Home > Fiqh > Halaal Meat By Imran Ayub

Halaal Meat By Imran Ayub


Halaal Meat
By Imran Ayub
Alhamdulilah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allaah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah from our souls’ evil and our wrong doings. He whom Allaah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no (true) God except Allaah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His ‘Abd (servant) and messenger
Case study of McDonalds in UK: Is it Halaal?
Question 1: What are the Islamic guidelines in terms of Slaughter?
Answer:
i. The Animal should be slaughtered Using a sharp object and in the name of Allaah
Narrated Rafi bin Khadij (May Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If the killing tool causes blood to gush out and if Allah’s Name is mentioned, eat (of the slaughterer animal). But do not slaughter with a tooth or a nail. I am telling you why: A tooth is a bone, and the nail is the knife of Ethiopians.”[1]
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “(Correct) slaughtering is applied to the throat and windpipe.”[2]
ii. The Food needs to be from a Muslim, Jew or Christian only.
Allaah, the Most High, says: “Made lawful to you this day are At­Tayyibât [all kinds of Halâl (lawful) foods, which Allâh has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, etc., milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.). The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals, etc.) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them.”[3]
In his famous Tafseer, Imaam Ibn Katheer said: “The food of the People of the Scripture is lawful to you..” meaning, their slaughtered animals, as Ibn `Abbas, Abu Umamah, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, `Ata’, Al-Hasan, Makhul, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan stated. This ruling, that the slaughtered animals of the People of the Book are permissible for Muslims, is agreed on by the scholars, because the People of the Book believe that slaughtering for other than Allah is prohibited[4]. They mention Allah’s Name upon slaughtering their animals, even though they have deviant beliefs about Allah that do not befit His majesty.”
Even the Prophet (peace be upon him) ate the food from the Jews and did not ask how they had slaughtered it or if they had mentioned Allaah’s name:
Narrated Anas bin Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him): A Jewess brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it. She was brought to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he was asked, “Shall we kill her?” He said, “No.” I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth of Allah’s Apostle.[5]
Dr. Muhammad al – Jibaly said: “…If Allaah’s name is not pronounced at the time of slaughtering because of ignorance or forgetfulness, this does not make the animal prohibited – unless it is dedicated to other than Allaah.”[6] And we know that Jews and Christians do not slaughter their meat for false gods.
It was reported from Yazeed An – Nahwee, from ‘Ikrimah, from Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: The Verse “So eat of that upon which Allaah’s Name has been mentioned.” (6:118) and the Verse “Eat not of that upon which Allaah’s Name has not been mentioned.” (6:121) were abrogated, and an exception was granted for that, so He said “The food of the people of the Book is lawful to you, and yours is lawful to them.” (5:5)[7]

Question 2: Are we allowed to eat the food of the Christians and Jews today?
Answer:
Yes, we are, as long as they slaughter the animal while it’s alive, and not, for example, stunned it to death. As for the beliefs of the Jews and Christians, they were off the straight right path along time before the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Jews ignored their scriptures and tried to kill the messiah, ‘Isa (peace be upon him), while the Christians were deceived by Paul, and the bible and the trinity were changed and ‘invented’ in Nicea, by Constantine and co.
Allaah mentions how they strayed from the right path in the Qur’aan: “Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allâh is the third of the three (in a trinity).” But there is no ilâh (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilâh (God -Allâh). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them.”[8]
“O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allâh aught but the truth. The Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allâh and His Word, (“Be!” – and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Rûh) created by Him; so believe in Allâh and His Messengers. Say not: “Three (trinity)!” Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allâh is (the only) One Ilâh (God), Glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allâh is All­Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.”[9]
“And they (Jews, Christians and pagans) say: Allâh has begotten a son (children or offspring). Glory be to Him (Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him). Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth, and all surrender with obedience (in worship) to Him.”[10]
Please note: Some of these Jews and Christians have in fact become atheists. This, however, is not as common as people may believe and we cannot judge (a Christian or Jew) to be an atheist, unless there is proof. Most Christians and Jews today have some belief in God and the reality is that atheism (in its true form) is extremely rare. Most people, who claim to deny God’s existence, tend to believe in God, but hate Him for something that may have happened in their live, like an illness for example. This is due to their ignorance of Qadr.

