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Is Kosher Meat Halal? A Comparison of the Halakhic and Shar’i Requirements for Animal Slaughter

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The following is a paper presented to the AMJA Conference on The Halal and Haram in Food and Medicine (Los Angeles, California, March 2-4, 2012).  Note that this paper does not represent AMJA in any way, and only represents the opinions of the author.

Terminology Equivalents
Hebrew:  Arabic
kosher: ḥalāl
shechita: dhabīḥa
shochet: dhābiḥ
halakha: sharīʿa
treif: ḥarām

Introduction

Observant Muslims and Jews only eat ḥalāl and kosher products, and face many of the same problems in finding appropriate meat products in the modern, secularized world. Due to the dearth of kosher meat products available, and even higher scarcity of ḥalāl meat, many Muslims feel comfortable purchasing kosher meat, believing that all kosher meats (and by extension kosher products) are necessarily ḥalāl. Other Muslims, due to either political or theological reasons, believe that it is impermissible  to purchase or consume any kosher meat products.

This paper seeks to discuss the question of the Islamic legal ruling on consuming kosher meat products. Therefore, political questions and personal values, which do not dictate the general ruling (aṣl) with respect to such products, will not be discussed.

Generally speaking (and as per Q. 4:160 and 3:50), halakhic laws are stricter than Islamic ones. This is shown not only in the foods that are permissible or impermissible, but also in the laws pertaining to slaughtering, cooking and consuming foods. Since the normative applications of Jewish law are stricter than those for Islamic law, in most cases these laws will not affect Muslims who wish to consume kosher, but would affect Jews who might be interested in ḥalāl meat. The most pertinent examples will be discussed in this paper.

Prohibitions Regarding Types of Animals and Foods

Both Jewish and Islamic laws prohibit the consumption of carrion, swine, insects, rodents and blood. Additionally, any food that is poisonous or immediately harmful to the human body would be prohibited. All solid food items prohibited by the Sharīʿa are also prohibited in Jewish law.

There are a number of significant items prohibited in the halakha but allowed by the Sharīʿa.  The Qurʾān itself mentions the most common example, viz., certain types of animal fat (see Q. 6:146). Halakhic law specifies which types of fats and nerves are prohibited.[1] The majority of madhhabs allowed the Muslim to consume these parts that are typically not considered kosher after a Jewish slaughter. The only exception to this is the Mālikī school, which deems the consumption of these parts impermissible.

Other examples of items that are prohibited for Jews but allowed for Muslims include:

– Sharks, shellfish and crustaceans (lobster, crabs, etc.) [Note: for the Ḥanafīs these animals are also not permitted].

– Some types of birds (e.g., ostrich, emu).

– Camels (because it does not have a proper ‘split hoof’).[2]

Interestingly enough, the locust is an animal that is explicitly mentioned and allowed by both halakhic and Sharʿī texts.

Also note that Jewish law forbids mixing meat and dairy products together. Different Jewish authorities have different interpretations and rules for implementation – some even require two sets of kitchen utensils and separate areas of refrigerators for these two products. There is, of course, no equivalent in Islamic law.

Jewish law also has stringent rules regarding the religious washing and usage of utensils. For example, if a ceramic or porcelain utensil is used to cook a non-kosher food, that utensil can never be purified and used  for kosher cooking. However, if a metallic utensil has been used, it must be cleaned with soap and water, then left for a period of time, then immersed in boiling water under the supervision of an expert, before it may be used to cook with.[3] Islamic law, on the other hand, would only require the regular washing of any such utensil and would permit its subsequent usage to cook or consume ḥalāl products in.

The permissibility of gelatin and rennet are ongoing discussions in both faiths. The exact same spectrum of opinions exists in both Muslim and Jewish circles. It appears that most mainstream Jewish and Muslim authorities would not permit regularly available gelatin, since it is derived from either pork or non-ritually slaughtered animals (with minority dissenting opinions on both sides). Proper kosher gelatin is therefore typically derived from kosher fish (and, in even rarer cases, from kosher slaughtered animals, or from certain cows that have died natural deaths,[4] or from vegetable products). However, it should be noted that a product that is marked as kosher does not necessarily mean that all Jewish authorities believe it to be so. In fact, most yoghurt and candy products that are marked with circle-K are not approved by most Conservative and Orthodox Rabbis. Hence, Muslims need to know the different types of symbols used by the Jewish food industry, and their corresponding opinions, before they make a choice on whether a product that is marked as kosher is in fact ḥalāl or not.

Cheese, on the other hand, appears to be an issue where the spectrum of opinions are the same, but the majorities of each are different. Most Jewish authorities would only allow cheese if produced from kosher rennet; most Muslim authorities would allow cheese from non-ḥalāl rennet because of the issue of istihlāk.[5] In both groups, there are dissenting minority opinions, but the minorities are on opposite sides.

There are some halakhic restrictions on vegetables and plants (for example, the orlah­, or fruit that grows during first three years after planting), and Jewish law is also stricter than Islamic law regarding insects found in fruits and vegetables, but these laws are not relevant to this discussion. Additionally, there are specific halakhic commandments for preparing Passover breads and prohibiting other foods that would also not concern Muslims.

For Muslims, the most common product that is allowed in Jewish law but prohibited in Islamic law are alcoholic beverages. Jewish law permits the consumption of ‘kosher’ beer and wine.

Similarities in Slaughtering an Animal

Once we understand the halakhic procedure for slaughtering animals, it will be possible to arrive at an Islamic verdict regarding its status.

First, the similarities. Jewish law and Islamic law both require that:

1) The animal must be alive when it is slaughtered (hence stunning or other procedures to render the animal unconscious should be avoided).

2) The animal must be killed with a sharp knife (hence, a blow to the head would render the animal treif and ḥarām).

3) The knife must cut the neck arteries of the animal: in particular, the trachea, esophagus, cartiod arteries and jugular veins should be cut, while leaving the spinal cord intact.

4) The blood must be drained out.

5) There must be minimal harm to the animal – a painless and quick slaughter is required.

All of these are points of agreement between Jewish and Islamic law.

Minor Differences

There are some minor differences between the requirements of the two faiths. These difference would generally be negligible and irrelevant to Muslims, but not to observant Jews.

1) Jewish law requires a specific type of person (called a shochet) to slaughter. Typically, the shochet is an observant male Jew trained in the practice of slaughter. Islamic law allows any male or female Christian, Muslim or Jew to sacrifice as long as that person follows the proper procedure of slaughtering. Therefore, it is primarily for this reason that a dhabīḥa animal can never be kosher for observant Jews because the slaughter would be performed by a Muslim.

2) The perfection of the knife blade – Jewish law requires visual and physical inspection; Islamic law only requires a sharp knife even if there are some imperfections (e.g., minor abrasions and nicks would be permissible in Islam).

3) Jewish law requires one continuous stroke for a slaughter (moving the knife back and forth would be allowed), whereas Islamic law would prefer one stroke, but the slaughter would not be invalidated if the slaughterer quickly followed a first improper stroke with another one.

4) In Jewish law, the knife must be at least two times the size of the animal’s neck, and perfectly straight, whereas there is no such requirement in Islam.

5) Jewish law completely forbids stunning, and a stunned animal would be treif; Islamic law is not unified on this point, as most authorities would consider stunning makrūh, but as long as the animal is alive and has a pulse, the slaughter would still be considered ḥalāl.

6) Depending on which Islamic madhab one followed, the number of passages in the neck of the animal cut might be less for some opinions of Islamic law (however, a perfect cut in both religions would require the esophagus, trachea, arteries and jugular).

7) While the disconnecting of the spine is prohibited in both laws, in Jewish law this would render the animal treif, whereas according to the majority opinion in Islamic law, this is makrūh but does not render the animal ḥarām (note that some authorities would view such an act as making the animal ḥarām).

8) Jewish law requires a visual inspection of the lungs and some other internal organs of the animal after slaughter. Specific defects associated with these organs makes the animal treif, whereas the total absence of any imperfection (i.e., adhesion-free lungs) renders the animal a higher level of kosher, called glatt kosher. If such a level of perfection was not achieved, but the procedure was followed, the meat would merely be kosher. And some type of defects would in fact render the animal treif even after proper slaughter. There is no equivalent to such a post-slaughter examination in Islamic law.

9) The animal’s blood must be allowed to flow into the earth (or on the ground) in Jewish law (for example, it should not be gathered in a bowl), whereas there is no such prohibition in Islamic law. In practice, most Muslims slaughter and spill the blood on the ground as well.

10) Islamic law encourages, but does not require, that the animal faces the qiblah. Since this is not a requirement according to any madhhab, it is irrelevant to the question of whether kosher is ḥalāl.[6]

11) While the Jewish invocation (i.e., blessing) is not a necessary requirement for the meat to be considered kosher, it is in practice never left. This issue will be discussed in a separate section.

From all of these points, it is clear that these factors will not render kosher meat ḥarām; most are in fact rulings that make the halakhic laws stricter than their Sharʿī equivalents, and even the Islamic ones on this list are recommendations and not requirements. Hence, from the perspective of the Sharīʿa, these factors are not relevant.

Of course, because of some or most of these factors (especially the first one), ḥalāl meat cannot be considered kosher by Jewish authorities.

Major Difference – the Tasmiya Issue

There is one major differences between the two laws that cannot be overlooked and could potentially result in a verdict of taḥrīm,[7] and that is the issue of the tasmiya.

The Islamic opinions on mentioning Allah’s name at the time of sacrifice are well-known. It is clear that the majority of scholars (and the explicit texts of the Qurʿān and Sunnah) require the utterance of tasmiya before an animal is slaughtered. It is with this opinion in mind that we proceed. (It goes without saying that, for the minority who do not require tasmiya, obviously if they do not require a Muslim to mention the name of Allah then a priori they would not require a non-Muslim to do so).[8]

Halakhic law states that the shochet should verbally bless the act of slaughter with a specific blessing.[9] While this blessing is not considered an essential requirement, in practice it is always done, and it is realistically inconceivable that a shochet intentionally abandons this blessing.[10]

The formulation of this blessing translates as:

“Blessed are you , Adonai [G-d], our G-d, Lord of the World, Who Sanctified us through His Commandments and instructed us concerning proper animal slaughter”

The wording clearly praises God, and therefore would be acceptable to the vast majority of madhhabs, since it is not a necessary requirement that the blessing be said in Arabic. However, the issue comes with respect to a unique blessing for each animal.

Since the Jewish faith insists that the name of the Lord only be invoked with good cause, the shochet does not repeat this blessing for each and every animal. Instead, the shochet considers one blessing to suffice for a series of animals with the condition that each animal is slaughtered without any significant pause or break from the previous one. [11]

Therefore, in theory, a shochet could sacrifice a few cows, and maybe even up to a hundred chicken, with one blessing.

All of this, of course, has relevance to the Sharʿī ruling on an animal.

For the minority that does not require tasmiya (in particular, the Shāfʿī school), this issue would not be relevant, and therefore kosher would be ḥalāl.

For those who subscribe to the position that allows one tasmiya for multiple slaughters, kosher meat would also be ḥalāl.

For those who require a specific tasmiya for each individual animal (in particular, the Ḥanafī school), kosher meat would not be ḥalāl unless it was known for sure that a blessing was given for that animal.

As a side point, there are reference to some Christian groups who required a slaughterer to sacrifice in the name of God.[12]

Conclusion

In light of all that has preceded, and in this author’s opinion:

– While the Qurʿān explicitly allows us to offer (and therefore sell) ḥalāl meat to Jews, most observant Jews would not consider ḥalāl to be kosher because the animal would be slaughtered by a non-Jew (and there would be other factors as well).

– All kosher foods are permissible as long as 1) no significant amount of alcohol is present, and 2) any gelatin is from kosher slaughtered cattle or non-animal sources. If alcohol is used either for taste or in intoxicating amounts, the food prepared would be ḥarām; and any gelatin derived from animals not slaughtered with tasmiya is also ḥarām.

– Kosher meat being ḥalāl would depend on which madhhab one follows for the tasmiya: if one follows the opinion that one tasmiya suffices for multiple animals, kosher slaughtered animals would be ḥalāl. However, if one requires one tasmiya per animal, then in general such animals would be ḥarām unless one can verify that the blessing was said for that particular animal.

In this author’s opinion, since the halakhic blessing is done over a specific group of animals and the slaughter is continuous, this blessing can suffice to fulfill the requirements of the tasmiya for that group of animals, and Allah knows best.

Lastly, it is important that stronger ties be developed between observant Muslims and Jews so that we benefit from each other’s experiences, unite against Islamophobic and anti-Semitic efforts to ban ritual animal slaughter, and perhaps also manage to influence some kosher plants to say a tasmiya for every animal.

 


[1] This is based on Leviticus 7:3. Generally, Jewish law does not allow fat surrounding the kidneys, the abdominal fats, the fats surrounding the stomach and intestines, and the tail fat. The nerve that is forbidden is one that is in the hind-quarters. Since it is labor-intensive to remove this nerve, generally the hind-quarters of an animal are sold to non-Jews.

[2] Many Qurʿānic exegetes consider this to be an example of Q. 3:93; others also add the ruling of animal fats, but this latter opinion clearly contradicts Q. 6:146.

[3] This discussion is necessarily simplistic and brief.

[4] These are so-called ‘Indian cows’; since Hindus are not allowed to kill cows, any cow that dies is left untouched. Jewish law allows the bones of such an animal, if left untouched for a long period of time, to be used for the manufacture of gelatin.

[5] I have written a paper about this, published online. See: http://muslimmatters.org/2007/07/09/of-mice-and-men-the-cheese-factor/.

[6] Since this law is irrelevant to the halakha, some modern Jewish authorities have allowed taking this condition into account when performing kosher slaughters.

[7] Of course, we are not talking about the issue of adding alcohol to the meat while it is being cooked. Jewish law permits the consumption of certain types of alcohol and the mixing of wine with meat products. Any such production of meat would obviously be ḥarām for Muslims.

[8] It is relevant to point out that Ibn Ḥanbal’s position regarding the tasmiya for Ahl Kitāb sacrifices is explicit – and as far as I know, everything narrated to the contrary is mujmal. Ḥanbal reports that Abū Abdillāh said, “There is no problem with the sacrifice of the Kitābī as long as he sacrifices for Allah and in the name of Allah (idhā ahallū lillāhi wa sammū ʿalayhī).” [Aḥkām Ahl al-Dhimmah, 1/189]. This was also the explicit position of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Qayyim. It should also be noted that most authorities who allowed the sacrifice of the Kitābī without mentioned Allah’s name also allowed it if they mentioned other than Allah’s name [ibid., 1/191-3].

