Is there a reason behind pig/pork/boar being forbidden in Islam?

What is this reason? How is it justified, and what are the benefits of it in day-to-day life?

  • 2
    Short answer: quran.com/2/173 – user44 Aug 16 '12 at 2:58
  • @yasar11732 right but also wanted to know why – muslim1 Aug 16 '12 at 3:00
  • 5
    In islamic sense, being it in Qur'an is the reason why it is forbidden. If you want to know the benefits of this ruling, I think you should edit your question and specify it like that. – user44 Aug 16 '12 at 3:05

Many people will talk about diseases and medical research and all that sort of thing, but the simple fact is that we were never given a reason. Like many things, Muslims are expected to submit to Allah's will in this matter, after all the word Islam means "submission".

  • 1
    As a friend of mine put it, the Japanese eat pork and they're quite healthy. When you try to apply a justification to something, it becomes a threat to your faith if that justification is false. Just consider it another commandment, like salat and fasting. – Muz Aug 17 '12 at 16:42
  • 2
    @Muz - Exactly! Trying to find justification for faith in science is a dangerous thing. What if some research paper comes out that demonstrates that pork has health benefits? There are already researchers who have found health benifits in wine. – System Down Aug 17 '12 at 23:03
  • @SystemDown If your faith is true then there's no reason to fear questioning it, and concerning your example of the health benefits in wine the Qu'ran already mentions that wine has benefits, but their sin is greater than their benefit. (2:219) Even so, your answer is still partly right. (+1) – Hakim Oct 8 '14 at 16:54

The answer is that Pigs are, by nature, scavengers. This means they eat what they can find, be it fresh or old. Because they have evolved to eat this sort of food they can handle the toxins and bacteria that come along with that diet.

However much an animal is domesticated and fed clean processed food it is still able and inclined to scavenge, so there can be no guarantee that it will be halal.

Why mention Pigs specifically? Well for one, they are large domesticate-able animals that provide a lot of meat. Other scavengers such as rats and pigeons don't fall into this category. As well as this, if they are left undomesticated the pig will revert to it's natural function as a scavenger. The fact it's haram should not rely on man domesticating it and feeding it vegetation and clean food alone.

  • 1
    This is the right answer. – user195 May 17 '17 at 11:31

I have always been told a variation of the below:

  1. Because it says so in the Quran
  2. Because pigs are seen to be dirty animals (often eating their own excrement)
  3. Because they don't have a proper neck, therefore cannot be made Halal
  4. Because their DNA structure is very similar to that of a human being, Islamically, we cannot eat another human being so the concept would be the same
  • 6
    Please add citations wherever possible. – Ansari Aug 16 '12 at 19:34

Why don't Muslims eat pork:

The real reason Muslims don't eat pork is that the Qur'an says so:

He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Qur'an 2:173

Along with Qur'an 5:3, Qur'an 6:145, and Qur'an 16:155.

Why does Allah not allow us to eat pork?

I think the only honest answer to this is we simply don't know for sure. For example:

At first, one might wonder what harm could come from pork, a product eaten in many parts of the world, and the fact that pork contains parasites and diseases harmful to man may spring to mind as a justifiable reason for abstaining. However, when analysing why Muslims are forbidden to eat pork, this becomes a secondary reason.
Aisha Stacey, Why Pork is Forbidden in Islam, 2001, IslamReligion.com

We have some idea based on:

Say, "I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine - for indeed, it is impure - or it be [that slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful."
Qur'an 6:145

From this, we can surmise it's not good for us, in some way. But this verse is not specific, and is translated in a variety of ways. IslamAwakened has more translations; in addition to "impure", we have "loathsome", "foul", "abomination", "unclean", etc., as translations for رجس.

Popular guesses

I looked online for popular guesses as to why pork is forbidden. Two popular ones are "disease" and "low-quality diet".


The most popular guess is that pork meat is dangerous because of diseases.

Research has shown correlation between pork consumption and several diseases.
Why do Muslims abstain from pork?, 2011, WhyIslam.org

However, this claim will be true with "pork" swapped for basically any other food (halal or not).

There's a paper on this by Schoenfeld and Ioannidis, Is everything we eat associated with cancer? A systematic cookbook review, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 2012 (link), from which Vox made a graphic entitled "Everything we eat both causes and prevents cancer".

Pigs have a low-quality diet

Pigs are omnivores, which means they consume both plants and animals. Pigs will scavenge and eat any type of food, including dead insects, worms, tree bark, rotting carcasses, garbage, and even other pigs.
Aisha Stacey, Why Pork is Forbidden in Islam, 2001, IslamReligion.com

Nevertheless, pork doesn't become halal to eat if we change a pig's diet to something more appealing to humans. Moreover, the prohibition in the Qur'an is not based on scavenging or being an omnivore, e.g., fish is halal.

Other guesses

There's many other guesses, some of which are amusing:

  1. pigs have no neck,
  2. pork contains excess fat,
  3. pig are shameless animals,
  4. it takes 4 hours to digest pork,
  5. pigs have holes on their feet which ooze pus.

as a general rule of thumb ahkam (rules and directions) in Islam can be put into two categories: -those that are about earthly things like money, marriage and inheritance... these are logical and it's accepted to ask why they're the way they are. -those that are about spiritual life and believes like prayers... these are orders form Allah and should be taken as is even if they SEEM illogical and should not be questioned because indeed Islam means submission to Allah's will.


In the name of God, the Most Kind, Most Merciful

Your question: Why is pork forbidden in Islam?

Answer: The reason for prohibition of eating pork, is because, it is the dirtiest animal in Islam and it has many diseases which can’t be healed.

I have found some reasons to why it is haram. Let’s have a look.

  • Eating pork leads to scabies, allergies and stomach ulcers.

Eating pork causes lung infections which result from tapeworms, lungworms and microbial infections of the lungs. The most serious danger of eating pork is that pork contains tapeworms which may grow to a length of 2-3 meters. The growth of the eggs of these worms in the human body may lead to insanity and hysteria if they grow in the area of the brain. If they grow in the region of the heart that may lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks. Another kind of worm that is to be found in pork is the trichinosis worm that cannot be killed by cooking, the growth of which in the body may lead to paralysis and skin rashes. There are other examples of what harmful diseases that a poem carries, see this: youtube.com, youtube.com and draxe.com

I hope I gave you good answer.


  1. https://themuslimvoice.net/2009/05/17/why-is-pig-haraam-in-islam/amp/
  • Why have I got downvotes? – Alex A Feb 16 '18 at 21:42

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