I was actually a full vegetarian and most of the time I took fresh leaves. Does not matter in the form of leaves or other part of edible plants. While at home I have to eat whatever that we have in our fridge which also includes the meat. Many people suspecting with few assumptions such as I am trying to imitate the Hindus or still is influenced by the tradition of the Enlightened people from ancient India. I just keep my silence and I refuse to say anything. Maybe yes. Maybe not. We live in the same Earth and it is not like Muslims or Arabs live in Jupiter before reaching the Earth. Or we are from different planet. Arabian culture is also divided into the legal and illegal ones when we look at them according to Islamic religious view.
Let me tell people something. I am a Muslim. A follower of the religion of prophet Muhammad s.a.w and a follower of the path of noble prophet Abraham a.s. I follow a particular school of Islamic jurisprudence and I learned about other's as well. I am grateful to the Lord of the universe for reminding my soul to walk within the path and the lineages of His chosen prophets and messengers. Islam is a mercy of the Highest Lord to the universe and it is not something which is known as a pride as most fellow brothers and sisters might be thinking. Yes, it is part of our self identity but it is not a pride. We should be grateful to Him for Islam to flow within our body parts.
I always live in stressful condition and as long as I hold my breath, I will be tested with various of tests by the Lord as to see whether my faith and love to Him is increasing or decreasing. My family is not like other family with the children being nurtured with love. We were economic migrants from other state to another state even in the same country. Other than that, we are from mixed ancestry of Southern Arabian and Northern Indian from our paternal grandmothers' ancestor. The life story for both of my parents were not so remarkable full with sadness. I saw whatever happened to them and partly I experienced it myself. The gender balance in our family is not equal too with males as minority while the majority are females. The reason why I constantly avoiding meat is that to control my nerves and to stay healthy. My father was a meat-lover. He loves mutton, beef and fish. He also took shrimps, cockles and other seashells which is a great no for me! He was a fierce man before and now he is bed-ridden. He practiced a dark lifestyle after the active ones and he had no one to guide him. Of course I regret for not helping him but what can I do as a hapless son myself?
Imam al-Shafi'ie rahimahullah mentions in his message to people that one could avoid the meat if he cannot leaves behind his desire or temper. I leave meat to make sure that I am in a tranquil position while I am in distress. Other than that, it is an orthodox and ancient Indian science based from empirical view or philosophy about quality of matters in nature such as pure, active and dark. It is applicable to Muslim way of life. For example, beef is considered as dark quality matter. It is dark because it will turn out to be carcass in one's intestine before being processed. The smell and the taste of carcass is evil than the smell of plants. Other than that, I know that some cattle or buffalo from India are beaten before being slaughtered. An obedient Muslim will check everything thoroughly though it appears that he is not religious in front of the public. It is illegal to eat the animal legalized in the Quran which is tortured before being slaughtered! Even the milk of those animals are illegal to be taken once they are tortured or the right of the calf to get the mother's milk is denied. The same thing applies to chicken and other poultry. This is what I understood as the Path of Islam. The science which I use to identify matters of course is not Islamic. It is philosophical. But I am not a total blind and I studied Sharia myself at the school.
Being vegetarian is about choice. One could choose to be a vegetarian or not. Or it depends on the situation and we would see the goal of the way of life. This is what I understood from the deen. Perhaps one would say that why do you avoid meat when plants also have the soul? Well, I would say it is my choice and it is for health concern. I am not doing that only for the soul of cattle, duck, chicken or buffalo. I can also take lentils or collecting leaves which falls down from trees without being plucked if people say that cutting the plant is also cruel. It is not about being cruel or not. It is about being pure from the doubtful meat. It is about keeping physical and spiritual health.
Other than that, I found people who take meat regularly such as those Arabs from Middle East or Indians as easily getting angry or provoked. No offense though. I also see this at home.
Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!