Can Muslims eat pork

Flesh and religion - between taboo and sanctuary

Sch├Ąchten - the ritual killing

Catholics or Protestants who feel like having a schnitzel or a roast go to any butcher or to the supermarket and do some shopping. You just have to pay attention to the expiration date.

Other criteria apply to devout Muslims or Jews: They eat slaughtered meat. Shafts are the killing of an animal by means of a neck cut through the trachea and esophagus without prior anesthesia. The animal is bled to death.

Ritual slaughtering exists in both Islam and Judaism. According to Islam, the animal is turned to the east. A prayer is said during this. Shafting is allowed in Germany, but is controversial as many see it as cruelty to animals.

According to the Jewish tradition of law, shekhitah, or slaughter, is the slaughter method prescribed by God. It is the only way that pure animals can remain kosher and be eaten. The regulations can be found in the Talmud (Chullin 1-2). Only cattle and poultry have to be slaughtered, but not fish.

In the Koran itself, slaughtering is not compulsory. However, sayings of Mohammed have been handed down from which Islamic jurists derive a commandment, such as the saying of Mohammed: "If the blood of an animal is made to flow out and the name of Allah is called out, then eat it!"

It goes on to say: "You are forbidden to eat meat from dead animals, blood, pork and meat about which (when slaughtering) a creature other than Allah has been invoked, and what is choked, beaten (to death), toppled (to death) or has been struck (to death by another animal), and what a wild animal has eaten - unless you slaughter it ... "

The Koran itself does not actually contain any specific instructions. Even so, many believers interpret these words as a prescription for slaughter. Unaesthetized animals bleed better and bloodless meat is considered clean.

Incidentally, this is not only the case in Islam or in the Jewish faith. Corresponding information can also be found in the Bible, for example in God's covenant with Noah, 1. Book of Moses, chapter 9: "The flesh does not eat alone with its blood, in which its life is!"

Between the sacrificial lamb and the sacrificial festival

There were sacrifices at all times in all known forms of society. Ethnologists and anthropologists assume that sacrifices are an important social component of coexistence. They can act as an outlet for social tension.

In addition, the original situation of threat and defense is reproduced with the ritual: Surrounded by wild animals, the Stone Age people lived in constant danger.

If the predators were superior, a weak member of the group was left to the animal. So the more viable people had a chance to escape. Repeating this pattern of danger and overcoming it together strengthens cohesion and creates cultural identity.

Such rites continue to this day, for example in the Muslim "Festival of Sacrifice". It is one of the most important celebrations in the Islamic world, along with the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast ("Sugar Festival"). Since the Sugar Festival lasts three days and the Sacrifice Festival four days, it is also called the "Great Festival". It always begins on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Dhu l-Hijja.

The Islamic year is a lunar year. This means that each month lasts exactly as long as the lunar cycle. Accordingly, an Islamic year counts ten days less than ours. So, in relation to the Gregorian calendar, the festivals are postponed by ten or eleven days. According to our calendar, the festival therefore has no fixed date.

Traditionally a male sheep is sacrificed. Alternatively goats, cows or camels. As usual with the Muslims, the sacrificial animal is slaughtered according to the established rite.

Shafts are a man's job, so the father of the family lays the animal's head in the direction of Mecca. He says prayers and cuts the victim's carotid artery.

Sacrifice is one of the fixed rituals during the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. It is therefore binding for every Muslim.

Hundreds of thousands of animals are slaughtered on this day in the holy pilgrimage site alone. But at the same time this sacrifice is being made by Muslims all over the world.

The religious rite has a strongly charitable aspect: only a third of the meat is consumed by the family, two thirds are given to the poor and needy in the area.

The sacrifice - an ancient myth

The "Great Festival" has its roots in a myth that can be found in many religions: the ritual is reminiscent of the forefather Abraham, who was ready to sacrifice one of his sons to his God. Whether Isaac or Ismail was doomed is not explicitly mentioned in the Koran. Both are of great importance in Islam. Ismail is even considered to be the progenitor of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Bible tells the same story. Abraham is ready to sacrifice his beloved son to his God. At the last moment, however, the angel of the Lord appears and holds him back.

In the Christian religions, however, another sacrifice is celebrated: Easter, the highest Christian festival, celebrates the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the redemption of humanity.

The sacrificed Son of God is symbolized by the sacrificial lamb, which in many liturgical texts is also called "the Lamb of God". The custom of eating fish on Fridays also stems from this: the fish is an early Christian symbol for Christ. In Greek, the first letters of the words Iesous CHristos THeou Yios Soter (= Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior!) Result in the word ICHTHYS (= fish).

The Lord's Supper most clearly symbolizes human sacrifice: the red wine as blood, and the loaf of bread - or the wafer - as the body of Christ, i.e. his flesh.

Catholic and Protestant doctrine interpret the Lord's Supper differently: Protestants regard bread and wine as symbols. Catholics, on the other hand, believe in a metamorphosis into blood and flesh.