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Stunning of Animals.

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

A halal certifying authority say they stun their chicken using Water-bath Stun – for Poultry and Electric-Tong Stun – for Ovine meat before slaughtering.

They say that the animal is alive at the time of slaughtering, and slaughtering is carried out by a Muslim whilst reciting Bismillahi-Allahu Akbar.

Would this chicken be permissible to consume?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam,

This is an important issue which has been much discussed due to the widespread use and in many cases, legal enforcement, of stunning animals before slaughter. Stunning itself takes on various forms.

The summary of the rulings pertaining to stunning is as follows:

1. The act of stunning itself is impermissible as it causes pain and suffering to the animal, which is unlawful without need.

2. If the animal dies from the stunning, it is impermissible to eat it, even if the ritual acts of slaughtering are performed afterwards.

3. Although the stunning is impermissible, if it is established that the animal is still alive after stunning, even if not fully conscious, then if it is in this state, it would be legally lawful to consume.

4. If one is unsure whether the animal is alive or not at the time of slaughter, the meat is unlawful.

Advise

If there are other options available, I would suggest avoiding eating animals which have been stunned, especially smaller animals such as chickens. However, if it is stated that each animal is checked and confirmed to be alive at the moment of slaughter by a reliable and upright Muslim or a shariah compliant halal governing body approved by qualified God-fearing scholars, then the meat from the stunned animal will be permissible to buy and consume. And Allah knows best.

This is an area in which Muslim businesses, scholars, and communities need to be creative and have initiative, working together to come up with solutions with God-fearingness and the intention of fulfilling a communal need. We also need to reassess, as individuals and communities, our level of demand for meat and whether this exasperates the issue or not. If stunning is a legal requirement in the countries we live in, we need to ensure that it is vigorously monitored and delivered according to the quality and purity our religion demands. Lawfulness and acceptance from God should always come before profits and satiety.

Zaid bin ‘Amr bin Nufail, a pre-Islamic Monothiest (hanif), refused to eat meat slaughtered in the name of the pagan idols, and would say to the Qur’aysh, ‘Allah created the sheep, and He sent down the rain from the heavens for her, and He caused the pastures to grow for her, then you slaughter her in the name of other than Allah?!’ [Al Sirah al Nabawiyyah]. Whether we slaughter in the name of other than Allah, or by no one, or if we are remiss in our observing the proper legal methods proscribed by Allah in our slaughter of animals, ultimately it is all ingratitude towards God for the bounty we have been given, and disrespect for the sanctity of a living soul.

For further information, including details on the specific forms of stunning, such as the waterbath method, please refer to the following:

Stunning Animals before Slaughtering them

Fatwa from Dar al Mustafa, Yemen

All praise is due to Allah

The answer is, and Allah knows best what is correct:

Exposing the animal to an electric shock is unlawful in itself. As for the legality of the meat if the situation is as the questioner described – that the animal recovers and returns to its natural state twenty seconds after having been stunned – then it is lawful (halal) even the animal is in a lifeless state at the time of slaughter (such that it cannot see or hear and is unable to move). This is because the shock in itself is not a cause of the animal’s death.

However, if the animal does not usually return to its natural state after being stunned then the meat is unlawful unless one is reasonably certain that the animal is alive at the time of slaughter, evidence of which would be things such as violent movement, the gushing or spurting of blood or a sound coming from the throat or any other signs. It is not necessary to be absolutely certain that the animal is still alive because what is required by the Sacred Law in this instance is that there be some signs of life in the animal at the time of slaughter. However if one is unsure whether the animal is alive or not at the time of slaughter the meat would then be unlawful.

This is a summary of what the people of knowledge have said on this issue, may Allah have mercy on them, and Allah knows best what is correct.

Issued by the Council for Legal Verdicts at Dar al-Mustafa for Islamic Studies.
11th Dhu’l-Qaida 1427
7th December 2006

Warmest salams,
[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.

