Can I Give Impermissible Food to Non-Muslims?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Would non muslims be obligated to cover any particular parts of their body as they do not have any legal private region? Having said this, would it be permissible for a muslim to look at the hair, for example, of an unrelated non muslim woman if no sexual inclination is found?

On the same note, would it be permissible to give non muslims haram food?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Thank you for your question.

According to the dominant Usuli position non-Muslims are primarily made responsible for belief in the revelation sent to the final Messenger, Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace). In Muslims lands they follow the laws of trade, and the penal system would also apply to them (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar).

However, a Muslim is expected to deal with them according to the laws of the Shariʿa, so the general laws of looking at members of the opposite gender would apply here (Salah Abul-Hajj, al-Bayan). It would be permissible to look at a member of the opposite gender when needed, such as a cashier in a supermarket. One is not expected to state at his shoes when handing over his money; rather the decorum, and good conduct of Islam should be exercised.

Giving Impermissible Food to Non-Muslims

The general rule is ‘that which is impermissible to acquire is impermissible to give’. Therefore actively giving some haram food to someone is not permissible (Zarqa, Sharh al-Qawaʿid al-FIqhiyya). However, one may leave it for them to take in an indirect manner. For example, if one unknowingly purchased some food which was impermissible, and was unable to return it for whatever reason, one could offer it to a non-Muslim colleague, and leave it next to their desk at work for them to take.

And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.