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Meat slaughtered by People of the Book – Is it permissible to Eat?

Every individual is duty bound by the Shari’ah to exercise precaution in eating Halaal (beyond doubt) foods. When it comes to meat and food products (and regarding all matters of life and actions), clear laws from Al-Qur’an and the Sunnah have explained as to what is Lawful/Permissible (Halal) and what is Unlawful/Impermissible(Haram). It is incorrect to raise fresh scruples or doubts and mislead the unknowing. Consuming Halal is an order of Allah (swt) and is an essential part of our faith. Eating Halal is emphasized number of times in Qur’an and Sunnah and is based on divine revelation and not on human reason and logic; and Allah’s commands are very rational if you ponder. Regarding this — Allah (swt) states in Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem: O you People! Eat of what is on earth, Halal and Pure, and do not follow the footsteps of the Satan; Indeed, for he is to you an open enemy (2:168) O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him that you worship (2:172) Eat not (O believers) of that meat on which Allah’s Name has not been pronounced (at the time of slaughter) for sure it is disobedience of Allah (a sinful conduct). And certainly, the Shayaatin (devils) do inspire their friends (from mankind) to dispute with you, and if you obey them [making al-Maytatah legal to eat (Maytatah – a dead animal or animal/bird slaughtered without taking the name of Allah during slaughter)], then you would indeed be a polytheists (doing shirk, ascribing partners to Allah) (6:121) The Aayaat number (6:121) of An`aam explains consumption of meat not slaughtered with Tasmiyah (mentioning the name of Allah swt) as Fisq (sinful act) – transgression and disobedience. The Aayat then explains that to regard consumption of such meat as Halaal is nothing but a teaching of Shaytaan to cause division among the Ummah. The Aayat also warns that obedience of Shaytaan in this matter is akin to Shirk (ascribing partners to Allah). Islamic law pays a lot of attention to the laws of slaughtering of an animal & bird. The Islamic slaughtering, through a legally prescribed method is indeed a ritual act (of obedience and worship of Allah swt) and is a fundamental religious rite that affirms the very faith of the one who does it. It is a ritual act and is obligatory to conform to the laws of slaughter as outlined in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Were the slaughtering of animals / birds not subject to specific laws, then any animal / bird slaughtered – by an atheist or a polytheist, would be permissible and lawfulness would not be restricted to slaughter by a Muslim or People of the Book.

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