Estimated reading time: 13 minute(s)
(Originally Posted on July 18, 2010)
I still remember the day in 1993 when I told my mother I wasnâ€™t going to eat pork any more. She had just baked a fresh pan of pork chops to go along with some fresh baked beans and â€˜taytaw salad. (Translation: potato salad)
I honestly was a bit nervous telling her that for three reasons. One, my brotherÂ Deric MuhammadÂ had just came home from the Marines and was gradually introducing my little brother and me to the Nation of Islam lifestyle by taking us to the local Mosque in Houston. He was coming across very aggressive at times about his beliefs till the point it was a turn off for my family. So I already knew my mother would say â€œSo, you trying to be a Muslim, huh?Â Youâ€™ve been eating this all this time. Whatâ€™s the problem now?â€
Secondly, it was her house and I had to abide by her rules. So if she told me I had to eat it, I donâ€™t know if I would have had the guts to tell her otherwise at the time.
Thirdly, just like yours, my mother didnâ€™t believe in wasting food so I might have been forced to sit at the table anyway. You know parents will be quick to say â€œBoy, do you know there are children in Africa who would be happy to eat thisÂ and you being ungrateful?â€
Lucky for me my mother just said â€œOkayâ€. I was shocked and felt relieved! No more pork for me. Once I told my classmates at Forest Brook they immediately started calling me a Muslim although I had not joined the NOI at that time.
What caused me to change my diet like this at the age of 15 was readingÂ â€œHow To Eat To Liveâ€Â Books I & II by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. For years I watched on HBOâ€™s Def Comedy Jam as various comedians joked about Mooozlims (as they say it) not eating â€œthe swineâ€ or the â€œother white meatâ€. However I didnâ€™t knowÂ why.
Once I picked up these two books, I learned why Muslim refrained from eating pork. For instance in Book II in the chapter titledÂ â€œThe Truth About Pork (The Pig)â€Â the Hon. Elijah Muhammad writes:
The pig is a mass of worms. Each mouthful you eat is not a nutritious food but a mass of small worms the naked eye cannot detect. Worms thrive in the hog. When these worms are digested into your system, they cause a high birth rate to hundreds of new worms called larvae which travels the blood stream of your system and lodge in your muscles. These worms even enter your brain, lungs or your spinal fluid. They cause muscular aches, fever and many other symptoms of sickness. The worm has an amazing ability to go undetected in your system for many years.
The scientific name for the ill-causing worm found in all pork is Trichinella spiralis which causes trichinosis.
Despite what veterinarians, public health officials, the Agricultural Department or your doctor say, the best defense against the pig is DO NOT EAT IT! When you do eat it, you do not hurt God, His Messenger, the Muslim or anyone else. You hurt yourself. Thorough and slow cooking of pork does not remove the danger of the worms found in all pork. Additional cooking of pork purchased in the summer or processed pork products does not make the worm-infested pork safe for eating.
Inspection and governmental seals on pork do not remove the danger of the worms yet in the pork to make it safe for you to eat.
Worms?!Â Just the thought of having a worm potentially crawling around in my brainÂ was enough to convince me that eating chittlins (chitterlings) on New Yearâ€™s Day was more of a tradition than a wise healthy choice. That also included getting bacon on a burger or with our scrambled eggs in the morning.
Of course there are some people who will argue with Hon. Elijah Muhammad and sayÂ â€œMan, my God donâ€™t care about what I eat!â€
Well in the same chapter, he writes:
In the Bible and the Holy Qurâ€™an, it is the Divine will of God that the pig should not be eaten and God has never changed this instruction, despite the White manâ€™s setting up governmental bureaus to grade and approve the selling of pork.
It was in the NOI that I first learned thatÂ God actually instructed us in the Bible not to even touch the carcassÂ of the swine, let alone eat it. Iâ€™m not passing judgment but I wondered why this was never mentioned in the churches I attended? Even some of those same churches served pork on theÂ Sunday dinners next to the lemon pound cake in the sandwich bag.
I turned to Leviticus and Deuteronomy and found multiple references where God instructs against the consumption of pork. God does care about what we eat. No offense, but praying over it does not heal it of its detrimental impact. If Jesus said He came that we might have life and life more abundantly, then what role does our diets play in having that abundance of life? What is our responsibility to our bodies, which are the true houses of God?
Need more convincing? I came across this footage of nationallyÂ renowned Christian pastor Joel Osteen teaching his congregationÂ about why ChristiansÂ should not eat pork and scavengers. Maybe you will readily accept it from him. (smile) It sounds like he read â€œHow To Eat To Liveâ€ as well. [Watch Below]