Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
My wife and I will be living with my Christian grandparents soon. As they age, they need help doing tasks such as shopping or preparing food. In our area, properly-slaughtered halal meat is either unavailable or prohibitively expensive. What is the ruling on purchasing, carrying, or preparing unslaughtered beef or chicken for their consumption? What about pork?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him.
We are sorry to hear about the circumstances in your area and with your family. Ensuring that your meat is halal, is one of the fundamental laws in Islam.
It is unlawful to purchase, transport (assisting in the unlawful), or consume unlawful meat. You could try consuming fewer meat products (halal only) or perhaps raise chickens at home and rely more on a vegetable-based diet. That would be best until you find suitable alternatives. Keep praying for your family and calling them toward the Islamic way of life. May Allah guide us all.
Assisting in The Unlawful
The general rule is “that which is impermissible to acquire is impermissible to give.” Therefore, actively giving some unlawful food to someone is impermissible. [Zarqa, Sharh al-Qawa‘id al-Fiqhiyya]
Do Not Assist in Transgression
Allah says, “(…) And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and transgression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” [Quran 5:2]
Accountability for Enabling Sin
If our actions knowingly and intentionally enable or facilitate sinning for others, we incur a share of the blame. Allah says: “Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a share in the reward, and whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a share in the burden. And Allah is Watchful over all things.” [Quran 4:85]
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Whoever starts a good thing and is followed by others, will have his reward and a reward equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in any way. Whoever starts a bad thing and is followed therein will bear his and the follower’s burden (of sin) without detracting from their burden.” [Tirmidhi] – This applies whether the initiator is alive or not, and Allah knows best.
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “O people, Allah is Good, and He, therefore, accepts only that which is good. And Allah commanded the believers as He commanded the Messengers by saying: ‘O Messengers, eat of the good things, and do good deeds; verily I am aware of what you do.’ [Quran, 23:51]
And He said: ‘O those who believe, eat of the good things that We gave you.’” [Quran, 2:172]
He then mentioned a person who travels widely, his hair disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky (in supplication): “O Lord, O Lord,” whereas his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful, and his nourishment is unlawful. How can then his supplication be accepted? [Muslim]
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.