150; 7:32).

Footnote 6:145-146: Only four kinds of animal products are prohibited: animals that die of themselves, running blood (not trapped within the meat), the meat of pigs, and animals dedicated to other than their Creator. Verse 146 informs us that such prohibitions are very specific; God prohibits either “the meat” or “the fat,” or both, if He so wills.

Footnote 5:3: The “meat” of the pig is prohibited, not the “fat.” Anything that is not specifically prohibited in the Quran must be considered lawful. See 6:145-146.

Footnote 16:115 & 118: The most devastating trichinosis parasite, Trichinella spiralis, (also the pork tapeworm Taenia solium) survives in the meat of pigs, not the fat. More than 150,000 people are infected annually in the United States. See 6:145-146, and Appendix 16.

The Word Animal

Some argue that because the word animal is not specifically mentioned in this prohibition, therefore, this indicates that this prohibition constitutes all foods beyond what we eat from slaughtering an animal. But the problem with this argument is that such an understanding fails to recognize that the entire verse is clearly in regards to animals as a whole.

The reason this is obvious is because if we look at the other three prohibitions, despite it never mentioning livestock or animals verbatim, the context is clearly only about animals. This is because only an animal can be carrion, مَيْتَةً / maytatan, and only an animal can produce blood poured forth دَمًا مَسْفُوحًا / daman masfūḥan. Therefore, it makes no sense to constitute non-animal products like apples and oranges in either of these categories, despite the word animal never occurring for these prohibitions. This is also why God specifies that in regards to the whole pig only the meat of the pig is prohibited. And additionally, why we will see in the next section that the word uhilla only constitutes animals and not other foods.

This also settles the matter of if it is only the meat of animals that were sacrificed to other than God is prohibited or the whole animal. Since we start with the premise that the verse is in the context of the whole animal and unless the verse states differently then we know that this is what is prohibited. So for instance, the whole animal that is carrion is prohibited, the running blood from a whole animal is prohibited, only the meat of the whole pig is prohibited, and the whole animal is dedicated at the time of slaughter to other than God is prohibited.

The Arabic

Below is the Arabic fourth dietary prohibition from the four verses. We can see that the Arabic for 5:3 and 16:115 is identical and that 2:173 switches the word bihi (therein) to before “lagairi” (to other than). So the crux of the understanding rests on the meaning of the word “uhilla“.

2:173وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ
6:145أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ
5:3وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ
16:115وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ

It is worth noting that the English word “dedicate” as used in the translation has a broader scope of meaning than the Arabic word “uhilla (أُهِلَّ)” which is the word used in the four verses specifying the dietary prohibitions, 2:173, 5:3, 6:145, and 116:115.

When we consult Classical Arabic dictionaries we see that the root for this word is ه ل ل. This root only occurs in these four verses in the context of dietary prohibitions as well as one occurrence in 2:189 regarding the new moon. Additionally, we see that this word specifically means invoking the name of an entity upon an animal prior to slaughter.

As a side note, it is worth mentioning that the difference between Ahilla and Uhilla is that Ahillah is invoking the name of God upon an animal before slaughtering it, while Uhalla is the animal itself which is being invoked upon before being slaughtered.

Also, it is worth noting that the word mahilla, ح ل ل , which comes from the same root as the word halal, as in halal food, means the place of sacrifice in the Quran.

Mention vs. Uhila

The word mention in the Quran in the context of mentioning the name of God before we eat uses the term zikr, this is different than the word uhila which is used in the four verses discussing the dietary prohibitons. Rashad Khalifa explains that when it comes to the animal dietary prohibitions he limits this to only animal products, but when it comes to mentioning God’s name before we eat he generalizes this to all foods including eggs, apples, bread, cheese, and rice.

~6min into the above audio

This is specified around the 6min mark of the below audio at around the 6 min mark.

If we imply that 6:119-121 is in reference to the dietary prohibitions then this would imply that there is a contradiction as the four verses regarding the dietary prohibitions all state to not eat upon which uhilla to other than God, but under this understanding then 6:119 and 121 would imply that if no name was mentioned it would also be prohibited to eat. Therefore, 6:119 and 121 are only informing us that before we eat any food we must mention God’s name. This does not imply that the food itself is prohibited to eat, but only that it is our responsibility to mention God’s name upon that food before we eat it.