Can I Eat Questionable Meat at a Muslim’s House?

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.

Warmest salams,
[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.

Why Don’t We Have to Make Wudu After Eating Camel Meat?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Why don’t we have to make Wudu after eating camel meat?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Generally, it is recommended (mustahab) to renew your ablution after consuming camel meat due to the difference of opinion on the matter.

It is reported that when the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was asked about performing the ritual ablution (wudu) after consuming camel meat, he responded: “Perform ‘the ablution’ thereafter.” [Abu Dawud]

The commentators explain that the “ablution” intended by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was to wash the hands given that (1) the legal cause for the nullification of the ablution is absent, and (2) camel meat has a strong smell.

As for the scholars who held it to actually invalidate the ritual ablution (wudu), they said that it was from those rulings which are not rationally discernible (ta‘abbudi), such as praying three cycles (rak‘as) of Maghrib and not four.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.130); ‘Ayni, Sharh Abu Dawud, quoting Imam Khattabi]

Please also see: Could You Please List All the Nullifiers of Ablution According to the Hanafi school?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

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

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

Wassalam
[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.

It Is Permissible to Eat Non-Zabiha Meat in North America?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it permissible to eat non-zabiha meat (meat not slaughtered with Islamic standards) in North America?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

My In-Laws Are Insulted When I Do Not Eat Their Store-Bought Meat. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My husband and I are very particular about the food that we eat. We buy farm-slaughtered meat, but do not force my husband’s family to do the same.

When visiting them, I pack my own food so that my kids and I have something to eat. We do eat everything else they prepare. My in-laws find this very insulting.

It’s gotten so bad now that when we see any of my in-laws, I am ignored. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah grant you a way out of this difficult trial.

Dua

“Let the rich man spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease.”
[Qu’ran, 65:7]

Before anything else, I urge you to perform the Prayer of Need. Pour out your heartache to Allah Most High, and trust that He is the Turner of hearts. Beg Him to grant you the wisdom to respond well to this trial.

Ask yourself what you can learn from this situation. What shortcomings do you have in your character? Can you learn to be more patient? More understanding? More diplomatic? More forgiving?

Above all, what attachments do you need to let go of? It is only natural to want to be liked and accepted by your in-laws. But what is more important for each of us is to gain the pleasure of Allah.

Scrupulousness

MashaAllah, I commend you for having such scrupulousness in your deen. I pray that Allah rewards you for the effort you and your husband are exerting.

I can see why your in-laws feel feel hurt and insulted when you and your children don’t eat the food they prepare. Preparing food is a very primal act of showing love, and rejecting their food can feel like a rejection of them. Your reasons are sound, but human beings are creations of emotion, not pure logic.

The key here is striking a balance. It is disrespectful to ignore your in-laws, nor is it prudent to try to justify what you are doing. As you have described, neither approach is working.

I suggest that you sidestep the contentious issue of farm-slaughtered meat for now. Avoid controversial topics. Let your actions speak for you. Be of service to them. Show good character. Be firm on what you believe in, but do so with wisdom and tact.

Please have a thorough read of this incredible resource: Contented In-Laws.

Relationships

Families are made up of so many different types of characters. When there is a bond of love and mutual respect, then many things are overlooked. When there is no bond of love and mutual respect, then many things are criticized.

All relationships take work. It sounds like your relationship with your in-laws is a very tense one, and is in need of mending.

What do you and your in-laws have in common? Can you Invite them for lunch at your home? Can you offer to run errands for them? Think of this as a relationship which needs a lot of nourishing.

When you do these acts of kindness and service for them, please don’t expect anything in return. It would be a blessing if they acknowledge what you did, but consider that a bonus, rather than a necessity. At first, you may feel very uncomfortable, and so will they, but please persist, for the sake of Allah. I pray that over time, things will get easier.