Question 3: I called McDonalds and they said their food is not Halaal
Answer:
The reality is that they probably do not even understand what Halaal food is. Due to the ignorance in the Muslim community, most people do not understand what Halaal food is exactly and end up basing their judgements on baseless rulings.
Thus, it is incumbent on us to do the research ourselves.

Question 4: Doesn’t McDonalds stun their animals?
Answer:
Yes, however, they do not stun them to death. The following is taken from their website:
“All animals are individually stunned and unconscious before slaughter. McDonald’s ensures that the slaughter of animals is carried out in a humane and compassionate manner by qualified personnel, under veterinary supervision.”[11]
a. Beef
“The majority of abattoirs that supply McDonald’s beef in the UK use a captive bolt to stun the animal. There are a small number that use electric stunning. Both methods comply with the high standards of animal welfare required by McDonald’s under advisement from UK and European legislation as well as animal experts. The company simply will not work with any supplier that does not adhere to these high standards. All abattoirs must be EU-approved and all are under the care of qualified vets and health inspectors.”[12]
“The cattle are unloaded at the abattoir and then carefully inspected under veterinary supervision to make sure each animal is fit for slaughter. They are then individually walked through to a pen where they are stunned before their main artery is cut. They will die in a matter of seconds and do not feel a thing during this process. McDonald’s has standards in place to ensure that the slaughter of animals is carried out in a humane and compassionate manner by qualified personnel. The company simply will not work with any supplier that cannot adhere to these high standards, and of course all those required by UK and EU legislation. All abattoirs must be EU-approved and all are under the care of qualified vets and health inspectors. (July 2007)”[13]
“The cattle are unloaded at the abattoir and then carefully inspected under veterinary supervision to make sure each animal is fit for slaughter. They are then individually walked through to a pen where they are stunned before their main artery is cut. They will die in a matter of seconds and do not feel a thing during this process. McDonald’s has standards in place to ensure that the slaughter of animals is carried out in a humane and compassionate manner by qualified personnel. The company simply will not work with any supplier that cannot adhere to these high standards, and of course all those required by UK and EU legislation. All abattoirs must be EU-approved and all are under the care of qualified vets and health inspectors. (October 2007)”[14]
b. Chicken
“The chickens are unloaded at the abattoir and then carefully inspected under veterinary supervision to make sure each animal is fit for slaughter. They are then individually hung on a line which quickly transports them in a calm environment (they hang against a soft side rest proven to have a calming effect); to where they are stunned to make sure they are unconscious, before the main artery is cut. McDonald’s has very stringent procedures in place throughout its food production to ensure that all animals are treated in the right way before slaughter.
All suppliers who work with McDonald’s must adhere to the extremely stringent guidelines and high standards laid down by local government, the McDonald’s Agriculture Assurance Plans, and the British Poultry Council’s Assured Chicken Production scheme which controls all aspects of chicken farming, including feed and animal welfare. McDonald’s continues to collaborate with global animal welfare experts to ensure that it provides the highest levels of farming quality and welfare. (August 2007)”[15]
And as long as the animal is alive after stunning[16], it’s Halaal.

Question 5: You are not a scholar, so why should we believe you?
Answer:
I am a simple student as yourselves, however I have presented proof from the research I have done and I got my opinion checked and approved by Dr. Bilal Philips who agreed and said: “You are correct. Their meat is fundamentally Halaal, as long as the animal is alive when slaughtered. If they die from stunning prior to slaughter, then they are Haraam.”
Ask yourself this, “Do I really know what Halaal food is? Or do I just follow what people say?”
Islaam is a religion of ease…and we should leave it like that.
Allaah, the Most High, says in the Qur’aan: “…Allâh intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you…”[17]
Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights.”[18]

Question 6: What about KFC?
On the KFC Website about the Halaal Chicken they sell http://www.kfc.co.uk/about-kfc/halal/ It says:

7. Does this mean your animal welfare standards have changed?
No, not at all. We will always only purchase high quality, Grade A, farm assured chicken from the same leading suppliers used by Britain’s major retailers. We remain committed to the same animal welfare standards and will continue to insist that our poultry is stunned before slaughter. All of our suppliers are contractually required to meet or exceed all relevant UK and EU legislation.