[6:119] Why should you not eat from that upon which GOD’s name has been mentioned (zikr)? He has detailed for you what is prohibited for you, unless you are forced. Indeed, many people mislead others with their personal opinions, without knowledge. Your Lord is fully aware of the transgressors. [6:120] You shall avoid obvious sins, as well as the hidden ones. Those who have earned sins will surely pay for their transgressions. [6:121] Do not eat from that upon which the name of GOD has not been mentioned (zikr), for it is an abomination. The devils inspire their allies to argue with you; if you obey them, you will be idol worshipers.*

 وَمَا لَكُمْ أَلَّا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُمْ مَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلَّا مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا لَيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهْوَائِهِمْ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُعْتَدِينَ

 وَذَرُوا ظَاهِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَبَاطِنَهُ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْسِبُونَ الْإِثْمَ سَيُجْزَوْنَ بِمَا كَانُوا يَقْتَرِفُونَ

 وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلَىٰ أَوْلِيَائِهِمْ لِيُجَادِلُوكُمْ وَإِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ

What is More Safe?

Despite all this evidence proving that the fourth dietary prohibition is only regarding animals slaughtered to other than God, some people make the claim that it is better to avoid any food dedicated to other than God. That this is a safer approach. But is it really?

Sura 5:3 describes a pagan practice of dividing the meat through a game of chance, yet God informs us that such meat is not prohibited (more on this topic in the next section below). Another common pagan practice among early Arabs was to set aside a portion of their crops and livestock to their idols.

[6:136] They even set aside a share of GOD’s provisions of crops and livestock, saying, “This share belongs to GOD,” according to their claims, “and this share belongs to our idols.” However, what was set aside for their idols never reached GOD, while the share they set aside for GOD invariably went to their idols. Miserable indeed is their judgment.

 وَجَعَلُوا لِلَّهِ مِمَّا ذَرَأَ مِنَ الْحَرْثِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ نَصِيبًا فَقَالُوا هَٰذَا لِلَّهِ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَهَٰذَا لِشُرَكَائِنَا فَمَا كَانَ لِشُرَكَائِهِمْ فَلَا يَصِلُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ فَهُوَ يَصِلُ إِلَىٰ شُرَكَائِهِمْ سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ

This practice was so rampant that they had specific names for certain kinds of livestock that they deemed prohibited for eating because they were considered to be dedicated to their idols. This is best depicted in the following verse:

[5:103] GOD did not prohibit livestock that begets certain combinations of males and females, nor livestock liberated by an oath, nor the one that begets two males in a row, nor the bull that fathers ten. It is the disbelievers who invented such lies about GOD. Most of them do not understand.

 مَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ مِنْ بَحِيرَةٍ وَلَا سَائِبَةٍ وَلَا وَصِيلَةٍ وَلَا حَامٍ وَلَٰكِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ

These different kinds of livestock in the Arabic of 5:103 are not spelled out like they are in the translation, but in the original Arabic it uses the pagan names for these list of animals that the pagan Arabs determined were set aside for their idols and therefore prohibited to be slaughtered for food. These names are the following:

  • Bahirah (بَحِيرَةٍ): livestock that begets certain combinations of males and females
  • Saibah (سَائِبَةٍ): livestock liberated by an oath
  • Wasilah (وَصِيلَةٍ): cattle that begets two males in a row
  • Hami (حَامٍ): a bull that fathers ten

Quran Final Testament, 1981, Rashad Khalifa, Sura 5 verse 103

Sura 5:103 describes livestock that is dedicated to other than God which the pagans prohibited others from slaughtering and killing, yet God tells us that if we abide by these pagan rituals due to their dedications we would be innovating by giving pagans the power of making lawful food unlawful for us to eat.

We are informed that we should not attribute lies to God, and that prohibiting food that is not prohibited is tantamount to idol worship.

[16:116] You shall not utter lies with your own tongues stating: “This is lawful, and this is unlawful,” to fabricate lies and attribute them to GOD. Surely, those who fabricate lies and attribute them to GOD will never succeed.

 وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ الْكَذِبَ هَٰذَا حَلَالٌ وَهَٰذَا حَرَامٌ لِتَفْتَرُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ لَا يُفْلِحُونَ

Footnote 2:172-173: Throughout the Quran, only four meats are prohibited (6:145, 16:115, Appendix 16). Dietary prohibitions beyond these four are tantamount to idol worship (6:121,148, 150; 7:32).

What about 5:3?

Sura 5 verse 3 of the Quran states the following:

[5:3] Prohibited for you are animals that die of themselves, blood, the meat of pigs,* and animals dedicated to other than GOD. (Animals that die of themselves include those) strangled, struck with an object, fallen from a height, gored, attacked by a wild animal—unless you save your animal before it dies—and animals sacrificed on altars. Also prohibited is dividing the meat through a game of chance; this is an abomination. Today, the disbelievers have given up concerning (the eradication of) your religion; do not fear them and fear Me instead. Today, I have completed your religion, perfected My blessing upon you, and I have decreed Submission as the religion for you. If one is forced by famine (to eat prohibited food), without being deliberately sinful, then GOD is Forgiver, Merciful.

 حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلَّا مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ وَأَنْ تَسْتَقْسِمُوا بِالْأَزْلَامِ ذَٰلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ الْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ دِينِكُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِ الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ فِي مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لِإِثْمٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

Some individuals claim that this list of deaths that can occur upon an animal, the sacrificing of an animal upon stone altar, and dividing the meat through a game of chance all constitute additional prohibitions beyond what is stated in 6:145. Again this would form a contradiction, as 6:145 states that the only dietary prohibitions for any eater is what is clearly stated in that verse. This is why these are not additional dietary prohibitions, but instead explanations to a number of points of dispute regarding the dietary prohibitions.

Firstly, the word animal is nowhere in this verse, this again confirms that the four verses regarding the dietary prohibitions are only regarding animal products and not fruits and vegetables. This is because an apple cannot be carrion and therefore cannot be strangled or gored. This is reinforced in the first verse of the Sura, where it states that God prohibited food from among the livestock.

[5:1] O you who believe, you shall fulfill your covenants. Permitted for you to eat are the livestock, except those specifically prohibited herein. You shall not permit hunting throughout Hajj pilgrimage. GOD decrees whatever He wills.

 ياأَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنوا أَوفوا بِالعُقودِ أُحِلَّت لَكُم بَهيمَةُ الأَنعامِ إِلّا ما يُتلىٰ عَلَيكُم غَيرَ مُحِلِّي الصَّيدِ وَأَنتُم حُرُمٌ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحكُمُ ما يُريدُ

Secondly, the list of different forms of death that are detailed are all different ways that an animal can be considered carrion. This list by no means is exhaustive, but the key here is in the phrase translated as “unless you save your animal before it dies”  إِلَّا مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ the meaning of the Arabic word ذَكَّيْتُمْ (dhakkaytum) means to slaughter (for food) or to make fit for food. This means that if an animal is strangled, struck with an object, fallen from a height…and a person happens to slaughter that animal to make it fit for food before it dies therefore it is lawful for the person to eat. This shows that these methods of death are not additional prohibitions but shows that it is only carrion if it was not killed for the intention of being food.

This is further reinforced in the next phrase where it states وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ (and what it was sacrificed on stone altars). If we look at the word ذُبِحَ “dhubiḥa” in this verse we see that this word is when someone kills in the form of a sacrifice, but without the intention of it being food. Therefore, if someone kills an animal without the intent of eating it therefore the animal is considered carrion and part of the first dietary prohibition. This is why we cannot eat roadkill even though a human driving the car is what killed the animal since the intent of killing the animal was not for it to be food. If we look at all the verses where the word ذُبِحَ “dhubiḥa” is used we see that every instance is when the killing was not meant for food e.g. Pharoah killing of the firstborn (2:49), Moses commanding the Children of Isreal to sacrifice a heifer which was used to take part of the heifer to strike the victim to bring them back to life (2:71), Abraham sacrificing Ishamel (37:102).

Also, regarding dividing the meat through a game of chance, this is a pagan ritual that God is showing that the action is prohibited, but the meat itself is not prohibited (similar to 5:103). If we were to prohibit eating the meat that was divided through a game of chance then we would be creating an additional prohibition. Got informs us in the same sura to not cooperate in matters that are sinful (5:2). So while a believer would not partake in such a practice we cannot say that the meat itself is prohibited.

[5:2] O you who believe, do not violate the rites instituted by GOD, nor the Sacred Months, nor the animals to be offered, nor the garlands marking them, nor the people who head for the Sacred Shrine (Ka’bah) seeking blessings from their Lord and approval. Once you complete the pilgrimage, you may hunt. Do not be provoked into aggression by your hatred of people who once prevented you from going to the Sacred Masjid. You shall cooperate in matters of righteousness and piety; do not cooperate in matters that are sinful and evil. You shall observe GOD. GOD is strict in enforcing retribution.

 يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحِلُّوا شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ وَلَا الشَّهْرَ الْحَرَامَ وَلَا الْهَدْيَ وَلَا الْقَلَائِدَ وَلَا آمِّينَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَرِضْوَانًا وَإِذَا حَلَلْتُمْ فَاصْطَادُوا وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ أَنْ صَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ أَنْ تَعْتَدُوا وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

What About Intoxicants

Another argument is that if 6:145 encompasses all dietary prohibitions then what about intoxicants? When it comes to the dietary prohibitions there is no amount of pork, carrion, running blood, or animals dedicated to other than God that we are allowed to consume. For instance, I cannot eat a portion of food if it has trace amounts of pork. But this is not the case for intoxicants as there are many toothpastes, mouthwashes, and medicines that contain trace amounts of intoxicants. Yet, there is no amount of toothpaste or mouthwash, if used as intended, that can make me intoxicated. This is why these are different than the dietary prohibitions.

