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Animal slaughtered by the People of Book


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I want to ask you a question, as you know that I was in Canada for vacations, whenever I go there a dispute regarding chicken is being discussed. I never took much interest in it but in your tasawuf book there was a Hadith from Bukhari, Kitab of Zabaih in which we are given permission to eat meat after saying bismillah if we are not sure if the slaughtering was done appropriately and then I kept on reading and found many Hadiths permitting different methods of slaughtering, eating meat sold by Christians etc. I want to know:

1. Where does some scholars draw there ruling that we can't eat Christian and Jewish meat if there are permitting Hadiths in Bukhari?

2. Some scholars allow chicken from Christians and Jews but not beef, why.?

3. What's your personal opinion?

Please give me ur answe whenever u can, I know u r busy.



June 2012

Dear Brother

Wa alaikum us salam wa Rahmatullah

Such Hadith is applicable in those cases where there is doubt about something. If it is confirmed that some Non-Muslim has slaughtered an animal and we know that they do not care about the Islamic way of slaughtering, we should avoid it. Doubt is usually possible where Muslims and Non-Muslims are in comparable proportions. In countries like Canada, mostly animals are slaughtered by non-Muslims except if it is explicitly mentioned as Halal.

There is a difference between Jews and Christians. Jews follow the Shari'ah of Torah which is almost the same as the Islamic Shari'ah in slaughtering. So it is permissible to eat the animal slaughtered by them whether beef, mutton or chicken. Christians do not follow the Shari'ah so we do not know how they are slaughtering, so we should avoid it unless we know that they slaughter according to the Law of Torah. This is my personal opinion and many scholars have the same.

About the views mentioned by you, I have not read anything. Can you please give me reference of these views? It may be possible that they have said something based on their experience as our opinion is based on our experience.



Thanks for your answer, please review the translation of Bukhari , page 465-466,


The Ahadith are:

Ayesha رضی اللہ عنہا reported that some people asked the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم: “Some people bring meat to us and we do not know whether they said Bismillah on it?” He replied: “Say Bismillah and eat.” Ayesha said that people were closer to the period of infidelity that time. (Bukhari, Kitab us Said wal Zabaih, Hadith No. 5188)

Ibn Mughafal رضی اللہ عنہ reported that we besieged the fort of Khyber (populated by Jews) and a person threw a bag full of fat. I ran to take it but then saw the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم ,  I felt shame. Ibn Abbas رضی اللہ عنہ said that the word “the food of Jews and Christians” means “their slaughtered meat.” (Hadith 5189)

Explicit permission to eat the slaughter of Christians was allowed then what I don't understand is that why do we fight over this, I read in another books that the rules for zabiha have been made very easy in islam as compared to Jews. (Jewish laws are very strict and that’s the reason that there are no kosher Mcdonalds, KFC etc even in new York where Jews are maximum.)

In Canada, there is so much problem for common man, Maulvis fighting over petty things, like how many blood vessels to be cut, only hand slaughter is permissible, one organizations give halal certificate,  the other says it doubtful. If a Muslim opens a slaughter house then it has to be inspected by 2 officials from that organization every week, the owner has to give travelling, boarding and if they a restaurant wants to serve halal meat then they charge up to 1400 dollars per month for the Halal Certificate. Ordinary chicken legs, for e.g. is 49 cents and halal is 250 cents, almost 200% profit. In short, unfortunately common man has lot of problems created by ''money making fatawas'' and I am really angry at it.


Very sorry to hear about the commercialization of religion. Islam is very simple and easy but our religious people making it complicated for their personal advantage.

We find that the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم was very lenient in these matters and always suggested easy solutions. You are right that Islam made the law of previous nations easy and the Quran has called it إصر وإغلال i.e. handcuffs and chains.

In this particular case, I shall advise you to refrain from the slaughter of Christians until you know that they are doing so according to the Law of Torah. In the time of the Prophet, Jews and Christians were Arabized and they used to follow the practice of the Jewish or Muslim law. Even present-day Christian Arabs follow Islamic teachings in many ways. In my opinion, if you are buying from the shop of a reliable Muslim / Jew and he tells you that it is halal / kosher, it is enough and there is no need to go for further investigation or demanding a certificate. So try your best to buy from Muslim hotels. However, if you have doubt due to some reason, you can ask for certificate.



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