Comment: Pork-free “pork”

This article describing a pork-free “pork” mentions that the product is

…gluten-free and designed for kosher and halal certification, looks strikingly similar to real pork, with its light pink hue when raw and tender, juicy texture after cooking.

While the product on its own sounds like it is indeed lawful to consume, I can’t help but think there’s something wrong with consuming it just because it resembles pork, just like I think that there something off with desiring the unlawful or desiring the experience of partaking in something unlawful.

But then again: I don’t have any issue accepting that some of Allah’s commands and prohibitions are ritualistic or devotional [taʿabbudi] and that not everything is rationalistic [maʿqūl]. Likewise, I don’t have any issue with exercising precaution to ensure that I don’t transgress into Allah’s sanctuary (i.e., hadith #6 of the Forty Nawawi).

Imam al-Ghazali mentioned problems with scenarios that give lawful ways to engage in acts indistinguishable from the unlawful. One of his examples involves parties where folks recline on pillows drinking water from goblets in a manner associated with wine-drinking parties. It seems to me that there are similar problems with products that enable Muslims to appear to be engaged in the unlawful.

I hope that halal certifiers will opt to abstain from giving their approval to this and similar products that enable Muslim consumers to experience or to appear to engage in the unlawful.

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