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Questions and Answers Concerning the Meat of the Ahl al-Kitāb

  Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn

A series of questions posed by Muslims in the West on the topic of eating the meat of the Ahl al-Kitāb (People of the Book).

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  Yes, eating the poultry is permissible because that which is slaughtered by the Ahl al-Kitāb today is just as what was slaughtered by Ahl al-Kitāb in the time of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam)
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn

The following questions are posed:

[Q1]: Is it permissible to eat poultry which is sold in the markets on the basis that it is meat of the People of the Book...or is it impermissible on the basis that it is a carcass slaughtered by unknown means (i.e. it was it done by cutting off the head or electrocution or some such means.) and are the Ahl al-Kitāb today truly to be considered in this ruling [as those of the past]?

[Q2]: Please clarify the fatwá́ (ruling) - esteemed Shaykh - If a Muslim goes to the markets and eating places in a Christian land and purchases the lamb, beef or chicken and does not ask about how it was slaughtered?

[Q3]: What if he is informed however, that the meat has been stunned by electric shock, or has been choked or shot? What is the ruling for meat slaughtered like this? Is it considered a carcass? [Which is impermissible to eat]

[Q4]: Can we understand from the ḥadīth of A’aishah (raḍī Allāhu ʿanha) which is related in the fatwá́ that the question which was posed by the people to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) was only in relation to whether Allāh's name was mentioned over the animal being slaughtered and it was not about the actual method of slaughter?

[Q5]: Is it possible to say that if there are stores in a city where the Muslim lives and those stores carry meat slaughtered according to the Islamic method - even if it is more expensive - that it is not then permissible to buy the meat of the Christians?

[Q6]: One of the readers asks about a relation from ʿAlī Ibn Abī Ṭālib (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu) in which he reportedly said: "Do not eat the meat slaughtered by Banu Taglab because they adhere to Christianity by drinking alcohol." Can this be then used as a proof considering the Christians of today, the majority of whom drink alcohol, that it is not permissible to eat their slaughtered meat?

[Q7]: If it is known that some of the slaughterhouses in this country slaughter sheep and cattle along with swine, is it permissible to eat that meat especially when the same instruments are used to slaughter both at the same time?

[Q8]: Is it possible - esteemed Shaykh - for you to address us with a word to the Muslims in the Western countries about the obligation of staying far away from disobedience [to Allāh and His Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam)] and ḥarām things and doubtful matters because we are aware of some of them being negligent in relation to some major sins such as not praying or illicit sex or drinking alcohol yet he is distressed or makes complicated the eating of meat which is not slaughtered according to Islamic method?


Tags: Al-‘Uthaymīn, Q & A, Food

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