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Chapter 2:173 seems to specify that the only forbidden foods are carrion, blood, swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah.

Chapter 2:173 (Pickthall): He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

But, 5:3 seems to mention methods of killing which would result in the food being forbidden, which seems to contradict 2:173 because it states other foods which are forbidden (foods killed by certain methods) which weren't mentioned in 2:173, and seems to indicate that the foods listed in 2:173 are not the only forbidden foods.

Chapter 5:3 (Pickthall): Forbidden unto you (for food) are carrion and blood and swineflesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that which hath been killed by (the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, saving that which ye make lawful (by the death-stroke), and that which hath been immolated unto idols. And (forbidden is it) that ye swear by the divining arrows. This is an abomination. This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, fear Me! This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam. Whoso is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin: (for him) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Is there another interpretation other than the interpretation that 5:3 abrogates 2:173 which allows these verses not to be contradictory? Just to be clear, the issue is with the word only in 2:173. If that wasn't there, then I can see how the verses could be combined. Certain laws being revealed, and then others.

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Yes there are multiple ways to reconcile them.

The additional forbidden animals in 5:3 are all types of carrion or dead meat ( ميتة ), so they are already included in 2:173 and 5:3 is just an elaboration of it.

The first verse says:

إنما حرم عليكم الميتة

He has only forbidden to you dead animals ...

Quran 2:173

This is defined as follows:

قال أهل اللغة والفقهاء: الميتة ما فارقته الروح بغير زكاة

The scholars of language and the jurists say: ميتة (dead animal) is that whose soul departs without slaughtering

Tahdhib al-Asma wa al-Lughat - Nawawi

الميتة في الشرع اسم للحيوان الميت غير المذكى، وقد يكون ميتة بأن يموت حتف أنفه من غير سبب لآدمي فيه، وقد يكون ميتة لسبب فعل آدمي إذا لم يكن فعله فيه على وجه الذكاة المبيحة له

ميتة (dead animal) in shariah is the name of an animal which dies without slaughtering. It may happen that it dies without being caused by the act of a man, or it may happen because of the act of a man which does not constitute lawful slaughter

Tafsir al-Jassas

So the additions mentioned in the second verse:

والمنخنقة والموقوذة والمتردية والنطيحة وما أكل السبع إلا ما ذكيتم

killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death]

Quran 5:3

Are already included in the earlier verse as ميتة is more general than منخنقة , موقوذة , متردية and نطيحة , and these are all types of death without slaughtering:

الميتة ، وهي التي تموت حتف أنفها من غير تذكية ، وسواء كانت منخنقة أو موقوذة أو متردية أو نطيحة أو قد عدا عليها السبع

Dead animals are those that die before being slaughtered; whether they die by strangling, a violent blow, a headlong fall, the goring of horns or by being partly eaten by a wild animal.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir - [English]

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  • Are saying that 2:173 indicates that all meat that comes from animals that have been killed is forbidden, and that it doesn't matter how they were killed, whether their throat was cut or whatever? If not, then I don't understand how 2:173 indicates that meat from a cow that has had its throat cut is not forbidden, but that meat from a cow that has been strangled is. – Glenn Mar 25 at 22:35
  • @Glenn Rather, the statement is that 2:173 mentions a category of meat that is forbidden called Maitah (dead meat), and some extra things that fall under that are elaborated in 5:3. It is true that 2:173 itself does not indicate whether strangling falls under that or not. But, 5:3 does elaborate. – The Z Mar 26 at 5:11
  • @Glenn Dead meat ( ميتة ) is a general term defined as anything which is not slaughtered. Anything which dies because of being strangled, beating, falling, gorging by horns or being eaten by wild beasts is a type of dead meat. – UmH Mar 26 at 5:14
  • Thanks for the responses, but sorry I'm still not clear. I assume the word ميتة had a meaning before the Quran was revealed. I can understand it meaning meat from animals not slaughtered. But is the claim that it coincidently also meant meat from animals not slaughtered in a way that the Quran would later reveal as being lawful means of slaughter? So as to include meat from animals slaughtered by strangulation for example. The word coming to take on a different meaning after the revelation of 5:3 would not help. – Glenn Mar 26 at 10:43

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