What’s Pig Gotta Do With It?

By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari

For the American Muslim, religious dogma is like a toxic agent. Guilt of the migrant captivates them in dogma and symbols. Much easier to fight for it than live for it. The hijab, the beard, the after school Madrassa and most important:  the Pig!

The pig. After taking this undivine creature’s name, ablution becomes obligatory. Absolution by spitting the contaminated saliva out into an already contaminated world, or by saying a pious word about divine scripture. Meaning? What have they do of meaning? They aren’t a Muhammad Atta on September 11th. (He didn’t either) They are American Muslims trying to figure out whether voting is halal.

Halal? No its not some kind of genius. Its autism of a kind. An involuntary madness that compels them to take up bad words as arms. To write “halal” on water bottles! Halal: a trademark. They are still however resolving their feeling towards McDonalds. They may eat it but know they are doing something wrong. They may not wear the hijab but know they are doing something wrong. They may not keep a beard but know they are doing something wrong. They may eat gelatin sweets but know they are doing something wrong. And that is where Islam for this race lies. In knowing that they are wrong.

“Guilt is the first step towards Islam”

Coming back to the pig, it is a great moral question for an American Muslim on how to deal with Winnie the Pooh. The problem is not Pooh but his friend Piglet. Piglet, as you may have realized is a pig. A pig. A prime concern is that there aren’t many ways to purify ones self after prolonged exposure to it. Cannot feed your child in a Pooh utensil, cannot dress your child in a Pooh clothing, cannot let your child play with Pooh, cannot let them watch Pooh on TV and cannot take them to McDonalds when the toy is Pooh and Piglet.

To Pooh or not to Pooh? My question is what has morality got to do with what you consume? It does if it alters your state of mind in the long run or in the short run. So a Pig tends to eat what it defecates, but American Pigs don’t. They eat clean food, perhaps better than any cow, chicken or turkey could eat in an “Islamic state.” But a pig is the central question. It is the acid test of Islam. Not whether you eat it or not, but if you check for thiamine monosaturates in any foods you consume, and know what colors in the jelly beans have gelatin in them. Gelatin: the basted child of the evil pig.

I could as well be the boar eating Oblix and still be more moral than the holiest. If I use my brain cells to contribute to world hunger, the deteriorating ecosystem or scientific purist of some kind, rather than allocate pious ceilings for a free mankind, I got to have a fair deal in an after life. If there is an after life, that is. If heaven and hell are not figurative concepts used to define reputations and consequence.

I am beginning to think its most immoral to be a cleric in Islam. To have an Islamic party in a majority Muslim state, to wear a hijab in America, to teach kids Arabic without meaning and to keep a beard when Gillette exists. To be guilty of holding symbol and practicing dogma in the name of Islam ought to be forbidden. But who ought to forbid, the self righteous me? The Kafir? The one judged by American Muslims as non-Muslim. For I couldn’t be bothered with acid tests, or guilt. They judge by hijacking God’s many attributes for their own egos.

Feel good, you all. All you all, feel good. Begin with the discourse on nail polish and prayer, and end with the Pig, but don’t forget to spit. Like you spit when you fast in Ramadan so the fast is harder to bear. So that the verse in the book that talks of making “deen easy for you” is rendered meaningless.

I can’t leave Islam because it gives me the simplicity I seek in this complex world. Because it doesn’t give too many specifics. Because I admire Khadija’s business potential and leadership. And the man she married. Because I need not write lengthy letters after their names, and still hold reverence for the empires of justice they created.  And above all, because my maker is outside Islam as much as she is within. That means there is still hope in the world.



Filed under Islam

28 responses to “What’s Pig Gotta Do With It?

  1. lal

    Actually what is the real reason towards this hatred towards pig beyond religious?Was taenia quite common in erstwhile arabia?

  2. Danial Burki

    Pork is bad for us because the pig’s morality is transferred to us when we eat it?!

    I should start eating cheetahs because I want to be quick, silent and deadly, like a ninja. Oh yes.

  3. alok

    oh Danial! deadly humour man 😉

  4. mazHur

    The author of the article, Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari, surely appears to be flustered by the diversity of opinion among Muslims which has made her indignant over her own faith. She is right in her own as every sensible Muslim gets perplexed at the different views and notions about Islamic teachings which are sufficient enough to drive one crazy!

    As regards eating of pork is concerned, Muslims do not eat it because it is specifically forbidden in the holy Quran. Just as you cannot drive your car on the right and on the left of the road in the UK and the USA the same way you cannot alter the command of God (if you believe in holy Quran). I do not agree with other explanations given to support the argument as to why Pig is Haraam! Many animals which Muslims are allowed to eat devour dirty things.(take for instance, hen and ducks); homosexuality is found in many animals, Halal and Haram (take for instance , goats, dogs, baboons, pigeons, etc); By trying to clarify the ‘status’ of Pigs as Haram through arguments such as narrated by other correspondents we are only trying to be apologetic for no good reason.

