Eating Meat Slaughtered By Ahle-Kitaab

Question

Is eating the meat slaughtered by the people of the book halal or Haraam?

Answer

وَطَعَامُ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ حِلّٞ لَّكُمۡ وَطَعَامُكُمۡ حِلّٞ لَّهُمۡۖ [المائدة: 5]

“And the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them.”

In the above-quoted Ayah, Allah Ta’aala has clearly states that the meat slaughtered by the people of the book is permissible to consume. However, similar to how there are conditions and regulations that have to be met in order for the meat slaughtered by Muslims to be Halaal, the slaughtering enacted by the people of the book will also be governed and regulated by the laws and conditions that have been spelled out by Shari’ah, such as:

  1. A minimum of three out of the four vessels must be severed.
  2. The name of Allah must be taken at the time of slaughtering.
  3. The Christian or Jewish slaughterer must be one who believes in the fundamental tenants of Christianity or Judaism. In other words, they must be real Christians or real Jews.

The above is the fundamental ruling. However, today, on account of the following reasons, the animals slaughtered by such people would generally be deemed impermissible for Muslims to consume:

(a) Many Jews/Christians are not adherents to their religion. They have only retained this title for identification purposes. In fact, they even ridicule Judaism and Christianity as well as other religions. Many of them don’t even believe in the Tourah/Injeel or in their Prophets nor believe in the existence of Allah Ta’ala, but rather have atheistic beliefs and follow the theories of Darwin etc. They even ridicule Allah Ta’aala/their god. So how can such people be called Ahle-Kitaab?  They are in fact atheists. Hazrat Ali Radhiallahu Anhu, whilst he was the Khalifah, discounted the Banu-Taghlib on this very basis. (Refer to Jawaahir-ul-Fiqh vol. 2 pg. 394 & 405). If this was the case of the “Christians” of those days, we can well imagine what Hazrat Ali Radhiallahu Anhu’s view would have been with regards to the Jews and Christians of today. Such people have no inclination to their religion whatsoever.
(Jawaahir-ul-Fiqh vol. 2 pg. 393)

(b) Many Christians consider Isa A’laihis salaam and many Jews consider Uzair Alaihis salaam as the supreme deity. At the time of slaughtering, they take their names and not the name of Allah Ta’aala, whereas to take only the name of Allah Ta’aala is a requisite for the animals slaughtered by the Ahle-Kitaab to be halaal for the Muslims. (Fatawaa Rahimiyah, vol.6 pg.175 and Imdaadul Fatawaa, vol.3 pg.544). Furthermore, many don’t take the name of Allah Ta’aala at all. They don’t even regard it as necessary.          

(c) Nowadays it is difficult to differentiate between those who are in fact Ahle-Kitaab and those who are Ahle-Kitaab by name only. We do not know the status of the Jew or Christian who is slaughtering the animals.

(d) Many of them do not take any precautions. Halaal and Haraam animals (cattle and pigs) are slaughtered, and then the same instruments, place, packaging and freezing facilities, transport, displaying counters, etc. are used, thereby causing contamination between Halaal and Haraam.

(e) When the general and overpowering practice of the people (Ahle-Kitaab) is not according to the rules of Islamic slaughter, then such meat should not be consumed. The general practice of Jews today is to suffice on blessing the first animal. With regards to Christians, they do not adhere to any rules with regards to slaughtering animals.
(Jawaahir-ul-Fiqh vol. 2 pg. 405 quoted from Tafseer Mazhari).

If we witness that they adhere to all the conditions of slaughtering (slaughtering only in the name of Allah, severing the necessary veins, etc.) and they are true Ahle-Kitaab, then that animal which we witnessed being slaughtered by them with all the necessary conditions can be consumed. However, the pure slaughtering of Muslims should always be given preference. والله اعلم
(Fatawaa Rahimiyah, vol.6 pg.174 and Imdaadul Fatawaa, vol.3 pg.544). 

