Meat from Non-Muslim Lands

Q- About the eating of canned meats that come from foreign lands.

A: I ate from them once in my lifetime, and vomited it out as blood! Praise be to God that we have in the lands of Islam what keeps us from needing it.

As for the legal ruling regarding it: If these meats come from Communist lands, they are not to be eaten by agreement of the scholars.

If, however, they come from the lands of the People of the Book – the Jews and the Christians – they are eaten according to Imam al-Shafi’i, and the name of Allah is mentioned before doing so.

But according to the Malikis, they are not to be eaten because they hold that it is necessary that a Muslim be present who knows the Islamic rules of slaughter.

Allah most high says:

So eat from that over which Allah’s name has been mentioned, if you believe in His signs. And why should you not eat of that over which the Name of Allah has been pronounced when He has already made plain to you what is forbidden, except when you are constrained? Many are those who mislead through ignorance on account of their fancies, but your Lord best knows the transgressors. Forsake the revealed and hidden sin. Those who earn sin shall be recompensed for what they have committed. Do not eat from that which the Name of Allah has not been mentioned, for it is a sin. The satans will reveal to their guided ones to argue with you. If you obey them, you shall indeed become idolaters. (6:118-121)

– From the Friday Lessons of Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari (may Allah be pleased with him).

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