Qur'an and Milk
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This article discusses the Qur'an's claim that milk from cattle is agreeable/good for all humans to drink.
- 1 Qur'anic Claim
- 2 Scientific Analysis
- 2.1 No Milk Introduction
- 2.2 Metabolic Food Disorders
- 2.3 Lactase Deficiency: The World Pattern Today
- 2.4 Scientists Uncover Genetic Basis for Lactose Intolerance
- 2.5 Food Allergies - Rare but Risky
- 2.6 When Milk Makes You Sick
- 2.7 White Poison: The Horrors of Milk
- 2.8 Not Milk? Neolithic Europeans Couldn't Stomach the Stuff
- 2.9 Race Is Seen as Real Guide to Track Roots of Disease
- 3 Hadiths
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 See Also
- 6 External Links
The Qur'an states that ('cattle's) milk is agreeable/good for humans to drink:
It is even being served in the Muslim Paradise:
Not surprisingly the Halal Digest states:
. . .
Milk has also been described as a drink of Paradise.
. . .
Halal Digest, Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, January 2001
No Milk Introduction
1. Lactose Maldigestion, also known as Lactose Intolerance, or (incorrectly) as lactose allergy. The digestive system does not produce enough of the lactase enzyme to break down the complex lactose sugar into simpler sugars. The lactose sugar ferments in the small intestine, producing gas, bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.
2. Milk Allergy. This is a true allergic reaction by the body's immune system to one or more of milk's proteins, such as casein or lactoglobulin. The resulting symptoms typically include swelling, itching, bronchospasm, hives, hypotension or shock, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
3. Casein Intolerance. This is when the immune system of the body produces IgA and IgG antibodies to casein, a milk protein. The community avoiding casein are the people afflicted with autism.4. Villous Atrophy. This is discussed in the Medline abstracts found in the Educational Institution section below. For these people the casein milk protein causes the intestinal villi to flatten, much like it does when gluten is consumed by somebody that is intolerant to gluten.
The No Milk Page: Books & Links, Lactose Maldigestion/Milk Allergy/Casein Intolerance
Metabolic Food Disorders
Steve L. Taylor, Ph.D., Prospects for the Future: Emerging Problems - Food Allergens, Conference on International Food Trade Beyond 2000, October 11-15, 1999
Lactase Deficiency: The World Pattern Today
T. Gilat, Israel J Med Sci (1979), 15:369, PMID: 582170
Scientists Uncover Genetic Basis for Lactose Intolerance
Now new research, published in the February issue of the journal Nature Genetics, has finally revealed the long-sought genetic basis for lactose intolerance.Studying the DNA of nine extended Finnish families, Leena Peltonen of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues discovered two DNA variants located outside the lactase gene itself that correspond to lactose tolerance and intolerance. Importantly, lactose-intolerant members of the Finnish families shared the same DNA variant found in lactose-intolerant individuals from Germany, Italy and South Korea, among others, which suggests to the researchers that lactose intolerance has ancient roots. Indeed persistent lactase activity, they say, may have only evolved with the advent of dairy farming, around 10,000 years ago.
Kate Wong, Scientific American, January 15, 2002
Food Allergies - Rare but Risky
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, May 1994; Updated December 2004
When Milk Makes You Sick
Evolution in pastoral ancestors that kept dairy animals, in populations of Europeans and some Africans, is thought to have produced the modern people who are lactose absorbers throughout adult life. There may have been a selective advantage in that group during times when milk and dairy products were relied on almost exclusively for nutrition during shortages of other foods (Houts). About 10,000 years have passed since the milking of domestic animals was begun. Nigeria is a case that demonstrates the significance of this lifestyle on human evolution. In the southern region, where conditions are not favorable for cattle, milk is not part of the diet. People there develop lactose intolerance. In contrast, a nomadic tribe that has been raising milk cattle for thousands of years remain lactose tolerant. Most African Americans are descendants of the nonpastoral tribes from Western Africa and do not tolerate lactose well. (Keeton and Gould)In Caucasians only about 15% develop lactose intolerance while 80-90% of the African American and Asian populations are affected.