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

الفتاوى الهندية (5/ 285)
(وَأَمَّا شَرَائِطُ الذَّكَاةِ فَأَنْوَاعٌ) : وَمِنْهَا) أَنْ يَكُونَ مُسْلِمًا أَوْ كِتَابِيًّا… (وَمِنْهَا) التَّسْمِيَةُ حَالَةَ الذَّكَاةِ عِنْدَنَا… وَمِنْهَا) أَنْ يُرِيدَ بِهَا التَّسْمِيَةَ عَلَى الذَّبِيحَةِ، فَإِنْ أَرَادَ بِهَا التَّسْمِيَةَ لِافْتِتَاحِ الْعَمَلِ لَا يَحِلُّ… (وَمِنْهَا) تَجْرِيدُ اسْمِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى مِنْ غَيْرِهِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ اسْمَ النَّبِيِّ. (وَمِنْهَا) أَنْ يَقْصِدَ بِذِكْرِ اسْمِ اللَّهِ تَعْظِيمَهُ عَلَى الْخُلُوصِ لَا يَشُوبُهُ مَعْنَى الدُّعَاءِ… وَأَمَّا الَّذِي يَرْجِعُ إلَى الْمُذَكَّى وَهُوَ أَنْ يَكُونَ حَلَالًا
الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين 

(رد المحتار) (6/ 296)
(وشرط كون الذابح مسلما حلالا خارج الحرم إن كان صيدا) فصيد الحرم لا تحله الذكاة في الحرم مطلقا (أو كتابيا ذميا أو حربيا) إلا إذا سمع منه عند الذبح ذكر المسيح (فتحل ذبيحتهما، ولو) الذابح (مجنونا أو امرأة أو صبيا يعقل التسمية والذبح) ويقدر…(وتارك تسمية عمدا) خلافا للشافعي (فإن) (تركها ناسيا) (حل) خلافا لمالك.

تبيين الحقائق كتاب الذبائح ص 287 ج5
قَالَ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ ( وَصَبِيٍّ وَامْرَأَةٍ وَأَخْرَسَ وَأَقْلَفَ ) وَالْمُرَادُ بِالصَّبِيِّ هُوَ الَّذِي يَعْقِلُ التَّسْمِيَةَ وَيَضْبِطُ ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يَعْقِلْ وَلَمْ يَضْبِطْ لَا تَحِلُّ ذَبِيحَتُهُ

الدر المختار للحصكفى كتاب الذبائح ص 294 ج 6
(وعروقه الحلقوم) كله وسطه أو أعلاه أو أسفله، وهو مجرى النفس على الصحيح (والمرئ) هو مجرى الطعام والشراب (والودجان) مجرى الدم (وحل) المذبوح (بقطع أي ثلاث منها) إذ للاكثر حكم الكل

فتاوى محمودية ج ١٧، ص ٢٣٠-٢٣٤تنبيه:
 آج کل کثرت تو ایسے لوگوں کی ہے جو صرف قومی حیثیت سے یہودی ہیں ، نہ وہ تو رات کو خدا تعالی کی کتاب مانتے ہیں ، نہ پیغمبر پر ایمان رکھتے ہیں ، نہ مذہب کے قائل ہیں ، نہ خدا کو مانتے ہیں اور نہ دہرۓ ہیں (١) (١) خلاصہ یہ ہے کہ جن نصرانیوں کے متعلق یہ بات یقینی طور پر معلوم ہو جائے کہ وہ خدا کے وجود ہی کو نہیں مانتے ، یا حضرت موسی وعیسی علیہ السلام کواللہ کا نبی ہی نہیں مانتے ، وہ اہل کتاب کے حکم میں نہیں ۔ ( جواهر الفقه، عنوان : ” نام کے یہودی، نصرانی بحقیقت ، دہریے اس میں داخل نہیں ۴۰۰/۲، ۴۰۱، مکتبه دارالعلوم)

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