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Smuggling Lawful Meat

Answered as per Maliki Fiqh by BinBayyah.net

We smuggle lawful meat across the borders of the country where we live in Europe, because the lawful meat there is doubtful, besides the quantity of meat in this country is little and thus very expensive. Is this permissible? The Muslim community needs this lawful meat. Please give us a fatwa in this regard – may Allah reward you.

In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the One Who gives Mercy. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. Smuggling, whatever its content, place or source may be, cannot be permitted because it goes contrary to the system of the country where the Muslims live. Muslims have been enjoined to fulfill all their covenants. Thus, they should not contravene this covenant “O you who believe! Fulfill all contracts,” [5:1] “Thus, you shall fulfill the covenant of Allah whenever you make a covenant. And you shall not break oaths after their affirmation; for, indeed, you have made Allah a guarantor over you.” [16:91]
Nevertheless, if you can find a suitable way to bring in this meat without directly contravening the system, this will be more proper. Brothers who live in this country can, for example, buy this meat from a neighboring country or take any other means that does not lead to distorting the reputation of Muslims. For, if any of them is caught while doing something like this and the media broadcasts it, this will give a bad reputation to Muslims. Preserving Muslims’ reputation is one of the objectives of the Shari`ah. Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from BinBayyah.net, which contains of feature articles and fatawa by world renowned ‘Alim, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, from Mauritania.

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