Thoughts on Halal (Lawful) Meat

16 May

halal

As-salaam alaykum. So I get daily hadiths sent to my e-mail that I like to read each night. Today’s hadith was rather interesting, and I thought it would be very important to mention as it includes anyone living in a non-Muslim country.

 —

Narrated Abu Tha’laba Al-Khushani (Radi-Allahu ‘anhu):

I said, “O Allah’s Prophet! We are living in a land ruled by the people of the Scripture; Can we take our meals in their utensils? In that land there is plenty of game and I hunt the game with my bow and with my hound that is not trained and with my trained hound. Then what is lawful for me to eat?” He said, “As for what you have mentioned about the people of the Scripture, if you can get utensils other than theirs, do not eat out of theirs, but if you cannot get other than theirs, wash their utensils and eat out of it. If you hunt an animal with your bow after mentioning Allah’s Name, eat of it. and if you hunt something with your trained hound after mentioning Allah’s Name, eat of it, and if you hunt something with your untrained hound (and get it before it dies) and slaughter it, eat of it.”

Bukhari Vol. 7 : No. 387

 —

I’ve always had questions on whether or not we should eat meat – obviously pork not included – that comes from a non-Muslim butcher. However, I’ve taken the easy way out and have decided to hide these doubts at the back of my head ever since I reverted to Islam.

Now however, after reading this hadith I realized that this is of great importance and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Also, it had come up in one of my conversations with the man that introduced me to Islam on whether or not I should share the same utensils with my family, since they do happen to eat pork.

It’s funny, how this afternoon my family and I went to do the groceries and my brother went with my mom to pick out some meat at the stands. I stayed back and waited for them, and I could see how my mom took some pork sausages, and I saw my brother telling her to buy the chicken one instead. It made me smile, as I could read out his lips, explaining to her that I didn’t eat pork.

Alhamdulillah my family respects this.

One time my brother made lunch, and I could see how proud he was after serving it to us. It was some spaghetti with sauce, but once I took the first bite I knew he had added ham to it. Very politely, I told him if he had added ham to it, and he said he did. When I told him that I didn’t eat pork, he apologized multiple times, and even asked me if he should make something else for me.

Subhanallah, what a nice family I have. Despite the fact that they don’t share my religious beliefs (although I do ask Allah (subhana wa’ tala) to guide them towards the right path that is Islam), they still respect my decisions.

Anyways, back to the main topic.

This hadith answers my questions about whether or not I should eat “halal” meat, not slaughtered by Muslims, and if I should share my eating utensils with my family.

The first part of this hadith talks about the utensils you use to eat. If you cannot find utensils of your own, you should therefore wash the ones that the non-believers use. This I do always; disinfecting utensils is of vital importance nowadays, and it’s something that I’m very careful about.

Another option would be that if you have the capability of obtaining your own utensils and having them separate from the non-believers, than you should do so. However, I find this very isolating and personally couldn’t do this. Imagine how uncomfortable having “your own” utensils; I’d feel greedy somehow, and would feel like I’m slowly isolating myself from them.

I understand my family is not Muslim, but I also always wash the utensils I use, and I also know they don’t drink alcohol in them.

Finally, it mentions the eating of meat from non-believers. The hadith is very clear on this point. It says, paraphrasing of course, that you can eat from the meat that you have caught and that have mentioned the name of Allah before slaughtering it. In other words, if the name of Allah is not mentioned before the animal that is killed, then don’t eat it.

In other words, become a vegetarian.

I always wondered if I could eat meat that wasn’t killed in the name of Allah, and this hadith shows me that I can’t.

This explains why Muslims always try to find “halal restaurants” when they dine out like in the United States or other countries. I always thought to myself, why don’t they just eat vegetarian meals instead?

But being Muslim isn’t about being a vegetarian.

You can eat meat as a Muslim; it’s a natural human desire. Did you know that it’s been scientifically proven that men get happier when they’re told they’ll have meat for dinner?

And as a matter of fact, I don’t want to be a vegetarian. How boring, the life of a vegetarian. They try to “save animals,” somehow believing if they don’t eat meat they’ll get everyone to be vegetarian just like them.

And I also feel like vegetarians are always picky, gay and annoying.

It’s like something only “rich people” would do, since they can now choose their food.

I can imagine what my grandmother would have thought if one of her children came up to her and told her “I’m a vegetarian now.” She would have wooped that child, since back in the day my father and his family didn’t have much to eat. Alhamdulillah that has changed.

What I mean to say is that I don’t like vegetarians because they throw away perfectly edible food just “to save the animals.” It’s something I don’t believe is beneficial to anyone.

However, when it comes to Allah (subhana wa’tala) there are some sacrifices you must do for the sake of Allah.

When we pray, we say At-tayatu lillahi was-salawatu wa-tay yibatu which translates to: All prayers and worship through words, actions and sanctity are for Allah only.