Look to Allah for your reward, and know that nothing is lost with Him. Try to view this trial as as a means of improving your character. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for you to not be attached to the outcome. Wanting your in-law’s approval will continue to increase your disappointment and heartache.

Husband

It is difficult to be caught in the middle. Many husbands, especially soft-spoken ones, struggle to resolve conflict with their families.

Remember not to blame your husband for his family’s behaviour. Focus on your husband’s positive qualities, and the beautiful children you are raising on the deen. Your energy is better spent there. Please remember to nourish your marriage, and your own self-care.

Your husband is better off being kind to his family and being of service to them, instead of raising controversial topics which upset them. Let him build happier memories with them. I pray that in time, you will have the opportunity to do so as well. Never underestimate the power of dua, and the healing power of time.

Counselling

If you and your husband still struggle with his family, then I strongly encourage you to both to see a culturally-sensitive counsellor, therapist, or psychologist. A trained, objective and compassionate counsellor can help you both learn better communication and coping skills. At the very minimum, I pray that a good counsellor will help you and your husband reach a point of acceptance.

Please see:

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.

I’m Vegetarian: Is There An Alternative to Qurbani Slaughtering of An Animal?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Salam. Is there an alternative to Qurbani? I’m a vegetarian so don’t agree with giving the money to spend on meat or the slaughter of an animal (yes I know it’s a bit controversial but vegetarianism is allowed in Islam) but I would like to offer something instead. I don’t live in or near a Muslim community so cannot ask anyone, so I thought I’d ask for advice here? Jazak Allah khairan.

Answer: Assalam alaykum

While being vegetarian is a personal choice that is permissible in our religion—as eating meat is simply permissible (mubah), not per se recommended, let alone obligatory—the definition of a “Muslim” is one who accepts to submit (taslim) to the Command of Allah, in whom they believe (iman), which is “accepting the truth and reality” of God).

Thus, if it is established that Allah Most High has commanded us—as He commanded past Prophets and their peoples—to slaughter as

(a) an expression of our slavehood, submission, and deference to His Command and Will;

(b) in gratitude to His countless blessings upon us; and

(c) as an specific, Divinely-Commanded, expression of concern for the poor, needy, and of maintaining relations with family and friends… then our faith and submission would entail leaving our personal preferences for the Divine Command.

This is one of the many lessons from the deep and challenging example of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) when he was commanded to sacrifice his dearly beloved son.

While we’re not challenged in such testing ways, we are called to leave our preferences for what Allah has preferred—out of His Lordship, Will, and Wisdom—for us. In this, we have complete certitude (yaqin) in His Wisdom, Justice, and Mercy, for all creation, for He tells us, “Truly, My Mercy encompasses all things.” [Qur’an]

In terms of ethical concerns for animals, there are many options, including: choosing to slaughter animals raised ethically, and slaughtering them according to the sunna—or seeking out individuals or agencies that slaughter in such a manner. Other ethical choices would include sending one’s money to countries where people are in desperate need of food—and where meat is a luxury and joy that most experience only rarely.

Please also see:

Is There a Difference of Opinion on Whether Slaughtering (Qurbani) is Necessary and How Do I Make Up For Years of Not Having Done it?

What Is the Proof in the Qur’an for the Sacrifice (Udhiya) on the Days of Eid al-Adha

Do I have to give 1/3 of the Sacrificial (Udhiya) Meat away in Charity?

Who has to Sacrifice (Udhiya)?

Can Qurbani (Udhiya) Be Done In a Different Country?

Does One Have to do Udhiya/Qurbani for One’s Young Children?

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Can I Eat Using Silver Utensils?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

1. My family has only silver utensils at home. Can I eat using them?

2. How should I go about knowing whether the meat my family is halal?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

(1) The prohibition is with respect to items made of silver, as opposed to items of a silver colour or merely coated with silver.

(2) You should contact your local, reliable scholar or mosque centre and ask which meat has been certified and approved as lawful (halal).

