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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ruling on Muslims eating the meat of Ahl al-Kitaab

Ruling on Muslims eating the meat of Ahl al-Kitaab
Fatawa Islamiyyah
Fatwa by Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Saleh Al-Uthaymeen

Question:
Is it permissable to eat poultry which is sold in the markets o­n the
basis that it is meat of the people of the book…or is it impermissable
o­n the basis that it is a carcass slaughtered by unknown means i.e.
was it done by cutting off the head or electrocution or some such
means….and are the Ahl-Kitab today truly to be considered in this
ruling [as those of the past]?

Answer:
Yes eating the poultry is permissable because that which is slaughtered by
the Ahl-Kitab today is just as what was slaughtered by Ahl-Kitab in the
time of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa salaam). The Ahl-Kitab are of
the kufar whether they are in the time of the Prophet (sallallahu
alaihi wa salaam) or now. Allah says in His noble book:

لَقَدْ
كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ
وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ

رَبِّي
وَرَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللّهُ عَلَيهِ
الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ

أَنصَارٍ


Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allâh is the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)],
son of Maryam (Mary)." But the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)] said: "O
Children of Israel! Worship Allâh, my Lord and your Lord." Verily,
whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allâh, then Allâh has
forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong­doers) there are no helpers. (Al-Ma'idah 5:72)

لَّقَدْ
كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلاَثَةٍ وَمَا مِنْ
إِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِن لَّمْ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا

يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allâh is the third of the three (in a
Trinity)." But there is no ilâh (god) (none who has the right to be
worshipped) but o­ne Ilâh (God -Allâh). And if they cease not from what
they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among
them. (Al-Ma'idah 5:73)
Allah also says in the same chapter:

الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلُّ لَّهُمْ

وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ إِذَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ

أُجُورَهُنَّ مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذِي
أَخْدَانٍ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ حَبِطَ عَمَلُهُ

وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ


Made lawful to you this day are At-­Tayyibât [all kinds of Halâl (lawful)
foods, which Allâh has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable
animals, etc., milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.). The
food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals, etc.) of the people of the
Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to
them. (Al-Ma'idah 5:5)
As far as the methodology of the slaughtering, we do not inquire about the
method because if an action has occurred min ahlihi {at the hands of
those suited to perform such acts} the condition surrounding that act
are not asked about. We find in Sahih al-Bukharee:
It is narrated by Aisha (radi allahu anha) that a group of people said to
the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa salaam) 'Some people came to us with
some meat about which we didn't know whether the name of Allah was
mentioned over or not' and he (sallallahu alaihi wa salaam) replied "Say the name of Allah over it yourselves and then eat."

She [Aisha] said that these people had just been from the kuffar [i.e. just
became muslim and the question was not asked as to the method of
slaughter]. Volume 7, Book 67, Number 415

This rule therefore applies to the Jews and Christians about whom we don't
know whether or not they have mentioned Allah's name or not because
their slaughtered meat is halal to us.

Question:
Please clarify the fatwa – esteemed Sheikh, if a Muslim goes to the markets
and eating places in a Christian land and purchases the lamb, beef, or
chicken and does not ask about how it was slaughtered?

Answer:
Yes, he does not ask about the method of slaughter.

Question:
What if he is informed however that the meat has been stunned by electric
shock, or has been chocked or shot? What is the ruling for meat
slaughtered like this? Is it considered a carcass?

Answer:
It is not permissable if it is known with certainty because the meat would then be considered a carcass.

Question:
Can we understand from the hadith of Aisha (radi allahu anha) which is
related in the fatwa that the question which was posed by the people to
the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa salaam) was o­nly in
relation to whether Allah's name was mentioned over the animal being
slaughtered and it was not about the actual method of slaughter?

Answer:
Yes they did inquire about the mentioning of the name of Allah and not the
actual method of the slaughtering, and it is evident in the hadith that
it is not necessary to ask about either of the two.

Question:
Is it possible to say that if there are stores in a city where the Muslim
lives, and those stores carry meat slaughtered according to Islamic
method – even if it is more expensive – that it is not then permissable
to buy the meat of the Christians?
Answer:
No. It is not possible to say that because the slaughtered meat of the
Christians and the Jews is halal.. However whoever leaves it [i.e.
doesn't eat it] out of a sense of piety [tawar'an] we see no fault upon
him.
[Tawar'a or wara is when a person has such piety that they will avoid even that
which is permissable to do for what is even better from wanting to
please Allah and also eliminating any possibility of doing something
wrong]

Question:
One of the readers ask about a narration from Ali ibn Abi Talib (radi
allahu anhu) in which he reportedly said: "Do not eat the meat
slaughtered by Bani Taglab because they adhere to christianity by
drinking alcohol." Can this be used as a proof considering the
Christians of today, the majority of who drink alcohol, that it is not
permissable to eat their slaughtered meat?

Answer:
I do not know the authenticity of this statement [narrated by Ali] and if
it is authentic, its meaning would be that they [Banu Taglab] were not
actually following the religion of the Christians and therefore they
would not fall under the ruling of permissability of their slaughtered
meat.

Question:
If it is known that some of the slaughterhouses in this country slaughter
sheep and cattle along with swine, is it permissable to eat that meat
meat especially when the same instruments are used to slaughter both at
the same time?

Answer:
In this case, if we know that the knives are used for both [pork and non
pork] then the [non pork] meat should be washed and it will be purified
through washing.

Translated from Al-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem Safar/Rabi al-Awwal 1414
taken from: http://www.calgaryislam.com/imembers/Sections+index-req-viewarticle-artid-289-page-1.html

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