Eating meat slaughtered by non-Muslims
Fatwa No: 90161

  • Fatwa Date:12-6-2005 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 6, 1426
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Question

If an animal is slaughtered by a non-Muslim but according to the standard set by Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and does not mention any name when he does it, is it lawful for Muslims to eat if they mention the name of Allah when they consume it?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

If the person who slaughters dedicates his sacrifice to other than Allaah when slaughtering, i.e. slaughtering while mentioning another name than Allaah, then it is not permissible to eat from it as Allaah Says (what means): {Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allaah…} [Quran 5:3]

However, if he did not dedicate the slaughtered animal to other than Allaah but just forgot to mention the Name of Allaah then the matter is one of the following:

1)   To deliberately abandon mentioning the Name of Allaah. The majority of scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them are of the view that it is not permissible to eat the meat of such slaughtered animal, as Allaah Says (what means): {And do not eat of that upon which the Name of Allaah has not been mentioned, for indeed, it is a grave disobedience.} [Quran 6:121] So mentioning the Name of Allaah is a condition for the validity of eating the animal.

However, the Shaafi'i School of jurisprudence is of the view that mentioning the Name of Allaah is recommended and not a condition, so it is permissible to eat the meat of a slaughtered animal if one deliberately abandons the mention of Allaah when slaughtering it. Imaam Al-Bukhari and Abu Daawood  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them reported that 'Aa'ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her narrated that people asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "People bring meat to us and we do not know whether or not they mentioned the Name of Allaah on it, shall we eat from it or not? The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: "Mention the Name of Allaah and eat from it” [and she said that the people who gave them the meat were new Muslims].

Based on this Hadeeth, it would be permissible to eat the meat upon which the Name of Allaah has deliberately not been mentioned, so one should mention the Name of Allaah and eat from it.

Nonetheless, in order to be on the safe side, it is better to act according to the opinion of the majority of the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them. However, if one acts according to the view of the Shaafi'i School, we hope that there is no harm on him.

2)    To forget mentioning the name of Allaah: in this case it is permissible to eat the meat of the animal according to the view of the majority of scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them; this is even according to their consensus on the matter, as Ibn Jareer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him stated. Allaah Says (what means): {"Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error."} [Quran 2:286]

Moreover, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "My nation will not be held accountable for things it forgets to do or things that it does by mistake." [Abu Daawood]

Finally, it should be noted that a Muslim is only permitted to eat from the meat of the animal slaughtered by the people of the book, the Jews or the Christians, but he is absolutely not permitted to eat the meat of the animal slaughtered by other people, like a Magi or an atheist and the like, whether or not they mention the Name of Allaah.

Allaah knows best.

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