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June 2007

1. DEAR ABE: I would like to know if working for fast food places where you might have to prepare and serve pork is permitted (halal). My husband is a full time student here and we have a child as well and things are pretty tough for us now. Taking this job that has been now offered to me will help us solve a lot of difficulties. But, I have read earlier somewhere that assisting in any ways like preparing or serving pork is also prohibited (haram) even if you don’t consume the food. Please advise me at the earliest, as I would not want to lose this job if it is permissible. --FROM NORTH OF LONDON

DEAR NORTHERN RESIDENT: The prohibitions in the Quran about pork are to not eat the meat of the pig [1].  There are no further regulations on handling it.  We should not be making prohibitions where God has chosen not to [2].  Sometimes, confusion arises from the commands about intoxicants. God advises us about intoxicants to “avoid them, that you may succeed” [3].  Some may try to apply these commands to food as well, but we are not advised to “avoid” pork.  It appears, then, that you should not hesitate taking the job based on preparing or handling pork meat, so long as you are not consuming it.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 5:3,  6:145, 16:114-115;  [2] 2:168-169, 3:93-94, 6:119, 10:59;  [3] 5:90-91.


2. DEAR ABE: I am a Muslim and proud to be a Muslim.  When I was younger I decided to get some Tattoos. Then, later in my youth, I learned that Islam does not allow branding because in the old times tribes would brand their women as a form of ownership. Allah says that you can not own another human being. So it was forbidden to brand. I know that Tattoos are a form of branding. I am older and I am still conflicted on this issue, I want to get more Tattoos, but I feel that it is wrong and since I feel that it is wrong I will not. If there is any clarification that you could give me. Did I do something wrong? --AMMAR, NEW JERSEY

DEAR AMMAR: As we view God's words in the Quran, we see that there is no mention of tattoos or branding.  Slavery is discouraged, but marking one's body is not forbidden in itself [1].  I believe it is your intentions that matter here [2]. Tattoos can have many meanings to many people. If your tattoo is chosen for righteous reasons and is free of idol worship [3], then there is no religious reason to avoid it.  However, it is important to examine your intentions and the meaning you would attach to additional tattoos carefully.  Also, when considering the amount and size of tattoos, it is important, as Submitters to God, to observe moderation in our lives [4].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:177, 9:60, 90:11-13;  [2] 5:87, 2:224-225;  [3] 23:61, 4:48; [4] 17:37, 31:18-19.


3. DEAR ABE: What kind of messed up religion is this that wants to kill anyone that does not agree with it? -- RANDY, OKLAHOMA

DEAR RANDY: I do understand feelings of anger when we are dealing with unjustified acts of murder and aggression.  However, I believe you are addressing terrorists who say they are aggressing and killing for the sake of God; clearly this does not include those of us who observe Submission to God.  They claim to have the same religion as us, but they don’t follow the commandments set up by God in the Quran; instead they follow their religious leaders as well as rules made by other than God.   I hope you will take the time to look around on our pages, and you will see at the bottom of every one of our pages that we condemn all acts of violence, suicide bombings, and terrorism enacted under the banner of Islam. [1]

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] See similar questions and answers; Top Ten #5, #6, and #7;  Article –Do Non-Muslims go to Heaven?; January 2006 #1,  and #3; November 2006 #3.

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The answers provided by Abe and friends represent the understanding of the
writers, and should not be taken as the only acceptable approach. The reader is encouraged to research the topics further using the Quran.

Disclaimer: Abe and friends condemn all acts of violence, suicide bombings, and terrorism enacted under the banner of Islam.

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