Can I Eat Halal Meat Cooked by a Christian? (Shafi’i)

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I got this question from a christian friend of mine whose family on principle do not consume alcohol nor pork. If they cook halal meat and invite Muslims over, can the Muslims parttake of the food? What is the ruling on food in general in this case?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

JazakaLlah khayr for your question.

There are two aspects that requires consideration regarding your question. The first is the food of non-Muslims and the second is their utensils.

It is permissible to consume food prepared by non-Muslims, people of the book or otherwise, as long as the food prepared is halal in itself and not contaminated with haram. Regarding the people of the book, Jews and Christians, Allah said in the Quran, “And the food of those who were given the scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them.” RasuluLlah sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam was once hosted by a Jew and he partook of the food which in this instance was bread and some spread. The only difference between the people of the book and other non-Muslims in relation to food, is that the slaughtered meat of the people of the book is halal [footnote: However, there are a number of conditions that have to be met before we consider a Jew or Christian to be from the people of the book.], contrary to others.

The second consideration are their utensils. Imam al-Nawawi in his commentary on Sahih Muslim divided the utensils of disbelievers in two; utensils that were used for consumption of haram or impure foods and utensils which were not. As for such utensils which were not used for impure substances, they are permissible to use; utensils that were used for impure substances, may be used after being washed, however, it would be disliked [makruh], especially when other utensils are available.

In conclusion, it is permissible for you to accept the invite and partake of the food if it is halal in itself and not contaminated with haram. In addition, the discussion regarding their utensils above should be considered.

And Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.