Q: I just wanted to ask:
1. Is it permissible to eat beef, chicken or lamb meat slaughtered by people of the book?
2. If its not halaal, then how do you interpret the verse in the Quran which says meat that has been slaughtered by people of the book is permissible for Muslims?
A: The verse of the Qur’an refers to the meat of the Ahle-kitaab. Nowadays we do not find most of the Christians and Jews fitting the description of the Ahle-kitaab referred to by the Qur’an. Most of the Christians and Jews of today only call themselves Christians and Jews even though they do not believe in most of the tenets of their religion and their divine books. Hence, despite their beliefs opposing the fundamental tenets of their religion and despite them not believing in many of the laws and injunctions of their kitaab, how can they be regarded as the Ahle-kitaab the Qur’an is speaking about and how can the meat of the animals they slaughter be considered halaal? Thus, apart from the fact that they do not adhere to all the requirements of slaughter, when there is doubt regarding them being Ahle-kitaab the Qur’an speaks about, it is best for a Muslim to exercise self restraint and refrain from consuming the meat slaughtered by them.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)