Sunday, September 24, 2017 - 3 Muharram 1439

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Unknown slaughtering methods for charity meat shipments

What is the ruling on an aid shipment containing canned turkey meat delivered from an American charity organization to its branch in Jordan for distribution to the poor and needy?

Answer

Praise be to God and peace and blessings and peace be upon the Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and Companions. Provided the method of slaughter complies with the precepts of Islamic law, God the Almighty permits Muslims to eat from the food of the People of the Book. He says in the Holy Quran: “Today the good things are permitted to you, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is permitted to you” (Quran 5: 5).
Therefore, it is better to contact the aforementioned organization to learn how the slaughter was carried out, particularly as this is not difficult to do with the development of the various means of communication. If this is not possible, then this becomes a matter of controversy in terms of whether the animals were slaughtered by lawful or unlawful means. We will presume that it is lawful due to uncertainty.
A Muslim cannot be asked to conduct an investigation because of the hardships it would involve. Proof of this is found in the hadith recorded by Imam Al-Bukhari in his Sahih on the authority of A’isha (may God be pleased with her) who narrated that some people told the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): "O Messenger of God! Meat is brought to us and we are not sure whether or not the name of God has been invoked on it." The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) told them, "Recite God’s name and eat of it.”
Resolution no. 95 of the Islamic Fiqh Assembly of the Organization of the Islamic Conference allows Muslims to eat the meat of animals slaughtered by the People of the Book if they are uncertain that the animals were slaughtered according to Islamic law. It says: "It is permissible for Muslim visitors or residents in non-Muslim countries to eat from the meat of the slaughtered animals of the People of the Book provided the animals are deemed lawful to eat. Muslims must make sure that the meat has not been mixed with substances deemed forbidden in Islam (e.g alcohol) and that the slaughtering itself was done in accordance with the rules of Islamic law.
And God the Almighty knows best
 

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