How Halal Food lead to Partition of India

There is a huge discussion going on India right now with regards to the Halal Food. In light of this Halal food controversy, a few days back I shared a picture on social media which is shown below, in this picture I provided a quote of the National Poet of Pakistan, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, which he had said in one of his addresses to the Indian Muslim League. It goes as follows

“There are no social barriers between Muslims and the ‘people of the Book’. A Jew or a Christian or a Zoroastrian does not pollute the food of a Muslim by touching it,”

The picture I shared on social media

Seeing the comments that I received on that post, it became clear to me that I had failed to convey the importance of this sentence, as most people could not connect it to Halal controversy. This shows how most Indians still do not understand the impact of Halal food in shaping the history of India. Therefore I decided write about this incidence in detail, so that people can understand the role of halal food in shaping our history.

Over the last two weeks there has be a dispute going on in India about halal food. This controversy arose when a Hindu person refused to take food from a Muslim delivery boy. Afterwards the person was detained by the police on the grounds of religious discrimination. The situation became more complicated when some Hindus in Jharkhand wrote Hindu on the board of their shop so that people would buy fruits from them, but the government removed their Hindu symbols on the grounds that doing so is promoting communalism.

The problem here is that Indians are scared to get anything from Muslim fruit and vegetable vendors because there are videos circulating on social media where Muslim fruit vendors can be seen deliberately polluting the fruits. According to intelligence sources, Muslims are being instigated by ISKP’s Sawt al-Hind to spread the corona epidemic as much as possible. So here my opinion is that the behavior of rest of the Indians is quite appropriate. If they see a Muslim delivering food to them, they are worried about their personal security as they do not know where he has come from, what he has been doing before delivering the food.

So, when these two incidents happened, people started raising the issue of halal food of Muslims and said that Muslims also discriminate on food. Keeping this background in mind, I shared this picture to show how Muslims have discriminated on food so much that it actually played a part in the partition of our country. This sentence which I shared with was spoken by Sir Muhammad Iqbal in the twenty-fifth session of the Muslim League which was held in Prayagraj (Allahabad) in 1930. The idea of ​​Pakistan came into existence in this very session. Let us read the full sentence to better understand what Sir Muhammad Iqbal is saying here. The whole sentence goes like this:

“The Muslims of India are differently situated. The countries of Islam outside India are practically wholly Muslim in population. The minorities there belong, in the language of the Quran, to the ‘people of the Book’. There are no social barriers between Muslims and the ‘people of the Book’. A Jew or a Christian or a Zoroastrian does not pollute the food of a Muslim by touching it, and the law of Islam allows intermarriage with the ‘people of the Book’. Indeed, the first practical step that Islam took towards the realization of a final combination of humanity was to call upon peoples possessing practically the same ethical ideal to come forward and combined.” “This day (all) pure, wholesome things have been made lawful for you. And the food of those who were given the Book before (including the animals they slaughter unless, of course, they invoke the name of any other than God) is lawful for you, just as your food (including the animals you slaughter) is lawful for them. And (lawful for you in marriage) are chaste women among the believers, and chaste women among those who were given the Book before..”

So here you can see that Iqbal saheb is saying that if anyone touches the food of Muslims except the People of the book i.e. Jews and Christian, then that food is forbidden for them, that is, it is not halal. Now here some people might argue that why is this an issue, even the Jain would not eat food at the home of a non-vegetarian. See the problem is that the Jains do so on the basis of karma whereas the Muslims on the basis of their faith. If a Muslim is a pure vegetarian, then a Jain will eat at his place, but halal food is only the food of the Muslims and People of the book. This comes from Quran 5.5 which says

“This day (all) pure, wholesome things have been made lawful for you. And the food of those who were given the Book before (including the animals they slaughter unless, of course, they invoke the name of any other than God) is lawful for you, just as your food (including the animals you slaughter) is lawful for them. And (lawful for you in marriage) are chaste women among the believers, and chaste women among those who were given the Book before..”

To justify this the reasoning that Iqbal is providing here is that people of the book have practically the same moral ideals as Muslims. Which basically means that from a moral point of view, a Muslim is the best, below him is a person of the Book and we Dharmics are at the bottom. By this logic, the moral ideals of Ali Musliyar who committed the Moplah massacre should be superior to Gandhi ji’s moral ideals? Whether that makes sense or not is for you to decide.

On the left is Ali Musliyar, who was responsible for Hindu Genocide in Moplah Riots in 1921. Just because he was a Muslim, does his moral ideals become superior to that of Mahatma Gandhi?

When you understand this, then the connection between Halal and India’s partition becomes self-evident. Sir Muhammad Iqbal is saying that in other Islamic countries, Muslims are in the majority and those who are in minority there are also ‘people of the book’, so they have no problem about halal food, but in India both Muslims and ‘people of the book’ are in minority. How can Muslims live in a country where the food of the majority of people is haram to them? This shows that Halal food also had a contribution in the partition of our nation.

Originally published at https://stoicsadhu.com on May 9, 2020.

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Rahul Yadav

Rahul Yadav

Discover Indian Heritage: Arts, Science, Religion and Philosophy of India

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