By Editorial Staff
Why is Beef Forbidden in Hinduism?
Through authentic evidence it has become crystal clear that the Hindu religion in origin does not prohibit eating beef or meat; rather slaughtering animals was a common practice in ancient India. However, the later Hindus denied slaughtering animals, especially cows. Perhaps, amongst the reasons for the prohibition of beef in Hinduism was agricultural but over the time it became a religious issue.
Why is Meat Permissible in Islam?
On the other hand, Islam has elucidated that the whole world was created for mankind and mankind was created for the worship of Allah and to discover the secrets of the universe in order to build it. The world has been created for the benefit of man to help him in his noble mission. This fact was explained in many verses of the Glorious Qur’an, including the verses that say:
“It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth.”(Al-Baqarah2:29)
In addition to that, Allah (Glory be to Him) said:
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)
Were Some Hindu God’s Hunters?
When we look into the cause of the prohibition in Hinduism we find two possible reasons for this prohibition. The first is that they think that slaughtering is agonizing for the animal and the meat could not be obtained without slaughtering, therefore eating meat is prohibited. However, this illusion becomes meaningless when we find most of the Hindus eat meat of the goat, chicken, fish etc. Also Hindu scriptures, Mahabharat, Ramayan and Bhagvat Geeta mention that Rama, Lakshman and Krishna were huntsmen and hunting is painful for the animals? Why non-Hindus are forced to avoid slaughtering animals for the meat? If we follow this delusionوwe have to avoid killing even the harmful animals, insects, reptiles such as scorpions and snakes that are worshipped by some Hindus. The prohibition of slaughtering animals leads to recession of financial, social, economical activities of a large part of the society.(1)
On the other hand, what will you say to those Hindus who prohibit killing any and every kind of living being and some of them exaggerate this issue to the extent that they put masks on their mouth and nose in order to avoid killing any insect. When goats and chickens are slaughtered or when fish is taken away from the water they jump here and there in pain and the feelings of those Hindus are hurt and their beliefs are dishonored? What is your justification for that?(2)
Is Cow Truly Sacred in Hinduism?
The second reason for the prohibition is that cow is sacred in Hinduism and they do not like any kind of hurt to them, but only after the cow dies they give it to chamars whose hereditary occupation is tanning leather and skinning the dead animals who cut and skin the dead cow. Then where is the honor of Gao Mata? Also the skins of dead cows are used in shoes, ropes and drums that are used by Hindus and non-Hindus. Isn’t it a sort of disrespect for Gao Mata?
Also if this prohibition is based on the sanctity, why this honor is specific for cow only? Why is the bull deprived of this honor? They never respect oxen; rather they load on them over their strength and treat them badly. It is a sort of clear contradiction.
What is the Logical Reason for the Prohibition of Beef in Hinduism?
It is surprising that Hinduism recommends burning a widow with her deceased husband and makes killing one’s self seeking salvation as a meritorious act. Some of them prefer to go to Kashi (Banaras) to be sawed by a saw for the meritorious position. Some of them immerse them selves in Ganges River and die. Some of them climb the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh and perish themselves in the snow in order to seek paradise. Also some of them walk in the direction of the south blindly to fall in trench or well. And this kind of death is a recommended act in Hinduism. It is really a sort of clear contradiction when people are encouraged under the name of religion to protect an animal and make human life less important than an animal.(3)
Plain human mind also concludes that slaughtering animals for their meat or for any other benefit of people is not bad, since using the less important thing for preserving the most important one is acceptable and applicable everywhere in the world. We see that if a cow, a horse or a bull is injured and the wound caused worms, it is acceptable and recommended to annihilate those harmful worms to preserve the life of the cow, horse or ox; there is no objection. Likewise, if the human life needs or if there is interest for human beings in slaughtering some animals or killing some harmful serpents there should not be any objection. In addition, slaughtering animals was not forbidden in ancient Hinduism as was proven with authentic evidence. If Hindus object that slaughtering animals was permitted in the ancient Hinduism but now it became forbidden, we say to them that there is no objection to the Muslims; it is permissible in Islam now as it was permissible in Hinduism in the ancient time. We should keep in our mind that still eating meat is not forbidden in entire Hindu population because, the Shaivites think that eating meat is permissible and they sacrifice sheep and buffaloes for their idols and deities.(4)
Some Hindus may object that slaughtering animals is unjust and painful for the animal and causing pain to anything for one’s interest is selfishness and forbidden. The answer is that if you follow this deviant philosophy, you should not light a fire in your kitchen or fireplace and should not light a candle in your home as it causes the death of many insects and innocent tiny creatures. This is also a sort of injustice and selfishness. You should not boil water or cook food. You should not use antibiotics and pesticides, and you should not kill any scorpion or snakes.(5)
Does Hinduism Permit Killing Harmful Insects and Animals?
Furthermore, by this logic jobs such as an army officer would be prohibited and forbidden because they kill thieves, robbers and enemies of the country that is a kind of pain and selfishness.
What do you think when worms in human stomach are formed? Will you treat or will you leave a human being dying without treatment? Even by this logic you will forbid the lofty and honorable medical profession because the physician prescribes medication and antibiotics which kill the bacteria.(6)
In addition, what do you say when some carnivores prey on some animals like a lion preys on a poor deer or an innocent rabbit and kill them pitilessly?
What are the Regulations of Permission and Prohibition in Islam?
The basic principle in Islam is that the meat of some animals for the benefit and welfare of the human being is allowed and the interests of human beings are always preferable to everything. Therefore, he is allowed to kill some permissible animals for their meat, also their usages in carrying goods and riding and in tilling farms are permissible. As well as killing some dangerous animals in order to preserve human life is permissible in Islam. In fact, this ruling is corresponding to the nature of the general human instinct.
However, the philosophy invented by some Hindus on slaughtering animals and eating meat is based on illusions which contradict the natural activities of human life. How can you justify burning a widow with her husband mercilessly? How would you permit killing oneself in order to obtain alleged spiritual perfection while you deprive the whole world of consuming beef that is an important source of food for the people across the globe? Every man can judge what is right and what is wrong in this subject.
(1)Ahmad Rida, Anfasul-Fikar Fi Qurban Al-Baqar, Da`awat Islami, 1881 A.D. p.12.
(3)Muhammad `Ubaidullah, Tuhfah Al-Hind, Matba`at Faruqi, Delhi, 1861 A.D. ,p.131.
(5)But Shikan, Khal`atul-Hunood, Matba`a Siddiqi 1864 A.D. p.99.