Is it permissible for Muslims to eat meat slaughtered by Non-Muslims?
Submitted by on Wed, 24/12/2008 - 11:04
Dear Brother / Sister,
The world is going to be like a village. A Muslim may not only stay in the border of his/her country, but also may live in a non-Muslim country as a worker, student and businessman as well, like his/her own country. And also s/he may want to have a life suitable to Islam there. However, s/he may face with some difficulties on some matters.
The subject of buying meat from butchers includes one of these difficulties. Some says that meat is not bought from Christian butchers, so they trend to special slaughter houses. Yet, everybody may not have such a chance. Maybe, they may not lean towards such a place. For this reason, families fall into difficulties on providing meat due to such situations. So they ask their question like that:
-Cannot Muslims who live in foreign countries buy meat from Christian and Jewish butchers?
-If they buy, cannot they eat? Is the meat slaughtered at such places judgmentally forbidden (haram) for Muslims?
-Or else, is there a solution, a way for explanation? Can Islam be lived easily at such places as well?
When having looked at the information given in the fiqh books (Islamic Jurisprudence), in regards with that matter, we do not see any judgment about leaving Muslims in a difficult situation. There is no prohibition about “they cannot buy meat from the butchers of which country they live”. The basic judgment we see is this:
-What the People of the Books slaughtered is eaten.
With the term of “the People of the Books”, we understand the Christians who believe Gospel and the Jewish who believe Torah among the Books that Allah sent.
Accordingly, there must not be any conception such as ‘meat cannot be bought from a Christian or Jewish butcher; if it is bought, it cannot be eaten’.
As a matter of fact, not the seller of the meat, but the faith of the slaughter man is important. If the slaughter man believes the divine Book; that is to say, if he is among the People of the Book (generally what comes mind is in a Christian country, a person among the People of the Book slaughters the animal), both can meat be bought from that butcher and the meal be eaten which is prepared by a person among the People of the Book.
So, Muslims who are in Christian countries do not stick in a difficult situation. Because there is no hesitation about the meat slaughtered by a Christian or a Jewish who is among the People of the Book. As for the matter of citing the name of Allah:
If one forgets to cite the name of Allah, the meat slaughtered can be eaten. Not the one who ignores, but the meat slaughtered by the one who deny Allah is not eaten. As it is known, such a person who deny, cannot be said that s/he is among the People of the Book as well.
-How will we know that who did slaughter the meat in the butcher? If we do not know, what shall we do? Besides, generally we do not know.
As long as there is no information, it is thought the meat has been slaughtered by a person who is suitable to religion (That is to say, when there is no information, we think that the slaughter man is among the People of the Book.). Because the hesitation and its being forbidden are not certain, by listening to the hearsays we cannot say ‘it is haram and cannot be eaten”. So this is, too, a solvent situation.
Another hesitation subject: It is not unfavorable to calm the animal with an arrow or shock in order to slaughter it easily before slaughtering. What is important thing here is “it’s being slaughtered”. Whether slaughtered with an arrow or shock is not important. If the animal dies with an arrow or shock before slaughtering, the meat of that animal is not eaten.
After stating these easiness’s, there may be ones who approach the matter with the perception of Taqwa (fearing of Allah). They may be more attentive and careful. So, they do not have to buy meat from the butchers they hesitate. Those are not criticized, on the contrary they are praised. But, the same thing should not be wanted everyone. Taqwa is preferred by those who want it voluntarily.
In fact, the most important subject that must be attended is pork. Because the pork is in no way permissible, it cannot be bought, sold and eaten however it is slaughtered and whichever material it is cleaned with.
Questions on Islam
- Is it permissible for Muslims the meat slaughtered by non-Muslims?
- If a Muslim or a person from the people of the Book forgets to utter bismillah when he slaughters an animal, is it permissible for a Muslim to say bismillah before eating it and then eat it?
- As Eid Al Adha Approaches…
- What are the frequent questions related to sacrificing an animal and their answers?
- Could you please give information about Hunting in Islam?
- Is it permissible to eat the food of Alawites and the flesh of the animals slaughtered by them?
- What can a Muslim do If s/he cannot find Halal meat to eat?
- What are the criteria for social intercourse with non-Muslims? Is it permissible to be business partners with them?
- We see that some people slaughter a sacrifice on behalf of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Is it permissible to slaughter a sacrifice on behalf of people who passed away?
- Can you list the animals whose meats are Helal to eat?