We should do every act in our lives for the sake of Allah only. Not for the animals. Not for any other bunch of pathetic excuses vegetarians use, because all they really want is the attention they desperately find to being accepted into society.

So no matter how difficult it can be, I understand the importance to find halal meat, and this includes that which has been slaughtered in the name of Allah.

This will be hard to find. Especially here in Costa Rica.

You see, for those not familiar with Latin countries, we’re a bit of a “haram” culture in certain things.

For instance, ticos (Costa Ricans) love pig. You will always see pork being served in every party, like chicharrones, gallos de chancho, picadillo de chancho, etc. There will always be a barbecue outside with pork being the main dish on the menu.

Also, alcohol is indispensable in my family parties. There always has to be beer, wine, whisky, tequila; anything with alcohol in it is acceptable in Latin society.

And finally, how can you exclude the Latin music and the tons of dancing there is in every party. I love Latin music, it’s always so cheerful and it makes you want to dance to the rhythm. But put pork, alcohol and music together and you’re in one big haram mess.

But it’s not impossible to be Muslim in this country.

I’ve heard of a Turkish bakery in San José, so they must be Muslim; and I’m pretty sure the imam and his family at the masjid in San José buy their meat somewhere halal.

Insha’Allah I can find a way to eat halal, even if it means sacrificing my love for meat, all in the name of Allah (subhana wa’tala).

For those living in non-Muslim countries, know that you are not alone. This hadith is clear evidence of the importance of eating halal, since it helps purify and clean our body and mind.

May Allah grant us guidance, reward us for our good deeds, forgive us from our bad ones, and continue blessing us with health, love for His word, and submission to his will.

Chao.

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13 Responses to “Thoughts on Halal (Lawful) Meat”

  1. Tauqeer June 5, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    May Allah (SWT) help you with it. You should try to source Halal meat, and perhaps convince your family to use the same. In that case, you won’t need to separate your utensils I hope.

    Best of luck!

    • The Tica Muslimah June 6, 2013 at 3:27 am #

      Thank you for the advice, at least they’ve stopped eating pork 🙂 insha’Allah I can find halal meat here but finding a Muslim butcher will be like finding one other Muslim in my town lol insha’Allah the ummah here will grow and give me the strength to spread the message of Islam, Allah is indeed Merciful and Allah will guide whom He wills jazak Allah khayr

    • The Tica Muslimah June 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

      Of course, if it was easy to get halal meat I don’t think my family would eat non-halal since they don’t eat pork that much; however, it is rather difficult to find halal meat here, but it is hard for a reason; may Allah grant us wisdom and patience to surpass these small yet meaningful calamities

  2. Natasha June 20, 2013 at 2:21 am #

    The Mosque should know of a butcher, inshAllah. I recently I started eating halal, and I can tell the difference on the meat, it really tastes different and sits well on your stomach.

    • The Tica Muslimah June 22, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

      Mash’Allah, I really want to find halal meat before Ramadan as to get used to eating correctly and halal; even if it means going all the way to San José for halal meat, the reward is far greater than not eating halal 🙂

  3. Kaye July 3, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    Assalamualaikum. I’m so glad that I found a Muslim sister like you in blogosphere. Keep up the good work and keep spreading Islam. Jazakallah Khairan.

    • The Tica Muslimah July 3, 2013 at 4:43 am #

      Jazak Allah khayr for you too sister, you blog is wonderful mash’Allah 🙂
      Insha’Allah may Allah grant us the blessing to continue spreading Islam

  4. Omair October 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Hi, I will be traveling to Costa Rica. This will be my first time in that area. Can you guide me about the halal places there? Where can I eat ?

    Thanks

  5. Maryam October 19, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    There is no need to make disparaging remarks about vegetarians. That’s not very nice.

    • The Tica Muslimah September 18, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

      Sorry. If Allah does not forbid us certain foods, we should not forbid it for ourselves, either. Unless of course it’s for health reasons and we have some form of allergic reaction to certain foods.

  6. Hajar December 11, 2014 at 4:21 am #

    Salam Tica,

    First of all, wauw.. I find it very wonderful taht u become moslim and ur so strong about it. Allah y hefdek.

    I’m a muslimah too and staying in CR for 5 months (gonna do mu internship here). Was wondering if there was a islamis butcher and thats how I find ur blog.
    Did u have find one yet?

    Very proud to see u stick to ur religion, its shows some great power.

    Keep up the good!

    Allah oe akbar..

    Kind regards,
    Hajar

    • The Tica Muslimah September 18, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

      So sad to see you comment many months after! I’ve been away for a while and I was disappointed to see your msg till now 😦 If you ever come back please feel free to contact me! Salam alaikum

  7. Hajar December 11, 2014 at 4:23 am #

    Masha’Allah..

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