Who knew that eating garlic was haram, or maybe just discouraged in Islam? Not me.


"A shooting at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California injured 15 people and killed 3 more, bringing a horrific end to the popular annual event attended by thousands.

A 6-year-old boy was one among those killed, his father said.

“My son had his whole life to live and he was only 6,” the father of Stephen Romero told NBC Bay Area. “That’s all I can say.”

The wounded were taken to multiple hospitals, and their conditions ranged from fair to critical, with some in surgery Sunday night. At least five were treated and released.

Gilroy police said at a press conference that officers engaged the shooter in less than a minute, though the scene was still considered active and nearby areas were kept on lockdown into the night."  usatoday



‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have delivered a Friday sermon. In it he said: “O people, you eat two plants that I only find offensive: onion and garlic. I saw the Messenger of Allah (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) and if he detected their odor on a man in the mosque, he would order [the man] to be taken out to Al-Baqī‘. So anyone who [wants to] eat them, let them eliminate [their odor] by cooking.''


‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) told those who were attending the Friday sermon that they “ate two offensive plants: onion and garlic”. Arabs use the word ''offensive” for objectionable and reprehensible words, actions, possessions, food, or people. This is established in a Hadīth that Jābir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported from the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) who said: “Anyone who eats from this offensive tree let them not come close to our mosque.” [Muslim] “…onion and garlic”: Everything that has an offensive odor, such as radish, leeks, tobacco, and cigarettes are included here. Onions and garlic are mentioned in particular because they are eaten often. Leeks are stipulated in a Hadīth reported by Jābir ibn ‘Abdullāh (may Allah be pleased with him) and narrated by Muslim. So if anyone smelled of onion or garlic in the mosque, they would be ordered to be taken out as far as Al-Baqī‘, because it offends not only people but also the angels, as was related in an authentic Hadīth. In Ibn Mājah, we read: ''At the time of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) if a foul odor was detected on a man, I would see him seized by the arm and taken out to Al-Baqī‘.” “So anyone who [wants to] eat them, let them eliminate [their odor] by cooking.” This is because cooking eliminated the odor and if the odor is eliminated, one may enter the mosque because the reason for the prohibition no longer exists. Cooking onion and garlic thoroughly is required if someone wishes to enter the mosque for prayer or any other purpose. If it is not time for prayer, one may eat them raw. The command to cook them is meant to prevent offending others.  hadeethenc.com


Well pilgrims,  SWMBO and I visited the fair town of Gilroy, California many years ago whilst studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute at Monterrey, California.  She has always been diligent in researching and directing our visitations throughout regions where we have lived.  Gilroy bills itself as the garlic growing capital of the universe, although I think there are parts of Syria which could have contested the title before the outbreak of civil war.  Driving through little towns in central Syria it was interesting to see many shops and homes adorned with hanging bundles of white garlic. 

I, personally, love the "stinking rose."  For me, a dish without garlic is a disappointment.  There are exceptions. Strawberry shortcake may be one.  Garlic is widely used in Lebanese and Syrian cooking.  There is a lovely white dipping sauce eaten in Lebanon that reeks of garlic. I love it and always ask for more of this to be brought to the table.

But, alas, there ARE several hadiiths in different "books" (collections) of hadiths that strongly express opposition to eating raw garlic and/or onions.  Evidently the Prophet did not like the smell of either and told the originator of these various hadiths that if people ate either they should stay away from the mosque lest the angels themselves be offended by the odor.  Well, someone recounted that he had said that.  On the other hand, his favorite wife, Aisha let it be known that the last meal He ate had garlic in it. 

For those uninformed or generally uninterested Islam generally considers both Qur'an, (the uncreated literal thought of God transmitted to the Prophet), and hadith, (stories supposedly recounting the utterance and practice of the Prophet and early community [Umma]) to be scriptural bases of all else in the faith, jurisprudence, etc.)  There are, of course a wide variety of collections of hadith accepted as valid by differed consensus (ijma') groups.  And, as someone will remind me, the Ibadhis do not think the Qur'an to be "uncreated."

In any event it seems odd that this rifle toting scoundrel cut his way through a security fence to avoid the guards and police. Once inside the perimeter he opened fire at random targets with some sort of semi-auto rifle firing in bursts of three or four rounds that sound like a "bump stock." Or not. 

The police killed him quickly but as of this writing he remains unidentified.  It will be interesting to find out what this Garlic Avenger had in what passed for his mind.  pl


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42 Responses to Who knew that eating garlic was haram, or maybe just discouraged in Islam? Not me.

  1. Eric Newhill says:

    I was thinking that might have a vampire or, since he was apparently killed and we have to assume the police weren’t using silver bullets, one of a vampire’s demented mortal helpers, like Renfield.
    They better keep an eye on the body and make sure it doesn’t come back to life in the morgue.

  2. The Beaver says:

    One can’t enjoy Shish Taouk without taoum (the garlic sauce).

  3. optimax says:

    Santino William Legan is identified as the mass shooter. He was half Italian and half Iranian, must have felt conflicted about all the garlic in his pasta sauce. He has posted about a book called “Might Is Right” by Ragnar Redbeard, a Social Darwinist,anarchist, racist, white supremacist tome according to the following article.
    “Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?” he wrote on his Instagram page. He sounds confused and angry at everyone but the media will play him up as a white supremacist, I’m sure.

  4. Seems both the Qur’an and hadith are really saying “For the love of Allah (PBUH)! Use a breath mint, buddy!” which is a universally applicable sentiment. I like garlic, but I’m not an extremist about it. SWMBO doesn’t and doesn’t appreciate my love of the stinking rose.
    I see the white supremacists and the SJWs are passing the shooter back and forth like a hot potato. One of the interesting things I’ve heard is that Italians are not white, just a bunch of swarthy Mediterranean types. I guess being of Baltic Lithuanian extraction, I’m not white either. Well my ancestors did take part in defeating the Teutonic Knight crusaders. Damn they hold a grudge.

  5. akaPatience says:

    No self-respecting Italian would or could shun garlic. The shooter must have identified more with his Iranian rather than Italian heritage if hatred of garlic was his motivation.
    What a world, I swear, if garlic can trigger mass shootings. SMH…

  6. turcopolier says:

    Have you considered the possibilities that your bride may be a vampire or a crypto-muslim? OTOH she may have this gastronomic disability as a genetic defect. pl

  7. She grew up in a house where her Irish grandmother did most of the cooking. She was a saint, but not a friend of spices and seasoning. Come to think of it, she didn’t like those swarthy Mediterranean types, either.

  8. Bill H says:

    I am the cook in my house, and SWMBO maintains that it is unlikely to the point of near impossibility that one could use too much garlic in a dish. She comes home when I’m cooking and exclaims with delight, “Oh good, I smell garlic.”

  9. Julian says:

    it’s ironic meme language, TTG. It’s a caricature of ‘purity spiraling’ (a term that came out of LessWrong), and a pre-deconstruction of liberal attempts to introduce uncertainty into ethnic historical continuity.
    There’s another example above, the ‘mongol finn’ meme, started by Finnish 4channers.

  10. turcopolier says:

    Ah, the joys of Irish cooking! It remains a puzzlement for me how the Irish managed to starve in The Famine on an island surrounded by an ocean full of fish. My Catholic Scots ancestors who had been resident in Louth for a hundred years left in 1828 well before The Famine. “Oh, Danny Boy ….”

  11. John Minehan says:

    Hinduism (and especially) Jainism prohibits eating onions. I wonder if that was an influence?

  12. turcopolier says:

    I am an old man. Explain to me what the hell you are talking about.

  13. Amir says:

    Every kabab place in Iran puts raw onions on their Koubideh dish for the guests. Where did the Hadith come from, unbeknownst to 80.000.000 Iranians?

  14. Another puzzlement is the large number of Irish sailors who can’t swim. They drowned in large numbers through the ages. I think it had something to do with Irish Catholic prudery. I love them dearly, but they got some crazy quirks… just like all of us.

  15. Fred says:

    Perhaps they have too much garlic in Chicago, what with 9 killed and 39 wounded over the weekend.

  16. Patrick D says:

    Remarkable that Islam would take any kind of anti-garlic position given that I acquired the taste for it in the Middle East.
    Strains of white supremist-ish identity and Iranian identity are loosely linked through Aryan identity. I recall learning the Shah had an interest in that idea. That general sense of identity also applies northern Indians as well versus the Dravidians in the south of the country.

  17. Artemesia says:

    When I was a kid we lived in walking distance of the steel mill that employed most of the neighbors. We were “Diversity is our strength” before its time: my Italian parents traded canned tomatoes and home-made bread for live chickens from the Irish family next door. When I delivered goods to the Irish grandmother, she would sit me down at the kitchen table and serve up saltine crackers slathered with butter sooo thick.
    It never occurred to me that the Irish had any such thing as cuisine.
    Not like us darkie Italians.
    (Me plenty pale face. When I visited Iran, Iranian women we met on a bus marveled at my green eyes.)
    My favorite Iranian dish is fesenjan made with eggplant. I make it with just a hint of garlic but a ton of fresh basil. Maybe the late Iranian-Italian American shooter’s identity got as twisted as his taste buds.