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Eat the Meat of Animals Slaughtered by Amish People?

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: Assalam’aleykum

Is the slaughter of Amish people permissible to eat?

Answer: Wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

There are three conditions for a valid slaughter according to the Shariah:

1) The slaughterer must be either a Muslim or from the People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab);

2) Three out of the four veins of the neck (i.e. the trachea, the esophagus, and the two jugular veins) must be cut with a tool that is sharp and has a cutting edge; and

3) The name of Allah must be taken at the time of slaughtering, whether actually or effectively (such as when it is forgotten by someone who would normally have said it).

Regarding the first condition, the scholars point out that “the People of the Book” are those who firmly believe in God, a revealed book, and a prophet, regardless of the nature of their beliefs in these matters. It is well-known that the Amish are traditionalist Christians who believe in God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). Therefore, they are People of the Book.

Regarding the second condition, any slaughter in which the death of the animal is caused by electrocution, strangling, crushing the skull, or any cause other than cutting of the four veins is NOT valid. Such an animal is considered a dead animal (maytah) and not permissible to eat.

Regarding the third condition, Imam al-Haskafi says in al-Durr al-Mukhtar:

( وَشُرِطَ كَوْنُ الذَّابِحِ مُسْلِمًا… ( أَوْ كِتَابِيًّا ذِمِّيًّا أَوْ حَرْبِيًّا ) إلَّا إذَا سُمِعَ مِنْهُ عِنْدَ الذَّبْحِ ذِكْرُ الْمَسِيحِ (الدر المختار، كتاب الذبائح، بتصرف)

“It is a condition (for a valid slaughter) that the slaughterer be a Muslim…or from the People of the Book, except if it is heard that the slaughterer took the name of Christ at the time of slaughtering.”
(al-Durr al-Mukthar, Kitab al-Dhabaa’ih).

Hence, if the name of Christ or the trinity is taken at the time of slaughter, the meat would not be permissible for Muslims to eat. However, if only the name of God is mentioned at the time of slaughter, the second condition would be fulfilled (and the meat would be permissible for Muslims, given that the other conditions are met).

In conclusion, it is necessary to inquire about the method of slaughter of the Amish to determine whether it meets the second and third conditions above.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that most precautionary and preferred practice is to avoid eating the meat of the People of the Book (i.e. even if all conditions are fulfilled), except in cases of dire necessity. Allamah Ibn Abideen writes in Radd al-Muhtar:

وَالْأَوْلَى أَنْ لَا يَأْكُلَ ذَبِيحَتَهُمْ وَلَا يَتَزَوَّجَ مِنْهُمْ إلَّا لِلضَّرُورَةِ كَمَا حَقَّقَهُ الْكَمَالُ بْنُ الْهُمَامِ (رد المحتار، كتاب الذبائح)

“It is preferable to avoid eating the meat of the People of the Book and to avoid marrying them, except in cases in of dire necessity, as the great scholar Al-Kamal ibn al-Humam has meticulously verified.”

Wassalam,
Umer Mian

Is It Permissible to Eat the Meat of an Animal Slaughtered by a Dull Blade? (Maliki)

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalamu Alaykum,

1. The brother who was slaughtering my goat did not realize that the blade was not sharp enough, until after the blade had already cut into the goat, so he continued with it. Does this make the meat of this animal impermissible?

2. Also, does the one slaughtering have to mention the name of Allah, or can a Christian slaughter the animal, while a Muslim standing with him mentions the name of Allah instead?

Answer: Wa alaykum as salam wa rahmatullah,

1. As long as the blade could cut through the skin, it will be permissible to eat. It is highly encouraged to have the blade be sharp, as it will prevent undue suffering of the animal.

2. For a Muslim, it is an obligation to mention the Name of Allah. For a person of the Book (Ahlul Kitab), it is not an obligation to mention the Name of Allah. There is no need to have a Muslim stand by and say it.

And Allah knows best.

Rami