Also, the reader is encouraged to see Ibn Taymiyya’s risāla on this issue, in Jāmiʾ al-Masāʾil of Dr. Bakr Abu Zayd (Riyad: Dār al-ʿĀlim, 1429), vol. 6, p. 377-89. In it, he states that the obligation of saying the tasmiya before hunting or slaughtering an animal is even more clear than the obligation to recite Fātiḥa in the prayer.

It is the intention of the author to write a brief treatise on this issue as well, insha Allah.

[9] It is important to note that the blessing is for the act of sacrifice, and not for an animal or for the instrument.

[10] Therefore, from an Islamic standpoint, the shochet who does not mention the blessings will be fī ḥukm al-nāsī (i.e., the one who accidentally forgets), and the majority of scholars would deem such a slaughter as permissible, in contrast to the one who intentionally does not mention Allah’s name.

[11] Most modern Rabbis allow the shochet to utter the phrase ‘bismillāh Allahu akbar’ in Arabic before each slaughter, since that does not interfere with the rules of halakha. This practice should be encouraged and Muslims should inform local Jewish slaughterhouses that they would become potential customers if the shochet could do this.

[12] In the Syriac-language Nomocanon of Barhebraeus (d. 1286), a Christian butcher is instructed to recite the phrase ba-shma d’elaha haya, “In the name of the living God.” Gregorius Barhebraeus, Nomocanon, ed. Paul Bedjan (Paris: Harrassowitz, 1898); taken from Freidenreich (cit.)

 

Sh. Dr. Yasir Qadhi is someone that believes that one's life should be judged by more than just academic degrees and scholastic accomplishments. Friends and foe alike acknowledge that one of his main weaknesses is ice-cream, which he seems to enjoy with a rather sinister passion. The highlight of his day is twirling his little girl (a.k.a. "my little princess") round and round in the air and watching her squeal with joy. A few tid-bits from his mundane life: Sh. Yasir has a Bachelors in Hadith and a Masters in Theology from Islamic University of Madinah, and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Yale University. He is an instructor and Dean of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib, and the Resident Scholar of the Memphis Islamic Center.

135 Comments

135 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hafeez

    June 22, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    jazakAllaahu khairan, very informative paper.

  2. Avatar

    J_michael

    June 22, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Great article! I am an observant Jew and you really articulate our laws nicely. I have often wondered what is Islam’s stance on food cooked by idol worshipers? In Jewish law if such food is prepared (even in an entirely kosher manner) by an idolater it is forbidden to eat does Islam have the same ruling?

    • Avatar

      Gyl

      June 22, 2012 at 5:16 PM

      Hi Michael. I’ll try to answer your question. If the condition is similar like you have mentioned -in Islam’s term is Halal ingredients prepared in Halal manner- from what I know, we are allowed to eat that food even if it is cooked by idolater.

      Well, practically anyone can cook our food as long the ingredients is halal and it is prepared in halal manner…

    • Avatar

      Adnan

      June 23, 2012 at 3:44 AM

      We can only eat meat that is slaughtered in the right way from either a Muslim or a person of the book ( Jews and Christians). If an idol worshiper slaughters meat according to Islamic law it still would not be allowed. But as for regular foods then i do not know the ruling maybe sheikh Yasir can answer your question.

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      June 23, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      J_michale

      In Islam it is irrelevant who cooks the food (as long as its a trustworthy person who won’t poison you!!) – what’s relevant is who sacrifices the animal. Only a believer in God (a Muslim, Christian or Jew) is allowed to sacrifice.

    • Avatar

      Jawaher

      January 26, 2016 at 1:46 AM

      Quick question: then what do they do if they want to eat at a restaurant! They either won’t go which is unlikely seems to me, or do they ask about the history of the chef!

      • Avatar

        Milhouse

        January 26, 2016 at 8:09 AM

        Observant Jews only eat at kosher restaurants, and this is one of the things the kosher certifier makes sure of.

        There is a dispute among Jewish authorities as to how much a Jew must participate in the cooking for the food to be acceptable. Some say he must participate in cooking the actual dish, e.g. by putting it on the fire, or stirring the pot, or adding an ingredient, while others say it’s enough to light the fire on which it was cooked.

        Most certifiers of kosher restaurants follow the more lenient view, so if there are no Jews working full-time in the kitchen then a Jew arrives every morning to light the fires, and the staff are instructed that if a fire goes out they are not to relight it but to call the certifier to send someone to do it. Those who hold the stricter view will not certify a restaurant at all unless there is a Jew on the kitchen staff who makes sure to participate, somehow, in cooking everything.

  3. Avatar

    Azrael

    June 22, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Salam Shk. Yasir,

    Jazakallah for a very informative piece.

    You may have answered this in the past, I would like to know if it is okay for muslims living in the west to choose positions from different schools of thought at different times. I was raised mostly with Hanafi rulings which I never consciously subscribed in all cases, for instance, I don’t tap my finger during tashahud or raise my hand before going to ruku like some friends do but I do eat Kosher when I can even when a halal alternative is available. I feel that one tasmiya for one slaughter seems too rigid.

    jzklah

    • Avatar

      SlaveOfAllahJp

      June 22, 2012 at 9:56 PM

      Azrael!
      If I’m allowed to share my thoughts. I was also doing the same thing (jumping around masghab) then I read the lecture of one sheikh (forgot his name) that he mentioned it’s like following our own desires, he also suggested it’s better to follow your own school
      Allah knows the best!

    • Avatar

      muneeb_baig

      June 23, 2012 at 2:41 AM

      Assalam-u-Alykum, hope (in sha Allah) you will find answer to your question regarding following different madhabs here:
      http://www.islamqa.info/en/ref/21420

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      June 23, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      Salam

      You may follow another opinion from a reputable scholar if you trust that scholar’s judgment.

  4. Avatar

    Muslimah living in SoCal

    June 22, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    If food is cooked with alcohol, some say the alcohol evaporates and is not an issue … please give some clarification about this as many restaurants contain alcohol in their dishes.

    • Avatar

      Yazen Joudeh

      June 22, 2012 at 8:49 PM

      I’m also curious about this answer as I’ve taken the conservative stance that one should avoid it but I have not been able to find a conclusive answer on this. Please advise!

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      June 23, 2012 at 7:14 AM

      The following should help Insha’Allah:
      http://islamqa.info/en/ref/1814
      http://en.islamtoday.net/node/1082

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      June 23, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      This is a myth – most of the alcohol remains. As such, any food in which wine has been added for flavor is not allowed for Muslims to consume.

      • Avatar

        Reed

        July 1, 2012 at 9:51 AM

        Islam Tomorrow has some good tables from USDA showing that although the majority of alcohol evaporates (which varies depending on the type of cooking), much of it remains, more than enough to make it haram. See http://www.islamtomorrow.com/alcohol_cooked.asp

  5. Avatar

    Gyl

    June 22, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Salam.

    Great comparison. This article is really helpful for me to get better understanding about Kosher. I am from Indonesia and currently living at small town in united states. I am kind of depending on Kosher food products (mainly non-meat or instant food and drink in supermarket) because Halal food industry has not reach my town yet.

    But I am still curious about Kosher food that not necessarily halal. How to define a Kosher labeled non-meat product is not halal ? is there any significant difference in how each Kosher label giving Kosher certificate ? maybe you can write about that in the next article or paper..

    • Avatar

      Jess

      March 7, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      Thank you for this article. I found it very informative, balanced, and helpful. I do not know if my posting/reply with be placed in the correct order, but someone (Gyi) posted asking about a guide to Kosher Labels / Seals and I thought I would provide these links:

      This first link is a more general guide and shows the most common “national” or “international” Kosher Certifications. As stated in the article, someone Muslim would not be concerned about whether a food was Meat, Dairy, or Parve (neutral), or Kosher for Passover, but those labels are included on page 8:
      http://kosherfood.about.com/od/guidetokosherfoodlabels/ss/symbols.htm

      And this page shows many more “local” and “regional” Kosher Certifying organizations you may also encounter.

      http://kosherfood.about.com/od/guidetokosherfoodlabels/ss/symbols.htm

      Again, Kosher can be much more strict and is open to the interpretations of the certifying organization or individual Rabbi (but at a minimum the laws and rules outlined above are always followed). For example, I knew of a case in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) where a Rabbi was threatening to withdraw their Kosher Certificate (Kashrut) from a chain of Jewish owned Bagel Bakeries because they had their stores open on Jewish High Holidays but only had their non-Jewish employees working. Rabbis increasingly have evoked other non-food related Jewish laws in passing judgement on issuing a Kosher ruling.

    • Avatar

      David Z

      July 18, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      Gyl, I would just add the author is very educated about Jewish law (so impressive!), but I’m not sure why he focused on Cirlce-K as a controversial symbol. Circle-K is completely accepted by all but the most insular Jews who only eat their own food (certain Hasidic groups if you know what those are). Basically if you trust any kosher certification, you trust Circle-K. The one that some Orthodox found controversial is Triangle-K, but many orthodox eat this as well. For Muslims, there should be no issue as most of the arguments are indeed about what is necessary to kasher (clean out with fire or boiling water) the pipes and vats used for nonkosher and then kosher runs of food. The author states that Sharia does not recognize a need for kashering, only for regular cleaning.

      The one “symbol” that you should not rely on is the K alone because it is a letter of the alphabet and cannot be trademarked. Therefore, anybody can and does put it on their labels without threat of lawsuit. Some things like certain cereals are still kosher even though they just have a K, but you need to know that somebody checked out the plants and ingredients.

      I know that Muslims and Jews stood together to get rid of pigfat being used to grease the inside of the cans in the US in the 1980s. May we work together for the greatness of G-d in the future, as well.

    • Avatar

      miri

      September 30, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      I appreciate this article more than you can imagine.Many Islamic sources that compare Kosher and Halal handle the subject in a very biased anti-semitic way. Most jews just never take the time to look into it because the laws are anyways so much stricter.I just read someone saying that Jews allow gelatin from any animal including pig regardless of whether it was slaughtered properly or not.Such lies can fuel the fire of hatred between religions.You and your family will be blessed for trying to educate and promote understanding and peace.

      • Avatar

        milhousevh

        September 30, 2013 at 9:50 PM

        Miri, it’s not a lie. Many (perhaps most) major poskim do allow gelatin from any source, including pigs. So do many ulema, as this article makes clear. The same range of opinion exists in both legal systems.

        • Avatar

          miri

          September 30, 2013 at 11:43 PM

          tell me who…Ive never heard of this..I know someone who represents a very strict hecksur and was told even OU wouldnt allow it.I dont want to name names of course but I was told under no circumstances unless it was a life saving medicine would any treif be permitted in our everyday food. should I trust this person who is a respected member of his community,a very learned scholar??or not trust? having a hard time with this one…

          • Avatar

            milhousevh

            September 30, 2013 at 11:58 PM

            Miri, I’ve already addressed this in the comments; did you bother reading them?

            Who permits gelatin? Try R Chaim Ozer. And R Ovadiah. And Dayan Abramsky. Really, permitting it is the mainstream view, and forbidding it is the exception. The Israeli Rabbanut allows it (for non-mehadrin).

            But what do you mean by writing that “even” the OU wouldn’t allow it. Yes, the OU doesn’t allow it, but what does that imply? You seem to be under the strange misimpression that the OU is some sort of lenient fringe hechsher! Where did you get that idea? The OU is the major hechsher in the USA, and more or less sets the standard. It’s far more reliable than most “heimishe” hechsherim.

          • Avatar

            miri

            October 1, 2013 at 12:29 AM

            no I didnt mean the ou is less reliable.sorry if you misunderstood me..I meant because it is mainstream..not these hechsurs from the steitlach in which you know rabbi so and so .besides..i know of very few “fringe” hechshirim that would survive..the people here are not the trusting type..even people question their own neighbors who they have known for years..refuse kosher meat from certain shechita..just sayin

      • Avatar

        Yid

        February 14, 2016 at 8:56 AM

        The vast majority of Orthodox Jewish rabbis do not under any circumstances permit gelatin derived from non kosher animal sources.

  6. Avatar

    sahmed

    June 22, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    i love reading these research papers, mashaAllah. one can tell how much effort was put into the work

  7. Avatar

    RH

    June 22, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Assalamy alaykum, so even when there is option of halal meat are we allowed to eat kosher?

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      June 23, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      Yes. Kosher *is* halal :)

      • Avatar

        Khurram Nomani

        November 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        Sheikh Yasir,
        Are you saying kosher is allowed for Muslims to consume?

  8. Avatar

    muneeb_baig

    June 23, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Assalam-u-Alykum, wa Jazakallah Khair for the great article and providing us with the detailed understanding of the matter.

  9. Avatar

    Abu Musa

    June 23, 2012 at 6:51 AM

    Salaam

    I was actually wondering when the verse in the Qur’an says that ‘their food is
    lawful for you’ (i.e. that of those of the book) – does that mean that if they
    have slaughtered according to what is correct in their ‘law’ then that is
    sufficient for us to eat.

    Or is it, as this paper suggests that, that criteria has to
    match what we have as criteria for slaughtering?

    In that case, if it is allowed for Jews to slaughter a
    number of animals on one saying (according to their law), is that sufficient
    for us? Or does there have to be an overlap from their law to our law? Thus,
    the Hanafi’s can never eat their meat unless it is established (which would be
    near enough impossible) that they have pronounced ‘God’s’ name before each
    slaughter.

    JazakAllahu khairen

  10. Avatar

    Abu Yahya

    June 23, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    Jazakallahu Khair Sh for this informative article. However, it would be very good if you write in more detail about the issue of gelatin.

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      June 23, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      Salam

      I plan to. It will complement the one on rennet (and cheese) and this one. Insha Allah some day.

  11. Avatar

    siraaj

    June 23, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Salaam alaykum Shaykh Yasir,

    Jzk for providing us with this informative paper, was a very good read.

    I realize that the followers of each of the madhabs hold their own criteria for the requirements of proper slaughter, but isn’t a bit much to superimpose madhab-based shar’i requirements on the halakhic requirements?

