Misconceptions About Eating Meat
by Sandeep Singh Brar
The view of Sikhism
is that eating meat or abstaining from it is the individuals choice.
A Sikh is considered no lesser or greater a Sikh if they eat meat or
are a vegetarian.
Final Ruling from
The Akal Takht
represents the final authority on controversial issues concerning the
Sikh Panth, in this regard the issue of meat eating has been settled.
Hukamnama issued by Akal Takht Jathedar Sandhu Singh Bhaura dated February
15th 1980 that Amritdhari Sikhs can eat meat as long as it is jhatka
meat and that eating meat does not go against the code of conduct, Kurehit,
of the Sikhs. Thus a Sikh cannot be excommunicated for eating meat.
The Times of the Gurus
Bani of Guru Nanak on Meat and Vegetarianism
Quotes from Sri Guru Granth Sahib
The Comments of Sikh Scholars Regarding Meat
The Sikh Rehat Maryada
(The Official Code of Conduct)
An Amritdhari Khalsa
Sikh is not allowed to eat the meat of an animal slaughtered the Muslim
In Punjabi the
word "Kuttha" specifically means meat prepared according to the Muslim
Dictionary, Punjabi University, Dept. of Punjabi Lexicography, Published
Dec. 1994. "Kuttha: meat of animal or fowl slaughtered slowly as
prescribed by Islamic law."
Dictionary, Singh Bros., Amritsar "Kuttha: Tortured, killed according
to Mohammedan law."
What is Jhatka Meat
Jhatka meat is
meat in which the animal has been killed quickly without suffering or
Sikhism, A Complete
Introduction, Dr. H.S.Singha & Satwant Kaur, Hemkunt Press
We must give the rationale behind prescribing jhatka meat as the approved
food for the Sikhs. According to the ancient Aryan Hindu tradition,
only such meat as is obtained from an animal which is killed with one
stroke of the weapon causing instantaneous death is fit for human consumption.
However, with the coming of Islam into India and the Muslim political
hegemony, it became a state policy not to permit slaughter of animals
for food, in any other manner, except as laid down in the Quran - the
kosher meat prepared by slowly severing the main blood artery of the
throat of the animal while reciting verses from the Quran. It is done
to make slaughter a sacrifice to God and to expiate the sins of the
slaughter. Guru Gobind Singh took a rather serious view of this aspect
of the whole matter. He, therefore, while permitting flesh to be taken
as food repudiated the whole theory of this expiatory sacrifice and
the right of ruling Muslims to impose iton the non-Muslims. Accordingly,
he made jhatka meat obligatory for those Sikhs who may be interested
in taking meat as a part of their food.
Sikhs and Sikhism,
Dr. I.J.Singh, Manohar Publishers.
And one semitic practice clearly rejected in the Sikh code of conduct
is eating flesh of an animal cooked in ritualistic manner; this would
mean kosher and halal meat. The reason again does not lie in religious
tenet but in the view that killing an animal with a prayer is not going
to enoble the flesh. No ritual, whoever conducts it, is going to do
any good either to the animal or to the diner. Let man do what he must
to assuage his hunger. If what he gets, he puts to good use and shares
with the needy, then it is well used and well spent, otherwise not.
Why is Meat not
served in Langar?
The reason why
meat is not served at langar in the Gurdwaras is because langar is supposed
to be a symbol of equality of mankind where all people no matter what
race, religion or caste can eat toghether in the atmosphere of brotherhood.
Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, it does not matter who they are. Different religions
have different dietary restrictions. Hindus cannot eat cow, muslims
cannot eat pork and will only eat halal meat. Jews will only eat kosher
meat, others cannot eat fish or eggs. But in a gurdwara langar, it does
not matter what their dietary taboos or religious beliefs are, the food
is designed so that all can eat together and no one will be offended
or not be able to partake of the meal.