8. Is KFC’s halal chicken stunned before slaughter? Absolutely, we insist that all of our poultry is stunned before slaughter. The only difference is that for us to achieve halal accreditation, a blessing must be read by an authorised person at the time of slaughter and we need to ensure that the poultry does not come into contact with non-halal meat at any point in the supply chain. These are small changes that do not compromise our current welfare standards in any way.”
Thus, everything is exactly the same, except they say the Tasmiyyah before slaughtering (which is mentioning Allaah’s name). This means they are doing exactly what McDonalds does. The animal is stunned (made unconscious, but is alive), then slaughtered. They do this because they think it’s humane, and Muslim do this (i.e. stunning), because chicken start hitting each other and end up with bruising (when on the conveyor belt).

There is a difference of opinion whether you must mention Allaah’s name when slaughtering, or whether it is recommended. From what Dr. Bilal Philips (a Muslim Scholar) explained to me, you need to mention Allaah’s name, in general for Muslims, but there is an exception when it comes to Christians and Jews.

And this is supported by Ibn Abbaas, who was a companion that new the Qur’aan really well and his Tafseer is one that is considered one of the best and most reliable:
It was reported from Yazeed An – Nahwee, from ‘Ikrimah, from Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: The Verse “So eat of that upon which Allaah’s Name has been mentioned.” (6:118) and the Verse “Eat not of that upon which Allaah’s Name has not been mentioned.” (6:121) were abrogated, and an exception was granted for that, so He said “The food of the people of the Book is lawful to you, and yours is lawful to them.” (5:5)[19]

Conclusion:
Sheikh Abu ‘Abdissalam[20] said: “If the general rule in the country is that the huge majority of people still call themselves Christian or Jew, then the asl (general rule) regarding meat in that country is that it is Halaal (of course, this excludes things which are specifically prohibited in Islam such as the pig). This is as long as the general norm is that they slaughter the animal (spill blood by cutting the neck) and not kill it for example by stunning (i.e. the stunning causes the death).”[21]
Narrated ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): A group of people said to the Prophet (peace be upon him), ‘Some people bring us meat and we do not know whether they have mentioned Allah’s Name or not on slaughtering the animal.’ He (peace be upon him) said, “Mention Allah’s Name on it and eat.” Those people had embraced Islam recently.[22]
Sheikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said, after quoting the above hadeeth: “They were new in Islam, and they did not know whether they had said the name of Allah or not, so he said: “Say it yourselves, then eat.” So eating it is permissible even if we do not know whether the one who slaughtered the meat mentioned the name of Allah or not. Similarly it is permissible to eat even if we do not know whether the meat was slaughtered in the proper manner or not, because if the action is carried out by the right people then the basic principle is that it is valid, unless there is evidence to the contrary. So if some meat comes to us from a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian, we should not ask about it or ask how it was slaughtered or whether the name of Allah was mentioned over it. It is Halaal so long as there is no clear proof that it is Haraam. This is a way in which Allah has made things easier for us.”[23]
Thus, it is incumbent upon the Muslim community to do the research and convey the correct information to the public.
The above case study was not to promote McDonalds or claim it is Halaal, my intentions were to simply make us all aware of how to derive correct rulings based on proof. We cannot simply follow our whims and desires or follow our ‘Imams’ blindly. These guidelines should be used for all meats in all restaurants, shops, etc in UK and around the world.
And It is Only Allaah Who grants success. May Allaah Exalt the mention of His slave and Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him), and render him, his household and companion safe from Evil.
————————————————————
References:
· ‘Halaal Meat’, by Sheikh Abu ‘Abdissalam,

· ‘Festivals and Celebrations’, by Dr. Muhammad al – Jiblaay, 2nd Edition, al – Kitaab and as – Sunnah Publishing, 2005

· ‘Make up your own mind about McDonald’s Restaurants and Food Quality’, http://www.makeupyourownmind.co.uk/

