Eating meat slaughtered by The People of the Book

 "This day are (all) things Good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time, when you give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues…" (Maa'ida: 5)  See the explanation of this ayat by some world renown scholars.  


  •  Dr. Jamal Badawi: Active in several Islamic organizations, including the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations,"Fiqh Council of North America, America FCNA), Muslim American Society", European Council for Fatwa and the founder and chairman of the Islamic Information Foundation, a non-profit foundation seeking to promote a better understanding of Islam and Muslims towards non-Muslims. He has lectured extensively in North America and abroad, and speaks on a variety of topics including and Christianity and is a guest scholar at The American Learning Institute for Muslims.  This is his explanation: Explanation of the ocasion of revelation of ayat 5:5
  •  Dr. Mohammad Salah explanation of this ayat: MBA in Islamic studies , Indiana, USA. BA in Shari'ah and Islamic Law from the University of Al-Azhar and BA in pharmacology. He obtained a four-year diploma in Muslim arts and Arabic calligraphy. He obtained the pre-master diploma in Islamic studies from the American Open University. Dr. Mohammad's explanation". 
  • Abdullah bin Baz explanation of this ayat: Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia from 1993 until his death in 1999. Explanation of the Ayat (Arabic) 
  • Sheikh Assim Alhakeem explanation: graduated from the prestigious Umm al-Qura University in Makkah, Saudi Arabia in 1998. At present Shaikh Assim is an Imam of a masjid in Jeddah, a role which he has held for the past 20 years, where the sheikh delivers the weekly Friday sermons and lectures on various Islamic Sciences.    Sheikh Assim Alhakeem's opinion. 
  • Sheikh Yasir Birjas vs Sheikh Yasir Qadhi Debate:

    Discussion concerning eating the Meat slaughtered by the People of the Book is based on Verse 5 of Surah Al-Maidah

    Debate Part - 2


 In conclusion, as advised by the mayority scholars and as explained  in my lectures:

  • It is permissible to eat from the People of The Book.  All the Muslim scholars regardless of their school of Fiqh (Hambali, Hanafi, Shaafi'ee, and Maaliki) agreed on this lawfulness. It has been proven in an authentic hadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ate from a sheep meat offered to him by a Jewish woman.

The disagreement between them comes regarding  the permisibility of eating the meat if the name of Allah was not mentioned or if another name besides Allah was mentioned. Accordingly, it is suggested that we follow the following guideliness regarding its permissibility of eating it:

  • If we know that the animal was slaughtered by the People of the Book according to the rules of Islam, it is permissible to eat it.  But, if the animal is known to be killed by electric shock, drowning, or killed by bullets etc., then it is forbidden to eat it. This is because the meat would be considered "dead meat" which it is forbidden in Surah Al-maaida: 3.


  •  If we are offered meat and we don't know if it has been slaughtered properly or not, then the rule of thumb is that if we don't know the way of slaughter, the default is that it is permitted if it has been slaughtered by Muslims or Ahl il-Kitaab (Fatawa Islamiyya, Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Bin Baz, 3/404), as per ayah (interpretation of the meaning) "and the food of the people to whom have been revealed the Book is permitted for you." (al-Maa'ida:5). But, if it becomes evident to us that they have not slaughtered it properly then it would not be permisible


  •  If we receive their meat and we don't know what they have mentioned upon it, the majority of the scholars agree that it is not permissible to eat this meat based on the ayat that says "And do not eat of that upon which the Name of Allaah has not been mentioned, for indeed, it is a grave disobedience." [Quran 6:121] . But,  according to the Fiqh school of imam Sh'aa'fil it is the permissibility of eating it . This opinon is based on the hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari and imaam Abu Dawood, narrated by Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) "that some people said to the Prophet (peace be upon him) that a people come to them with meat which they do not know whether they have mentioned the name of Allah upon it or not. The Prophet replied "Mention the name of Allah upon it and eat it." To be on the safe side and if there is no need, it is better for us to stick to the opinion of the majority of the Ulamah.

 With the above said, it is still better for us Muslims, to stick to what we are sure it is permissible according to the rules of Islam and to avoid anything that may be doubful. But, it is not proper to attack or disrepect any of our fellow Muslims if they have a different opinion that ours or if they follow a different school of thought regarding this permissibility.

Allah-supponahu-wa Allah  knows best.

Sheikh Mostafa, Imam of Masjid Manhattan

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New York, New York 10038 

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