Sheikh Riyad al-Musaymiri, professor at Al-Imam University in Riyadh commented on this issue thus:
In accordance with the general principles of Islamic Law, beef is
essentially lawful. Allah says: “It is He who created for you all that
is in the Earth.” [Surah al-Baqarah: 29]
Allah also says: “It is He who has put forth the Earth for His
creatures.” [Surah al-Rahman: 10]
This hadith, which is used as evidence to support the opinion that
beef consumption is disliked, is of disputed authenticity among
scholars. The stronger view is that it is unauthentic.
This view is supported by the hadith related by Jabir that the Prophet
(peace be upon him) slaughtered a cow on `A’ishah’s behalf on the Day
of Sacrifice. [Sahih Muslim (1319)]
It is also supported by the fact that `A’ishah said: “The Prophet
(peace be upon him) sacrificed cows on behalf of his wives.” [Sahîh
From this, it would seem apparent that, in Islamic Law, beef
consumption is not disliked.
Shaykh Al Albani who declared this hadith as saheeh said:
Yes, it has been authenticated from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم
during his farewell pilgrimage, that he sacrificed a cow for his
wives. And it has also been authenticated that he صلى الله عليه وآله
وسلم ordered us with the fat of the cow and prohibited us from its
meat, because its fat is a cure and its meat is a disease.
The scholars have reconciled between this hadith and the hadith of his
sacrificing the cow for his wives, by stating the intention behind the
prohibition of cow’s meat is only referring to consuming large
quantities of it. As for eating it sometimes; there is no problem or
any harm in this. And it is without any doubt permissible; because the
intent behind the prohibition of beef is to consume large quantities
of it; and to use beef as a replacement for the meat of sheep, goats
and camels. This is the answer of the scholars.
Also; Ibn Qayyim wrote in 'Tibb An-Nabawi':
"Cow meat is cold and dry, heavy on the stomach and produces black,
bilious blood that is only suitable for hard workers. Eating cow meat
excessively for those who are not used to it causes black bilious
illnesses. The harm that this meat causes will be neutralised when
one eats it with spices, garlic, ginger and cinnamon. The meat of
fat calves is one of the best, mildest and tastiest types of food. It
is warm and wet and if fully digested, it provides good nutrition."
As for you comparing smoking to cow meat which may be harmful if consumed in large quantities, this is an invalid argument, because these foods are permissible and beneficial in principle, and are only harmful in certain cases, such as if one consumes too much of them. But smoking will always be harmful for your health and it will harm people around you.
Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If he fears that it will harm him, then it becomes haram for him to
eat it. It is not permissible for
a person to eat that which will harm him or to wear that which will
harm him or to sit on that which will harm him. Even the Sahaabah (may
Allah be pleased with them), with regard to prostration, if the heat
would harm them, they would spread out their garments and prostrate on
them, lest they be harmed and so that they might be at ease in prayer.
What Shaykh al-Islam mentioned comes under the heading of fear of harm and indigestion, meaning that it is not as a result of the food itself, rather it is the result of consuming too much of it.