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27 Rajab 1434 – 7 June 2013


The following is an article by Mufti Abdullah Patel of Gloucester, United Kingdom:



Assalamu 'Alaykum, I do not eat at McDonalds, KFC, Burger King etc in the UK. When I went for Hajj this year I saw these outlets in Makkah and Madina. What do you advice about eating at these places in the Holy cities. I look forward to your reply. Jazakallah. Wassalam.

Answer by Mufti Abdullah at Foodguide Services

Bismihi Subhanahu Wa-ta'ala
Assalamu 'Alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh, Respected Brother / Sister,
It is known for sure that Saudi Arabia imports frozen meat. It is not possible to know for sure that Halal labelled packaging are indeed bona fide, hence it is not advisable to rely on these alone. If you see the links at the bottom, you can see how careless suppliers can be with regards to Halal. Certainly, there should be close Muslim supervision from beginning to end, to ensure critical jurisprudential rules are applied. We can be sure then that Halal reaches the Muslims as Halal. Clearly if the meat is not scrutinised from a-z by Muslims then the meat cannot be trustworthy, especially if they are from non-Muslim countries.
We are reliably informed that chicken in the Holy lands is obtained and slaughtered locally as well as imported. The local chicken is Halal and can be identified by the 'al-Watania' packaging. Imported chicken meat comes from a myriad of countries. It is very difficult to ascertain whether chickens imported into Saudi Arabia are slaughtered according to Shar'iah, thus such meat would be termed Mashkook (doubtful) - caution demands abstinence.
From Muhammad Sarneeullah's - The Meat: Lawful and Unlawful in Islam - Siddiqi Trust:
"It may be pertinent to mention here that at present, Argentina and Brazil, etc. are exporting a lot frozen meat to Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia. This meat is not lawful for the Muslims as the animals are not slaughtered according to the way prescribed by the Shari'ah. The exporting firms very deceitfully put the Halal mark on their products while in reality they are not Halal. There are no Muslim butchers or supervisors attached to these firms and as such their statement cannot be relied upon. It is very important that the Islamic Organizations should probe into the matter urgently to ensure that the Muslim masses in Arab countries are not fed on this type of meat as, according to a Hadith of Rasululah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, the prayers of a person nourished on unlawful food are not heard or accepted. This is a grave issue and should be taken in right earnestness by Muslim governments.
The summary of this somewhat heated discussion and probing is as follows:
No food of the "People of the Book" is lawful for a Muslim except that which is lawful for the "People of the Book" themselves, according to the directions of their Scriptures and their Prophets. And consequently, when the "People of the Book" prepare an animal for food, it would not be lawful for a Muslim, unless they had slaughtered it according to the directions in their Scripture.
Halal meat is available in many western countries through the efforts of dedicated Islamic workers and it is easy for anyone keen on getting it to be able to procure it. And now that the correct Islamic decision on the matter is made known, there would be no excuse for any Muslim to eat unlawful meat. And it should be known that the body, which is nourished on unlawful food, will be consigned to Hell as mentioned in the Hadith."
To conclude, Muslims are obliged by the Shariah to eat only Halal and Tayyib foods and hence must be most circumspect when eating in the bialy Lands, Tayyib food refers to food that is Halal beyond doubt.
Some advice tendered
Ensure that the Hajj or Umrah group you select procure meat which is not imported. Don't eat at restaurants and takeaways before asking someone who is 'in the know' where you can buy Halal with certitude.
Interesting Reading
What Muslim Countries Are Eating?
The Meat: Lawful and Unlawful in Islam
Allah Ta'ala Knows Best, Allah alone is the Inspirer of Truth. Allah reward you for using the Foodguide Service. Allah give us tawfiq to eat Halal all the time.
Was-Salamu 'Alaykum Foodguide Services
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CAUTION!!! By Abu Umar.
Thousands of Muslims travel from all over the world to the holiest of holy cities Makkah and Madinah, little suspecting that they could be deceived into eating haram in a place like this.
Have you ever wondered where all the meat that is being consumed in these holy places is coming from? or is it okay to consume whatever is in front of you just because you are in Makkah or Madinah, and upon investigation it has been revealed that a lot of this meat is coming from places like Brazil, Holland, France, etc, where no one really knows if there are Halal certification processes in place, and if there are, then what kind of certification processes are they? Do they allow stunning? Do they allow mechanical slaughter? Are the animals being slaughtered by Muslims at all? Is the name of Allah being read at the time of slaughter? One prominent Alim states his own personal experience and says:
"I approached a particular hotel and asked about their meat, at first the response was dismissive, but after persistence they reluctantly let me have a look at the package boxes, it was clearly written in English; Import from Brazil ‘HALAL’ in big writing and just underneath it in smaller writing, was written 'some of the meat may be doubtful’ ”.
We are all aware that tide virtues of praying Salah with Jama'at in an ordinary Masjid in the month of Ramdhaan is seventy fold compared to praying Salah at home, furthermore if a person travels to Haramain in the holy month of Ramdhaan his reward for praying Salah with Jama'at in Masjid al Haram will be 100,000 fold and in Masjid An Nabawi 50,000 fold, as is the case for every other form of Ibaadat, ie Dhikr, Tawaf, Tilaawah, etc.
In order to benefit from these vast rewards and spiritually cleanse ourselves we take out time and money to travel there, yet all this could become meaningless if even one morsel of Haram is consumed knowingly or unknowingly, because forty days of Ibaadat (worship) will instantly become nullified, not to retention the fact that all our duaas will also be rejected.
My dear respected brothers and sisters in Islam, please remember that we are living in an age of commercialism and to get caught up in this trap is very easy, be careful of what you eat, especially in a place like the Haramain. Abu Umar

Last Updated on Sunday, 09 June 2013 10:38  

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