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The Ruling on Using the Cookware of Non-Muslims

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ Al-ʿUthaymīn

A brief discussion on the permissibility of using the cookware of non-Muslims.

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ Al-ʿUthaymīn [d. 1412 AH] said:

As for the vessels used by the disbelievers, they are permissible [for us]. If someone was to say to us: What is the evidence?

We reply: The general [meaning] of the saying of the Most High:

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ‎﴿٢٩﴾‏

‘It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth.’
[Al-Baqarah, 2:29]

If Allāh has already made the food of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] permissible for us, then it is well-known that sometimes they will bring it to us cooked in their vessels. Also, it is confirmed that a Jewish boy called the Prophet (ﷺ) to eat bread made from barley with ihālah sanikhah [fat or shortening in a changed state] and he ate from it. He also ate from the poisoned sheep that had been gifted to him in Khaybar [by a Jewish woman]. It is also confirmed that he and his companions performed wuḍūʾ from the vessel of a disbelieving woman.

All of these instances prove unequivocally that that which is in contact with a disbeliever retains its pure state. As for the ḥadīth of Abū Thaʿlabah al-Khushanī (may Allāh be pleased with him) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

‘Do not eat from it except if you do not find other than it, [in that case] wash it and eat from it.’

This [ḥadīth] proves that the best course of action is to avoid [the vessels of the disbelievers] altogether. Although there are many scholars who interpret this ḥadīth in the vein that it concerns a people who were known to use their vessels to hold that which is najs [impure] like the flesh of swine and other impurities. They say:

Indeed, the Prophet (ﷺ) forbade their vessels [specifically] except if no other vessel is found. In that case, we clean it and eat from it. This interpretation is sound, and is in keeping with the principles of judicial [Islamic] law.

Source: Al-Sharḥ al-Mumtiʿ: 83-84
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: November 2, 2022
Edited: February 11, 2023

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