QCA is grateful to our contact in Canada, Anila Muhammad, who wrote an article for The Huffington Post, of which this is an extract:
Is Being a Vegan or Vegetarian at Odds with Being Muslim?
Interestingly enough, the idea of Muslims being vegetarian or vegans has prompted some debate. Islamic scholars such as the late Egyptian scholar Gamal al-Banna agree that Muslims who choose vegetarianism/veganism can do so for a number of reasons including a personal expression of faith or spirituality.
Al-Banna has stated “When someone becomes vegetarian they do so for a number of reasons: compassion, environment and health reasons. As a Muslim, I believe that the Prophet (Muhammad) would want followers to be healthy, compassionate and not destroy our environment. If someone believes not eating meat is that way, it is not like they are going to go to hell for it. It may be the right thing to do.”
Hamza Yusuf Hason, a popular American Muslim scholar has been warning against the ethical and environmental dangers of the factory farming industry and the health related issues of over consumption of meat (at 35 min mark).
Yusuf believes the fallout of industrialized meat production — the abuse of animals, the detrimental impact to the environment and human health, the link of such a system to the exasperation of global hunger — is at odds with his understanding of Islamic ethics. In his view animal rights and protection of the environment are not foreign concepts to Islam but a divine mandate. And his research indicates that the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, and most early Muslims were semi-vegetarians, consuming meat on occasion.
Vegetarianism is not a new concept for some adherents of Sufism. Such as Chishti Inayat Khan, who introduced Sufi principals to the west. The late Sufi Shaykh Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, who did not permit any animal products at his fellowship. Rabia of Basra, one of the most revered female Sufi saints…
Read the whole article at:
The following slideshow, made by Anila, features Muslims who are vegetarians and vegans: