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Indresh Kumar, Here’s a Fact-Check: The Prophet Did Eat Meat

Did the Prophet Mohammad really avoid meat? We have the facts here. 

Updated
Politics
4 min read
Indresh Kumar, of RSS’ Muslim wing Muslim Rashtriya Manch, has asked Muslims to give up meat. (Graphic: Rhythum Seth/<b>The Quint</b>)

Muslim Rashtriya Manch (the RSS’ Muslim wing) organised an iftar party in Jamia Millia Islamia, on Monday, 5 June.

Speaking at the occasion, RSS leader and MRM patron Indresh Kumar said:

From Prophet Adam to the last Prophet, even Aisha (the Prophet’s wife) and Imam, never ate meat. The last Prophet said that ‘meat is a disease, while milk is the cure and treatment’. According to him, those who sacrifice animals and eat it are in a way are eating poison, and diseases. He advocated against these. He also said that milk should be used to make Iftar drinks.

Actually, no!

To set the record straight, as far as Islamic decision-making is concerned, in case of any conflict between the Quranic guidelines and any of the Prophet's activities, the Quran holds precedence.

That way, even if somebody claims that the Prophet may have asked not to consume beef (which he hasn't, as illustrated below) the Quran should be followed, which says:

(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/<b>The Quint</b>)
(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/The Quint)

For this, 'land-animals who have flowing blood in them and they survive on grass and leaves, and do not prey on other animals, are all considered Halal, such as a camel, cow, goat, buffalo, sheep, deer, etc'.

Horses, donkeys and mules have been exempt because they were used for load-carrying purposes.

(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/<b>The Quint</b>)
(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/The Quint)

To Indresh Kumar’s (probable) dismay, meat was pretty mainstream, and quite celebratory. According to Surah Hud: 69-70 in Holy Quran:

(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/<b>The Quint</b>)
(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/The Quint)
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The Prophet Equation

Coming to a few incidents from Prophet Mohammad’s life, as illustrated in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih al-Muslim (two of the original and most accurate collections of Hadiths). These shall illustrate his dietary habits too.

According to Sahih Bukhari, Ayesha (Prophet Mohammad’s wife) has said:

(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/<b>The Quint</b>)
(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/The Quint)
Mecca, 1850 (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Mecca-1850.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>)
Mecca, 1850 (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

In Sahih Muslim, Jabir (a companion of Prophet Mohammad) narrated that:

(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/<b>The Quint</b>)
(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/The Quint)

In Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 65 on food and meals Hadith no 333, Amr bin Umaiyay Ad-Damri (another companion of Prophet Mohammad) narrated, “I saw Allah's Apostle cutting part of the shoulder of mutton with a knife. He ate of it and then was called for prayer whereupon he got up and put down the knife and offered the prayer without performing new ablution”. This also explains the sanctity of the meat.

We tried to verify Indresh Kumar’s claims, but found nothing to substantiate them. The comments made by Mr Kumar are misinformed and not backed up by facts.

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What The Facts!

Arshad Sheikh, Media In-charge of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, told us that "Indresh Kumar’s statements are wrong. We should contact him for proof of his claims. Any Hadith (Prophet's recorded sayings or practices)? Someday I can say milk is bad as the Prophet has told. I need proper citations to make such blatant claims." He also informed us that the ‘controversial quote attributed to the Prophet’, which the RSS also used, has no authenticity.

It’s just a figment of somebody’s imagination, and there’s no actual proof of this.
Arshad Sheikh, Media In-charge, Jamaat-e-Islaami Hind

Indresh Kumar’s argument has been used before:

There’s not enough ‘meat’ in the arguments though.

Sheikh mentioned Shamā'il ("The Appearance of Muhammad"), a collection of Hadiths compiled by the 9th-century scholar Imam Tirmidhi regarding the intricate details of the Islamic prophet Muhammad's appearance, belongings, manners and life.

“The book has one full chapter called the ‘Description of the Curry of Rasool-Allah (Messenger of Allah)’ which contains umpteen references to the fact that the Prophet (pbuh) not only consumed meat but relished it.”
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Food For Thought

In all the arguments, the context is as important as the instruction. Prophet Mohammad did eat other other ‘vegetarian’ products too. There are records of him being fond of honey, pumpkin and dates. Also, eating meat has been made ‘Halal’ but not obligatory on Muslims, and definitely not in excess.

As written in Holy Quran’s (Al-Maa’idah: 87),

(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/<b>The Quint</b>)
(Graphic: Aaqib Raza Khan/The Quint)

So, those who wouldn’t like to have a certain food, please don’t make it ‘unlawful’ for others. And to those who have a taste for it, make sure you don’t go overboard.

We are all striving for a balance.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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