    For example, it was noted in the paper that a tasmiya is not required except for the first animal. The hanafi position rejects this outright as was mentioned, and as I understand it, machine slaughter with one tasmiya is permitted by some using the analogy of hunting (eg one arrow killing two animals), but intentionally leaving the tasmiya if one has 10 animals, slaughters one by hand with tasmiya, and leaves it while slaughtering 9 more by hand is not a position, as I understand it, is not a position. I believe the hanafis take the position that one swipe with a knife that kills two animals (if that’s possible) with one tasmiya is the proper analogy to hunting.

    Finally, we had previously discussed that the slaughter performed by Christians was restricted to the requirements of halakhic law (though we hadn’t discussed the details), but it seems Christians violate the first rule, which is that the shochet is jewish. What are your thoughts on meat slaughtered by Christians in light of the halakhic requirements?

    Is the christian who neglects the blessing also considered fī ḥukm al-nāsī like the shochet who neglects this?

    Siraaj

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      June 23, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      Salam

      Actually it is not clear if there is a ‘standard’ position on one-basmala per animal. There are references to both opinions in classical texts but this is a very rarely discussed issue (to the best of my knowledge).

      Christians of the Pauline tradition (which basically means 100 % of Christians of our times, unlike in the first 4 centuries of Christianity) do not really have detailed laws, hence it is moot to quote what they do or don’t do. The ancient ‘Jewish Christians’ and even some strands of Arius’s and other early theologians do have halakhic laws and from our standpoint would be the true Christians more faithful to the teachings of Jesus himself.

      • Avatar

        siraaj

        June 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        It appears the paper indirectly claims that if Christians of any tradition neglected the basmala, it may not be the most virtuous slaughter in the world, but that they would not be in violation of old testament / halakhic law from this perspective, irrespective of intention.

        If they are following their own law correctly, then I again ask if it makes sense to attempt to restrict halakhic law / christian law by shari’ah standards as it relates to the basmala and other spiritual ritual requirements?

        • Avatar

          YasirQadhi

          June 25, 2012 at 11:00 PM

          We also annul the Christian permissibility of pork with the Shari’a prohibition of pork.

          If we were to take the verse ‘at face value’ (and no one actually does), we should allow: 1) animals that have been beaten or electrocuted to death by Christians, 2) animals that Christians eat but we don’t, such as pork and alligators .

          It makes complete logical and textual sense to limit the practice of Christians and Jews to what the Shari’a says if we wish to make any meat permissible, as that is consistent and universal. And it just so happens (not coincidentally, I add) that all of the conditions of the Shari’a are met in the halakha.

          Bottom line: it is inconsistent to take the verse at ‘partial value’ and allow Christians to leave the tasmiyya but then not allow them to slaughter the animal any way they choose.

          Lastly, Ibn al-Qayyim writes that when Allah allowed us their meat, “…He allowed us in accordance to what He Himself allowed them, and not what they allowed or permitted for themselves.”

          • Avatar

            siraaj

            June 25, 2012 at 11:51 PM

            My question is just a shade different from what you’re answering, so I think I should clarify by first restricting this to Jewish side of the discussion and then expanding.

            Previously, it was mentioned that the standards of halakhic law do not conform to the standards of the hanafi madhab and therefore, unless it is known the shochet uttered the tasmiya on every single animal, for all practical purposes under normal circumstances, kosher is never truly halal.

            This is an interesting situation – these people are not, as Ibn al-Qayyim said, those who permitted for themselves what Allah did not permit – they are following the law as Allah allowed it for them, yet we have one madhab declaring this impermissible because they are restricting halakhic law to the parameters of their established usool and evidences. Putting aside how those are to be interpreted vs other madhabs, does it even make sense to interpret it as such when no clear qualifier about meat slaughter has been otherwise provided, when they are within the requirements of their law?

            You can then expand this discussion to the Christian side of the discussion – if the Christians are not in violation of halakhic law as it relates to the tasmiya, then they also will not fall under ibn al-Qayyim’s statement of permitting for themselves what Allah has not permitted if they were never required to utter the tasmiya to begin with. So the question then expands to include them as well.

            As it relates to the question about restricting pork, or meat that is dead, and so on (and please correct me if I’m wrong), but if the framework for understanding this issue is to lump all requirements and restrictions is one grouping, then that conclusion would appear appropriate.

            However, if the discussion is separated into two different sets of requirements – physiological vs ritual requirements – then the outcome may be different. By citing the religion of the slaughterers in the verse, my understanding is that this is dealing with ritual requirements, and provides a qualification to ritual requirements. For example, we would not eat meat slaughtered by polytheists generally, but we have an exception in Christians. If another type of polytheist recited the basmala (or anyone else for that matter), we still could not eat this.

            Therefore, the “meat” mentioned is already restricted by the physiological requirements, but the religious state and rituals of the slaughterer is qualified and expanded by adding the Jews and Christians as acceptable meat slaughterers.

            I believe your paper demonstrates this even more – if we take the shari’ah requirements for the ritual side of the discussion to the strictest of our madhabs, halakhic law as it stands is mostly rejected, even when they work according to what Allah permitted for themselves.

            Siraaj

          • Avatar

            siraaj

            June 26, 2012 at 12:28 AM

            Also, another question comes to mind, maybe you’ve answered it elsewhere, if a Muslim asks a Christian to recite the tasmiya, so the Christian recites the tasmiya with the intention of making it easier to sell his meats to Muslims, and not for the sake of Allah / God (improper intention), what is the ruling on this?

          • Avatar

            Hassan

            July 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

            Assalam-o-Alaikum. Shaykh Yasir, may Allah increase you in knowledge. Another questions comes to mind, The ayah in surah Maidah that talks about allowing meat slaughtered by jews and christians also allows marrying their chaste women.

            Do we restrict to women that are on original shariah of their (monotheistic) or the ones that believe in trinity are also allowed? Because the jewish women may not believe in day of judgement as originally required and christian women would not believe in one God as originally required.

          • Avatar

            Reed

            July 1, 2012 at 10:38 PM

            With much respect to Ibn al-Qayyim, it is an assumption that the Christians were permitting themselves something that Allah did not permit them. As far as I’ve been able to determine, there is nothing in the Bible that requires a blessing before slaughter. Rather that blessing is found in the Talmud, which was written centuries after the last book of the Bible was written.

            It is not an assumption that when Allah decreed that Muslims could eat the food of the people of the Book he knew what the people of the Book were doing in preparing their food.
            Yes, Allah has forbidden pork to Muslims, and thus that prohibition overrides our ability to eat their food, but the commandment of the blessing applies to Muslims not Christians. Again, as Allah knew the practice of the people of the Book at that time, then the commandment of the blessing does not apply to eating their food as they were not commanded by Allah to pronounce the blessing. This might be considered similar to the drinking wine. Although forbidden for Muslims, no such prohibition exists for the people of the Book.

          • Avatar

            Ashraf

            July 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

            @Reed: well, you must not be a biblical scholar, because there are clear verses in the Bible that ordain the slaughtering of meat in a specific manner, which is mentioned in Ahkam adh-Dhab’ih by Mufti Taqi Usmani:

            “The blood of your sacrifices must be
            poured beside the altar of the Lord your God, but you may eat the meat. Be
            careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go
            well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is
            good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 12:27-28)

            And St. Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians: “No, but the
            sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you
            to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the
            cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the
            table of the demons.” (I Corinthians 10:20-21)

            They are also not allowed to eat the strangled
            animals: In
            the Book of Acts, it is stated, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to
            us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: you are
            to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of
            strangled animals, and from sexual immorality.” (Acts 15:28-29) In the
            same book, the same restriction is decreed: “As for the Gentile believers,
            we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food
            sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from
            sexual immorality.” (Acts 21:25)

          • Avatar

            Reed

            July 4, 2012 at 12:33 AM

            @Ashraf, I didn’t say there was nothing in the Bible about the method or “regulations” of slaughtering. I said there was nothing in the Bible requiring a blessing (that is, blessing using the name of God) while slaughtering. If you can find a verse that mentions specifically a blessing invoking the name of God, I would certainly like to know it as that would change much of what I’ve said.

            If you look above, you’ll see that I also cite Acts 15. These verses tell Gentile Christians to stay around from certain practices associated with pagans, but they do not tell them to say a blessing in the name of God while slaughtering an animal.

          • Avatar

            Ashraf

            July 4, 2012 at 5:17 PM

            @Reed: you seem not to be getting the point. As Muslims, we believe the Bible to have been corrupted. These verses from the Book of Acts may simply be remnants of the commands regarding slaughtering that were provided to Isa. They simply prove that the Christians were given commands regarding slaughtering, and that in Christianity, slaughtering is not considered a secular act, and if it were a religious act, then you can be guaranteed that they were commanded to take the name of God while slaughtering because the Jews before them and the Muslims after them were commanded to do so, so what is the chance they were excused from it?

            Even if they were not commanded to take the name of God, then they were still commanded to avoid the meat of strangled animals and blood, and if you have observed American slaughterhouses, you know that even these very relaxed mandates are not fulfilled by them.

          • Avatar

            Reed

            July 5, 2012 at 5:22 AM

            @5f73bebe7c7432c09f286a8376a29912:disqus

            As far as getting the point, the discussion needs to stay focused on what we know and what we’ve said. You’re bringing in points that haven’t been a part of this discussion: corruption of the Bible, present-day slaughterhouses not avoiding blood, and so on. So, although they’re points worthy of being discussed, it’s difficult to the “get the point” if these points haven’t previously entered the discussion.

            My focus has been on whether or not people of the Book were required by God (swt) to pronounce a blessing when slaughtering an animal. There is no such requirement in the Bible, whether in the books added by Christians or in the books of the Hebrew Bible. For Jews, the guidance for the blessing comes from the Talmud, which is the written codification of oral rabbinical judgments, which came centuries after the last book of the Hebrew Bible and which is not a revelation from Allah (swt).

            Yes, the Bible has been corrupted. All one has to do is look at the apparatus of any scholar’s Bible and see the different variants of specific verses. Even so, that doesn’t “guarantee” that they, Jews or Christians, were commanded to invoke the name of God (swt).

            As far as Christians avoiding meat with the blood, that’s worth discussing and fits in with my other comment on whether human reasoning can nullify what Allah (swt) has stated with respect to Muslims being able to eat the meat of the people of the book. If Allah (swt)—who knows how Christians were slaughtering in the past, the present, and the future—didn’t qualify His statement with any restrictions, then I wonder how any human can presume to make such restrictions.

          • Avatar

            Ashraf

            July 6, 2012 at 10:09 AM

            @Reed: you are contradicting yourself. On one hand, you say that the Bible does not require the pronouncement of a blessing before slaughtering–but the truth is that even if the Bible did have an explicit verse requiring it, you would have said “Allah knows how the Christians were slaughtering in the past, the present, and the future” and “we don’t use reasoning” in this matter. But this is such a fallacious argument that I wonder if you are trying to act stupid for the convenience of eating haram meat, or you truly do not understand. This is what you are saying: We Muslims are not allowed by our Lord to eat a certain meat if slaughtered incorrectly by a Muslim, and the Christains are mandated by their Lord in the Bible to not eat meat slaughtered a certain way, but a Muslim can eat a Christain’s meat (not a Muslim’s though) if slaughtered in a way that is haram according to them too!

            If you truly believe this reasoning, then why don’t you eat pork? Did not Allah know that the Christians would eat pork now and in the future, and since he said that Muslims can eat the food of the Christians, according to you whatever they eat should be permissible, including pork, so eat of it! The truth as the mufassirin mentioned, is that Allah did NOT say eat of the FOOD of the People of the Book, but of the tayyibat (the pure) of the People of the Book, and that includes what Allah made pure for us Muslims, and that requires tasmiyyah and tazkiyyah. Walahu a’lam.

          • Avatar

            Reed

            July 11, 2012 at 9:46 AM

            Those things that are explicitly prohibited by Allah (swt) to Muslims are prohibited. Those that aren’t, aren’t. Pork and alcohol are explicitly prohibited to Muslims although they are not prohibited to Christians, and alcohol is not prohibited to Jews.

            You’ve introduced a new point, “tayyibat”. All of my translations say “food,” not “pure” with respect to the people of the book although I see “pure” or “good” in preceding sentence. It would be good to hear from Sh. Qadhi on the connection between these sentences.

            On reasoning, there are two interconnected ways of approaching it. One is that what is explicitly prohibited is not in the same category as that which is commanded to do. Thus, although one group of people are prohibited (Muslims) another has not been (Christians). Previously, Sh. Qadhi responded to the hadith in which it was unknown whether the tasmiyyah had been pronounced:

            “Lastly, this hadith can be used when the tasmiyya is unknown and the basic assumption is that the slaughterer would have said it. It cannot be extrapolated to when one knows for a fact that the tasmiyya was not mentioned, which is the case of the meat available in the Western world.”

            This position without any qualification, again, contradicts the Quran, which, for me, is a dangerous position to take. Another take on the hadith is not simply that the tasmiyyah was unknown but rather that it was more important not to insult new Muslims by rejecting their gifts. Similarly, if a person of the book offers a Muslim food that hasn’t been explicitly prohibited, such as pork, then it is more important to honor the gift and lay a foundation for cordial relationships and perhaps a path for their turning to Islam. In such a case, one would just say the blessing and accept the gift. Note that this is different from just going out and buying food that you know doesn’t have the blessing.

            Ashraf, you have a habit of interjecting insults into your legitimate points and questions, for example, “you must not be a biblical scholar” and “I wonder if you are trying to act stupid ….” Let me remind you that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “I came to perfect good character.”

          • Avatar

            Ashraf

            July 12, 2012 at 5:55 PM

            @Reed: your rejoinders are not valid for the following reasons:

            1. Your comment that “Those things that are explicitly prohibited by Allah (swt) to Muslims are prohibited. Those that aren’t, aren’t….what is explicitly prohibited is not in the same category as that which is commanded to do.” Do you imagine that there are only verses in the Quran that command the taking of the name of Allah, and not a prohibition to abstain from food that has not had tasmiyyah? What of the verse in the Quran: ولا تاكلوا مما لم يذكر إسم الله عليه و إنه لفسق Do NOT eat from that which has not had the name of Allah taken upon it, and [eating of it] is surely a great transgression.” Surah Al-An’am:121. Can a prohibition get any clearer than that? If your argument is that pork and alchol are prohibited, then know that meat without tasmiyyah is also prohibited, and more definitively, since there is an added statement by Allah that eating of meat without tasmiyyah is transgression, which is not in the verse of Al-Maidah regarding pork.

