food & drink
People, eat from the land what is permitted & good & do not
follow in the footsteps of Shaitan, for he is an open enemy
(Al Baqarah, 2:168)
Allah swt has given clear
guidelines on what can and cannot be consumed. In addition
we have also been instructed in manners and behavior of
eating. Eating and drinking also becomes a way
by which a Muslim remembers the bounties of Allah swt and by
observing the rules of Shariah, he also shows his commitment
to his religion.
25th Greater Sin: -Consumption of Harām
Non-Halal Meat is
Eating Habits in Islam
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Question & Answers
Manners | Alcohol
Foods can be primarily
divided into two sections:
1 - Plants, fruits,
vegetables and grains: All these can be eaten as long as
they are not harmful to human beings. This means that they
must not contain poisonous or narcotic substances.
- Living creatures.
These can be divided into three: A. Sea creatures ,B. Land
creatures & C. Birds
A- Sea creatures.
We are allowed to eat any fish as long as it has scales
(see list here) . All other sea creatures such as
whales, sharks, turtles, lobsters and crabs are Haraam.
The only exception is for prawns and shrimps, which can
In order for the fish to be Halaal, it must be removed
alive from the water. It does not matter who has done
the fishing or what method has been used to catch the
fish. See question answer on Fish
This term covers all animals that live on the face of
the earth. Allah has permitted the eating of some and
forbidden others. The first five verses of Sura 5
Ma'idah give a summary of the commands
regarding what is permitted to eat.
Amongst domestic animals, camels, cows, goats and sheep
are permissible to eat. They all possess a hoof or
cloven hoof. From amongst wild animals, which mean
animals that are not normally kept in enclosures,
mountain sheep, wild cows and asses, gazelles and deer
It is Makruh (undesirable) to eat the meat of a horse,
donkey or mule.
It is not permitted to eat the meat of animals that
possess canine teeth or fangs. Examples of such animals
that are sometimes eaten by man are dogs, rabbits,
elephants and monkeys. There are specific verses in the
Holy Qur'an forbidding the eating of a pig.
It is not permitted to eat reptiles such as snakes and
tortoises. Insects such as fleas and lice are also
forbidden. However, locusts are permissible.
Birds that comply with the following two conditions can
i- The body is covered with feathers.
ii- They are not classes as birds of prey
two other principles by which one can distinguish between
birds that are permitted and those that are not:-
i- Every bird which, when in flight glides more
than the flapping of its wings cannot be eaten.
ii- If a particular bird's movement is not
known, then before eating one must check for the
presence of one of the following: a craw (where
grain collects in the throat), a gizzard (part of
the stomach) or a projection (a fork-like extension
on the bird's foot which performs the function of a
Thus chickens, turkeys, pigeons and all small birds
are permissible to eat. Even ostriches and peacocks
Birds of prey like eagles, hawks and vultures are
Haraam to eat. Crows, rooks and ravens should not be
Other animals, which fly but are not, classified, as
birds such as bats, bees and other flying insects
in cases where one is in danger of dying through starvation,
anything, including forbidden things, can be consumed to
save life. However, this must be done as a last resort and
only the absolute minimum must be eaten.
according to Shariah:
and birds that are permissible to eat are nevertheless
forbidden to a Muslim unless they have been correctly
slaughtered. The laws for hunting differ slightly and can be
obtained from books of Islamic Laws of various jurists.
The correct method of slaughtering involves the simultaneous
cutting of the gullet, windpipe, carotid artery and jugular
vein of the animal with a sharp knife. The conditions for
the slaughtering are as below:
one who carries out the slaughtering must be a
-2 If possible, the instrument used to slaughter
should be made of iron.
-3 The creature to be slaughtered must be made to
face the Holy Ka'aba.
-4The person performing the slaughter must mention
the name of Allah as he slaughters the animal.
-5 Here must be a normal emission of blood from the
animal after the slaughter.
