Hasan Zia Rizvi
In Islamic world there will be only a few Muslims who don’t eat meat but that’s because of their choice but even the Muslims who don’t eat meat regularly as they dislike or have allergy to it may have eaten meat once or a few times in their lifetime. Pure Vegan Muslims are hard to find.
Let’s meet 26 year old Kausar Usman from India, who belongs to a conservative Muslim family of Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. He seems to be the rarest Muslim who had never eaten meat in his life. Though he belongs to a Muslim society where clerics consider not eating meat once as Un-Islamic, he chose to be a pure vegetarian.
Usman narrates the story of his allergy to meat in his childhood. He recalled, “During my childhood I had meat only two times but to the amusement of my family I vomited both the times leading to bad health.” He added that he had never eaten meat since then, not even egg.
Usman shared an anecdote about his confrontation with a Muslim cleric. He says that he was at an Iftar (Breaking Fast during Ramzan) party where mostly meat was served but he only took the salad and started eating it. A Muslim cleric sitting in front of him saw him for a moment then asked you don’t eat meat. As soon as Usman said ‘Yes’, the cleric started reprimanding him and said that you cease to be a Muslim if you don’t eat meat. Usman objected to the cleric’s misconception and walked away.
He says that even his family members and relatives scolded him for not eating meat and friends get shocked when he tells him about it. He often goes to Non-vegetarian restaurant with friends but orders veg food. One of his friend joked that he should be the ambassador of veggies in the State.
It is a big misconception exist in Muslim community that if a Muslim do not eat meat, he will no longer be a Muslim. Islam have given every individual right to choose what they want to eat. There is no rule or Ahadith (Prophetic Maxims) in Islam that says eating meat is compulsory, it is a requirement of a Human not actually associated with any religion.
We need to clear these so-called religious misconceptions created in our society about food habits. Islam has only categorized some food as Halal and Haram based on scientific facts about that particular food that can cause harm to the Human body. Neither Islam made eating meat compulsory nor it is associated with non-vegetarianism, but some clerics have created these myths for their vested interests while the Islamic scholars have scarcely addressed this issue to elucidate this fallacy.