            2. Regarding your comment of tayyibat being a “preceding sentence”: the verse granting permission to eat the food of the People of the Book is the same verse as the command by Allah to eat only the Tayyibat. In fact Allah commanded eating tayyibat first, before granting the permission, clearly to show that not ALL food, but only tayyibat is permissible, to respond to people who say that everything is permissilble. And this is in the books of tafsir. Note that the part of tayyibat and the permissibility of food of Ahl al-Kitab was revealed together. To argue that the second abrogated the former, even when it was revealed together is tantamount to declaring Allah indecisive, capricious, and whimsical at best.

            3. The question regarding whether it is unknown whether tasmiyyah has been pronounced or not, and Yasir Qadhi’s statement, which is actually not his statement, but the position of the noble ulama and fuqaha of the past, is not a contradiction, but a valid principle of usul, which you would know if you had picked up a book of usul al fiqh.(This, incidentally, is why it is discouraged for laymen to get involved in academic fiqh questions, since they start using their limited knowledge to disprove the ulama who have much more knowledge and understanding). It is a well-known principle in usul to take what you know: for instance, if you did wudu, but forgot if you broke it or not, then you have wudu, because you remember that you did it and so you go with what you know, and ignore what you are not sure about (i.e. whether you broke it or not). You ignore what is highly unlikely, and this is so that life does not become miserably impractical, such that you are exploring the possibility of 1 in a million may be true. This does NOT mean that wudu is not required–it is simply a practical aspect. This is the true regarding meat–if you know that most likely the meat has been slaughtered with tasmiyyah (such as in a Muslim country), you can eat from it, even though even in a Muslim country there are non-Muslims that could have slaughtered it. In a Christian country, you can eat from it, but if you KNOW that they do not slaughter it correctly, then you go with what you know–which is that they do not slaughter it correctly, and cannot eat from it. It in no way negates the verse commanding tasmiyyah.

            4. If you know that a Muslim has not slaughtered with tasmiyyah, then you CANNOT eat of it, even if it causes bad feelings, and you are suggesting that even when we know that non-Muslims are not taking tasmiyyah, we eat of it to assuage their feelings. What an approach, steeped in apologetic and abject behavior! The Jews at my university have no problem demanding Kosher food yet we shy away from anything that may make us stick out! The hadith of Aisha simply means that one should not inquire excessively from a Muslim, since that is overdoing it, as some Muslims do today. It in no way extends to non-Muslims, and it in no way means eat food you know is haram.

            The last point that I want to make is that in today’s landscape, the question arises if today’s Christians are even Christians. Europe certainly is avowedly secular, but even in America, there are agnostics, atheists, etc. Many people only identify to Christianity by birth, not by true belief that is correct. I had someone in a class tell me he is 50% Christian and 50% Jew, since one of his parents was Christian, and one was a Jew. Ali was once asked regarding eating the meat of Banu Taghlub, which was one of the Christian tribes, and he said “Do not eat of it, because they do not follow Christianity except in their abstaining from liquor.” And today’s Christians do not even abstain from that, but people like you are quick to legitimize thier meat! Wallahu A’lam

          • Avatar

            sarah

            July 6, 2012 at 3:03 PM

            It is true that the requirement to say a blessing when slaughtering, for Jews, is not found in the bible. But it was certainly done by the time of the Quran.

      • Avatar

        Reed

        June 30, 2012 at 4:56 PM

        I can see where you’re coming from, but it’s a little misleading because the Jesus’s inner circle of companions decided that non-Jews didn’t need to keep the Jewish laws. They only had to stay away from idols, blood, things strangled, and fornication (Acts 15:20).

  12. Avatar

    Hassan

    June 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Assalam-o-Alaikum. Jazak-Allah khyran Sh Yasir. Few questions always come to my mind:

    1. Did christians ever in their history did tasmiya or something similar for slaughter?

    2. What was practice of christians at time of prophet Muhammad PBUH when Allah revealed ayahs allowing meat slaughtered by Jews/Christians?

    3. What does it really mean when Allah tells muslims that meat slaughtered by muslims are now “halal” for Jews/Christians? If jews have been strict all along, why would they accept our slaughtered meat?

    4. From the article “Halakhic law states that the shochet should verbally bless the act of slaughter with a specific blessing.[9] While this blessing is not considered an essential requirement, in practice it is always done, and it is realistically inconceivable that a shochet intentionally abandons this blessing.[10]”.

    The first line states that the shochet “should” verbally bless, but second sentence states that this is not essential requirement. Can you clarify?

    Thanks

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      June 23, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      1- Yes, read the footnotes in the article. More importantly, its not what they historically did but what Allah commanded them to do.

      2- Not known. And irrelevant. Again, what is important is what they were commanded to do, and it is very clear that they were commanded to mention the name of Allah, as per the Quran AND laws of the Old Testament. And Jesus was a practicing Jew throughout his entire life.

      3- It means we may sell it to them if they choose to purchase from us. The fact that they don’t is their business.

      4- So from their standpoint it is not a ‘wajib’ but ‘sunna mu’akada’ and would always be done. Hence, if a Jew were to forget to say tasmiyya, I would consider this similar to the Muslim who forgot to say the basmala (i.e., ‘fi hukm al-nasi’) and therefore halal.

      • Avatar

        Hassan

        June 23, 2012 at 6:14 PM

        Jazak-Allah khyran, for point 3, does it mean/imply anyway that we are not allowed to sell meat to anyone other than people of the books?

      • Avatar

        Reed

        June 30, 2012 at 4:45 PM

        It doesn’t make sense to me that #2 is irrelevant. If the People of the Book were slaughtering without mentioning the name of Allah when the Quranic verse was given, then their meat would not have been permissible to eat according to your logic, but the Quran says it is permissible. Also, although the rabbis give a blessing, it is not in the Torah and not something they were commanded to do; otherwise, it would be a necessary requirement, not something they do as a practice.

        • Avatar

          sarah

          July 6, 2012 at 2:58 PM

          Shochets (Jewish ritual slaughterers) ARE required to say the blessing. Under some circumstances, the meat might be kosher if they forgot. But they are required to say it. (And in practice they always do.)

          • Avatar

            Reed

            July 6, 2012 at 7:55 PM

            I wasn’t clear. I meant that if the blessing were mentioned in the Torah, then it would be required by HaShem. Of course, there may be requirements apart from the Torah.

          • Avatar

            Muaz N

            July 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

            ^ sh. yasir said exactly that but in terms muslims can digest.. :)

      • Avatar

        syed

        July 15, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        Asalamu Alaikum,

        In regards to number 2, Isa AS (Jesus pbuh) was Muslim. Just as Allah SWT speak about Ibraheem AS (Abraham pbuh) being Muslim:

        Surah Baqarah translation
        139
        “Say, [O Muhammad], “Do you argue
        with us about Allah while He is our Lord and your Lord? For us are our
        deeds, and for you are your deeds. And we are sincere [in deed and
        intention] to Him.”

        140

        “Or do you say that Abraham and
        Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants were Jews or Christians?
        Say, “Are you more knowing or is Allah ?” And who is more unjust than
        one who conceals a testimony he has from Allah ? And Allah is not
        unaware of what you do.”

        Surah Al An’am translation
        161
        “Say, “Indeed, my Lord has
        guided me to a straight path – a correct religion – the
        way of Abraham, inclining toward truth. And he was not among
        those who associated others with Allah .”

        162
        “Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah , Lord of the worlds.”

        163
        No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.”

        164
        Say, “Is it other than Allah
        I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all
        things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself,
        and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.
        Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you
        concerning that over which you used to differ.”

        ====================================================

        The
        term “Israel” or “Children of Israel” refers to the twelve
        sons of Yaqub AS (Jacob pbuh) and their descendants. The word “Jews” derives from the Roman
        term “Judea” which described roughly the area allocated to the tribe
        of Judah including Jerusalem.

        In the Hebrew term, “Jew” is referred “Yehudi”, and “Judah” as “Yehuda”.

        So referring to them, the original successors of Yaqub AS (Jacob pbuh) would be known as Bani Israel (Children of Israel). And though their linage may come from Bani Israel, their faith was Islam (Submission [to Allah]).

        As was the religion of Isa AS (Jesus pbuh).

        According to a hadith,

        Volume 4, Book 55, Number 652 (translation):

        Narrated Abu Huraira:

        Allah’s Apostle said, “Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the
        nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are
        paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is
        one.”

      • Avatar

        dz

        August 23, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        Exactly correct: if the shochet forgot or “couldn’t” say the blessing – if he was not fully clothed for example – the slaughter would still be fully kosher

        • Avatar

          miri

          April 17, 2014 at 11:49 AM

          he wouldn’t even attempt to slaughter if he was not fully clothed etc.Most shochtim even emerge in a mikvah(ritual bath) before they shecht because it is considered holy work and they may not even say the name of God if they are at an impure state(dirty,not properly clothed etc.).I know many personally who do.They do ALWAYS make a blessing in Gods name too.

          • Avatar

            milhousevh

            April 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM

            Miri, that’s irrelevant. The point is that the blessing does not affect the meat’s kashrut. It’s a separate requirement. Of course a professional shochet would never show up to work naked; but if a naked person were to slaughter an animal properly it would be kosher. More to the point, the technical legal reason why it’s be inappropriate for a naked person to slaughter an animal is that it is forbidden to pronounce God’s holy name while undressed; it’s disrespectful to Him. And since the person cannot say the blessing, he may not slaughter. But if he did it anyway, what’s done is done, and the meat is kosher.

      • Avatar

        Milhouse

        October 4, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        Thank you for this article. It’s very enlightening.

        The distinction isn’t really between wajib and sunnah mu’akada. As I understand it the latter is something that is not technically required, but which the Prophet was observed to do whenever appropriate, so one can assume it’s at least very important, and should be treated as if it were obligatory. If that is correct, then I would say that the beracha (blessing) is wajib; it is a legal requirement, and not just a very important tradition. The source you quote which says the shochet “should” say the beracha, rather than that he “must” say it, is not exact in its language.

        However, the blessing is not part of the deen of shechita (slaughter); it’s a separate deen. Slaughter is a commandment; and before performing any commandment one must say a blessing thanking God for having given us that commandment. Thus omitting the blessing is not a flaw in the slaughter. Perhaps you could compare it to separate rakah. I assume that a flaw in the first rakah doesn’t invalidate the second one. That doesn’t mean the flaw in the first one doesn’t matter; it was invalid and that will have consequences. But the second one was perfect, so one needn’t worry about it. Or is my assumption incorrect?

        Let me give another example from halacha: it is forbidden to eat bread with unwashed hands. This washing is a requirement, a commandment, and so a blessing must be said, thanking God for having commanded us to wash our hands. If one washed ones hands but did not say the blessing, that omission is a sin, but it does not affect the validity of the washing itself. The hands are still considered clean, and the eating of the bread was without sin. Even if one remembered half-way through the meal that one forgot to say the blessing one needn’t wash again, because the washing itself was perfectly good, and the blessing is a separate matter. Whereas if there was a flaw in the washing, e.g. one only washed the right hand and forgot to wash the left, then one must immediately stop eating and wash properly before resuming the meal.

        (Incidentally, washing the hands before prayer, which in shari’a is absolutely required, is in halakha considered more like a sunnah; it’s not required but highly recommended, and therefore no blessing is said for it.)

  13. Avatar

    Amira

    June 23, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Im confused.as far as i know islamic law only allows male or female muslim to sacrifice. So how can we consider kosher as halal food when they r not muslim

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      Hassan

      June 23, 2012 at 4:46 PM

      Never heard that opinion before, where you got it from?

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      YasirQadhi

      June 23, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      No one has every said this from amongst our scholars. By unanimous consensus a Muslim, Christian or Jew may sacrifice.

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        Umm Omar

        June 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        as Salamu alaykum Shaykh,

        In this era, even though people will be born in Jewish/Christian/Muslim families, what they believe in, really does matter. Suppose, if a man who cuts the cow in a kosher industry is Jew by origin, and not by faith, (probably an atheist / a darwinist or a different religion follower), which we may never come to know, how can we be of sure that it is kosher / Hala still? For us, the meat could be halal only if the “people of the book” cut it…. in my understanding those who believe in Taurah / Bible and have faith in it and live by it. Is nt it a valid criteria now?

        • Avatar

          sarah

          July 6, 2012 at 2:55 PM

          Hi Umm Omar,
          Shochets (Jewish ritual slaughterers) must always be religious Jews. We (religious Jews) could also not eat their meat if they were not religious (believe in God) and observant of the halacha (Jewish equivilent of shari’a). So they aren’t just born into Jewish families, they are religious themselves.

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    Hassen

    June 23, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    as-salaamu alaykum wa baarakallahu feek! Very beneficial summary, masha’Allah.

    I had a question about the criteria for eating meat slaughtered by Christians. What is required for their meat to be halal for Muslims to eat?

    *The reason I ask is because I would ideally like to eat grass-fed meat (i.e. the cow was raised to live the way Allah created it to- roaming freely and eating grass) but unfortunately there aren’t any convenient dhabihah & grass-fed beef options available. So if I wanted to buy grass-fed beef from a Christian meat supplier, what procedures would they have to follow for the meat to be halal?

    Jazaakallahu khayran!

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      June 23, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      Salam

      Ask them to say ‘In the name of God’ or any equivalent as they slaughter the animal by cutting its neck, and it will be halal for you.

    • Avatar

      sarah

      July 6, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      Hi Hassen, You could also buy kosher grass fed beef, which is available from a number of companies including grow and behold foods and kol foods. Good luck!

  15. Avatar

    Mohammed

    June 23, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Assalaamu Alaikum,

    Would you also be able to clarify the hadith of A’isha, mentioned in Sahih Bukhari:

    O Messenger of Allaah, some people bring meat to us, and we do not know whether they mentioned the name of Allaah over it or not. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Mention the name of Allaah over it and eat.

