Now let us ask a few basic questions to establish the importance of the subject today:
1: Is there really anything in Islam that restricts our diet?
Answer: Yes. This is confirmed in both the Quran and in the sunnah (hadeeth or teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him), many times.
2: What are the restrictions?
Answer: Everything is halal (permissible) except for those things that are specifically forbidden.
- Swine or pork products of any kind (Quran)
- Donkey meat (hadeeth narrated by Ali, in Sahih Al Bukhari)
- Animals of prey (eagles, falcons, lions, tigers, bears, etc.)
- Animals already dead
- Animals dead of disease, old age, etc.
- Dead from falling, breaking neck, etc.
- Violent deaths
- Animals killed by other animals
- Animals partially eaten by other animals
- Animals sacrificed to other gods than Allah
3: How are the animals to be slaughtered by Muslims?
- Animal place on side, relaxed (if possible)
- Very sharp knife (hidden from animal’s view)
- One quick slice of knife across throat
- Mention Allah’s Name (Bismillah)
- Single, firm cut just at the knot on the neck
- Do not break the neck
- Allow to bleed until unconscious
- Butcher only after animail is completely dead
4. Who is allowed to do the slaughtering and butchering? – Muslims, Jews and Christians (Ahl Kitab)
5. If a Jewish Rabbi slaughters it, is there anything else to be concerned about? – Usually – “No. This is all you need” – But if there is any real doubt, check with your local imam who has slaughtering experience.
6. What about Christians who might say, “In the Name of Jesus” during slaughtering? – Allah tells us in the Quran that we can eat their meat. It is very doubtful any Christian is saying “Jesus” or “Trinity”. Even if they did it, but you didn’t know about it, just say, Bismillah and eat it.
7. What about others who are not Christian or Jew? – If you know that someone is not Christian or Jew, and they are involved in the slaughter — don’t eat it.
If you know that they are offering the meat as a sacrifice to some other God than Allah – don’t eat it.
If you doubt whether or not a Christian or Jew actually slaughtered the meat, then don’t eat it.
8. What about the meat in the grocery stores and fast food chains?
- Remember the rule – “If in doubt – don’t eat it” (any doubt about the religion of the one slaughtering? — Don’t eat)
- Be careful of ground beef from regular stores. Often they have been found to mix pork and other things into the ground beef.
- Some fast food restaurants have halal meat. More and more we learn of Muslim owned shops. Just ask for non-meat, vegetarian or halal sausage or bacon.
9. What about fish and seafood? – Everything that is from the sea is halal for us to eat. Seafood has no special way to be slaughtered or butchered.
10. What about wild game? – Whatever you shoot that dies as a result is halal. If your hunting animal eats from it — then it is haram to you.
11. What should a family do that lives in the West and halal is just not available in most places?
- Form a group to go buy from a place that sells it
- Have a place (masjid?) to keep a freezer full of halal meat
- Muslims pay enough to cover expences
- Gather in each other’s homes or community centers or masjids for potluck dinners
- Order halal (or kosher if Halal not available) at your local butcher shop or grocery store
- Eat vegetarian meat substitutes
- Eat fish etc.
Keep in mind that eating halal is a condition to have our prayers answered by Allah. So don’t take this subject to lightly. Food and drink are two things that we will be questioned about on the Day of Judgment.
Best to eat from food with no doubt, like from places that do zabihah (halal meat) and feel good about obeying Allah.
May Allah continue to guide you to search for answers in Islam and protect you and your family from eating from the “forbidden fruits,” ameen.
Originally Shared: islamnewsroom.com/