The Attitude of the Pre-Islamic Arabs
The pre-Islamic Arabs prohibited certain animals as being unclean, together with some other animals which were considered sacred and dedicated to their gods; we have already mentioned bahirah, sa’ibah, wasilah, and ham, which fall into the latter category. In contrast to this, they permitted many kinds of impure food, such as the flesh of dead animals and flowing blood.
Islam Permits What Is Wholesome (Food and Drink)
This was the state of the world in relation with food of animal origin at the advent of Islam ; excessiveness whether to eating or non-eating. Then Allah addressed all human beings saying;
“0 mankind! Eat of what is permissible and good on earth, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan; truly he is an open adversary to you.” (Al-Baqarah: 168)
Thus He speaks to all the people on this globe, calling on them to eat of the good things which He has provided for them on this vast, outspread table, the earth, and not to follow the ways of Satan, who has made it alluring to some people to prohibit to themselves various wholesome things which Allah has made halal, thus leading them toward the pitfalls of self-destruction. Then Allah addresses the believers in particular saying,
“0 you who believe! Eat of the good things that we have provided for you, and be thankful to Allah if it is He alone Whom you worship. Indeed, what He has forbidden to you is the flesh of dead animals and blood and the flesh of swine, and that which has been sacrificed to anyone other than Allah. But if one is compelled by necessity, neither craving (it) nor transgressing, there is no sin on him; indeed, Allah is Ever Forgiving. Ever Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah: 172-173)
In this particular message to the believers, Allah (Glory be to Him) tells them to eat of the good things of His providing and to give thanks to Him for His favors, He then explains that no food is haram to them except the four kinds mentioned in the verse.
The same four kinds, with some further details, are mentioned at other places in the Qur’an:
Say: I do not find in what is revealed to me anything prohibited to an eater in his food unless it be carrion, or flowing blood, or the flesh of swine, for that is indeed foul, or the abomination which has been dedicuted to anyone other than Allah. But if one is compelled by necessity, neither craving (it) nor transgressing, then, indeed, thy Lord is Ever Forgiving. Ever Merciful. (Al-An’am: 145)
And in even greater detail:
Forbidden to you are the flesh of dead animals and blood and the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to any other than Allah, and that which has been killed by strangling or by beating or by falling or by being gored, and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild beast except that which you make lawful by slaughtering (before its death), and that which has been sacrificed to idols… (Al-Ma’idah: 3)
There is no contradiction between this verse, which lists ten prohibited categories, and the previous verse which lists four, since animals which are killed by strangulation, by a blow, by a fall, by being gored, or which are partly eaten by wild animals are all included in the category of dead animals.
Similarly, what is sacrificed to idols falls into the category of that which is dedicated to anyone other than Allah. Accordingly, the food which are prohibited fall into four broad categories which may be reclassified into this detailed catagories as follow :
- The Prohibition of eating what is ead and its wisdom
- The Prohibition of Flowing blood
- That wich is dedicated to anyone other than Allah
- Dead Animals (5 types)
- Animal Sacrifices
SOURCE : YUSUF QARADHAWI BOOKS