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by Mufti Shareeful Haq Amjadi (rahmatullahi alaihi) URAH, MUHARRAM & KARBALA

"Zabiha" or "slaughter" by a non-Muslim is Haraam and falls within the laws of carrion or dead meat. To consume the Zabiha of a non-Muslim is like eating swine. Any animal that has been slaughtered by a non-Muslim is regarded as carrion and as a "major impurity" or "Najaasat-e-Ghaliza". It is not permissible to consume such an animal or touch it. The only circumstances under which it can be touched is to throw it away.

This law applies in the case of non-Muslims. But it also be known that if a Muslim does not say "Bismillah" when slaughtering an animal, then such and animal is also considered to be Haraam. The law concerning meat is so strict that even if the meat leaves the sight of a Muslim into the care of a Kaafir at any time after slaughtering till the time of consumption, then such meat cannot be eaten and is said to be Haraam. But, if one has a trustworthy non-Muslim servant who you know without doubt will not allow any contamination in your meat, then it is allowed to send him to a well-recognised Muslim butcher to purchase your meat in your absence.

Likewise, to buy or consume meat or chicken from any shop or poultry farm where it is known that there are non-Muslim slaughterers, is also Haraam and a sin. If a Muslim gives meat to non-Muslim staff to be sold, then it is also Haraam to purchase such meat even though he says that it was slaughtered by a Muslim. Muslims should be very particular in these circumstances. It is better to buy live chickens, slaughter, clean and separate the pieces yourself. Muslim women could rather have their Muslim workers clean and make pieces of the chicken. There should not be any problem in this, since their Muslim maids, do all the other household chores.

If all these are not possible, then one should make the following conditions with the butcher who sells chickens:

1. Only Muslims must do the slaughtering,
2. A Muslim must clean and cut the chicken into portions,
3. A Muslim must deliver the chickens to the stores,
4. A Muslim must do the home deliveries and should make it clear that the chicken did not go into the care of a Kaafir or out of the sight of a Muslim from the time of slaughter till the time it was delivered to be consumed.

Another simple method is to send a Muslim to the farm, instructing him to personally slaughter and clean the chicken, and then have it brought to you.

To separate Haraam from Halaal in our food products is Fardh (obligatory) upon each one. Negligence in this case will result in a number of problems for a person in this world and in the Hereafter. The Punishment of Almighty Allah and the Fire of Jahannum (Hell) awaits that person who eats Haraam things. Such a person will be faced with two major calamities in the Duniya: his Duas will not be accepted and he will become disgraced and insulted even though he may be a millionaire or the King of his time. (The Ashrafia Monthly, Vol. 20 No. 4, April 1995)