  18. Julian, thanks for giving me another reason for staying away from 4chan except for an occasional anthropological foray. It’s a place where assholes act like assholes to impress other assholes. Beyond that, there is some truth to all that Mongol Finn stuff. Before and during the Bronze Age, there was significant migration and interbreeding from northern Central Asia to the current Finno-Baltic and Russian regions. This history also lends some truth to the saying “scratch a Russian, find a Tatar” that I mentioned a day or two ago.

  19. LG says:

    Jains make considerable efforts not to injure plants in everyday life as far as possible. Jains only accept such violence in as much as it is indispensable for human survival, and there are special instructions for preventing unnecessary violence against plants.[33][34][35] Strict Jains don’t eat root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, roots and tubers, because such root vegetables are considered ananthkay.[21] Ananthkay means one body, but containing infinite lives. A root vegetable such as potato, though from the looks of it is one article, is said to contain infinite lives in it. Also, tiny life forms are injured when the plant is pulled up and because the bulb is seen as a living being, as it is able to sprout.[36][37][38] Also, consumption of most root vegetables involves uprooting and killing the entire plant, whereas consumption of most terrestrial vegetables doesn’t kill the plant (it lives on after plucking the vegetables or it was seasonally supposed to wither away anyway). Green vegetables and fruits contain uncountable, but not infinite, lives. Dry beans, lentils, cereals, nuts and seeds contain a countable number of lives and their consumption results in the least destruction of life

  20. different clue says:

    I looked at that link Julian brought, and looked at one of the URLs for one of the pictures. It was going into close detail about all the various Finno-Ugrian peoples in Finland and Russia and etc.
    As almost a side-thought, it offered a picture of someone captioned “world’s most famous Chuvash” And indeed the person in the picture is so famous that everyone here will know his name. And it reminded me of when Babak Makkinejad assured me that Lenin was Jewish, not part Kazakh as I had thought. So if the long-silent Babak Makkinejad is still somewhere reading these threads, this is for Babak Makkinejad.
    World’s most famous Chuvash.

  21. rho says:

    Garlic is haram? This place surprises me again and again with the things I learn here. It must be an example of where hadiiths are only followed and remembered selectively – but it is a very good example to keep in mind for debates with ultra-fundamentalists.
    Regarding the half-Iranian festival shooter and his possible motivations, this reminds me of a strange shooting that happened in Munich in July 2016: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Munich_shooting
    Iranian-German teenage shooter with dual nationality, almost all victims Turks or gypsies, and then this curious exchange, which I can confirm, I still remember having seen the video:
    “A video distributed online showed a gunman firing at pedestrians outside McDonald’s. He then moved on to the shopping mall itself. Another video showed the gunman walking alone on the roof of a nearby car park before opening fire again. He was heard shouting ‘I am German’ (Ich bin Deutscher) and ‘I was born here’ (Ich bin hier geboren) after an onlooker shouted anti-Turkish statements and other abuse at him. According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the gunman also shouted back ‘Shit Turks'”

  22. anon says:

    In 2016 election year I saw Hilary Clinton’s xrays on 4chan.she had ops on her hip.seems like they were passing around her medical history. I could be mistaken.The whole site especially/pol was infested by anti Clinton stuff including pizzagate.

  23. Cortes says:

    is a great introduction to the topic and contains very interesting explanations of the inaccessibility of seafood for much of the population.

  24. turcopolier says:

    I don’t buy any argument thattries to explain why millions starved while the sea was nearby. But, like TTG I am someone whose business was teaching the ignorant and inept how to survive. DOL. I have taught ignorant peasants to fish.

  25. casey says:

    Interesting to note that during the Famine years, Ireland was a net exporter of agricultural products.

  26. turcopolier says:

    As you may know Islam in its various forms places any action in one of five groupr; haram-discouraged-neutral-encouraged-hallal. IMO most Islamic faqihs would csll this “discouraged.”

  27. dilbert dogbert says:

    Many problems:
    The starving had no money to buy fish.
    No transportation that would get fresh fish inland. Dried fish only and that was an economic product offered only for cash.
    Taking the Lords trout would get you hung. Same with the Lords deer, sheep, goats,cattle, corn, wheat and pigs.
    Many English thought the famine was doing the The Lords work as there were too many Irish.
    I wish I knew how my Irish great grandfather got to the California gold fields in 1850.

  28. turcopolier says:

    dilbert dogbert
    Excuses, excuses. And they couldn’t solve these problems? It was better that they leave Ireland and try again somewhere else.

