Muhammad: Hi Koen. I'm fine, alhamdulillah. What about you?
Koen: I'm fine, thank you. What did you say just now?
Muhammad: Oh, I just said alhamdulillah; it means thank you God for making everything fine.
Koen: Oh, so you believe in God?
Muhammad: Yup, indeed I believe in God.
* * * * *
Koen: Let's have lunch together. Come and eat this chicken with me.
Muhammad: Oh, thank you very much. However, I have to tell you that I cannot eat this chicken.
Koen: Why? Come on, it's delicious. Are you a vegetarian?
Muhammad: Oh, I'm not a vegetarian. As a Muslim, I cannot eat anything that God declares unlawful.
Koen: Oh, why is that so? It seems that you religion is strange... Why must God forbid people from eating good food?
Muhammad: Hahaha... its like this. God created everything in this world: the skies, oceans, mankind, plants and the animals. God is the absolute owner of everything, including all the animals. Hence, God can decree whatever rules and regulations as He pleases. God feed the animals and grow them. So, whenever we want to eat these animals, we need to kill them. However, these animals are owned by God. So we should mention God's name when we want to kill the animals for our meals.
Koen: Wow, it is so complicated!
Muhammad: Hahaha. Maybe I should simplify it. It's like when you wanna take something from someone else, you should ask his permission and follow all the conditions that he put.
Muhammad: Besides that, God decreed certain rules that we have to observed when we want to slaughter animals. These rules, beside showing our obedience to God, it ensure that the meat is clean and pure. This chicken is not slaughtered according to what God has decreed, therefore I cannot eat it.
Koen: That is difficult. So you don't eat meat?
Muhammad: I eat meat a lot. In my country, the government will make sure that every meat is processed according to God's rules. But here, I need to be selective. I can also eat any meat that is processed according to either Jewish laws or Christian laws. Pork is absolutely forbidden.
Koen: Oh, pork is good! Why is your God forbid such thing?
Muhammad: It's a test for us. God want to see whether we obey His laws or not. Besides, pigs are dirty animals and not good for health.
* * * * *
Koen: Then how can we eat together? Do you like Chinese food?
Muhammad: Oh, I love Chinese food. Don't worry, I can eat seafood.
Koen: I know some good Chinese restaurants in Ottawa. Let's go together after the exam. I'll make sure that you'll not break your God's laws.
Muhammad: Yeah, sure. I have to go now. It's time for afternoon prayer.
Koen: Okay, pray to your God that He'll help us in our exam tomorrow.