    The authoress of this article should consider the fact that all vagaries such as pointed out by her are man-made and clear cut manipulations by the vested interest. She ought not to shirk from her duty as a good Muslim to understand and observe what is stated in the holy Quran. If she thinks smearing of nail polish on the nails is okay she should go ahead with it if she doesnt cite anything contrary to it in the Holy Book! This very simple enough! But anything expressly forbidden in the Quran should not be tried by a Muslim. Those who do will be accountable for their own deeds. You needn’t follow them.

  5. azhar aslam

    Thank you PTH, for once providing a wonderful evening of entertainment for me and my wife. My 3 year old daughter loves peppa pig ( hence I get compared to daddy pig sometimes, which I offend me because I suspect the analogy is made more on the basis of daddy pig’s big pot belly than anything else… damn).

    Her love of peppa pig does trouble her dadoo occasionally, which in turn brings immense pleasure to dadaa. Hehehe.


    ‘Pig has an immoral life …….; Pig is also a homosexual……….’

    man you are so sad…. You really need to get a life

    And I suppose like all other mullah types you don’t think hypocrisy, poverty, rape, violence, torture, injustice, hunger, burying women alive etc are at all sins or have any contribution to determining the levels of one’s morality and depths of a nation’s depravity .

    And Aisha has as much right to assign a female gender to Allah as much as the rest of Muslims who have been assigning a male gender for more than 1400 years…… in any case Allah’s (swt) best and biggest qualities of mercy and love are womanly than manly…. And as the Prophet himself said ‘ Allah loves you seventy times more than your mother’ … what says you now


    My wife has had good laugh at my expense…………..

    Kashmiris who devour meat by the kilo are also considered timid.
    Yes there was a time when they used to say about Kashmiris, ‘’ aapey taapssee, aapey thuss karsee’; but after nearly twenty years of struggle against half a million Indian army, that is no longer true….
    As Ghalib once said ‘ I am a half muslim ; I drink but I don’t eat pork’… so what about all those kafirs who eat pork but are teetotalers…. Are they half Muslims too ?

  6. Aman

    1. We do not/should not eat pig as it is forbidden in Quran. That is it. Irrespective of one could find reason or not.

    2. The word ‘khinzeer’ or pig is mentioned in a Quraan. Uttering this word is not haram or unclean and does not same as eating it. What would you do if this word is recited during salat?

    3. Henna impregnates its pigment in the skin, nails, and hairs. Nail polish is a thin film on nails and can be scratced. Henna cannot.

    4. BTW eating pig is as bad as drinking alcohol, back-biting, ou of marriage sex, infringing upon hoqooqulibad. Why single out. To me pork eater, alcoholic, debautch, cheater, backbiter all are the same.

  7. Parveen

    Seems to me that the article was not really about why a pig is haram at all. It’s about all the ridiculous lengths people go to avoid pigs (pooh lengths) but lie and cheat without batting an eyelash… at the end of the day, really what is more important, the fact that you have applied nail polish and praying (God forbid) or that right after you pray, you back bite about someone. I have heard many times, both are wrong, yes I know… I am asking, what is more wrong?

  8. Majumdar

    I am told that you acquire all the characteristics of the food you eat.

    I am thinking of becoming a good human being- a true humaneatarian.


  9. yasserlatifhamdani

    There was once a tradition amongst the Nawabs of a princely state to cut up Syeds (or the descendants of the Prophet) and wear parts of them as “taweez”.

  10. hayyer48

    Azhar Alam: I only said that Kashmiris were considered timid, just as Hindus are. Eating meat or refraining from it, may not have anything to do with ones innate violent nature. I quoted the Bishnoi’s in that context.
    Ghalib’s comment was made, as you probably know, when the British entered Delhi after defeating the mutineers and were killing off residents selectively on whim.. Ghalib was also caught up and when asked if he was a Hindu or Muslim made the famous comment.
    I always thought that whereas Pork was haraam alcohol was not, being in a category of lesser evils from which Muslims should abstain because it interfered with the due performance of Namaaz.

  11. yassiah

    Well Quran no where in its entirity prhibits one from drinking gutter water. Will any one try to drink it. Reason is that the efect of this action is obvious and clear. It is not only Quran which prohibits pork Old Testament is also very clear about prohibition of pork. Islam dose allow consumption of pork under certain conditions i.e. as a life saving measure when nothing else is available to eat. But Jews were not allowed to consume pork under any circumstances. Many gave their life but did not eat pork during Spainish inquisition. During my stay for many years with primitive west african tribes I was surprised to find that they abhored pork eating as they believed this will spoil their minds. I found one book very informative on this subject, which was given to me by an Ahmadi friend ‘Philosophy of the teachings of Islam’. It was a small book but very informative.
    As for me the clear command of Allah is enough. After that I donot need any explanation to convince myself .

  12. Adnann Syed

    Yasser wrote:

    “There was once a tradition amongst the Nawabs of a princely state to cut up Syeds (or the descendants of the Prophet) and wear parts of them as “taweez”.

    Which state Yasser. I will be completely avoiding it once I visit India.

  13. mazHur

    <<<<<<<<<<<I only said that Kashmiris were considered timid, just as Hindus are. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    this is a revelation to a born Kashmiri (Indian side) like me !!
    How would the poster classify or rate the races of Ind o-Pak???