-6 The animal must show some sign of movement after
being slaughtered, especially if there was some
doubt whether the animal was alive before being
However if a Muslim
has slaughtered it as per his own sects fiqh rules
,which do not comply with all ?of the above ,the
meat can still be considered as Halal
Zabiha & Halal Meat
Download Word Document
Country: A country in
which the majority of population is Muslim.
situated in an area where majority of population is Muslim.
Yakeen: 100% |
90%-99% | Shak
Owner of the restaurant or the manager under whose
supervision meat is taken i.e. the person who will take the
decisions regarding the meat for the restaurant.
3 methods with which it can be established whether meat
is halal or not:
1) Yakeen (Certainty):
If you have yakeen that meat is zabiha then no matter where
the meat is coming from its jaiz for you to eat & if you
have yakeen that the meat is not zabiha then no matter where
it’s coming from it’s haram for you to eat.
Shak(doubt) whether Zabiha
was done properly or not:
A) Meat is coming from a
halal even if it’s
sold by a non Muslim establishment.
B) Meat is coming from a non
Muslim country: AND
B i) You’re in a muslim country or in a Souq al-Muslimin
B) Meat is coming from a non Muslim
ii) You’re in a non muslim country
C) Do not know where the meat is
will depend on the country you’re in ,while taking the meat.
The conditions for a Muslim (Bi) as well as a non Muslim
country(B ii )will apply as given above.
3) Shari Witness: In case two Aadil Momins give witness that the Meat is halal,
it’s halal for you to eat.
does not deal with Najis / Paak but only Zabiha matters
2) If u r sure (yaqeen) that in a particular muslim
majority country/souq al muslimeen, people eat haram meat;
then this benefit is withdrawn
Manners Mustahab rules
Imam Ali [a.s.]
told Imam Hassan [a.s.]:Shall I teach you
four traits by which you will be in no need of any
medical treatment?" "Yes," Imam
Hassan [a.s.] answered. Then, Imam Ali [a.s.] said:
- Do not sit for food (in order to eat) unless
you are hungry;
- And, do not leave the (table of) food but
you still have an appetite for it;
- Chew (your food in your mouth) well;
- And, when you want to go to bed, (primarily) go
to the water-closet to ease nature.
- If you take these in action, you will be in no
need of any medical treatment. (Wasa'il-ush
Shi'ah, vol. 24, p. 245)
certain acts that are encouraged when taking a meal:
Washing both the hands before taking a meal.
(b) After taking a meal, one should wash one’s
hands, and dry them with a dry cloth.
(c) One should say Bismillah before starting to
eat, and if there are several dishes, it is Mustahab to
say Bismillah before partaking of each of the dishes.
(d) One should eat with one’s right hand.
(e) One should eat using three or more fingers
and should not eat with two fingers only.
(f) If several persons are sitting together for
their meals, everyone of them should partake of the food
placed in front of him.
(g) One should take small bits of food.
(h) One should prolong the duration of taking a
(i) One should chew the food thoroughly.
(j) After taking one’s meal one should praise and
(k) One should lick one’s fingers clean after
(l) One should use a toothpick after taking a
(m) One should collect and eat the food which is
scattered on the dining cloth. However, if one takes
meal in an open place, like a desert, etc., it is better
to leave the food which has fallen aside, so that it may
be eaten by the animals and the birds.
(n) One should take one’s meal in the earlier
part of the day, and in the earlier part of the night
and should not eat during the day or during the night.
(o) After taking one’s meal one should lie on
one’s back, and should place one’s right foot on one’s
(p) One should take salt before and after the
(q) When eating a fruit, one should first wash it
There are certain acts that
are discouraged when taking a meal:
a- To eat when
b- To over-eat.
c- To gaze at others while eating.
d- To eat food while it is very hot.
e- To blow on food or drink to cool it.
f- To throw a fruit before one has fully eaten
g- To scrape off meat from a bone in such a
manner that nothing remain on it.
h- To peel those fruits which are normally eaten
with their skins.