Therese Passerini, presented for the Evolution & the Nature of Science Institutes (NABT) November 4, 1998
White Poison: The Horrors of Milk
But milk is also a racial issue. Almost 90 percent of African Americans and most Latinos, Asians, and Southern Europeans lack the genes necessary to digest lactose, the primary sugar in milk. The milk industry's response is classic: they have launched new campaigns arguing that non-whites can digest milk if they take in small sips during the day. There is a burgeoning industry worth $450 million a year churning out products designed to minimize lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is the most common "food allergy," but to call it an allergy is to take a white-centric view that trivializes the fact that most of the world's people are not biologically designed to digest milk.Milk does no body good, but for the vast majority of the world's people -- people of color -- it is a public health disaster. ..........
Shanti Rangwani, AlterNet, December 3, 2001
Not Milk? Neolithic Europeans Couldn't Stomach the Stuff
. . .
According to the study, the ability to process lactose was not highly prevalent in the Neolithic era. In fact, the researchers did not find any trace of the gene variant in their samples. The total absence suggests that no more than about 40 percent of the population could possibly have been lactose tolerant 5,000 years ago—indicating that the ability to digest the milk sugar probably resulted from the advent of dairy farming."Eight thousand years, in evolutionary terms, is nothing, especially when a genotype frequency raises from close to 0 up to more then 70 percent and, in some areas of northern Europe, [to] even more than 90 percent," Burger says, adding he expected to find that some individuals were lactase-persistent. "The fact that we have found none demonstrates that positive selection was acting massively on prehistoric European populations and that the speed of the spread of the allele (gene variant) was enormous."
Nikhil Swaminathan, Scientific American, February 27, 2007
Race Is Seen as Real Guide to Track Roots of Disease
It has long been known that some diseases are not evenly distributed. For example, a mutation that causes hemochromatosis, a disorder of iron metabolism, is rare or absent among Indians and Chinese but occurs in 7.5 percent of Swedes. A common mutation that causes sickle cell anemia is prevalent among Africans and is thought to have originated among Bantu-speakers before the Bantu expansion 2,000 years ago.Lactose intolerance, the loss of the ability to digest lactose after weaning, is the default condition of humankind but among Northern Europeans the ability is often retained into adulthood. The reason is a mutation that may have been favored among early cattle farmers.
Nicholas Wade, NY Times, July 30, 2002
"Increases the brain, augments the intelligence"
The following is a hadith found on many Islamic websites but no source is mentioned:
There is nothing particular in milk that science has proven to be specifically beneficial for all that is mentioned above. There are many foods which are also beneficial.
"No food or drink satisfies like milk"
There are also other hadiths which promote the drinking of milk:
Instead of finding any reliability in the Qur'anic claim that ('cattle's) milk is good for all people at all times, the findings of daily life and modern science prove exactly the opposite and are actually strongly suggestive of genetic Evolution at work.
Like most of the research cited on this page, the last article authored by Nicholas Wade for the NY Times basically states that Northern Europeans are among the rather small group of the totality of humankind to whom consumption of milk after the weaning stage is most 'agreeable' due to evolutionary changes. For much of the rest of humanity lactose-intolerance after the weaning stage is default.
So the Qur'anic statement "And verily in cattle (too) will ye find an instructive sign...We produce, for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable to those who drink it" is more appropriate to the genetic cluster of (largely non-Muslim) Northern Europeans and their US descendants than to the other genetic clusters among humanity.
- Drinks - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Drinks
- Not Milk? Neolithic Europeans Couldn't Stomach the Stuff - DNA analysis of nine prehistoric skeletons finds no sign of a gene variant conferring the ability to digest milk