  29. Cortes says:

    As I recall, most of the valuable inshore fisheries were stoutly defended against encroachment by the locals who controlled them and, unlike many of the starving, those professionals were fully integrated into the money economy. Likewise, those who harvested tidal areas would fight off interlopers seeking to take advantage of the spoils of the sea which they hitherto had held in contempt.
    Woodham Smith’s best section deals with the raw facts of Ireland’s economy, geography and climate. At 54N, how exactly does your immiserated, landless peasantry in a pre-money society find the capital and material capable of exploitation of the fisheries which weren’t “spoken for?” The “God’s Obvious Purpose” of Philip II’s Armada didn’t fare all that well in face of the equinoctial gales of 1588, but maybe the landlubbers of the West of Ireland would’ve done better after arranging a loan at the local branch of the S&L?

  30. turcopolier says:

    Sounds like excuses made for places like Baltimore.

  31. Razor says:

    Garlic is a very recent migrant into the Irish kitchen.

  32. akaPatience says:

    It seems unlikely that Islam and garlic were motives after all. The boy was a native of the small town of Gilroy and the Garlic Festival probably only served as a venue where he could target the most people at once in order to act out homicidal (and possibly suicidal) tendencies. It’s very sad and frightening that this type of hopelessly unhappy and hateful youth has become somewhat commonplace.

  33. optimax says:

    Portland public school children say they are suffering and need more mental health professionals to help them choose their true gender, deal with white supremacy and coach them to be effective activists.Our married bi-sexual (how does that work?)governor is giving it to them. We didn’t have school therapists, and we didn’t miss them, and nobody shot up the school. How did we produce these little “monsters from the Id”?

  34. Fred says:

    Yeah, Iranian-italians are just all over California and mom and dad didn’ know nuthn. Sounds familiar and now we’re on to a shooting in a Mississippi Wal-Mart but those 48 people shot in Chicago, 9 of them being killed, doesn’t make the national news. Congratulations to the press for knowing what stories to cover.

  35. optimax says:

    The missing link
    I also forgot to label the “monsters from the Id” as the school, and garlic festival, shooters. The kids confused into suffering are victims of critical theory taught by parents, teachers and media. Foucault is philosopher king of the theory that knowledge is a control mechanism by which the elite control the masses. Critical theory states that because the founders were white supremacists, the whole foundation and structure of America empowers whites at the cost of minorities. They pay, we benefit. Except today it isn’t true, in fact, it has been unconstitutional since the Civil Rights amendments. MLK fought to make his people an equal in the American system, a system built by white men, not to tear it down. Ethnic nationalists of any stripe seeking to dominate others are dangerous to the stability of our country. White nationalists disgust me, but they aren’t the mass movement the media and some politicians make them out to be. Most people think whites commit most of the mass shootings. The fact is that 75% of the identifiable mass shooters are black, according to the NYT. I read today there have been around 250 mass shootings in our country this year. Monsters from the Id.
    “White Guilt” by Shelby Steel is different perspective on the evolution of race relations. This 2 paragraph from wikipedia explains the book.

  36. turcopolier says:

    White Guilt? My great grandfather 1st Sergeant Sanford Bills, and one of his brothers fought their way from the Rapidan to Appomattox in the 5th Wisconsin Infantry. I don’t feel any White Guilt for my family’s part in slavery. We never owned any slaves and I will be damned if I am going to pay anyone reparations.

  37. optimax says:

    You have misjudged the book. Steele thinks white guilt is harmful to blacks and society as a whole.
    I don’t feel guilty either. Shelby Steele is a conservative black man who thinks white guilt and black encouragement of it has ruined the black community. White guilt is based on the idea blacks are inferior and need affirmative action to succeed in society. He thinks blacks can succeed by working harder and do not need special privileges to succeed. In fact, the give aways of the Great Society programs have harmed the black community.
    White guilt is a powerful force in the Dem party, with some even promoting reparations. As you say, analysis is not advocacy. From last nights debate.

  38. Linda says:

    Or roasted chicken which the Lebanese served it with

  39. S51 says:

    A very good and funny article but all the references to the messy neo Islamic traditions are at best out-of-date and Bravo Sierra. I do not know what they teach them at Monterrey but I understand why the MENA policy is totally ruined.
    I am a Muslim and I have raw garlic at breakfast, raw garlic juice after lunch and raw garlic at dinner. Beside that I really love my garlic soup, garlic jam, garlic bread, garlic cake and garlic delicacies.

  40. turcopolier says:

    Ah, but you are probably an acculturated Algerian. Your IP would indicate that. Perhaps Maliki law countenances the “stinking rose.” Careful, There are ‘ulema who might not like your loose acceptance of the French taste for garlic. BTW, they teach nothing but language at Monterey at the Defense Language Institute. I fear for you. The danger of Irtidad lurks.

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