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Subject : Conditions that Make Meat Lawful for Muslims

Fatwa Number : 3420

Date : 20-09-2018

Classified : Aqeeqah, Udhihiah and other Slaughtered Animals

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Some foreign authoritiescompel meat companies to obtain a license in order to trade in meat, and they grant it upon meeting certain conditions, such as slaughtering cows after being anesthetized. This is in addition to the fact that the religion of the slaughterer remains unknown. Is it permissible for a Muslim to eat such meat? And is it permissible that he/she buyschicken slaughtered by machines?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah The Lord of the Worlds and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Allah, The Almighty, made the food of the People of the Book lawful to Muslims where He, The Exalted, said, "The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you…"{Al-Ma`idah, 5}. This is provided that the meat is slaughtered according to the Islamic method. Therefore, if you know that the slaughtering was done according to this method, then the meat is lawful to you.

Not knowing the religion of the person who had carried out the slaughtering doesn`t make the meat unlawful since this matter lies within the circle of doubt and a Muslim isn`t required to investigate to avert him/her the hardship. In addition, it can`t be affirmed that the meat is unlawful save with absolute certainty. Furthermore,
'Aishah (RAA) narrated, 'Some people said to Allah's Messenger (PBUH), There are people who bring us meat and we do not know whether or not they have mentioned Allah's name over it.' He replied, "Mention Allah's name yourselves and eat it." {Related by Al-Bukhari}.

If the anesthetization doesn`t kill the animal, but makes it surrender to the slaughtering in the sense that if it was spared the slaughtering, it would return to its vitality as before the anesthetization, then there is no harm in that and its meat is lawful, even if it was slaughtered while unconscious, because it wasn`t dead. However, vets don`t recommend the anesthetization part, because it doesn`t make all the blood drain out of the animal, and the blood that remains causes the meat to spoil faster.

Resolution No. (95) of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy permits eating the lawful meat of the people of the book, unless there is absolute certainty that the animals weren`t slaughtered according to the Islamic method. The Resolution states : "Muslims residing or visiting non-Muslim countries are permitted to eat from the lawful meat of the People of the Book after making sure that it isn`t mixed with anything unlawful. This is unless it was made certain to them that the animals weren`t slaughtered according to the Islamic method."

As for the ruling on buying chickens that are slaughtered mechanically, this is permissible so long as the Sharia conditions on slaughtering are met: Advanced machines equipped with razor-sharp blades do the slaughtering and both the throat and the esophagus are cut. The aforementioned Resolution also stated, " In principle, chickens and other animals must be slaughtered by a person. However, there is no harm in using machines to that end as long as the conditions of Islamic slaughtering are met. Moreover, mentioning Allah`s name over each group of chickens avails." And Allah knows best.



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