Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I was invited for iftar at a Muslim family’s house. I know they eat unlawful meat when they go out to eat (fast food etc), but I don’t know if the meat they use at home is lawful or not. I don’t want to ask them where the meat is from because they will be offended. What should I do?
Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question.
Generally speaking, if one does not have any doubts about another Muslim’s practice and has no reason to believe that the meat they buy is unlawful, then it is permissible to eat their meat.
However, if one is in doubt about the above, then it would be disliked to eat the meat, and precaution entails to avoid it. The more likely it is that their meat is not lawful, the more severe the dislike.
Eating meat at an invite
If the family is not particular about the meat they consume, and especially given the issues within the halal meat industry, then there is a good chance that the meat they buy for home is not halal either. As such, you should avoid eating the meat at their house until you are confident that the food is lawful.
To avoid awkward situations, you could do one of the following:
1. Tell them beforehand, or in general conversation before they even invite you, that you have generally stopped eating any meat unless from certified halal regulating bodies or specific brands. This way they won’t feel it is particular to them, and will know you apply it to your own home and eating out.
2. Tell them beforehand that fish and/or vegetables are a good substitute for you.
3. Simply explain that you are trying to be more careful of the meat you eat, and ask them where they buy their meat. If they get offended, then unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it, and hopefully they’ll get over it. A temporary fall out would be better than eating doubtful foods regularly. It may also make them think twice about their own food choices. If offense is taken, avoid argumentation, and invite them over to your house soon after and pretend as if nothing has happened.
May Allah makes things easy for you and grant you every good.
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.