[1] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 406

[2] Recorded by Ibn Hibbaan and others from Ibn ‘Abbaas and other companions (may Allaah be pleased with them). Verified to be Saheeh by Sheikh al – Albaanee in ‘Irwaa’ ul – Ghaleel’, Number 2542; as quoted in ‘Festivals and Celebrations’, p. 199

[3] The Noble Qur’aan, Soorah Al-Ma’idah 5:5

[4] They do claim they worship One God and this is also found in the Bible: “You shall have no other gods besides me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” [The Bible, Exodus 20:3-4 (New International Version)]

[5] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786; Also see Saheeh Muslim, Book 026, Number 5430

[6] As quoted in ‘Festivals and Celebrations’, p. 202

[7] Sunan Aboo Daawood, Volume 3, Book 16, Hadeeth Number 2,817, p. 388, Classed as Hasan by Haafiz Aboo Taahir Zubayr ‘Alee Za’i, Darussalam Publishers, [English Translation], 2008

[8] The Noble Qur’aan, Soorah Al-Ma’idah 5:73

[9] The Noble Qur’aan, Soorah An-Nisa 4:171

[10] The Noble Qur’aan, Soorah Al-Baqarah 2:116

[11] http://www.makeupyourownmind.co.uk/question-search?key=slaughter;nh=4#question1

[12] http://www.makeupyourownmind.co.uk/question-search?key=slaughtering#question8

[13] http://www.makeupyourownmind.co.uk/question-search?key=slaughter#question5

[14] http://www.makeupyourownmind.co.uk/question-search?key=slaughter;nh=2#question5

[15] http://www.makeupyourownmind.co.uk/question-search?key=slaughter#question11

[16] The only reason stunning would make a meat Haraam is if the animal died due to the stunning. This would put that meat in the category of ‘dead meat’, and would thus not be permissible. The reason why they normally stun is to make the slaughtering process easier as the animal is large. They also claim its less painful, however, studies have shown the Islaamic method is the least pain full (Its like comparing a blow to the head and a sharp cut due to shaving)

[17] The Noble Qur’aan, Soorah Al-Baqarah 2:185

[18] See Fath-ul-Bari, Page 102, Vol 1; Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 38

[19] Sunan Aboo Daawood, Volume 3, Book 16, Hadeeth Number 2,817, p. 388, Classed as Hasan by Haafiz Aboo Taahir Zubayr ‘Alee Za’i, Darussalam Publishers, [English Translation], 2008

[20] Abu Abdissalam Muhammad Nabeel was born in the central English town of Coventry and was raised in London. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the City University in London, his zeal for knowledge led him to give up a subsequently lucrative career in the computer industry to join Dar Al-Hadith Al-Khayriyyah in the blessed city of Makkah and obtained a degree in Islamic Studies specialising in Hadith and it’s Sciences.

During his time there, he studied under many of the prominent scholars of our time. He is currently in the final year of his degree at the Darul-Hadeeth, Makkah.

During the course of his studies he has acquired ijazas for all of the six major books of Hadith (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Na’sai and Ibn Majah). In addition, he also has ijazas for the Sharh of Aqidah Tahawiyyah of Ibn Abdil Izz al-Hanafi, Shaykh Muhammmad Amin al Harari’s Sharh of Muqadimmah of Muslim and Nuzhat An-Nazr Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikr of Ibn Hajar.

Abu Abdissalam has translated a number of Islamic texts from Arabic into English for the benefit of the English speaking Muslims around the world. He is actively involved in many spheres of Da’wah in the UK and has numerous notable achievements. These include establishing the Islamic Network, a non-profit organization that provides a common platform for various da’wah efforts to work collectively in the UK and abroad.

Abu ‘Abdissalam also appears regularly on Islam Channel, a UK-based satellite channel which is currently broadcasting two of his series: ‘Heavenly Pearls’ and ‘Stories of the Prophets’. [http://alkauthar.org/content.asp?pgc=mdnabeel&From=Our%20Instructors]

[21] ‘Halaal Meat’, http://www.abuabdissalam.com/?p=14

[22] Saheeh Bukhaari, Vol. 3, Book 34, Number 273

[23] Liqaa’aat al-Baab il-Maftooh, 1/77; as quoted in ‘Halaal Meat’, http://www.abuabdissalam.com/?p=14

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