What the Hadith forbids is the same as what the Qur'an forbids
Fatwa No: 88197

  • Fatwa Date:7-7-2004 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 20, 1425
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Question

Allah says in the Qur'aan (interpretation of meaning):
"Say (O Muhammad): I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be Maitah (a dead animal), or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like) or the flesh of swine (pork); ..." (6:145).
But we know from Hadith that Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi wa Sallam) had prohibited eating of domestic asses, animals with fangs, etc. How can we reconcile the Hadith and the above verse of Quran? I also read the following Hadith from Bukhari.
"Volume 7, Book 67, Number 437:
Narrated 'Amr:
I said to Jabir bin Zaid, "The people claim that Allah's Apostle forbade the eating of donkey's meat. He said, "Al-Hakam bin 'Amr Al-Ghifari used to say so when he was with us, but Ibn 'Abbas, the great religious learned man, refused to give a final verdict and recited: -- 'Say: I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be carrion, blood poured forth or the flesh of swine... '(6:145)

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Allaah has Said (interpretation of meaning):"Allaah has not instituted things like Bahîrah (a she camel whose milk was spared for the idols and nobody was allowed to milk it) or a Sâ'ibah (a she camel let loose for free pasture for their false gods, e.g. idols, etc., and nothing was allowed to be carried on it), or a Wasîlah (a she camel set free for idols because it has given birth to a she camel at its first delivery and then again gives birth to a she camel at its second delivery) or a Hâm (a stallion camel freed from work for their idols, after it had finished a number of copulations assigned for it), all these animals were liberated in honor of idols as practiced by pagan Arabs in the pre­Islamic period). But those who disbelieve invent lies against Allaah, and most of them have no understanding. (Al-Ma'idah 5:103)

The above verse was revealed in Makkah, as Ibn Abdul Barr reported and said there was a consensus about it. It was revealed as a response to the Mushrikin (polytheists) and to refute what was innovated as being forbidden for them like Baheerah (a she-camel let loose for free pasture for their false gods, i.e. idols and nothing was allowed to be carried on it), and the scholars set this verse as a principle in defining forbidden things, in addition to what is confirmed as forbidden in other verses or by the Sunnah of the Prophet ( sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )).

There was nothing forbidden in Shariah except that which was included in the Ayah (verse) at the time of its revelation. However, in Medina, other things were revealed as being forbidden, like alcohol, the meat of an animal killed by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns and the meat of that which has been partly eaten by the wild animal.

In addition to the above, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) also stated, as in the Hadith reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, that some other animals are forbidden to eat, like animals of the cat family which have canine teeth, as well as birds with claws.

It is also confirmed that the Prophet ( sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) said: "Allaah and His Prophet forbid you from eating the flesh of domestic asses because it is impure."[Bukhari and Muslim]

As you know we are obliged to abide by what the Prophet ( sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) legislated, be that an order or a prohibition. Allaah Says (interpretation of meaning): "And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad -  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. (Al-Hashr 59:7)

It is reported in a Hadith: ("How is it permissible for a man whom my Hadith has reached, to sit on his chair and say: "Between us and you is the Book of Allah, and any Halal we find in it we consider it Halal, and any Haram we find in it we consider it Haram," Indeed what the Prophet ( sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) forbade is the same as what Allah has forbidden." [Ahmed, Al-Thirmidhi, and Al-Albani classified it as authentic]

The people of knowledge stated that the deduction of Ibn Abbas from the verse would be correct if there was no evidence stating that what was mentioned in the ayah (verse) was forbidden.

When there is a text (hadith) of the Prophet ( sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) that prohibits something, then the Hadith should be taken into account. That’s why the majority of the people of knowledge did not agree with Ibn Abbas about the above matter, as mentioned by Ibn Abd Al Barr, Al-Qurtubi, Al-Nawawi, and others, who did not consider an interpretation of any one of them as contradicting the saying of the Prophet ( sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )).

For more information, refer to the Tafseer Al-Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir, Al-Istidhkar and Al-Mughni.

Allah knows best.

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