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Muslims and Food
Muslim food laws have much in common to those of the Jewish religion; but are far less complicated. They are set out in the Qur"an - which was written by Muhammad over a period of years, as he received messages from God). Basically all foods are permitted with four exceptions - blood; pig meat; any animal that has not been purposely slaughtered as food; and any animal that has not been killed by "halal" methods.
Some foods are considered "Makrouh" - meaning frowned upon but not prohibited. These include items such as shellfish (the consumption of which is not allowed in the Jewish religion).
Alcohol is also forbidden, even in cooking (although it had favourable mentions in the Qur"an). It is thought the popularity of coffee spread throughout the Middle East as the consumption of alcohol became frowned upon in the middle ages.
During "Ramadan" - the month in which the first revelation of the Qur"an is said to have come to Muhammad - a fast is entered into during daylight hours. See "Halal"; "Haram";"Ramadan".
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