  14. Milind Kher

    Allah (SWT) in his wisdom has declared the pig unclean and haraam for consumption. It is better to accept the command than to try to come out with justification for it.

    We are all aware that animals are not bound by moral laws the way humnas are, and therefore to call a pig immoral and say that we will become immoral by eating it is highly questionable.

    Yes, theer are many medical downsides to eating pork, which may be the most likely reason that this animal is banned.

    No ablution is required after mentioning its name. {EDITED}
    Guys let’s avoid this biddat and speculation.

  15. mazHur

    Hello Everyone!

    I would like to share this down-to-earth comment by a Pakistani Muslim friend scientist living in the USA , the contents
    of which are self-explanatory.

    In the going I would like to express my appreciation to the comment posted by Milind Kher.

    ”You do have a point Mazhar.
    I was not surprised to read all the comments – and actually when I read
    comments of Pakistanis (on other sites as well) I only scratch my head
    and wonder why with such high concentration of intellects this country
    is so rotten?
    During my graduate studies, one young Pakistani with his girl friend
    visited me during lunch hour – I invited them to share what I had cooked
    and the lady asked me if the meat I was serving was pork as “Khan did
    not eat pork..” I explained to her that pork is forbidden but there is
    no punishment prescribed if one does eat it… however what Khan was
    doing to her was punishable by death… The point I am making is that in
    our culture it is easy to talk about metaphors but not the real
    problems… Many issues such as parental discussion about sex and/or
    civic responsibilities are taboos…

    Until a decade ago McDonald burgers had pork mixed with beef, mashed
    beans in Mexican restaurants have lard mixed for stability, and pork
    products are used in cosmetics – lipstick for sure – be careful while
    kissing as it may lead to porky stuff. ….

    I once ate a ham sandwich (looks like sliced turkey) and afterwards
    kept waiting for a lightening strike….

    It is best to keep things simple…. and not let the faith become a

  16. mazHur

    Mr Moderator

    May I request you to please stop some people from
    proselytizing their sectarian beliefs on this forum.
    I don’t think this is the right place for such activity.

    Also, I just sighted that you have already ‘edited’ one of my post. Could you please insert the words ”enemies of Islam’ instead of the erased words for the comment to make sense?

  17. PMA

    Certain myths and stereotypes refuse to die:

    1) Kashmiris and Hindus are timid people;
    2) Kashmiris are the lost tribe of Israel;
    3) Pashtoons are the lost tribe of Israel;
    4) Pashtoons are the descendants of Alexander’s army;
    5) Syeds are the descendants of Prophet Mohammad;

    ……….and the list goes on.

  18. Dear friends

    This was an excellent piece of writing that critiqued Muslim CULTURE and not RELIGION. Why has this fuss erupted about religion and sects. I am ashamed to see that we cannot even discuss an issue without being SECTARIAN, BIGOTED and LITERAL.

    This is why I have moderated over a dozen comments and I am not going to get posts here on this sect is great or an enemy of Islam. I think we are losing the plot here.

    Aisha has made some valid points about our ill-informed and hypocritical attitudes when it comes to things associated with religious edicts.

    The last thing we want here at PTH is a sectarian warfare or tableegh for that matter. PTH holds that the message of Islam is known to all and there is no need to preach and convert people to Wahabism, Ahmaddiya Jamaat, Shi’ite beliefs or other sects that have left Muslims divided, inward looking and bigoted across the globe. So narrow minded that we have become a joke.

    Please DO NOT VISIT this space if you want to preach your sectarian views. Go to other blogs/websites and there are thousands of them preaching hatred and bigoted interpretations of a faith that is peaceful, universal in its appeal and message, egalitarian and progressive.

    No space for further claptrap here.

    Apologies to all. But this is against PTH policy and ethos.


  19. azhar aslam


    you r right about Ghalib. sorry no offence was meant.

    and you are absolutely right about alcohol in islam.

  20. ralam420

    Best comment award goes to Majumdar and his “humaneatarianism”

  21. Milind Kher


    Thanks for your appreciation. The Holy Quran is an easy book if we want to follow it in a simple manner.

    In my belief, it requires an extensive knowledge of shariah and fiqh to be able to authoritatively comment on the logic and provisions of Islamic law.

    So, why not just accept what is written? Makes things much easier..

  22. hayyer48

    RR: I am an admirer of PTH. I have not come across a similar Indian site, so free of hypocrisy and cant; one that endeavours to promote a general liberal and open ethos.
    That is why I cannot refrain from commenting on articles despite the objection to Indian guys trawling. Keep it up. You’re doing a great job.

  23. mazHur

    Dear Milind Kher

    I have nothing to disagree with you.
    May the Almighty bless us all!


  24. thinkingstorm

    Hahahahahaha….one of the best articles I’ve read on this site thus far!

    “Like you spit when you fast in Ramadan so the fast is harder to bear. ”

    Didn’t know that…but must remember to attain further piety.

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  26. miss anwar

    i would like to know if watching peppa pig is haram in islam, my children love it but are too young to understand about haram halal.

  27. miss anwar

    it ll be much appreciated thankyou

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