    How do you reconcile this with the opinion of saying the tasmiya over every animal at the time of slaughter? If you hold the opinion that saying the tasmiya over every animal is a requirement, than the meat of the Jews would not be permissible for you. But then the aforementioned hadith seems to imply that (regardless of whether or not the tasmiyah is said) you can still eat that meat. . . I’m a bit confused.

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      June 24, 2012 at 3:19 AM

      Salam

      I plan to write a longer piece on the issue of the tasmiyya. In my many conversations with people (and also students of knowledge), it appears that few have actually taken the time to see the quantity and explicitness of these evidence. In fact Ibn Taymiyya writes, “The evidences that made the tasmiyya a necessary requirement for a slaughter are more clear than the evidences that require one to recite the Fatiha in the prayer.”

      And this hadith that you have mentioned is one such example. The hadith, as explicitly mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari, was asked by a group of senior Sahaba when a group of new Muslim converts would send meat to them. They were concerned that the meat might not have been slaughtered properly because these were new Muslims who might not know the Shari’ rulings. So they were told that they should just mention it and eat it.

      Commentators mention that this hadith is one of the most explicit evidences that the tasmiyya is in fact wajib. This is because the Companions were so concerned that they had to ask the Prophet (SAW) whether they could eat or not – they realized that the tasmiyya is a ‘make or break’ factor. And the response was that they should basically assume the best of a Muslim, and that they didn’t have to physically see with their own eyes whether it was done or not. This hadith, as Ibn Hajr writes, is a foundational premise for the fact that one should assume the best of all Muslims. It has NOTHING to do with the fact that tasmiyya is not obligatory – if anything it actually shows it IS obligatory, or else the response should have been, “Who cares if they said it or not?”

      Also this hadith is in the context of new Muslims, not converts.

      Lastly, this hadith can be used when the tasmiyya is unknown and the basic assumption is that the slaughterer would have said it. It cannot be extrapolated to when one knows for a fact that the tasmiyya was not mentioned, which is the case of the meat available in the Western world.

      This hadith is one of at least a dozen that explicitly mention the necessity of verbalizing the tasmiyya. I hope to translate Ibn Taymiyya’s treatise on this issue which is one of the most comprehensive that I have ever read.

      • Avatar

        Hassan

        June 27, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        Assalam-o-Alaikum. Shaykh, do we have any example from ahadiths where prophet PBUH said about something highly recommended sunnah in explicit way that this is just sunnah? May be from adaab and not to neglect something quite desirable he did not say that saying tasmiya is just sunnah but from his subsequent actions/statements it becomes apparent?

      • Avatar

        Mohammed Shaikh

        July 10, 2013 at 4:31 PM

        But shaikh, Ahul Al-ketab in their books , they do not have the requirement to say Allah’s name before slaughtering . As you said , Jews are recommended to say certain blessings but they do not have to. What is about Christians ? Based on my research, I found the same thing, they do not have to mention Allah’s names before slaughtering. There is nothing in their books that requires them to do it. And Allah allows us to eat their slaughtering, and He knows what they do and the teachings in their books. How can Allah allows us to eat from their slaughtering while He at the same time knows they are not meeting the requirements which means we are not allowed to eat the animals they slaughter !!!

        • Avatar

          Milhouse

          July 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

          Sorry, you are incorrect. Jewish law absolutely does require the shochet to say the blessing. It is a separate obligation from the slaughter itself, so if he fails to say it the meat remains kosher; but he has nevertheless failed his obligation. Indeed, if he were to be observed slaughtering without first saying the blessing it would cast doubt on his piety, and he would lose his job!

          • Avatar

            Mohammed Shaikh

            July 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

            thanks for replying to my post. I am still learning about this topic , so I am open to your inputs.

            Your point does not actually invalidates my point. You said if someone intentionally does not say the blessings, then the meat is still considered Kosher if other requirements are met. This is different from the above scholar’s (Yasir Al-Qadhi) point of view. He says if someone does this intentionally, then the meat will not be allowed for Muslims. According to some Muslim scholars, saying God’s name is essential and if not met, the meat can be eaten. I do not follow this opinion . Btw, could you provide me with the verses in the old testament that requires the shochet to say the blessing? As I told you, I am still learning about this topic.

          • Avatar

            Milhouse

            July 13, 2013 at 11:26 PM

            The requirement to say blessings before fulfilling any commandment (including shechita) is not in the Bible; it’s in the Talmud and all later law books. As I explained, if it was omitted the meat would still be kosher, but would not be halal; however, it’s unthinkable that it would be omitted. The shochet is required by law to say it, and if he were caught not saying it he’d be fired, so one can be sure that he said it.

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            Mohammed Shaikh

            July 13, 2013 at 1:52 PM

            I meant ” if not met, the meat can’t be eaten ” just a typo.

          • Avatar

            Mohammed Shaikh

            July 14, 2013 at 10:25 AM

            You can still provide me with Talmud text where it is mentioned. I did a research about this topic in my own language and I looked at other resources to write it. Some of these resources were Jewish websites. By the way, the conclusion I reached was that everything Kosher is considered Halal for us muslims.

            I am not saying that your statement about saying the blessings is incorrect, but it has to be provided with proofs. I want to know if this only practiced by Jews in U.S. or if it has become a practice only in recent years. I read a profile called A Guide to Shechita published by Shechita UK, and I read the requirements that the shochet should observe. There is nothing mentioned about the blessings. Actually, in the whole file there is no mentioning of blessings. This might show shochets in UK do not practice saying the blessings.

          • Avatar

            Milhouse

            July 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM

            Sources for the requirement to say a blessing before slaughtering animals (these are all in Hebrew):

            Talmud Bavli, Pesachim page 7b

            Rambam, Hilchot Shechita 1:2

            Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 19:1 (the link is to a pdf)

            These are all sources for binding Jewish law, going back 2000 years, and followed by Orthodox Jews all over the world.

            The Guide to Shechita that you read is not a guide for shochtim, it’s a pamphlet written for outsiders who are concerned about animal welfare, describing to them what happens to the animals. It doesn’t mention the beracha because it’s irrelevant These people don’t care what words the shochet says, they just want to know what the animal feels and what is done to it. But it does say “Jewish laws governing shechita and the animal welfare considerations are to be found in the Talmud (Oral Law of Judaism) Tractate Chullin, Mishneh Torah of Maimonides, the Shulchan Oruch: Yoreh Deah (Codes of Jewish Law) by Rabbi Joseph Karo, of which 28 sections sub-divided into 156 regulations, in addition to commentaries, deal with shechita.” I have cited all three sources.

            By the way, the conclusion I reached was that everything Kosher is considered Halal for us muslims.

            Surely you mean except alcohol.

          • Avatar

            Mohammed Shaikh

            July 14, 2013 at 8:22 PM

            lol, yeah I meant Kosher meat.

  16. Avatar

    muslimah

    June 24, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Jazakallah Sheikh, my friends and I were just having a discussion about this topic, thanks for clearing the grey spots!

  17. Avatar

    AnonyMouse Al-Majnoonah

    June 24, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    MashaAllah, this was well-written, informative (and interesting!), and easy to understand as well. BarakAllahu feek.

  18. Avatar

    sanura

    June 24, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Fantastic article, I am presently in a cooking class and my group is predominantly christian and they bring there utensils from home although I supply the meat. I don’t eat anything after because im afraid of the cross contamination from their utensils may it b a wooden spoon or a tray. now I’m wondering if once they wash their dishes, will I be able to taste what is being cook so I will know what dishes to try at home and what not to bother with?

  19. Avatar

    Muslim_1234

    June 25, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    Salaam, so Sh, Qadhi, I have a question. I have read many an article about how they have a recording they’ll play over the meat being slaughtered, and the rabbi will just sprinkle some water or something to ‘purify’ the meat. Basically, my point is that there is no guarantee that what is called kosher is ACTUALLY kosher. SO, does that mean I can go to say Wal-Mart and where they sell Kosher meat, I can go ahead and buy it?

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      YasirQadhi

      June 25, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      Jewish law does not allow a recording to play. A ‘live’ rabbi will always be present :)

      We need to be careful about basing our opinions on hearsay.

      • Avatar

        sarah

        July 6, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        Just a small correction – a shochet (Jewish ritual slaughterer) is not always a Rabbi. But it is true that a live one will always be present :) Recordings are not permitted (and I’ve never heard of them being used)

        In terms of how you know to trust them – religious Jews will also not just eat anything that says it is kosher, because as you say, anyone can call something kosher. We only eat things that have particular symbols (hechshers) on them. These symbols are trademarked, and can only be placed on meat by a particular organization. And then we find out which organizations can be trusted. So, any meat with a U inside an O, a K inside a circle, or a K inside a star (for example) can be trusted because it is from a trustworthy organization and it is illegal for anyone else to put that symbol on their meat.

    • Avatar

      miri

      October 1, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      this reply is actually to muslim_1234.. I would never buy meat from a place that I didnt know who the butcher is..that would omit walmart and insure what I eat is in fact kosher.. the “sprinking water to purify” is maybe a misunderstanding.After the blessing is said and the animal is slaughtered..before it can be eaten it needs to be soaked and salted..yes water is involved but certainly not a sprinkle.the salt aides in removing the remainder of the blood.Its called Kashering.

  20. Avatar

    Hajar

    June 25, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Assalamu alaykum Shaikh Yasir Qadhi, It will be great to have this and other similar topics in the form of a book or/and a course given by you in the near future. I really find all your articles and especially this and the cheese one very interesting and beneficial Masha Allah. Jazak Allahu khairan.

  21. darthvaider

    darthvaider

    June 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Jazak Allah khayr Shaykh Yasir for the informative article.
    What I’d like to see is a more detailed assessment of the various processes by which large-scale halal meat suppliers and factories slaughter, along with the ways in which their slaughtering practices would be validated or repudiated through the usul of classical scholars or contemporary ijtihad (I’m guessing daroorah is an item that would have to be addressed). Many – if not all – halal meat suppliers leverage machine-slaughtering as a necessity for providing halal meat to distributors and restaurants, and in doing so instill a variety of methods for accommmodating the tasmiyah requirement- sometimes its simply the machine operator reciting the basmalah upon machine startup, others place bismillah stickers on the machines, and I’ve heard stories of others using recordings of the basmalah that run on repeat.
    Not sure you have the time for it, but I thought I’d make the request nonetheless :)

  22. Avatar

    Khalid

    June 30, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    “…Islamic law allows any male or female Christian, Muslim or Jew to sacrifice as long as that person follows the proper procedure of slaughtering…” Where on earth do u get this idea from?! The slaughterer must be Muslim! SubhaanAllaah!

    • Avatar

      Hassan

      June 30, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      He and all islamic scholars of the past got this idea from Quran as Allah allowed it

  23. Avatar

    Confused

    July 2, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Shaikh, is this applicable to the whole machine slaughter chichken debate about the one Tasmaiyyah versus multiple?

  24. Avatar

    shiney

    July 3, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Ya shaykh, I took Precious Provisions with you in Q.Nurayn and I remember you said that in some cases, you would feel ‘safer’ eating kosher than halal meat because of the strict slaughtering process that the meat undergoes. I agree that the Rabbis making sure that the meat is kosher gives us some security, but isn’t safer to avoid big-scale companies no matter what they say their practices are?
    Hebrew National, the biggest kosher company in the U.S., is now facing a lawsuit for its dishonest practices. http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/19/us/hebrew-national-kosher/index.html?hpt=us_c2
    Also, I had another question. Can you explain the hadith “Leave that for which you are in doubt for that which you are not in doubt.” Based on this, aren’t we not supposed to eat from any factory meat, regardless of what claims they make? Isn’t it safer to stick to the local halal meat shop?

    • Avatar

      Sarah

      July 6, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      Most religious Jews also don’t trust Hebrew National, in particular. They have a bad reputation.

      • Avatar

        guest

        August 7, 2012 at 6:18 AM

        I think it would be more accurate to say that their standards are considered to be rather low (“bad reputation” implies lack of reliability, which I don’t think is the case).

  25. Avatar

    Reed

    July 4, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    This article’s focus was on slaughtering by Jews and Muslims, not by Christians. Still, comments asked about eating food slaughtered by Christians, with Sh. Qadhi answering that for Christians’ food to be acceptable, it had to be slaughtered in the name of God (swt) in order to be halal.

    For me, one problem with this position is it doesn’t deal with the verse of the Quran in which Allah (swt) states, “The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them.”

    Allah (swt) knew how the people of the Book slaughtered animals during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and how they slaughter animals today and how they’ll slaughter them in the future. However, in this verse, Allah (swt) doesn’t say their food is lawful if they slaughter it like Muslims and doesn’t say that it is only lawful for those people of the Book during the time of the Prophet (pbuh). Allah (swt) puts no restrictions on how the People of the Book slaughter their animals, past or present or future.

    If we consider the Quran to be eternal across time and culture and context (unless the Quran itself says otherwise), then human logic cannot contradict the clear statement of Allah (swt).

    Another possibility for interpretation is that the Quran is dependent upon context. That is, during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the People of the Book slaughtered animals, invoking the name of God (swt). So, 2000 years later, for those who don’t invoke the name of God (swt), then the context allows (requires?) Muslims to understand that the verse no longer applies in this time and context.

    The problem with this approach is that it can then be applied to other verses, such as hijab. That is, verses concerning hijab came because men were molesting women in public (Quran 33:59). So, if in some culture and time, men no longer molest women in public, then one could say that the context and time in which the verse was given no longer applies, and thus hijab doesn’t apply.

    So (perhaps this will take another article), it would be good to understand how one should deal with verses like these in a consistent manner.

