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Eating the Meat of the People of the Book

Ustadh Salman Younas answers questions about the lawfulness of eating meat slaughtered by Jews or Christians, and what to do if halal meat is hard to get.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

Since in our countries (South America) it is very problematic to get halal meat, and where even halal meat is of dubious provenance, is it lawful to eat the meat obtained from the people of the Book?

And if so, how does this apply to meat is feasible to get in our countries, which mostly comes from slaughterhouses, making impossible to know who slaughtered the animal, much less whether it was invoked the name of God to do so under the Christian or Jewish rites.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well. It is only permitted to eat the meat of the People of the Book (ahl al kitab), namely, the Jews and Christians, if there is a proper slaughtering. The conditions for a proper slaughtering are:

1. The one slaughtering be a Muslim, a Jew, or a Christian.
2. That the name of God be consciously uttered when the slaughter takes place.
3. That the animal be slaughtered at its throat.
4. That at least three of the four main veins of the throat be cut with a sharp object, such as a knife.

(Ibn Abidin, Radd al Muhtar; Abu Bakr al Razi, Tuhfat al Muluk)

If one can ascertain that the above conditions are being met, it would be permitted to eat such meat. If unable to, then one should avoid and veer on the side of caution. The ruling given in our times is that kosher meat is generally permissible to eat, whereas Christian meat is not.

Meat Is A Luxury

One thing to recall is that eating meat for most of us is a luxury and not a necessity and the health benefits of avoiding its excessive consumption are well known. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, and his Companions, Allah be pleased with them, were known to eat meat rarely and scarcely.

However, at the same time, the scenario you mention indicates the need for Muslims to work towards building a halal industry within their respective communities, with the assistance of scholars, local businessmen, and so forth.

This may not be an easy task in the world we currently live in but with with some effort and tact results are bound to manifest, beginning with smaller projects, such as local slaughter houses, and then building from there.

Wassalam.

Salman

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.
Photo by Nikola Knezevic on Unsplash


Is a Ritual-Slaughter Performed in Another Country Valid?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

1. I live in Mauritius and I have always done ritual-slaughter in India.

However, a local sheikh has recently stated that it is not valid as India is hours ahead of Mauritius.

Is it true?

2. Is it possible to distribute the meat to non muslims?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

1. I am not sure what school of thought the scholar who advised you follow but in the Hanafi scool it is valid to have an animal slaughtered in another country.

As mentioned elsewhere, the basic principle is that what is taken into consideration as it relates to the time of the ritual-slaughter is the place wherein it occurs and not the residence of the individual upon whom it is due.

Therefore, if the agent who has been appointed to carry out your ritual-slaughter does so within the stipulated time in the country where he/she is slaughtering, it will be valid. This is regardless of whether the time for such ritual-slaughter begins earlier in that country than in yours. [al-Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar (pp. 646)]

2. Yes, this is permitted and rewarding. There is no requirement to have such meat distributed to the Muslim poor.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

قال في الدر المختار: والمعتبر مكان الأضحية لا مكان من عليه

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas  graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.

When Is It Valid for My Qurbani to Occur in Another Country?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

We normally arrange for our Eid ul Adha sacrifice to be carried out in another country like South Africa and sometimes Eid falls on a day in that country a day before Australia. Will our sacrifice be still valid if the actual sacrifice occurs in that country (South Africa) after Eid salah, but is actually still before we have performed Eid salah here in Australia?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The basic principle is that what is taken into consideration as it relates to the time of the ritual-slaughter is the place wherein it occurs and not the residence of the individual upon whom it is due.

Consequently, if the agent who has been appointed to carry out your ritual-slaughter does so within the stipulated time in the country where he/she is slaughtering, it will be valid. This is regardless of whether the time for such ritual-slaughter begins earlier in that country than in yours.

[al-Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar (pp. 646)]

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.