Are Muslims Vegetarian | Is It Haram to Be Vegan?

As a Muslim, you can live on a halal vegetarian diet. But when it comes to faith, there are many aspects to consider.

For example, if you consider a non-vegetarian diet haram and want to become a vegetarian just for this reason, then being a vegetarian will become haram. On the other hand, veganism is part of the religious beliefs of Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and some other religions. If you are a vegetarian according to their beliefs, it will still be haram.

We will try to see whether Muslims can become vegetarians concerning the Qur’an, Hadith, and accepted scholars. At the same time, We will also try to know whether being a vegetarian is halal or haram.

Veganism in Islam | Can Muslims Be Vegan? Answers According to Islamic Shari’ah

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Basically, if one wants to survive by eating halal vegetarian food, then it is permissible for him. But when fundamentally “veganism” becomes a place of religious belief, or one considers even eating halal meat to be haram, then being a vegetarian becomes haram. Not only is it forbidden, but it is a kufr (denying Allah’s order).

Are Muslims Vegetarian

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an:

“O you who believe, do not forbid what Allah has made lawful for you and do not transgress. Surely, Allah does not like transgressors. And eat of what Allah has provided for you, lawful and pure. And fear Allah in Whom you believe.” [Al Ma’idah, 5:87-88]

Mufti Ebrahim Desai, one of the most trusted Hanafi scholars, said that- 

“A Muslim can be a vegetarian. But he should not regard eating halal meat as prohibited.” [AskImam]

Ustadh Waseem Hussain, another Hanafi scholar, said the same. He said that-

“Being vegan is permissible or not based on the intention. If someone thinks that the animal might not be slaughtered as per Islamic rules, he might refrain from eating meat. But if he thinks eating meat is wrong because killing animals is cruel, or people should not eat meat due to belief, then it is not permissible.” []

See, there is a difference between simply not eating anything for reasons. For example, doctors may ask you not to eat meat due to health issues. Or, you may not like eating meat due to your different taste buds. Or you may simply show mercy on animals. 

But you believe that Allah makes certain animal’s meat halal for you, and you don’t dislike slaughtering halal animals in halal ways. 

In such cases, you can refrain from eating meat. 

Here, we can take an example of mercy on animals from the following hadith. 

  • “Mu’awiya ibn Qurra reported that his father said, “A man said, ‘O Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing of Allah be Upon Him), I was going to slaughter a sheep, and then I felt sorry for it (or ‘sorry for the sheep I was going to slaughter’).’ He(Peace and Blessing of Allah be Upon Him) said twice, ‘Since you showed mercy to the sheep, Allah will show mercy to you.'” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 373]

But on the other hand, when you think killing animals is cruel and people should not eat halal meat, you are not in the right thoughts. You deny Allah’s orders and acceptable rules. 

When someone thinks halal to be haram or haram to be halal- this entire belief is haram. Allah says this in the Qur’an in different places. 

According to, it is Kufr to refuse to follow Allah’s rules. [See the Reference in]

When Allah makes something halal, and someone thinks it is not right or is not halal, he is refusing Allah’s rule and judgment. 

So, you can’t be vegan in Islam if it is an aspect of religious belief. 

What Can’t Muslims Eat?

So, now you know the answer to “Is being vegan haram?” based on the intentions. However, you may eat both vegan and non-vegan food. 

What Can’t Muslims Eat?

But Muslims can’t eat everything. We have to eat by keeping the bond that Allah Subhanahu Ta’ala made for us. Allah says in the Qur’an,

“FORBIDDEN to you is carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which any name other than Allah’s has been invoked, and the animal that has been strangled, or beaten to death, or killed by a fall, or gored to death, or savaged by a beast of prey, save that which you [yourselves] may have slaughtered while it was still alive; and [forbidden to you is] all that has been slaughtered on idolatrous altars. and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience……

……But whoever is compelled by intense hunger, not inclined to any sin (will be forgiven), surely Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:3]

So you see, Allah has given a clear guideline about what we can eat and what we can’t. 

But, any contamination of halal food with haram will also be haram, whether it is veg or non-veg. [See the Reference]

On the other hand, when you are in an intense situation where you are-

  1. Extremely hungry
  2. There is nothing halal to eat, and 
  3. You may die from starvation if you don’t consume something immediately…

In such cases, you can eat even haram things, but for a particular time. When halal food is available, you will strictly avoid haram food. 

What About Sacrificing Animals During Eid-Ul-Adha?

Many moderate Muslims are against sacrificing animals during Eid-Ul-Adha, which is held by Muslims around the world every year in Zul-Hijjah. 

What About Sacrificing Animals During Eid-Ul-Adha?

Allah Says in the Quran about Qurbani(sacrificing halal animals by the name of Allah)-

  1. “Therefore pray to your Rab (Lord) and sacrifice.” [Surah Kawthar: 108: 2]
  2. “For every nation I have decreed rite (of sacrifices); That they may remember the name of Allah, over the animals which He has provided as sustenance…..”  [Surah Hajj, 22:34]
  3. “And We have made the sacrificial camel one of Allah’s signs for you; There is good in it for you. So recite the name of Allah over them while standing in a row, then eat from them when they fall down…….” [Surah Hajj, 22:36]
  4. “Their flesh and blood do not reach Allah; Rather, your devotion reaches Him…..” [ [Surah Hajj, 22:37]

“Abdullah Ibn Amr (RA) narrated in a long hadith that a person came to the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing of Allah be Upon Him) to inquire about religion. 

While being taken back, the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing of Allah be Upon Him) called him and said, ‘I have been ordered to perform Yaomul Azhar (i.e., to sacrifice on this day.) Allah has made this day an Eid for this Ummah……..”

[Musnad Ahmad 2/169; Hadith 6575; Sahih Ibn Hibban: 773, 5914; Abu Dawud: 2789; Nasa’i: 4365]

So, from the Qur’an and Sahih Hadith, it is proven that Qurbani is an established Worship of Allah. So, if anyone is against slaughtering (sacrificing by the Name of Allah) animals on this day for Qurbani, this is actually against Allah’s rule, which is haram. 

It is a big sin and close to disbelieving Allah’s Shariah. [Reference]

Final Key Takeaways

So, are Muslims vegetarian? According to all discussions and references, we have found the following summary. 

  • Muslims can eat vegetarian food only as normal food.
  • If someone thinks killing and eating halal animals is prohibited or mocks these, then it is haram, and it becomes kufr. 
  • People can show mercy on animals if they want. 
  • If any Muslim thinks Qurbani is inhumane, and they are against it, then this faith is against Allah’s rule.
Omar Abdullah

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