According to a May 9, 2009 report in the Jordanian Arabic-language news website www.factjo.com, the superintendent of da'wa affairs at the Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments, Sheikh Ahmad 'Ali 'Othman, has issued a fatwa stating that all pigs living today are descended from Jews and must therefore be slaughtered.
Following are excerpts:
Sheikh 'Othman: The Jews that Allah Turned into Swine Were the Forefathers of Today's Pigs
According to the website, Sheikh 'Othman states in his fatwa that all pigs are descended from the Jews whom Allah transformed into apes, swine and worshippers of Satan, and must therefore be slaughtered. He bases this on Koran 5:60: "Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, [as judged] by the treatment it received from Allah? Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped Satan - these are [many times] worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!"
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The report states: "'Othman argues that this verse [refers] to the people of Moses, and that [Muslim commentators] Ibn Kathir, Al-Tabari and Al-Qassimi bring proof of this in their books. He [also] points out that there are two schools of thought on this among the Koranic commentators: One opinion states that the Jews whom Allah turned into swine remained that way and died without multiplying, while the other says that they did multiply and that their descendants are still alive today.
"In support [of the latter opinion], the sheikh quotes hadiths in which the Prophet describes one of the signs that will herald the arrival of Judgment Day: The Jews will turn into pigs and will then be swallowed up by the earth."
The report quotes 'Othman as saying: "I personally tend to believe that the pigs living today are descended from those Jews, and that is why Allah forbade us to eat them, saying, 'Forbidden unto you [for food] are carrion and blood and swineflesh [Koran 5:3].' In addition, one of the things that Jesus will do when he returns to earth on Judgment Day is kill all the pigs, and that is proof that they are descended from Jews. All the pigs on earth will be destroyed by Jesus on Judgment Day."
'Othman also says that "he who eats pork is like one who eats the bread of an impure man," and that "the divine religions, [namely] Christianity and Judaism in their undistorted [form], forbid the eating of pork."
According to the report, 'Othman claims that his fatwa is supported by some senior Al-Azhar sheikhs, who are afraid to express their opinion in public. 'Othman is quoted as saying: "I have presented my fatwa to the [Al-Azhar] Academy of Islamic Research, in order to obtain a clear opinion about it, but I have not yet received a [formal] reply. This is because [Al-Azhar] is afraid to issue such a fatwa, which may cause the ulema to be accused of antisemitism."
Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee Head: 'Othman's Statements Are Untrue
The report also presents the response of Sheikh 'Ali Abu Al-Hassan, head of the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee. He calls 'Othman's statements "untrue," saying: "When Allah punishes a group of people because they have incurred his wrath, the punishment applies only to them. When Allah was angry with the people of Moses, he turned them [and only them] into apes and pigs. It was an unusual punishment, meant to serve as a deterrent to others. But [those apes and pigs] died, and did not multiply, as Sheikh Ahmad 'Ali 'Othman claims."