What About Food on the Altars of Idols

God informs the believers to avoid the altars of idols. Therefore, we should never be in proximity to an altar of an idol in order to be able to eat the food at an altar. This is much like the argument for cannibalism, where some people argue that 6:145 doesn’t prohibit cannibalism, yet we are prohibited from murder and secondly any animal that is killed without the intention of it being food therefore would be carrion. So there is no condition that one can lawfully be a cannibal.

Appendix 16

In case the verses were not clear enough, God’s messenger additionally wrote an appendix on this subject, and not once did he specify that anything besides animal products was part of the dietary prohibitions.

The Quran teaches that God is extremely displeased with those who prohibit anything that was not specifically prohibited in the Quran (16:112-116). The upholding of any prohibitions not specifically mentioned in the Quran is tantamount to idolatry (6:142-152). Such prohibitions represent some other god(s) besides God. If you worship God ALONE, you will uphold His teachings ALONE and honor the commandments and prohibitions instituted only by Him.

The absolute specificity of dietary prohibitions in the Quran is best illustrated in 6:145-146. We learn from these two verses that when God prohibits “meat,” He prohibits “meat” and nothing else, and when He prohibits “fat,” that is what He specifically prohibits. These two verses inform us that “the meat” of pigs is prohibited, not “the fat.” Obviously, God knew that in many countries, lard would be used in baked goods and other food products, and that such usage does not render the foods Haraam (prohibited). The Quran specifically prohibits four meats (2:1735:36:142-145, and 16:112):

Say, “I do not find in what was revealed to me
anything prohibited for any eater
unless it is (1) carrion, (2) running blood,
(3) the meat of pigs, for it is unclean, and
(4) meat blasphemously dedicated to other than God.”
If one is forced to eat these
without being malicious or deliberate,
then your Lord is Forgiver, Most Merciful. [ 6:145 ]

Appendix 16: Dietary Prohibitions (from: Quran The Final Testament, by Rashad Khalifa, PhD.)

Additionally, if we look at his translation of 6:145 in the Gold Quran as well as the Computer Speaks it states:

So unless the messenger had a major shift in understanding there is no reason to think that later he expanded the fourth dietary prohibition to include non-animal products like apples and oranges.

Audios/Videos

Numerous audios and videos of the messenger discussing this topic and again every time he only discusses animal products and never once does he imply or state that the dietary prohibitions can include non-animal products.

In the below audio, entitled Halal Turkey, Rashad counters the caller claiming a turkey is Christian by asking if the turkey was “dedicated to Jesus when they killed it”:

The most compelling argument from these videos is in the below video where he clearly states that when it comes to the dietary prohibitions he limits these items only to animal products, but when it comes to mentioning God’s name before we eat he likes to expand this to all foods.

Conclusion

The fourth dietary prohibition is in regards to only animals and not fruits and vegetables. This is the only consistent interpretation when looking at all the verses of the Quran as well as the teachings from the messenger. To assume there are other dietary prohibitions beyond what is clearly stated in 6:145 and explained by the messenger would be creating a contradiction in the Quran. In summary:

  • The dietary prohibitions are only animal products
  • The word uhila is specifically in reference to that which a name is mentioned upon it before it is slaughtered
  • The footnote of 2:173 shows that 16:115 is in reference to meats
  • If we are to view 16:115 over all the other verses then we should also prohibit all dead animals as well as blood, rather than just carrion and running blood
  • Every footnote for the four verses points back to 6:145
  • Appendix 16 points to 6:145
  • Every audio and video explanation we have from the messenger explaining the dietary prohibitions explains that it is only in reference to animal products
  • Every time he describes the fourth dietary prohibition in the audios and videos is in reference to the moment of slaughter
  • We have no indication to believe that the messenger had a dramatic change in understanding regarding the fourth dietary prohibition from animals to all foods
  • Mentioning (zikr) God’s name upon food before we eat applies to all food, while uhilla applies to only animals sacrificed
  • That while the messenger restricts the dietary prohibitions to only animal products, he generalizes that we must mention (zikr) God’s name when we eat any food. This shows that the dietary prohibitions does not include fruits and vegetables and only applies to ANIMAL PRODUCTS

[6:145] Say, “I do not find in the revelations given to me any food that is prohibited for any eater except:
(1) carrion,
(2) running blood,
(3) the meat of pigs, for it is contaminated, and
(4) the meat of animals blasphemously dedicated to other than GOD.
If one is forced (to eat these), without being deliberate or malicious, then your Lord is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

 قُلْ لَا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَىٰ طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنْزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

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