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?

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Marrying a Hindu Woman and the Islamic View on Eating Meat

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: Assalam alaikum. I have one close non Muslim friend who wants to marry me but she is Hindu. Her religion doesn’t allow her to become Muslim.  She wants me to change my religion as well. Also, she has a problem with eating animals as she is vegetarian and reveres certain animals we eat. I want to convince her about Islam and the Islamic view on eating animals. Please advise me.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum,

Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question.

It’s really important to try to separate one’s personal feelings from the larger question of accepting Islam. If the young woman is truly interested in Islam, she needs to investigate it on its own merits (and on its own terms) and leave off the marriage talks.

Marriage talks require a clear-headed focus and it’s hard to achieve that if she’s caught up in the “why do Muslims eat meat” question.

There is a lot of good information about Islam out there, some of it is available right here at SeekersGuidance.

Islamic law allows the consumption of certain animal products, including beef, provided the animal is slaughtered in the name of God and humane slaughtering practices are followed. Islam is an Abrahamic faith and, as such, it does not believe in reincarnation, hence there is no particular dimension to the existence of the cow that would prevent a human from consuming it.

The cow, like other permissible animals, was created to sustain the human and, as such, should be viewed as a blessing and provision of God, who has given the animal life and has given humans His permission to take that life only in His name.

If the young woman can’t accept your way of life, then it might be worth reconsidering your compatibility.

May Allah make things easy,

Zaynab Ansari

Related Answers:

What is Islam’s Stance on Muslim Men and Women Marrying Non-Muslims?

Can a Muslim Man Marry a Sikh or a Hindu?

Being A Vegetarian

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: Is it permissible to be a vegetarian or vegan?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

As for being vegetarian or vegan then the permissibility of it returns to ones intention.

If it is done with a good intention then there is no harm in it. So if one stops eating meat because the animals are not treated well before being slaughtered or the like then that will be fine.

But if it one intends things like, ‘we should not eat animals’ or ‘we should not kill the creation’ then it will not be permissible.

The Prophet of Allah (May Allahs peace and blessings be upon Him) ate meat and hence we cannot think eating meat is in itself wrong.

[Nahlaw, Durar al-Mubaha; Khadimi, Bariqa al-Muhammadiyya]

And Allah knows best,

Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani