The Fiqh of Halal and Haram Food

From the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah, as understood by the Salaf

Praise be to Allaah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allaah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allaah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “ O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allâh, if it is indeed He Whom you worship.” (Al-Baqarah 2:172)

Insha’Allah the aim of this email is to outline what is the definition of Halaal (Lawful) and Haram (Prohibited) in Islam, and to provide a guide or understanding of how one may identify what has been prohibited in Islam and what is Halaal. Also remember, if come across a product you are not sure of, or you find meat of an animal which you are not sure if it is classified as Halal or not, follow the advice of the Messenger of Allah, “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.” [Collected by Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’I and ad-Darimi; authenticated by Sheikh al-Albaani in Sahih al-Jami as-Saghir, Vol. 1, p. 637, Number 3378]

May Allah forgive me for my errors and mistakes. ameen


1. Introduction

Sheikh Muhammad bin Salih Al-‘Uthaimin said, “…it is necessary of you to know the basic principle regarding foods’ permissibility – except those things for which there is evidence of prohibition. If we are in doubt about whether something is permissible or forbidden, then it is permissible until it because clear that it is prohibited. The evidence for this is in the Words of Allah, Most High: “He it is Who created for you all that is on earth…” (Al-Baqarah 2:29) and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Verily Allah has obligated the obligations – so do not neglect them. And He has limited the limits – so do not transgress them. And His silence about things is from His mercy, not forgetfulness, so do not investigate them.” (Ad-Darqutni No. 4/199 and Al-Baihaqi No. 10/122). According to this principle, all animals are permissible until the evidence of prohibition is established.” [Fatawa Islamiyah, Volume 6, p. 220]


2. Halal Food

Everything on this earth is permissible, unless evidence is provided for its prohibition. Even if the Messenger of Allah didn’t eat something, it doesn’t mean its not permissible! It could be that he didn’t travel far enough to find that kind of food, or he simply didn’t like it. For example, like in the case of the Lizard, he didn’t like it, so did not eat it, but he also didn’t prohibit it. And Allah knows best


a) Land Animals

All animals on land are permissible, as long as there is no evidence to prohibit them, and as long as they are slaughter correctly. Allah says in Quran, “Made lawful to you this day are At¬Tayyibât [all kinds of Halâl (lawful) foods, which Allâh has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, etc., milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals, etc.) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:5)

“So eat of the lawful and good food which Allâh has provided for you. And be grateful for the Graces of Allâh, if it is He Whom you worship.” (An-Nahl 16:114) “… Eat of what Allâh has provided for you, and follow not the footsteps of Shaitân (Satan). Surely he is to you an open enemy.” (Al-An'am 6:142)

Blood carries organisms responsible for various diseases. Therefore in Islam, before an animal may be eaten, it needs to be slaughter the correct manner. A sharp knife is taken and (after mentioning Allah’s name) an incision is made in the animal’s neck, at some point just below the glottis and root of the neck. The throat and oesophagus must be cut in addition to the jugular vein and carotid artery. The head is therefore not to be severed completely. The (bad) blood is then drained (by the beating heart) and the animal becomes Halal. [For more information of the Fiqh of Slaughtering, please refer to Al – Dhabh, by Ghulam Khan, Taha publishers Ltd]


b) Sea creatures

However, everything in the sea is Halal and does not need any slaughtering. Allah says in the Qur’an, “Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water¬game and its use for food - for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel,…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:96)


c) Meat of The People of The Book

“Made lawful to you this day are At¬Tayyibât [all kinds of Halâl (lawful) foods, which Allâh has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, etc., milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.). The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals, etc.) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:5)

Some people believe that this verse does not apply to us anymore because the Christians and jews have deviated a lot now. But this is in great error. The reply to this, The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa said, “The Jews and Christians were disbelievers in many of the fundamentals of faith which were brought in the Torah and Injeel: the Jews disbelieved in the prophethood of some prophets, such as ‘Isa and Muhammad (peace be upon them), and they killed the prophets unlawfully and corrupted many of the laws of the Torah. A number of them said ‘Uzair was the son of Allah, etc. and the Christians used to say that Allah is the third of three (in a trinity), and that Isa is the son of Allah, and they disbelieve in the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him)…etc.

In spite of this, Allah called them the People of the Scripture and He made it permissible for the Muslims (to eat) their slaughtered animals and to marry their chaste women. Their disbelief, their polytheism and their corruption of their Scriptures did not prevent the ruling of the People of the Scripture being implemented regarding them during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). So it does not prevent them from being implemented regarding them until the Day of Resurrection.…” [Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 6, p. 247]

Therefore, the meat from Jews and Christians is Halal. However, there is one condition, the meat must be slaughtered in the Islamic manner (ie the bad blood needs to be drained – mentioning the name of Allah is not necessary of them). So if you are aware of a Christian or Jewish butchery that slaughters in this manner, their meat is Halal in accordance to this verse:- “Made lawful to you this day are At¬Tayyibât [all kinds of Halâl (lawful) foods, which Allâh has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, etc., milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.). The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals, etc.) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:5)

However, if they use a strong electric shock or break the animals neck (ie kill the animal before draining the blood), then the animal is considered to be dead and this falls under the verse: “Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals - cattle-beast not slaughtered), …” (Al-Ma'idah 5:3)

Sheikh Ibn Baz said, “It is permissible to eat their slaughtered animals as long as it is not known that there were slaughtered by a method other than the Islamic menthod…” [Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 6, p. 248]


d.) Necessity

In the case of Necessity, anything forbidden becomes Halal. So for example, if you were in a plan crash and you only had alcohol to drink, the acohol would become Halal and infact obligatory because it’s a matter of life and death. Also, if there is no food, and you find a dead person, you will be allowed to eat part of him, if that is the only way you can survive. However, this rule only limits you to eat what is necessary. So if you only need a class of wine, you should not have anymore, because anything extra would be Haram!

“…But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above-mentioned meats), then surely, Allâh is Oft¬Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Ma'idah 5:3)

In the Sharee’ah, true meaning of being “forced” and “dire necessity” are circumstances in which one may incur the loss of life or limb. Only in situations in which one’s life or limb is actually threatened can be considered the type of necessity which would make certain Haraam practices permissible.


3. Haram Food

Everything on this earth is permissible, unless evidence is provided for its prohibition. The evidence could be direct text from the Quran, or from the hadith about specific creatures, like donkeys or swine. Or it could be indirect, in this case it the prohibited animal would be identified by the characteristics of an animal feature described in the prohibition. For example, all fanged animals are prohibited, so lions would be in that category, although it is not explicitly stated.

Here are some of the specific animals that have been prohibited and some of the characteristics or features of prohibited animals.

Please note: That means if fanged animals are prohibited, it will cover all animals with fangs. So if you find an animal not mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, but has the feature of a prohibited animal, that animal is prohibited too. But any animal that is not mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, and doesn’t have any of the prohibited features, like fangs and a talon, then it is Halal. And Allah knows best


a) Dead Meat “Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals - cattle-beast not slaughtered), …” (Al-Ma'idah 5:3)


b) Blood “Forbidden to you (for food) are… blood, …” (Al-Ma'idah 5:3) Muhammad bin Idris Ash-Shafi`i recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said, “We were allowed two dead animals and two (kinds of) blood. As for the two dead animals, they are fish and locust. As for the two bloods, they are liver and spleen.” [Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ibn Majah, Ad-Daraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi also recorded this Hadith through `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam, who is a weak narrator. Refer to Tafsir of Ibn Katheer]


c) Swine “Forbidden to you (for food) are: …the flesh of swine, ….” (Al-Ma'idah 5:3)


d) Animals Slaughter in the Name another than of Allah (like to flase gods or idols, etc) “Forbidden to you (for food) are: … meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allâh, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allâh's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering,…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:3) This means meat from Hindus, Sikhs, atheists, etc are all forbidden.


d) Animals with Fangs Narrated Abu Tha'laba: Allah's Apostle forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 438] So wild beasts like Lions, tigers, wolves, cheetahs, etc are all prohibited unless stated otherwise.


e) Birds with Talons Ibn 'Abbas reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) prohibited the eating of all fanged beasts of prey, and all the birds having talons. [Sahih Muslim, Book 021, Number 4752] So this includes birds like hawks, eagles, vultures, etc.

f) Domestic Donkeys Narrated Al-Bara' and Ibn Abi 'Aufa: The Prophet prohibited the eating of donkey's meat. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 434]


g) Animals (and creatures) that are commanded to be killed. A'isha reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said this: Five are the vicious and harmful things which should be killed even within the precincts of Haram: rat, scorpion, crow. kite and voracious dog. [Sahih Muslim, Book 007, Number 2721] Al-Nawawi said: According to the scholars, the vermin of the earth such as (land) snakes, scorpions, dung beetles, cockroaches, rats etc., are haraam. This is the view of Abu Haneefah, Ahmad and Dawood. [Al-Majmoo’, 9/17, 18] “…and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khabâ'ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.), …” (Al-A'raf 7:157)


h) Harmful Animals Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid said, “Everything that can cause harm is forbidden as food, even if it comes from the sea, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you.” [al-Nisa’ 4:29] and: “… and do not throw yourselves into destruction…” [al-Baqarah 2:195]. And Allah Knows Best


4.) List of Halal and Haram animals

Here is a list of some animals that are Halal and some that are prohibited. Evidence has been provided for all of them. Insha’Allah the aim of this list is to help you understand how the prohibited features , like fangs and talons, are implemented to classifiy the nature of the permissibility of an Animal. I have also added some that were exempted from general rules, like for example, all fanged animals were prohibited, but Hyena is an exception, as the evidence below proves. And allah knows Best


i) Hyena Meat

Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah said, “I asked Allah’s Messenger about the hyena and he replied, “It is game, and if one in the state of ihram hunts it, he should give a sheep as atonement.” [Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 3, p. 1071, Number 3792; as-Daarimee, al-Bayhaqee, Ibn Hibaan, ad-Daaraqutnee and al-Hakim, and declared Sahih (authentic) by al-Haakim and al-Albaani in Irwaa al-Ghaleel, Vol. 1, p. 242, Number 1050]

Many Scholars including Abu Haneefah, Maalik and ath-Thawree have prohibited the eating of hyena based on this hadith: Ibn Abbas reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) forbade (the eating) of all the fanged beasts of prey, and of all the birds having talons. [Sahih Muslim, Book 021, Number 4754] They also use another hadith: Khuzayman ibn Juz’ said, “I asked Allah’s Messenger about the Hyena and he said, “Does anyone eat the Hyena?” [at –Trimidhee, however this narration is Da’eef (inauthentic)] The former narration contains a general prohibition to which the hyena is permissible, by Jaabir’s narration mentioned above. Infact, besides ash-Shaafi’ee and Ahmad, Ibn ‘Abbas, who reported the general prohibition, himself permitted the eating of a hyena. And Allah knows best


ii) Fish and other Sea creatures

“Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water¬game and its use for food - for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel,…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:96) Ibn `Abbas said that “water game” refers to what is taken from water while still alive, while, “and its use for food” refers to what the water throws ashore dead. Similar statements were reported from Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, Zayd bin Thabit, `Abdullah bin `Amr, Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari, `Ikrimah, Abu Salamah bin `Abdur-Rahman, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and Al-Hasan Al-Basri. [Refer to Tafsir Ibn Katheer]

This means anything from the sea is therefore permissible, including: Shrimp, prawns, lobsters, shark, crab, etc. “Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals - cattle-beast not slaughtered),…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:3)

In his Tafsir (Commentary of the Quran) Imam Ibn Katheer says, “Allah informs His servants that He forbids consuming the mentioned types of foods, such as the Maytah, which is the animal that dies before being properly slaughtered or hunted. Allah forbids this type of food due to the harm it causes, because of the blood that becomes clogged in the veins of the dead animal. Therefore, the Maytah is harmful, religiously and physically, and this is why Allah has prohibited it. The only exception to this ruling is fish, for fish is allowed, even when dead, by slaughtering or otherwise.”

Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said about the sea, “Its water is clean and what dies in it is Halal.” [Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1, p. 22, Number 83; authenticated by Sheikh al-Albaani in Sahih al-Jami’ as-Saghir, Vol. 2, p. 1184, Number 7048]

However, if there is something that is harmful or poisonous in the sea (or indeed on land) it is strictly prohibited. Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid said, “Everything that can cause harm is forbidden as food, even if it comes from the sea, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you.” [al-Nisa’ 4:29] and: “… and do not throw yourselves into destruction…” [al-Baqarah 2:195]. And Allah Knows Best


iii) Otters, Crabs and Turtles.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid said, “The correct view is that to be on the safe side, it is permissible to eat them after slaughtering them properly, because they live both on land and in the sea. Here the rule is that in the case of animals that live both on land and in the sea, the rules concerning land animals should be given precedence, to be on the safe side, so they must be slaughtered properly,…”

This is because of the “bad blood” that needs to be drained. However, the Sheikh says, “…except for crabs which do not need to be slaughtered, even though they live both on land and in the sea, because they do not have blood.” From this, he means the blood is not the same as those of other land animals. Infact some crab’s blood extract is actually used in medicine. Please refer to http://www.horseshoecrab.org/med/med.html

The Hanafi View is that this verse, “Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water¬game and its use for food - for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel,…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:96) Refers to only fish. However, there is no evidence for this and majority of scholars have said the correct understanding is that it refers to everything that lives in the sea. As for those that live on land and seas, they are Also Halal and as the sheikh explained above, on the safe side, they should be slaughtered in the Islamic manner when possible. And Allah knows best


iv) Crocodiles and Snails

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa said, “Malik and a number of other scholars, and Ash-Shafi’I, permitted eating snail and crocodiles, because they are from the game of the sea and so they are included in the generality of the Words of Allah, Most High: “Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water¬game and its use for food - for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel,…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:96)

Abu Hanifah and a number of other scholars forbade them because they are predators, [at least the crocodile falls under that category] so they are included in the generality of the Prophet’s prohibition of eating any predator with fangs. And the question is one requiring Ijtihaad and the matter is a wide one, so it is more prudent not to eat them, bearing in mind the difference of opinion and the preponderance of the likelihood that it is not allowed.” [Fatawa Islamiyah, 6/230]

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid was asked about Crocodiles and he said, “The correct view is that eating these is not allowed, because they have fangs and live on land – even though they may spend a lot of time in the water – so precedence should be given to the reason for forbidding it (it is a land animal that has fangs)” and Allah Knows Best.



v) Ostrich

Ostrich (na’aamah) is permissible. It does not have Talons or fangs, or indeed any other feature of the prohibited animals. Many of the scholars have mentioned it when talking about certain rulings, for example, in The penalty of hunting by a muhrim (one who is in a state of ihraam for Hajj or ‘umrah). Al-Shaafa'i said: if the muhrim catches an ostrich, then a sacrifice must be offered for that. (al-Umm, 2/210)


vi) The Ruling on Eating Hedgehogs

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa said, “The hedgehog, known as An-Nees, is a small four-legged creature with spines which grow in a tangled mass over it. It is permissible to eat it, because it does not possess fangs, not does it eat carrion, it lives only on grasses, like that rabbit and other such creatures. The basic principle in such matters as this is permissibility and license until some proof removing that permissibility is confirmed. As for the Hadith which was narrated by Abu Dawud from the Prophet peace be upon him in which he said that hedgehog is one of the obnoxious things, it is a weak Hadith according to the scholars. [Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 6, p. 224]


vii) Ruling on eating horse meat

The majority of scholars are of the view that it is permissible to eat horses, because of the sound ahaadeeth that have been narrated concerning that. Narrated Asma': We slaughtered a horse (by Dhabh) during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle while we were at Medina, and we ate it. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 419]

Other scholars – including Abu Haneefah and his two companions – are of the view that it is makrooh to eat horse meat. They quoted a Qur’aanic verse and a hadeeth as evidence for that. The verse is as follows (interpretation of the meaning): “And (He has created) horses, mules and donkeys, for you to ride and as an adornment” [al-Nahl 16:8] The hadeeth that they quote is that which was narrated from Khaalid ibn al-Waalid, that he said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade the flesh of horses, mules and donkeys, and every wild animal that has fangs.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood, al-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah.] This hadeeth is da’eef (weak), and was classed as such by al-Albaani in Da’eef Abi Dawood.


viii) Lizard Meat

'Abdullah b. 'Abbas reported: I and Khalid b. Walid went to the apartment of Maimuna along with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and there was presented to him a roasted lizard. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) stretched his hand towards It, whereupon some of the women who had been in the house of Maimuna said: Inform Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) what he intends to eat. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) lifted his hand. I said: Messenger of Allah, Is it forbidden? He said: No. It is not found in the land of my people, and I feel that I have no liking for it. Khalid said: I then chewed and ate it, while, Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) was looking (at me). [Sahih Muslim, Book 021, Number 4790]



ix) Donkey and Mule

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Someone came to Allah's Apostle and said, "The donkeys have been (slaughtered and) eaten. Another man came and said, "The donkeys have been destroyed." On that the Prophet ordered a caller to announce to the people: Allah and His Apostle forbid you to eat the meat of donkeys, for it is impure.' Thus the pots were turned upside down while the (donkeys') meat was boiling in them. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 436] This prohibition is on “Domestic” donkeys. However, Onagers or “Wild” donkeys are Halal. Please refer to the ahadith of Abu Qatadah [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 400 and others] and Allah knows best

Sheikh Muhammad bin Salih Al-‘Uthaimin said, “…Also included (in the prohibition of impure animals) is that which is born an animal which may be eaten and one which may not, such as the Mule, because the mule is born of the donkey when it mates with a female horse, and the horse is permissible, while the donkey is forbidden. So when something is born of that which may be eaten and that which may not, the forbidden portion overcomes the permissible portion and it becomes forbidden…” [Fatawa Islamiya, Vol. 6, p. 219]


x) Dog Meat

Narrated Abu Tha'laba: Allah's Apostle forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number]


xi) Eating Frogs and Frogs’ legs

We put this question to Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen, may Allaah preserve him, who answered as follows: Frogs are haraam and so are the parts of their bodies, because they are regarded as revolting and unclean.

It is not permitted to eat them because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade killing them, as is reported in the hadeeth of ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Uthmaan, who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade the killing of frogs. [Narrated by Imaam Ahmad and Ibn Maajah; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 6970]. The rule is that everything which we are forbidden to kill, we are not allowed to eat; if we are allowed to eat it we are allowed to kill it.

xii) Ruling on eating Insects, Vermin and Rodents

Scorpions, Rats, Crows, Kites, (rabid) dogs, are prohibited based on the hadith: A'isha reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said this: Five are the vicious and harmful things which should be killed even within the precincts of Haram: rat, scorpion, crow. kite and voracious dog. [Sahih Muslim, Book 007, Number 2721]

Al-Nawawi said: According to the scholars, the vermin of the earth such as (land) snakes, scorpions, dung beetles, cockroaches, rats etc., are haraam. This is the view of Abu Haneefah, Ahmad and Dawood. [Al-Majmoo’, 9/17, 18] However, Sea Snakes are permissible due to the generality of the Words of Allah, Most High: “Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water¬game and its use for food - for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel,…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:96) and Allah Knows Best

xiii) Eating peacock meat

Shaykh Dr. Khaalid al-Mushayqih said, “It is permissible to eat peacock meat because the basic principle is that it is halaal. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “He it is Who created for you all that is on earth” [al-Baqarah 2:29]

And it does not come under the same heading as the things prohibited in the hadeeth: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade the eating of every animal that has fangs and every bird that has talons. Narrated by Muslim, 3574. And it is not harmful, so it is permissible to eat it. And Allaah knows best.

xiv) Ruling on eating Crows, Foxes, Gazelles and Eagles

Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah al-Jibreen said, “With regard to crows, it is not permissible to eat them, because they are vermin which may be killed whether one is in ihraam or not. They eat carrion and filthy things. But there is a kind of crow that eats only seeds and pure things, so it is halaal. It is smaller than the well-known black crow. As for foxes, they have fangs and hunt other animals, and they eat impure things, so they are haraam..

As for eagles, they have talons, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade every bird that has talons. This includes birds that eat what they can carry in their talons, or they use them for hunting, like eagles, sparrow hawks, falcons, hawks, etc. And because they also eat carrion and feed on filth, they are all haraam.

With regard to gazelles, they are halaal according to scholarly consensus, because they are game that avoid contact with humans. The Sahaabah said that a fidyah (ransom) is to be paid by those who kill them in the Haram or when in ihraam, which indicates that they are permissible. And Allaah knows best. [Fatwa of Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah al-Jibreen in Majallat al-Da’wah, issue no. 1885, p. 50.]

xv) Locusts

Ibn Abu Aufa reported: We went on seven expeditions with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and ate locusts. [Sahih Bukhari, Book 021, Number 4801]


5.) Questions and Answers Regarding Halal and Haram Food

i) Eating Food Cooked with Alcohol

It is not permissible to eat dishes cooked with alcohol, as ALL the alcohol is not evaporated with cooking or heat. Refer to the following, quoted from the famous Mayo Clinic:

“Many people believe that because alcohol is sensitive to heat, it is eliminated with cooking. However, not all the alcohol content of alcoholic drinks is removed with heat; it depends on the type and time of cooking. For instance if you add beer or wine to boiling liquid, then immediately remove it from the heat, 85 per cent of the alcohol content will remain. If you light the alcohol, as in flambé dishes, 75 per cent will remain. Even after simmering the dish for one and a half hours, it will still have 20 per cent of the original alcohol content.

It is only if you simmer the mixture for two or more hours, (as you would with a wine-based beef casserole), that as little as five to 10 per cent of the original alcohol content remains. [Mayo Clinic Health Oasis http://www.mayohealth.org]

ii) Foods produced in the West, such as gelatine and Cheese

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid said, “Of the foods which are to be found nowadays, some of them are clearly haraam, such as dead meat [from an animal which has died naturally as opposed to being slaughtered properly] and pork. Some foods may contain ingredients and derivatives which come from haraam sources, so we have to find out where they come from so that we may know what the ruling is concerning them. The gelatin which was mentioned in the question may originate from the skin, muscles and bones of haraam animals such as pigs. Hence gelatin which is derived from collagen which comes from pigs is haraam, because it is as if the pig had been turned into salt. The most correct view is that it is haraam even if it has been changed, so long as it originally came from a pig, which is haraam.

The fats which are used in foods come either from vegetable sources or animal sources. If they come from vegetable sources they are halaal, so long as they have not been mixed with anything that is impure (najjis) or anything that could contaminate them. If they come from animal sources, they are either from animals that we are permitted to eat or animals that we are not permitted to eat.

If they come from an animal that we are permitted to eat, then they come under the same ruling as the meat of that animal. If they come from an animal which it is haraam for us to eat – such as pigs – then we look at whether they are used in foods or for other purposes.

With regard to cheese: if it is made from the milk of an animal which we are not permitted to eat, then according to scholarly consensus it is not permissible to eat it. If it is made from the milk of an animal which we are permitted to eat, and it is known that it is made with rennet that has been derived from an animal slaughtered according to sharee’ah and it has not been mixed with any najaasah (impurity), then it may be eaten.”

iii) Ruling on smoking and chewing tobacco

Smoking is haraam, because it is evil and because it causes a great deal of harm. Allaah has permitted to His slaves only good kinds of food and drink, and He has forbidden the bad kinds. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “he allows them as lawful At Tayyibaat (i.e. all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods), and prohibits them as unlawful Al Khabaa’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods)” [al-A’raaf 7:157]

All forms of smoking are kinds of khabaa’ith (evil and unlawful things), and they include harmful and intoxicating substances. It is haraam to deal with it in any way, whether one inhales it, chews it or deals with it in any of its other forms. It is obligatory upon every Muslim to give up these things and to hasten to repent to Allaah, and to regret having committed this sin, and to resolve never to go back to it. May Allaah help us and you to do all that is good. [Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/442]


iv) Ruling on asking a Muslim about the source of the meat which he puts on the table

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you enters upon his Muslim brother and he offers him food, let him eat from his food and not ask about it. And if he offers him something to drink, let him drink what he offers and not ask about it.”
(Narrated by Ahmad, 8933. This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 627).

Shaykh al-Albaani said: The apparent meaning is that this hadeeth is to be interpreted as referring to a case where a person thinks it most likely that his Muslim brother’s wealth is halaal and that he avoids forbidden things. Otherwise it is permissible, indeed obligatory, to ask, as in the case of some Muslims who have settled in kaafir countries. In their case and in similar cases, we have to ask them about their meat, for example whether it is killed (by non-halaal methods) or slaughtered (according to sharee’ah). [Al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, hadeeth 627]

v) Can he eat at a restaurant where alcohol is served?

If it is possible to eat elsewhere then it is not permissible to eat at these places, because that involves cooperating with them in sin and transgression, which Allaah has forbidden. If it is not possible to eat elsewhere then it is permissible to eat there in cases of necessity, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship” [al-Hajj 22:78] “Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope” [al-Baqarah 2:286] But he should not eat or drink anything except that which Allaah has permitted. [Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 22/296-297.]

vi) Stunning animals with electric shocks before slaughter

It is haraam to stun an animal by striking it or giving it an electric shock etc, because that causes suffering to the animal, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade causing suffering and tormenting them, and he enjoined kindness and goodness in general terms, and with regard to slaughter in particular. Muslim narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not take anything in which there is a soul as a target.” And Muslim narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade tormenting any kind of animal to death.

Muslim also narrated from Shaddaad ibn ‘Aws (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has decreed kindness (or proficiency) in all things. So when you kill, kill well, and when you slaughter, slaughter well. Let one of you sharpen his blade and spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.” If it is not easy to slaughter animals unless they have been stunned by a method that will not kill them before they are slaughtered, then it is permissible to stun them and slaughter them whilst they are still alive, in cases of necessity. [Fataawa al-Lajnah al-‘Daa’imah, 22/456-457.]

If the butcher slaughters the an’aam animal (camel, cow, sheep or goat) as soon as it falls to the ground after receiving an electric shock, if that is done when it is still alive, then it is permissible to eat it. But if he slaughters it after it has died then it is not permissible to eat it. This comes under the ruling on animals killed by a violent blow, which Allaah has forbidden unless they are properly slaughtered before they die. The slaughter does not count unless it is proven that the animal showed signs of life such as moving a leg or if blood flowed (at the time of slaughter) and so on, which indicates that it was still alive until the slaughtering was over. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al Maitah (the dead animals — cattle — beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which Allaah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering (that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allaah, or has been slaughtered for idols) and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns — and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal — unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death)” [al-Maa'idah 5:3]

An’aam animals that have been exposed to a fatal blow are permissible so long as they are slaughtered properly before they die, otherwise it is not permissible to eat them. [ Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 22/455.]

vii) Is Nandoes Halal?

There is a lot of confusion and misconception about Nandos within the Muslim community. Nandos has some restaurants that have been ceritifed as Halal and some not. With regards to the ones certified Halal, many muslims either reject this or spread wrong information about it. The problem most people have is with Freeman, the suppliers of Nandos, because Freeman stun the chickens with a low voltage and some muslims have the conception that any stunned mean is Haram. However, this is in great error and as explained above, low stunning (although disliked) does not make a meat Haram. The only reason stunning (until the animal dies) is Haram is because it kills the animal and hence the animal then falls under the category of “Dead animals” in the prohibition in the Quran. “Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals - cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:3) If anyone is still unhappy and claims any certified restaurant or butchery is not Halaal then they should be asked to bring their proof! Allah says in the Quran, “… Eat of what Allâh has provided for you, and follow not the footsteps of Shaitân (Satan). Surely he is to you an open enemy.” (Al-An'am 6:142)

The Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence UK have certified Freeman's as Halaal after much painstaking research and an unannounced visit to the plant. They are satisfied with the level of their standards to provide Halaal. The Scholars have made sure that there is a strict demarcation between the Haraam and Halaal meats in Freeman' so that contamination is not possible. They do stun but at a low voltage (which means that the chicken is not killed in the process) hence Halaal. A scholar on the board told me that after the stunning, they picked up some chickens and they were far from dead just slightly groggy.

Though of course the non-stunned chicken is certainly preferable. There are several issues at play here, as you have mentioned in your opening paragraphs stunning is Makrooh-e-Tahrimi (severely detestable). Without doubt, non-stunned meat is more wholesome than stunned. Nonetheless, though the act of stunning animals is in itself Makruh-e-Tahrimi (where there is no need) though it does not necessarily render the meat Haraam. It would of course depend on the animal being killed or not in the stunning process to render it Haraam however if the voltage is low then poultry would not die in the process. They would simply become groggy enough for the slaughterers to complete the Islamic Dhabah. The issue with poultry and stunning is prominent as they are small and if the current is high then the chicken may die in the stunning process which would prove problematic. Notwithstanding, stunning the animals beforehand causing them any undue pain and distress is certainly reprehensible.And Allah Knows Best

viii) Ruling on Eating Animals that Died of Natural Causes

Allah says in the Quran, “Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals - cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine…” (Al-Ma'idah 5:3)

In his Tafsir (Commentary of the Quran) Imam Ibn Katheer says, “Allah informs His servants that He forbids consuming the mentioned types of foods, such as the Maytah, which is the animal that dies before being properly slaughtered or hunted. Allah forbids this type of food due to the harm it causes, because of the blood that becomes clogged in the veins of the dead animal. Therefore, the Maytah is harmful, religiously and physically, and this is why Allah has prohibited it. The only exception to this ruling is fish, for fish is allowed, even when dead, by slaughtering or otherwise.”

However, there is an exception. Sheikh Ibn Baz said, “ If a person is forced by necessity to do this (eat dead meat), it is permissible for him to do so, according to the Words of Allah, Most High: “Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals - cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allâh, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allâh's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns - and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal - unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) ¬ and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An¬Nusub (stone altars). (Forbidden) also is to use arrows seeking luck or decision, (all) that is Fisqun (disobedience of Allâh and sin). This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion. But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above-mentioned meats), then surely, Allâh is Oft¬Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Ma'idah 5:3)

ix) Whey and Rennet

During cheese making, a coagulum is formed by clotting milk with rennet. When the coagulum is cut, a watery liquid known as whey is released and drained off leaving the curd to be salted and further processed into cheese. Whey contains water, fat, protein, lactose, minerals and lactic acid. Cream, butter, cheese, drinks, syrups and powder are some of the products made from whey.

Rennet is one of the enzymes used to make cheese. Rennet comes from the stomach of young calves. After the calf is slaughtered/killed, the stomach is removed, filled with milk and hanged to dry. After it dries, it is ground up to make crude extract of rennet, which is then purified or sold as is. If the calf was slaughtered according to Islamic requirements, the rennet will be Halal. Otherwise, it is not. The active ingredient in rennet is chymosin. Chymosin can also be produced by other means, including biotechnology. Chymosin produced using biotechnology is Halal.

If an ingredient label states the product contains rennet, that means it came from the animal source. As such, items containing rennet must be considered questionable for the Halal-consumer until the source is known. If the source calf was not processed according to Islamic law, the product is not acceptable for Halal consumption. In general, most rennet produced in the US comes from calves which have not been processed in accordance with Islamic requirements, so it is not acceptable.

If the product containing the rennet is Halal certified, that means the source of the rennet should be Halal Whey is used to fortify a wide variety of food products. It can be used in the liquid form or dried and used as a powder. Filtering out various components can produce different types of whey. Reduced protein, reduced lactose and de-mineralised whey are examples. Whey is used in many products, including salad dressings, snack foods, meat products, baked goods, beverages, infant formula and whipped toppings. Therefore, You need to read the Label of the product to see if it contains Whey. An example of some products that contain Whey powder are chocolates. Mars Bar, Kit Kat, Twix, etc are ALL Haram because they have the animal Rennet. Others like Cadburys also use Whey powder, but use the non animal one, and hence you will find a “V” sign on the packaging, showing it is suitable for vegetarians, and hence is Halal.

x) Vinegar

Vinegar is a well known basic foodstuff, made from wine of which the composition has changed so that it is no longer sweet but is acidic or sour. Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “What a good food is vinegar.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1623)

When wine turns to vinegar by itself, without any deliberate treatment needed for it to be changed, it is permissible to eat, drink and handle it, according to the consensus of the scholars, because of the hadeeth quoted above. But if the wine has become vinegar because of deliberate treatment, by adding vinegar, onions, salt etc., or by any other process, in this case the scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) differ as to whether it is permissible.

The Shafi’is, Hanbalis and some of the Maalikis say that it is not permissible to deliberately change wine to vinegar because then it is not pure. The evidence (daleel) for this is the hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked whether wine could be changed to be used as vinegar. He said, ‘No.’” (Reported by Muslim).

Abu Talhah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about some orphans who had inherited some wine. He said, “Pour it away.” He was asked, “Could they not make it into vinegar?” He said, “No.” (Reported by Muslim).

The reason for this is: Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, has commanded us to avoid wine. Keeping it and treating it until it turns into vinegar means handling it and being involved with it by storing it and benefitting from it, and this is not permitted.

It is permitted for a Muslim to buy vinegar from someone who is selling it, unless he realizes or comes to know that it was produced by means of a deliberate process. ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “… There is nothing wrong with a man buying vinegar from the people of the Book, if they sell it, so long as he knows that they did not deliberately process it from wine.” (Al-Mughni, 8/330) And Allaah knows best. (Bidaayat al-Mujtahid li Ibn Rushd, 1/461; Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ li’l-Bahwati, 1/187; Fath al-Qadeer li Ibn al-Hammaam, 8/166; al-Majmoo’ li’l-Nawawi, 1/225; al-Mughni li Ibn Qudaamah, 8/319).

Whatever intoxicates in large quantities, a small amount of it is haraam.” (Narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad, 2/91, 167, 179; 3/343). If the vinegar would cause intoxication in large amounts, then a little of it is haraam, and it comes under the same ruling as wine. If a large amount of it does not cause intoxication, then there is no reason not to sell it, buy it or drink it. [Fataawaa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 13/47]

And Allah Knows best

And It is Only Allah Who grants success. May Allah Exalt th mention of His slave and Messenger Muhammad, and render him, his household and companion safe from Evil.