  26. Avatar

    Ashraf

    July 4, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    @YasirQadhi:disqus: So I checked the issue of taking tasmiyyah on every animal individually, and you are correct in stating that the Hanafi maddhab requires it. But Ibn Qudamah also writes in al-Mughni: Mentioning Allah’s name ver an animal to be slaughtered is considered correct if done at the moment of slaughtering or soon before, similar to when performing wudu (in the Hanbali maddhab tasmiyyah in wudu is also wajib). Furthermore, if one mentions the name of Allah over a sheep, but then tkaes another one and slaughters it with the first mention, it is not permissible to eat that animal, regardless of whether he lets the first one free or slaughters it. This is because he did not intend to slaughter the second sheep when taking tasmiyyah. Liskewise if he sees a flock of sheep and says Bismillah, and then takes hold of a sheep and slaughters it without mentioning Allah’s name a second time, it is not permissible to eat that animal. And if he was ignorant of the fact that his initial mention was not sufficient, he is not excused like one who forgets would be. Forgetting eliminates culpability for a mistake, but one who is ignorant is taken to task. it is for this reason that if one, out of ignorance, eats while fasting, his fast breaks, while this is not the case for one who eats because he forgets that he is fasting.
    “Moreover if one lays down a sheep to slaughter it and mentions Allah’s name, but then discards the knife he is using and replaces it with another, or returns the greeting of a bystander, or speaks to someone, or takes a drink of water, or does something similar, and finally slaughters, it is lawful to eat the animal. This is because he took tasmiyyah on that particular sheep and did not delay slaughtering except a little bit, so it is as if he did not talk.” Al-Mughni 11:33

    I find this interesting in that Ibn Qudamah says a small amount of time is permissible, but it is not permissible to slaughter more than one animal for every tasmiyyah. However, for the Hanafis, it is the time factor as well as a single motion that is the only requirement, and not one tasmiyyah for every animal, as is mentioned in Fatawa al-Hindiyyah: “If someone lays one of two sheep on top of the other, one mention of Allah’s name is sufficient if he slaughters them both with one swipe of the blade. Conversely, if one gathers some birds in his hand and slaughters them all after tasmiyyah, and then immediately slaughters another one without making another tasmiyyah, the last bird is not lawful. However, if passes the blade along all of them, they would all be lawful with one mention.” Fatawa al-Hidiyyah 5:289

    So it seems that the Hanafis require a single motion per tasmiyyah as well as immediacy, since in the latter bird as mentioned, the slaughter was immediate but with a different motion, and thus became unlawful. Wallahu A’lam

  27. Avatar

    yitzgood

    July 6, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Just a couple of corrections. I think you meant what people call a “plain K” in the post when referring to markings not accepted by most Rabbis. “Circle-K” is the symbol of a specific certifying organization with standards similar to those of other widely-accepted certifying agencies, such as the OU. Some instances of just a letter K are fairly widely accepted if people know who is actually supervising. The letter K on Kellogg’s Rice Crispies is the KVH from Massachusetts, for instance. (Kellogg’s does not use the symbol for whatever reason.) Also, all Orthodox authorities require two sets of utensils in accordance with the Shulchan Aruch. Some just have meat utensils and use disposable plates and forks for milk foods (or vice versa), but that limits your ability to actually cook both kinds. We barely cook anything dairy in my house.

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      July 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      Thank you for those points.

  28. Avatar

    sarah

    July 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    This is a fascinating and well written article. Just curious, as a religious Jew, where did you learn so much about kosher slaughter? You are clearly very well informed. Did you work with a particular Rabbi, or consult academic publications? Just curious. And very much agree that our communities should work together – if it were clear that many Muslims would buy kosher meat were the shochets to make the blessing more frequently, I bet they would start doing it :) Not to mention other issues we should be working together on – against laws banning ritual slaughter, against laws banning circumcision, in support of the right to wear the hijab or head covering in school . . .

    • Avatar

      YasirQadhi

      July 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      Thank you for your comments. I did some research and also got help from knowledgeable Jews (and consulted a Jewish expert in the field). I’m sure there are still some minor points that I didn’t do justice to, but this wasn’t meant to be a dissertation – just a beginning primer into the main similarities and differences.

  29. Pingback: A week of cross-posting « Black, Gay and Jewish

  30. Avatar

    Rabbi Daniel

    July 6, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Wonderful article!
    It can be difficult to determine what standards each kosher symbol represents. For the most widely accepted symbols that strictly adhere to kosher laws, this link will be helpful
    http://www.crcweb.org/agency_list.php

    • Avatar

      Syed Rasheeduddin Ahmed

      July 14, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      Assalam O Alaikum Brother Yasir Qadhi has failed to mentioned that there some liberal Jews who consider gelatin made from pork went through chemical changes so it is kosher . On the other hand Orthodox Jews never consider a gelatin made from pork as a kosher. Beside there is no change in the basic units composition of pork parts used to make gelatin and basic units of composition of pork gelatin itself. On our website http://www.muslimconsumergroup.com under Fiqah and Science section I explained it in detail. This is one the requirement of Tabdeele Mahiya beside others which Some of ulema who has no scientific background believe this theory also and recommend Muslims to eat Haram. ” – All kosher foods are permissible as long as 1) no significant amount of alcohol is present, and 2) any gelatin is from kosher slaughtered cattle or non-animal sources. If alcohol is used either for taste or in intoxicating amounts, the food prepared would be ḥarām; and any gelatin derived from animals not slaughtered with tasmiya is also ḥarām” Although Brother Yasir Qadhi is a very good Islamic scholar and a chemical engineer but he does not have knowledge about food science and food industry. If he is writing article on food, he should consult with a food scientist because gelatin can not be made from non animal source. Some plant based materials do the same job as gelatin but they are not call gelatin they are called gums. He also do not know that the kosher gelatin is made from pork and non kosher slaughtered cows. There are two type of kosher gelatin, one is made with pork or non kosher gelatin such are used in yogurts and certified by liberal kosher certifying organizations and second kosher gelatin is made from kosher slaughtered cow only. How to find the difference between these two on food product is based on the type kosher symbols on food products. The liberal kosher symbol K or Kd appears on all yogurts made with kosher gelatin where it is obtained from pork or non kosher slaughtered cow where as the orthodox kosher symbols such as Circle U, Circle K, CRC, Kuf K if appeared on food products containing kosher gelatin indicate that kosher gelatin is obtained from kosher slaughtered cows only by Sachet a Rabbi who only allowed to slaughter kosher animals. I was kosher coordinator for many food companies for many years including Nabisco and worked with Rabbis for many years so to obtain knowledge about kosher certification and their criteria. Brother Yasir Qadhi has also mislead the Muslims by saying Cherrios and Doritos are Halal because of his lack of knowledge of food industry. Cheerios and all Doritos except one are not under Halal or kosher certification because cheese, flavor and color used in those products are not Halal or kosher certified beside these ingredients mentioned under ingredients statement, there are hidden ingredients or processing aid ingredients used in those products which are not mentioned under ingredients statement. Frito Lays uses lot of co packers to make those products beside their own but the processing lines of their own and co packers are not under Halal or kosher certification so pork based products are also made on the same lines and then it is subjected to cross contamination with pork based products. MCG do not accept kosher meat as Halal because Allah’s name is not pronounced on each animal. MCG is also do not accept kosher gelatin as Halal whether it is made with pork or kosher or non kosher slaughtered cows. Syed Rasheeduddin Ahmed

      • Avatar

        Milhouse

        October 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        It is not true that “Orthodox Jews never consider a gelatin made from pork as a kosher”, and that only liberal Jews permit it. Gelatin, from whatever source it is made, undergoes a fundamental chemical change, and is not the same substance as it was before. Before becoming gelatin, it first becomes an inedible substance, which since it is not food is not subject to kosher laws. The question is whether, when it becomes once again an edible food, its old non-kosher status returns, or whether it’s considered as if created anew, and is therefore kosher. There are very well respected and quite orthodox poskim (fuqaha) on both sides of this question. For instance, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef permits all gelatin, and so did Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski. It is true that in the USA the consensus is to forbid such gelatin, but in Israel the consensus is to permit it for “standard” kosher, but not for “mehadrin” (those who prefer to be stricter on themselves).

  31. Avatar

    LaglagaalTaifee

    July 8, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    How bout just admitting that eating animal flesh is pretty cruel and barbaric and moving onto to vegetarianism.

    • Avatar

      Milhouse

      October 4, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      Who defines what is “cruel” or “barbaric”, if not God, Who has permitted us to eat meat? Can you name a single one of the prophets who was vegetarian? Abraham served meat to his guests (Genesis 18:8). Isaac ate meat (Genesis 27:25). Joseph and his brothers ate meat (Genesis 43:16). Moses ate meat (Leviticus 8:29), as did Aharon and his sons (ibid 8:31). Solomon ate meat (1 Kings 5:3)

      • Avatar

        Reed

        April 16, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        The permission of Allah (swt) does not equal the approval of Allah (swt). For example, Allah (swt) hates divorce but permits it. Consequently, whether or not Allah (swt) considers eating meat as cruel or barbaric is unknown unless it’s stated explicitly in the Quran or sunnah.

        • Avatar

          milhousevh

          April 17, 2014 at 2:13 PM

          Still, as far as we can tell all of the prophets ate meat; we certainly know that several of them did, and we have no evidence that the rest did not. Surely no prophet would do that which Allah disapproved of. For instance we never hear of a prophet divorcing his wife, except when God specifically instructed him to do so, e.g. Hoshea.

          • Avatar

            Reed

            April 17, 2014 at 4:06 PM

            As far as prophets not doing something that Allah (swt) disapproves of, take, for example, wine. The Bible indicates that prophets drank alcohol, but with the coming of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), it was forbidden. We can expect that prophets wouldn’t knowingly go against what Allah (swt) disapproves of, but that doesn’t mean that all knowledge is available to them so that they might unknowingly do something that He disapproves of.

            As to whether all prophets ate meat, the Bible indicates otherwise if one accepts the biblical account of Noah offering a sacrifice after the flood. In that passage (Gen 9), God states, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs,” which suggests that prophets before Noah didn’t eat meat.

            So, although you’re not illogical, the point remains that unless Allah (swt) explicitly states something, then it remains an unknown.

  32. Avatar

    Suckled Sunnah

    July 13, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    very informative…great article:) Tonia @ http://suckledsunnah.wordpress.com/

  33. Avatar

    Rabbi Joshua Maroof

    August 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Very informative and well-informed article. One minor correction: Circle-K is, in fact, an acceptable symbol for all Jews, including the strictly Orthodox. A plain, non-trademarked “K” on a package, by contrast, is unacceptable.

  34. Avatar

    Judith Abraham

    August 7, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Thank you for writing such an informative article. As someone who maintains only a moderate rule of kosher (no prohibited animals, no mixing of meat and dairy) I had already given myself permission to eat Hallal, if a Hallal butcher were conveniently located. For me (and I certainly don’t speak for all Jews!) the intention/kavannah, becomes the focus of a proper ritual slaughter.

  35. Avatar

    TimUpham

    August 7, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    When I see comments of articles such as these, I just come across nothing but constant hatred. Hatred out of bigotry. I have been invited to numerous Feast of Eid celebrations. I taught English as a second language to refugees from predominately Muslim countries, i.e., Kurdish refugees from northern Iraq. Whenever I had halal food in a Muslim household — the last time was in Sabah, Malaysia — I never felt I was doing anything sacrilegious. I also let these refugees in the United States know that they can purchase kosher food. It is pathetic how we can fill ourselves with so much hatred. Why do not do what the Siddur says “You will love your fellow man, as though you will love yourself.”

    • Avatar

      miri

      September 30, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      satan has his hands full putting the progeny of avrum aveinu (Abraham) at each others throats..Brothers from another mother Yitzchok (Isaac)and Ishmael.We have so much in common in our religious practices and the core of our faiths its crazy so many people cant seem to understand each other.Some say the massiah hasnt come because of our lack of religious observance,,,some say its because jews dont get along with other jews..I say its because Bnei Avrum( the nations from the line of Abraham) has no peace with each other.

  36. Avatar

    Shechita

    August 9, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    :Dear Sir,

    Thank you for an excellent article and perspective into Sharia. You made the point that:
    “a perfect cut in both religions would require the esophagus, trachea, arteries and jugular”
    However, in Jewish Law, animal only require the esophagus and trachea to be cut – not necessarily the arteries and jugular. Actually, a full cut of both tubes is not required. Rather a single tube must be fully cut and the other tube must be at least 51% severed. In birds the standard is less strict. One need only cut 51% of *either* the esophagus or the trachea.

  37. Pingback: Interesting article « autoallergic: living with food allergies

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    mayer

    September 8, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    An interesting tidbit. During the time of the Sal Adin, there was a decree that before the schita the schochet had to say ala hu akbar, the rabbis debated this to see if it was permitted according to the Torah. Their conclusion was that it was permitted. So for many years after the blessing was made the Schochet would say ala hu akbar.

    • Avatar

      miri

      September 30, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      Jews say almost the same blessings only different language….I dont see why it would be an issue..God is great..

      • Avatar

        milhousevh

        April 17, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        It’s not even close to the same blessing. Bismillah is not a blessing at all; it’s a declaration that the act is being done in God’s name. The closest Hebrew equivalent would be the leshem yichud which some people say in addition to the appropriate blessing. To put it in Jewish terms, Islamic law does not require a bracha, but it does require a leshem yichud. That’s not exactly correct, but it’s at least a similar idea.

  39. Avatar

    Gracie

    February 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    I would love to see a venn diagram of compatable and incompatable allowed foods/practices. Especially the Jew-Muslim one. But also maybe a Christian-Jew-Muslim one. Even though we seem to allow everything but blood. Am I correct in gathering that all which is Kosher is Halal (except wine/alcohol) but not all that which is Halal is Kosher (like you could have cheeseburgers, because mixing milk/meat is OK). I am also heartened to learn that by using the term “people of the book” this indicated that we are recognizing the same deity, even if we understand him differently. This is news to me, in a lot of Christian denominations, they conclude that we must not be worshipping the same person because God has such different qualities in the 2 faiths, allegedly. You learn something new everyday. SO if a Christian friend invites a muslim family to dinner it is acceptable to serve, for example a Kosher steak and a cheese and broccoli soup? Because it was blessed, and even though the soup would ruin the kosher-ness it does not ruin the meal in mixed Christian-Muslim company?

  40. Avatar

    Umm Zaheen

    February 28, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Thank you for the very informative article. I learned alot about the Jewish slaughtering practice and feel that Kosher meat follows all the requirements for halal meat.

    I am curious however why you do not mention the verses in the Quran allowing Muslims to eat the meat of the people of the book? Thus even if the Hanafi madhab requires a tasmiya for each animal for slaughter, the strength of the Quranic verses overrides any opinion of a scholar, I would think, even if it’s one of the 4 great scholars of madhabs.

