Ruling on Eating Meat of the People of the Book & That of Other Disbelievers
Question: Verily I am a Somalian student who studies in China and I face many difficulties concerning food in general and meats in specific. The problems are as follows:
Verily I heard before coming to China that the animals that the atheists slaughter, or it is more appropriate to say that they kill them, it is not permissible for the Muslim to eat them. We have a small restaurant at the university for the Muslims and in it are meats, but I am not certain that they have been slaughtered in the Islaamic manner, and I have doubt about that even though my friends do not have doubt like me. They eat from that meat. Are they correct or are they eating something Haraam (forbidden)?
In reference to the containers for cooking the food, there is no distinguishing between the containers of the Muslims and the cooking containers of people other than them (i.e. disbelievers). What is required of me to do concerning these matters? Ibraaheem Alif. Baa. (his initials) - Somalian student
Answer: It is not permissible to eat the animals slaughtered by the disbelievers except for the People of the Book, from the Jews and the Christians. It makes no difference whether those other people are Majians, or idol worshippers, or Communists or other than them from the various types of disbelievers. It is also not permissible to eat whatever is mixed with their slaughtered animals, such as the broth (or gravy) and other than it. This is because Allaah, far removed is He from any imperfections, has not permitted for us any of the slaughtered meats of the disbelievers, with exception to the slaughtered meat of the People of the Book. This occurs in His statement, the Mighty and Majestic:
"Today the good things have been made permissible for you and the food (slaughtered meat) of those who have been given the Book is lawful for you and your food (slaughtered meat) is lawful for them."
This is the fifth verse from Sooratul-Maa'idah. And their food is their slaughtered animals, just as Ibn 'Abbaas and others besides him have said. In reference to the fruits and similar foods (i.e. vegetables, fruit, grains, fish, and so forth), then there is no harm in them because they are not included in the prohibited food. In reference to the food of the Muslims, then it is permissible for the Muslims and other than them, if they (those who slaughtered it) are truly Muslims, who do not worship anything other than Allaah, nor do they call upon anyone else besides Him along with Him, such as Prophets, righteous people, people who are deceased in the graves and other than them from that which is worshiped by the disbelievers.
In reference to the cooking containers, then it is obligatory upon the Muslims that they have cooking containers other than the cooking containers of the disbelievers, which they use to cook their food and intoxicants and so forth. If the Muslims cannot find containers (specifically for their use), then it is obligatory upon the Muslims' cook to wash the containers that the disbelievers use, and then put the food of the Muslims in them. This is due to what is confirmed in the two Saheehs (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) on the authority of Aboo Tha'labah Al-Khashanee (radhiyallaahu 'anhu) that he asked the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) about eating from the containers of the polytheists. Thus, the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said to him,
"Do not eat from them unless you cannot find anything else, then (if you can't find any other container) wash them (the disbelievers' containers) and eat from them."
Source: Al-Fataawaa min Kitaabud-Da'wah, Vol. 1, pp.249-250
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