Sufism and Vegetarianism
The 15th Century poet Kabir, whose Sufism represented a fusion of principles from both the Islamic and Hindu traditions, unequivocally condemned meat eating, characterizing it as the ultimate failure of compassion, deserving of eternal punishment; he stated that even the companionship of meat-eaters was harmful to the soul. In a gentler tone, the 20th century Sri Lankan Qadiri teacher Bawa Muhaiyaddeen also encouraged vegetarianism, stating that arrogance, haste and anger may decrease by elimination of meat from the diet. He taught that consumption of meat promotes the development of animalistic qualities, whereas consumption of plant and dairy products promotes peaceful qualities; and noted that Islamic rules pertaining to animal slaughter have the effect, if properly observed, of reducing the number of animals killed for food. Bawa put these principles into daily action, preparing many impromptu meals for his community and guests, typically in 15-gallon quantities.
from Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
Copyright © 1999, 2000
Kathleen Seidel All Rights Reserved
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