    When Allah made it clear that Kosher meat is halal, why even question that it may not be? The real question for me is whether the regular store meat is okay to eat as many Muslims argue that as a majority Christian nation, this meat is also the meat of the people of the book. Or that it suffices for a muslim to say bismillah before eating the McDonald’s cheeseburger or at one of their friend’s BBQ. It is important to please continue this discussion and answer this question in detail so we can insha Allah inform ourselves and others about “non-zabiha” meat.

    Jzk,

    • Avatar

      miri

      September 30, 2013 at 11:50 PM

      if you see how many slaughter houses practice you wouldnt question buying regular store meat. surely no blessing is made..the stun,put scalding water on the chickens to help make it easier to remove feathers ..which makes all the blood impossible to remove..eating blood is not permitted..I would also worry about a friends BBQ where pork might be cooked on the grill the same place as your beef or chicken so the fat from this animal is on the grill soaking into your food..just a thought but i agree the discussion should continue..love BTW that its seems to be a multifaith affair!!

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  43. Avatar

    Reed

    April 16, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Is it permissible to eat kosher or halal gelatin if it’s derived from a properly ritually slaughtered (permitted) animal but includes material from the hooves of the animal?

  44. Pingback: If halal meat is not available, can a Muslim eat Kosher meat instead? - Quora

  45. Avatar

    Niels Mikkelsen

    June 12, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    As-salaamu ‘alaykum dear Shaykh,

    With all due respect, regarding your post about halal and Imam Shaafi’i, it is not correct that it is okay in the shafi’i madhhab to eat meat, where the name of Allah was not mentioned. Please read Ahkām al-Dhabā’ih by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani. In it, he discusses the real opinion of Imam Shafi’i in his book Al-Umm.

    BaarakAllahu feek

  46. Avatar

    Student

    June 24, 2015 at 2:33 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum Shaykh,

    I was just wondering whether the conclusion you note in this paper about the permissibility of kosher meat is based on the principles of a certain madhhab.

    Jazakum Allah Khairan. It was truly very informative!

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  48. Pingback: Where to Find Halal (and Kosher) Turkeys in the US | Muslim Eater

  49. Avatar

    Zee

    March 14, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    I’m sorry but how can a non Muslim perform Zabiha if he does not pray Bismillah AllahuAkbar when slaughtering the animal.

  50. Pingback: Why Halal Meat is Healthier and More Ethical Than Conventional Meat

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#Islam

When Faith Hurts Inside Out, You Don’t Have To Like It

Loving Allah and trusting the Wisdom and Purpose in everything He throws your way- even if it hurts. It is a time to learn.

Zeba Khan

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hurts, hardship. Allah, test, why Allah is testing me

The Messenger of Allahṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said that the faith in our hearts wears out the way our clothes wear out. Deterioration, maintenance, and renewal are part of the cycle.  That’s life with all that hurts. That’s normal.

But what happens when that’s life, but life is not your normal? What happens when it feels like life isn’t normal, hasn’t been normal, and won’t be normal for a foreseeably long time?  For some of us, refreshing faith becomes secondary to just keeping it.

It’s easier to say Alhamdulillah when you are happy. It’s harder when you’re not. That’s human nature though. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with what we teach about faith that can leave us unprepared for when Allah tests it. I believe that our discussions about faith tend to be overly simplistic. They revolve around a few basic concepts, and are more or less summed up with:

Faith = Happiness

Righteousness = Ease

Prayer = Problem Solved

Good Deeds Equals Good Life?

Basically, the TLDR is Good Deeds = The Good Life. None of these statements are technically untrue. The sweetness of faith is a joy that is beyond any other gratitude, for any other thing in this world. Righteousness in the sight of Allah will put you on the path to the good life in the afterlife. Making dua can be the solution to your problems. But when we say these things to people who have true faith but not happiness, or righteous behavior yet distressing hardship, we’re kind of implying that that either Islam is broken (because their prayers seem unanswered), or they are broken (because their prayers are undeserving of answers.) And neither of those is true either.

Allow me to elaborate. I think it’s safe to say that there is not a single parent who has not begged Allah to make their sick or disabled child well again. Yet, our Ummah still has sick and disabled children. Through history, people have begged Allah for a loved one’s life, and then buried them – so is prayer not equal to problem solved?

Many righteous people stand up, and are then ostracized for their faith. Many people speak truth in the face of a tyrant only to be punished for it. Many of us live with complete conviction, with unshakeable belief in the existence and wisdom and mercy of Allah, and still find ourselves unhappy and afraid of what He has willed for us.

Are We Broken?

No, but our spiritual education is. In order to fix it, we have to be upfront with each other. We have to admit that we can be happy with Allah and still find ourselves devastated by the tests He ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) puts before us, because faith is not a protection from struggle.

Has anyone ever said this to you? Have you ever said this to anyone else?

No one ever told me. It was hard for me to learn that lesson on my own, when I pleaded with Allah to make my son’s autism go away, and it didn’t. Everyone told me –Make dua! The prayer of a mother for her child is special! Allah will never turn you down!

It was hard trying to make sense of what seemed like conflicting messages- that Allah knows best, but a mother’s prayer is always answered. It was even harder facing people who tried to reassure me of that, even when it obviously wasn’t working.

“Just make dua! Allah will respond!”

I’m sure people mean well. But it’s hard not to be offended. Either they assume I have never bothered to pray for my son, or they imply that there must be good reason why Allah’s not granting to my prayers. What they don’t consider is that allowing my test to persist – even if I don’t want it to- is also a valid response from Allah.

I have been told to think back in my life, and try to determine what sin caused my child’s disability, as if the only reason why Allah wouldn’t give me what I asked for was because I was so bad I didn’t deserve it. As if good deeds equaled the good life, and if my life wasn’t good, it’s because I hadn’t been good either.

Bad Things Happen to Good People

You can assume whatever you like about my character, but bad things do happen to good people, even when they pray. You can try your hardest and still fall short. You can pray your whole life for something that will never come to you. And strength of faith in that circumstance doesn’t mean living in a state of unfulfilled hope, it means accepting the wisdom in the test that Allah has decreed for you.

That’s a bit uncomfortable, isn’t it.  When we talk about prayer and hope, we prefer to talk about Zakraiyyah 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) – who begged Allah for a child and was gifted with one long after anyone thought it even possible. But we also need to talk about Abu Talib.

The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was raised by his uncle Abu Talib, and in his mission to preach Islam he was protected by Abu Talib.  But Abu Talib died without accepting Islam, was there something wrong with the Prophet, that Allah did not give him what he asked for? Was he not good enough? Did he not pray hard enough? Astaghfirullah, no. So if Prophets of God can ask for things and still not get them, why are we assuming otherwise for ourselves?

Making a Bargain with Allah

If we can understand that faith is not a contract for which we trade prayers for services, then maybe we can cope better when fate cannot be bargained with. Maybe it won’t have to hurt so bad – on spiritual level – when Allah withholds what we ask for, even when we asked for the “right” things in the right way and at all the right times.

Life is not simple. Faith is not simple. The will of Allah is not simple, no matter how much we want it to be, and when oversimplify it, we create a Muslim version of Prosperity Gospel without meaning to.

If you’ve never heard of it, prosperity gospel is a religious belief among some Christians that health and wealth and success are the will of God, and therefore faith, good deeds and charity increase one’s wellbeing. Have faith, and God will reward you in this life and the next. That’s nice. But it’s too simple. Because the belief that Good Deeds = The Good Life doesn’t explain how Ibraheem 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)’s father tried to have him burnt alive.

Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)’s brothers left him for dead in the bottom of a well. He grew up a slave and spent years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Aasiya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) – the wife of the Pharoah – one of the four best women in the history of womankind – died from her husband’s torture.

Good people are not guaranteed good lives. Islam is what we need, not a system of practices that we use to fulfill our needs.

When we limit our understanding of faith to a simplistic, almost contractual relationship with Allah, then we can’t even explain the things that Allah Tested His own prophets with.

Nor can we understand, or even begin to cope with- what He Tests the rest of us with either. We have to be real in our talk about faith, because otherwise we set each other up for unrealistic expectations and lack of preparation for when we face hardship. Faith is not protection from hardship. Faith is part of hardship. And hardship is part of faith.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) asks us in the opening of Surah ‘Ankabut,

Do people think once they say, “We believe,” that they will be left without being put to the test? We certainly tested those before them. And ˹in this way˺ Allah will clearly distinguish between those who are truthful and those who are liars.

Allah says in Surah Baqarah, ayah 155: “And most certainly shall We try you by means of danger, and hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of the fruits of your labor. But give glad tidings to those who are patient in adversity.

tests, hurts, faith , hardship

Allah Tests Everyone Differently

Allah tests each of us differently, but in every single case – every single time – a test is an invitation to success. Hardship is the process through which we prove ourselves. Experiencing it– and then drawing closer to Allah through it –is how faith is tested as well as strengthened.

If we can change how we perceive hardship, then we can also change how we perceive each other. On our cultural subconscious, we still see worldly failure as being equivalent to spiritual failure. So when we see people who are homeless, we assume fault. When we see people facing depression or divorce, we assume fault. We even look at refugees and victims and special needs children and we look for fault. Cuz if it’s that bad then it’s gotta be someone’s fault, right?

Fault is how we place blame. Blame is how we know whose mistake it is. But the will of Allah is never a mistake, it’s a test.  Instead of faulting each other for what Allah tests us with, we could respect each other for the struggles we all endure. We could see each other with more compassion for our challenges, and less aversion when Allah tests us with dealing each other.

So when you’ve done things the right way, but the right things aren’t happening. Or you’ve been charitable to others, and they’re being evil towards you. Or you’ve earned only halal, but haram- it’s been taken away from you, remember this- your faith is being tested. Allah tests those that He loves. When He raises the difficulty level, Allah is extending a direct invitation for you to climb higher.

So How Do We Succeed When Faced With Failure?

The first thing to do is redefine failure. There is only one true failure in this life, and that is dying on the wrong side of Siraat ul Mustaqeem, because if close your eyes and wake up in Jahannam, no success in this life can compensate for that.

I find that helpful to remember, when I fail to stay fit because I can’t exercise without hurting myself, when I fail to fast in Ramadan because it’s dangerous for me to do so- when I fail to discover a cure for my family’s personal assortment of medical issues through rigorous internet “research,” none of that is my failure either. And I can feel a lot of different ways about these situations, but I do not feel guilty- because it’s not my fault. And I do not feel bitter, because my test is my honor. Even when I do feel scared.

Being scared in not a failure either. Neither is being unemployed. Being unmarried is not a failure. Being childless is not a failure. Being divorced is not a failure. Nothing unpleasant or miserable or unexpected is a failure. It’s all just a test, and seeing it as a test means you have the state of mind to look for the correct answers.

Not even sin is failure, because as long as you are alive, your sin stands as an invitation to forgiveness. The bigger the sin, the greater the blessings of repenting from it.  Everything that goes bad is the opening of the door for good. A major sin can be the first step on a journey that starts with repentance and moves you closer to Allah every day thereafter. Sin only becomes failure when it takes you farther away from Allah, rather than closer to him.

Jahannam is the Only Failure

Addiction is not a failure. Depression is not a failure. Poverty is not a failure. Jahannam is the only failure. Everything else is a gap in expectations.

You assumed you would have something, but it’s not written for you. You assumed you’d ask Allah for something and He’d give it to you, but what is that assumption based on again? That good deeds are the guarantee to the good life, and that prayer equals problem solved?

Allah has all the knowledge, Allah has the wisdom, Allah is the best of Planners – how are you assuming that your wishes supersede His will? Even when you put your wishes in the form of a prayer?

They don’t. It is absolutely true that Allah may choose to rewrite Qadr itself based on your prayers – but that’s still His choice. Allah has always, and will always be in control of this world. And that means your world too. If you still think you’re in control, you will find it really, really hard to cope the first time you realize you’re not.

When we understand that we don’t get to control what happens and what doesn’t, we can then release ourselves from the misplaced guilt of things going wrong.  Lots of special needs parents struggle with guilt. I meet them often – and every single parent has asked the question- directly or indirectly-

What did I do for my child to deserve this?

Can you hear the presumption in there? That the parents were good, so why did something bad happen? They were expecting for good deeds to equal the good life.

There’s a second presumption in there too, that their life choices were a determining factor of what happened to their child. That is a presumption of control. And as long as you try to hold on to that presumption of control, there is the constant feeling of failure when it just doesn’t work the way you think it will.

I am not proposing that we lose hope in Allah and despair of His mercy. I am in no way insinuating that Allah doesn’t hear every prayer, hasn’t counted every tear, and isn’t intimately aware of your pain and your challenges. Allah hears your prayers, and in His wisdom, sometimes he grants us exactly what we want. In His Wisdom, sometimes he grants us exactly what we need.

Even if we don’t see it.

Even if it scares us.

Even if it hurts us – because Allah has promised that He will never, ever break us.

hurts, hardship, special needs

Allah Tests Us in His Mercy

I am proposing that we put trust in the wisdom of Allah, and understand that when He tests us, that is part of his mercy, not a deviation from it. When he grants something to us, that is part of His mercy, and when he withholds something from us, that too is part of His Mercy, even if we don’t like it. Even when we ask Him to take it away.

The third thing I would like to propose, is that we correct our understanding of – Fa Inna Ma’Al usri yusraa, Inna Ma’al usri yusra.

So verily, definitely, for sure- with hardship there is ease. Again, Inna – for sure, with hardship there is ease.

I’m sure lots of you have said this to people you loved, or to yourself when you’re struggling with something and you’re just trying to get through it. But did you mean that this hardship will end, and then things will be good again? Like as soon as things have been hard for a while, Allah will make them easy again?

Would you believe that’s not really what that means? Ma’a means with, not after. With this hardship, there is ease. And maybe you’re like aww man, but I wanted the ease! I want the hardship to go away and Allah I’m ready for my ease now!

But that hardship, will bring you ease. Allah does not tell us what the ease will be, or when it will be- but He says it’s there, so trust Him. Even if you can’t see it right away, or in this life –it will become apparent.

I can tell you some of the ease I found with mine.

Learning When It Hurts

When my son was diagnosed with autism, my husband and I had to drop everything. We dropped our plans to save, to travel, and to live the charmed life of neurotypical parents whose only fears are that their children may grow up and NOT become Muslim doctors. We spent our earnings and our savings and our time and our nights and our tears and Alhamdulillah, we learned patience. We learned perspective. We learned compassion.

