Dear all, assalamualaikum.
I received an email regarding this matter from my landlord. The argument presented are quite compelling and may be controversial for some. It makes me wonder whether Muslims (including me!) who avoid eating meat that doesn’t carry the ‘Halal’ label tagged by some authority are in fact acting contrary to Quran which is declaring as unlawful as Allah permitted (May Allah forgive us). I would greatly appreciate that you all can share your views with me through the comment box perhaps after doing some research or consulting ustaz or ustazah who are knowledgeable on the subject.
Many Muslims keep arguing about what they call ‘halal meat’ without even knowing the Quranic criteria. Most of those who reach the USA or Europe from other countries, or those who convert to Islam in the Western countries, are usually confronted by some Muslims, “Do not eat but the halal meat.” What do they really mean by halal meat? Nothing Quranic!
Most importantly, let us not equate halal with Zabeeha. The word ZABEEHA does not even appear in the Quran. God knew in His infinite Wisdom that the ways of slaughtering would keep changing with time.
16:115 He only prohibits for you the dead animal, blood, and swine-flesh and anything that has been dedicated to other than God….
16:116 Do not keep uttering in falsehood, “This is lawful and this is unlawful”, thus inventing lies against God. Those who fabricate lies against God, fail to prosper in their own ‘self’.
The upholding of any prohibitions not specifically mentioned in the Quran is nothing but idolatry. Such man-made restrictions represent some other god(s) beside God. If we obey God alone, we will uphold His laws alone and honor only His commandments. God very clearly mentions in the Quran what is prohibited from the food and meat.
2:173 He has forbidden you: dead meat (carrion), blood, swine-flesh, and anything (NOT JUST MEAT) that has been dedicated to other than God (be it a person, an idol or a tomb 5:3) …)
In addition to ignorance, the term “halal Meat” is a term often used for profits. Those calling their meat halal, are actually claiming that any other meat is not halal. And that the meat sold in the general groceries (supermarkets in the West) is not halal. They make more money on their products by selling it expensive. Ordinary Muslims get deceived that their meat is the only halal meat for them. God Almighty always knew that many Muslims would be living among People of the Book and sharing their food and for this reason God stated the following:
5:5 “Today, all good food is made lawful for you. The food of the People of the Book) is Lawful (HALAL) for you……”
BEFORE EATING: God Almighty has also specified a simple criterion for His servants. Mention God’s Name on EVERYTHING you are going to eat. See 5:4, & 6:118-119.
6:119 Why should you refuse to eat on which God’s Name has been pronounced (i.e. it is dedicated to Him alone)?
NOT BEFORE SLAUGHTERING: Muslims have substituted God’s command (mentioning His Name on food before eating it) by a non-Quranic condition of their own making. They have made slaughtering (ZABEEHA) the ONLY lawful method of killing an animal for its meat. There is absolutely no such restriction in the Quran. As a result of this man-made restriction, the Mullah-minded Muslims and meat merchants insist that the Name of God must be mentioned on it before slaughtering an animal. The following observations prove that this imposed restriction is false and that it is non-Quranic:
01. The first reason is that unless you have slaughtered the animal yourself, you cannot be sure that the Name of God has been mentioned on the animal. Therefore, the only choice available is to mention God’s Name before eating.
02. Another reason behind mentioning God’s Name on our food before eating is appreciation:
16:114 So enjoy all the lawful and decent THINGS which God has provided for you. And be grateful for God’s bounty if it is Him you truly serve.
This act of appreciation for God’s blessings would not be genuine and heartfelt if we rely on someone else taking God’s Name somewhere in the slaughter house.
03. By reading 16:114, we note that the command of uttering God’s Name is related to whatever we eat, ANYTHING, and not just meat. This includes fruit, vegetables, or even snacks like cookies, biscuits or peanuts etc. Should we slaughter fruit, cookies and peanuts? So, the only way to obey God’s law is to take His Name before eating all foods.
04. Verse 5:5 makes it clear that God has made it Lawful for us to eat the food of People of the Book (Jews, Christians). As the Christians in particular do not take God’s Name before slaughtering, their food is still lawful for us. This can only mean that the duty is laid on each of us before eating our food and nothing else.
BLOOD: Muslims need to recall that People of the Book also consider blood as Forbidden. Whichever way the animal is killed for consumption, its blood either drains out or lodges in its veins. This blood is automatically removed during washing the meat. See that happen in a chicken you buy from a Christian merchant or from a Muslim pushing for ‘Zabeeha’ meat.
A HADITH DISCARDED: The Hadith lovers even discard their beloved Bukhari (2057) here: Narrated by Bibi Aisha, A group of people asked the Prophet, “People bring us meat and we do not know if God’s Name has been mentioned on it.” The Prophet (S) replied, “Say BISMILLAH and eat it.”
Allah knows best.
Surat Al-Maidah 5.3
Surat Al Baqarah 2:173
Surat Al Baqarah 2:168
Surat An-Nahl 16-115
Surat An-Nahl 16-116
Surat Al-Anam 6-118
Surat Al-Anam 6-119
Surat Al-Maidah 5-5