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Eating doubtful chicken

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.org.au
_ I have been living in Bahrain for the past two years…Since I came here I am not satisfied with the halal status of frozen chicken sold in the supermarkets for three reasons…1. We are not sure if they are halal cut with hand or machine and if the tasmiyah was recited by the person or played back a recorded one or was just engraved on the cutting blade?

2. Most of the chickens are processed with skin intact and therefore they most likely have been dipped in hot water and we don’t know whether it was done before cleaning the stomach parts or after for how long?

3. We don’t know about the feed given to the chicken. Many chicken brands label that either the chicken was bred in Brazil or fed on Brazilian feed, etc…

The problem is fresh chicken is not so freely available here due to government restrictions and not available always…. we try to stock fresh cut chicken in our houses but still I find it difficult to get this chicken…
we are trying to make up with alternatives but the mutton available here is smelly.. we have tried all types: Indian, Pakistani, Somali, local lambs or beef etc… We are not by habit used to eat fish daily [we are trying to eat it frequently]. The choice for vegetables is also less here and particularly my kid is getting affected by this. We recently visited Dubai, Sharjah etc and we found that fresh cut chicken is freely available out there…

My question is: Is there any chance that since we are living in an island nation where everything comes from outside in limited supplies…that the doubtful {mushtaba} chicken meat which carries a halal certificate by the packing company based in Saudi Arabia or u.a.e (not by govt.) becomes permissible for us …I am asking this after restraining my self and my family for 2 years and we are finding it difficult now and more so we are worried that it may affect the growth and nourishment of young children…please advise us and insha allah we will practice accordingly.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

_ Firstly, a few clarifications: 1) After being properly slaughtered, if a chicken is dipped in hot water before it’s intestines are removed, the chicken will only become haram if the water it is dipped in is very hot (that a person cannot put his hand in it for any amount of time) and it is dipped in it for a good amount of time, so much time that the impurities of the intestines can seep into the meat. 2) If the chicken was fed with haram and impure feed, it will still be permissible to eat such a chicken after it is properly slaughtered provided that its meat does not smell due to the impure feed.

The answer to your question is that if you have not received any reliable information from reliable sources that the chicken from the companies in reference are halal, it will not be permissible for you to eat chicken from those companies. You mentioned that there are other types of halal meat available there and that it is also possible to get fresh chickens. You should suffice with these for the sake of Allah; Allah will reward you greatly. There are many places where virtually no halal meats are available. If it is still not manageable, you should consider moving to another country where there will not be such problems.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Faizal Riza
28/12/2011

This answer was collected from Fatwa.org.au, which is connected to Darul Ifta Australia, based in Melbourne, Australia.
It is operated by Mufti Faizal Riza, a student of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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