We really learned what we thought we already knew – about unconditional love and acceptance. We learned to be bigger than our fears, and smaller than our own egos. We learned to give and take help. We learn to accept what wisdom our cultures could offer us, and respectfully decline what did not. We learn to set boundaries and make rules that did justice by our children and our family, regardless of whether they were popular. With hardship comes ease.

When we couldn’t afford therapy for my son, my husband and I founded a not for profit organization in the UAE that provided it for my son and dozens of other people’s sons and daughters. Three and a half years ago I left that organization to seek better educational opportunities for my son here in the US, but it’s still running. The seed that our challenges planted has grown into something beyond us. With our hardship came ease for ourselves and others as well.

When I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, my health issues were upgraded from challenging to permanent. I had to rethink how I lived, how I planned, how I dressed, and even – my relationship with Allah. But if I had never been sick, I would never have started writing. When it hurt, I wrote. When I was scared, I wrote. When I was lonely, I wrote. And by and by the grindstone of fear and sickness and frustration sharpened my skills. Where I am today both spiritually and professionally – is actually a direct result of both autism and chronic illness. With hardship comes ease.

I don’t like my hardships, but I don’t have to. You don’t have to either. Being a good Muslim doesn’t always mean being a happy Muslim. It just means being Muslim, no matter the circumstances.

That means loving Allah and trusting the Wisdom and Purpose in everything He throws your way – even if not loving everything He throws your way. You may hate your circumstances, and you may not be able to do anything about them, but as long as you trust Allah and use your hardships to come closer to him, you cannot fail, even if this life, you feel as if you never really succeeded.

hurts, depression, faith , hardship

Faith Wears Out In Our hearts, The Way Our Cothes Wear Out on Our Bodies

The hardship that damages and stains us is Allah’s invitation to repair, renew, and refresh ourselves. Our test are an invitation, an opportunity, an obstacle – but not a punishment or divine cruelty. And when we know that those tests will come, and some may even stay, then we can be better prepared for it.

Trust Allah when He says that He does not burden any soul with more than it can bear. He told us so in Surah Baqarah Ayah 286. Remember that when you are afraid, and Allah will never cause your fear to destroy you. Take your fear to Allah, and He will strengthen you, and reward you for your bravery.

Remember that when you are in pain. Allah will never cause your pain to destroy you. Take your pain to Him, and He will soothe you and reward you for your patience. Take it all to Allah – the loneliness, the anxiety, the confusion. Do not assume that the only emotions a “good Muslim” takes to Allah are gratitude and happiness and awe. Take them all to Allah, uncertainty, disappointment, anger — and He will bless you in all of those states, and guide you to what is better for you in this life, and the next, even if it’s not what you expected.

The struggles in your life are a test, and whether you pass or fail is not determined on whether you conquer them, only on whether you endure them. Expect that they will come, because having faith is not protection from struggle. Faith is protection from being broken by the struggle.

I ask Allah to protect us all from hardship, but protect us in our hardships as well. I ask Allah to grant us peace from His peace, and strength from His strength, to patiently endure and grow through our endurance.

Ameen.

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What Does Sharia Really Say About Abortion in Islam

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice, Islam recognizes the nuance.

Reem Shaikh

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The following article on abortion is based on a research paper titled ‘The Rights of the Fetus in Islam’, at the Department of Sharia at Qatar University. My team and I presented it to multiple members of the faculty. It was approved by the Dean of the Islamic Studies College, an experienced and reputed Islamic authority.

In one swoop, liberal comedian Deven Green posing as her satirical character, Mrs. Betty Brown, “America’s best Christian”, demonized both Sharia law as well as how Islamic law treats abortion. Even in a debate about a law that has no Muslim protagonist in the middle of it, Islam is vilified because apparently, no problem in the world can occur without Islam being dragged into it.

It is important to clarify what Sharia is before discussing abortion. Sharia law is the set of rules and guidelines that Allah establishes as a way of life for Muslims. It is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which is interpreted and compiled by scholars based on their understandings (fiqh). Sharia takes into account what is in the best interest for individuals and society as a whole, and creates a system of life for Muslims, covering every aspect, such as worship, beliefs, ethics, transactions, etc.

Muslim life is governed by Sharia – a very personal imperative. For a Muslim living in secular lands, that is what Sharia is limited to – prayers, fasting, charity and private transactions such as not dealing with interest, marriage and divorce issues, etc. Criminal statutes are one small part of the larger Sharia but are subject to interpretation, and strictly in the realm of a Muslim country that governs by it.

With respect to abortion, the first question asked is:

“Do women have rights over their bodies or does the government have rights over women’s bodies?”

The answer to this question comes from a different perspective for Muslims. Part of Islamic faith is the belief that our bodies are an amanah from God. The Arabic word amanah literally means fulfilling or upholding trusts. When you add “al” as a prefix, or al-amanah, trust becomes “The Trust”, which has a broader Islamic meaning. It is the moral responsibility of fulfilling one’s obligations due to Allah and fulfilling one’s obligations due to other humans.

The body is one such amanah. Part of that amanah includes the rights that our bodies have over us, such as taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally – these are part of a Muslim’s duty that is incumbent upon each individual.

While the Georgia and Alabama laws in the United States that make abortion illegal after the 6-week mark of pregnancy are being mockingly referred to as “Sharia Law” abortion, the fact is that the real Sharia allows much more leniency in the matter than these laws do.

First of all, it is important to be unambiguous about one general ruling: It is unanimously agreed by the scholars of Islam that abortion without a valid excuse after the soul has entered the fetus is prohibited entirely. The question then becomes, when exactly does the soul enter the fetus? Is it when there is a heartbeat? Is it related to simple timing? Most scholars rely on the timing factor because connecting a soul to a heartbeat itself is a question of opinion.

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The timing then is also a matter of ikhtilaf, or scholarly difference of opinion:

One Hundred and Twenty Days:

The majority of the traditional scholars, including the four madhahib, are united upon the view that the soul certainly is within the fetus after 120 days of pregnancy, or after the first trimester.

This view is shaped by  the following hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن أحدكم يجمع خلقه في بطن أمه أربعين يوما ثم يكون في ذلك علقة مثل ذلك ثم يكون في ذلك مضغة مثل ذلك ثم يرسل الملك فينفخ فيه الروح..

“For every one of you, the components of his creation are gathered together in the mother’s womb for a period of forty days. Then he will remain for two more periods of the same length, after which the angel is sent and insufflates the spirit into him.”

Forty Days:

The exception to the above is that some scholars believe that the soul enters the fetus earlier, that is after the formation phase, which is around the 40 days mark of pregnancy.

This view is based on another hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا مر بالنطفة إثنتان وأربعون ليلة بعث الله إليها ملكاً، فصوره، وخلق سمعها وبصرها وجلدها ولحمها وعظمها…

“If a drop of semen spent in the womb forty-two nights, Allah sends an angel to it who depicts it and creates its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones.”

Between the two views, the more widespread and popular opinion is the former, which is that the soul enters the fetus at the 120 days (or 4 months) mark, as the second hadith implies the end of the formation period of the fetus rather than the soul entering it.

Even if one accepts that the soul enters the fetus at a certain timing mark, it does not mean that the soul-less fetus can be aborted at any time or for any reason. Here again, like most matters of Islamic jurisprudence, there is ikhtilaf of scholarly difference of opinion.

No Excuse Required:

The Hanafi madhhab is the most lenient, allowing abortion during the first trimester, even without an excuse.

Some of the later scholars from the Hanafi school consider it makruh or disliked if done without a valid reason, but the majority ruled it as allowed.

Only Under Extreme Risks:

The Malikis are the most strict in this matter; they do not allow abortion even if it is done in the first month of pregnancy unless there is an extreme risk to the mother’s health.

Other Views:

As for the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of thought, there are multiple opinions within the schools themselves, some allowing abortion, some only allowing it in the presence of a valid excuse.

Valid excuses differ from scholar to scholar, but with a strong and clear reason, permissibility becomes more lenient. Such cases include forced pregnancy (caused by rape), reasons of health and other pressing reasons.

For example, consider a rape victim who becomes pregnant. There is hardly a more compelling reason (other than the health of the mother) where abortion should be permitted. A child born as a result in such circumstances will certainly be a reminder of pain and discomfort to the mother. Every time the woman sees this child, she will be reminded of the trauma of rape that she underwent, a trauma that is generally unmatched for a woman. Leaving aside the mother, the child himself or herself will lead a life of suffering and potentially neglect. He or she may be blamed for being born– certainly unjust but possible with his or her mother’s mindset. The woman may transfer her pain to the child, psychologically or physically because he or she is a reminder of her trauma. One of the principles of Sharia is to ward off the greater of two evils. One can certainly argue that in such a case where both mother and child are at risk of trauma and more injustice, then abortion may indeed be the lesser of the two.

The only case even more pressing than rape would be when a woman’s physical health is at risk due to the pregnancy. Where the risk is clear and sufficiently severe (that is can lead to some permanent serious health damage or even death) if the fetus remained in her uterus, then it is unanimously agreed that abortion is allowed no matter what the stage of pregnancy. This is because of the Islamic principle that necessities allow prohibitions. In this case, the necessity to save the life of the mother allows abortion, which may be otherwise prohibited.

This is the mercy of Sharia, as opposed to the popular culture image about it.

Furthermore, the principle of preventing the greater of two harms applies in this case, as the mother’s life is definite and secure, while the fetus’ is not.

Absolutely Unacceptable Reason for Abortion:

Another area of unanimous agreement is that abortion cannot be undertaken due to fear of poverty. The reason for this is that this mindset collides with having faith and trust in Allah. Allah reminds us in the Quran:

((وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا))

“And do not kill your children for fear of poverty, We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” (Al-Israa, 31)

Ignorance is not an excuse, but it is an acceptable excuse when it comes to mocking Islam in today’s world. Islam is a balanced religion and aims to draw ease for its adherents. Most rulings concerning fiqh are not completely cut out black and white. Rather, Islamic rulings are reasonable and consider all possible factors and circumstances, and in many cases vary from person to person.

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice. These terms have become political tools rather than sensitive choices for women who ultimately suffer the consequences either way.

Life means a lot more than just having a heartbeat. Islam completely recognizes this. Thus, Islamic rulings pertaing to abortion are detailed and varied.

As a proud Muslim, I want my fellow Muslims to be confident of their religion particularly over sensitive issues such as abortion and women’s rights to choose for themselves keeping the Creator of Life in focus at all times.

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#Current Affairs

Sri Lankan Muslims To Fast In Solidarity With Fellow Christians

Raashid Riza

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On Sunday morning Sri Lankan Christians went to their local churches for Easter services, as they have done for centuries. Easter is a special occasion for Christian families in ethnically diverse Sri Lanka. A time for families to gather to worship in their churches, and then to enjoy their festivities. Many went to their local church on Sunday morning to be followed by a traditional family breakfast at home or a local restaurant.

It would have been like any other Easter Sunday for prominent mother-daughter television duo, Shanthaa Mayadunne and Nisanga Mayadunne. Except that it wasn’t.

Nisanga Mayadunne posted a family photograph on Facebook at 8.47 AM with the title “Easter breakfast with family” and had tagged the location, the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. Little would she have known that hitting ‘post’ would be among the last things she would do in this earthly abode. Minutes later a bomb exploded at the Shangri-La, killing her and her mother.

In more than a half a dozen coordinated bomb blasts on Sunday, 360 people have been confirmed dead, with the number expected to most likely rise. Among the dead are children who have lost parents and mothers & fathers whose families will never be together again.

Many could not get past the church service. A friend remembers the service is usually so long that the men sometimes go outside to get some fresh air, with women and children remaining inside – painting a vivid and harrowing picture of the children who may have been within the hall.

Perpetrators of these heinous crimes against their own faith, and against humanity have been identified as radicalised Muslim youth, claiming to be part of a hitherto little-known organisation. Community leaders claim with much pain of how authorities were alerted years ago to the criminal intent of these specific youth.

Mainstream Muslims have in fact been at the forefront not just locally, but also internationally in the fight against extremism within Muslim communities. This is why Sri Lankan Muslims are especially shaken by what has taken place when men who have stolen their identity commit acts of terror in their name. Sri Lankan Muslims and Catholics have not been in conflict in the past, adding to a palimpsest of reasons that make this attack all the more puzzling to experts. Many here are bewildered as to what strategic objective these terrorists sought to achieve.

Sri Lankan Muslims Take Lead

Sri Lankan Muslims, a numerical minority, though a well-integrated native community in Sri Lanka’s colourful social fabric, seek to take lead in helping to alleviate the suffering currently plaguing our nation.

Promoting love alone will not foster good sustainable communal relationships – unless it is accompanied by tangible systemic interventions that address communal trigger points that could contribute to ethnic or religious tensions. Terror in all its forms must be tackled in due measure by law enforcement authorities.

However, showing love, empathy and kindness is as good a starting point in a national crisis as any.

Sri Lankan Muslims have called to fast tomorrow (Thursday) in solidarity with their fellow Christian and non-Christian friends who have died or are undergoing unbearable pain, trauma, and suffering.  Terror at its heart seeks to divide, to create phases of grief that ferments to anger, and for this anger to unleash cycles of violence that usurps the lives of innocent men, women, and children. Instead of letting terror take its course, Sri Lankans are aspiring to come together, to not let terror have its way.

Together with my fellow Sri Lankan Muslims, I will be fasting tomorrow from dawn to dusk. I will be foregoing any food and drink during this period.

It occurs to many of us that it is unconscientious to have regular days on these painful days when we know of so many other Sri Lankans who have had their lives obliterated by the despicable atrocities committed by terrorists last Sunday. Fasting is a special act of worship done by Muslims, it is a time and state in which prayers are answered. It is a state in which it is incumbent upon us to be more charitable, with our time, warmth and whatever we could share.

I will be fasting and praying tomorrow, to ease the pain and suffering of those affected.

I will be praying for a peaceful Sri Lanka, where our children – all our children, of all faiths – can walk the streets without fear and have the freedom to worship in peace.

I will be fasting tomorrow for my Sri Lanka. I urge you to do the same.

Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. Surah Maidah

Raashid Riza is a Sri Lankan Muslim, the Politics & Society Editor of The Platform. He blogs here and tweets on @aufidius.

 

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