Imam Kadhim [as] said:
"Had people a moderate habit in eating, their bodies would
become strengthened. (Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 66, p.334)
certain acts which are Mustahab while drinking water, they
are as follows:
Water should be drunk slowly as if it were sucked.
(b) During daytime, one should drink water while
(c) One should say Bismillah, before drinking
water and Al-Hamdulillah after drinking water.
(d) One should drink water when one feels
(e) After drinking water, one should remember
Imam Husayn (a.s.) and his Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.), and curse
It is unworthy to drink too much water; to drink water after
eating fatty food; and to drink water while standing during
the night. It is also unworthy to drink water with one’s
left hand; to drink water from the side of a container which
is cracked or chipped off, or from the side of its handle.
NO. 32 /33/34
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS OBTAINED FROM THE OFFICIAL
WEBSITE OF AYATULLAH AL-UZMA
SAYYID ALI AL-HUSAYNI AL-SEESTANI DAMA DHILLUHU
Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “To refrain
from eating a single morsel of Harām is, near Allah,
more valued than the performance
of two thous& Rak’ats of recommended prayer.”
MEAT & MARINE ANIMALS Q. What kind of marine
animals are Halal?
A. It is not permissible to eat from marine
animals anything except fish that has scale; shrimp is considered from that
category (of permissible sea animals). But other than fish, like lobster, & similarly the fish that does not have scale is forbidden. Allah knows the best.
Is Kosher meat Halal?
A. It is not Halal.
the package of meat that is produced in Muslim
countries by non-Muslim Companies, it says,
“slaughtered according to Islamic laws”. Are
we allowed to eat that meat ?Can we eat that meat,
if it comes from Muslim Companies in non-Muslim
countries? & what is the ruling, if the source is
non-Muslim company from a non-Muslim country?
A. The writing (on the package) has no value at
all. If the producer is a Muslim or it was produced in a place where Muslim are
in the majority & it is not known that the producer is a non-Muslim then it is
permissible to eat it. But if the producer is a non-Muslim or it was produced in
a place where Muslims are not in the majority & it is not known that the
producer is a Muslim, then it is not permissible to eat it.
Is it permissible to eat halăl food which has been
steam cooked with the steam of meat not slaughtered
according to Islamic laws?
A. It is not permissible since the food, as
mentioned in the question, will be considered impure (najis) because of coming
into contact with the wet parts from the steam of the impure meat. (to be
continued next week)
MEAT & MARINE ANIMALS (continued from
last week) Q. We enter some Super Markets in Europe
& find meat in tin containers produced by a
European company with the writing on the package
that conveys the sense of it being “Halal” or
“slaughtered according to Islamic Laws”. Is it
permissible to buy & eat such meat?
A. The writing (on the package) has no value if it
does not lead to certainty (that it is actually Halal)
Meat companies slaughter a large number of chickens
at one time [that is, simultaneously]. Now if the
person running the slaughtering machine is a Muslim,
who says takbír & says the name of Allăh only once
at the time of slaughtering all the chicken
[simultaneously], is it permissible for us to eat
those chickens? If we have doubt about these
chickens being halăl, can we [ignore that doubt and]
eat them & consider them pure (tăhir)?
A. If he repeats the name of Allăh as long as the
machine is continuing to slaughter, it is sufficient. In the event of doubt
about its being halăl (a doubt which arises concerning the mentioning of the
name of Allăh), it can be considered pure & be consumed.
Is it permissible to buy meat thinking that it is
slaughtered according to Islamic laws from a
super-market owned by a Muslim who [also] sells
A. Yes, it is permissible; & it is halăl to eat,
even if it previously came from a non-Muslim as long as there is a likelihood
that the shopkeeper has ascertained that it was slaughtered according to the
shari‘a laws; but not if there is no such likelihood. (to be continued next
MEAT & MARINE ANIMALS (continued from last
week) Q. Commercial fishing vessels place their huge
nets [in the sea] & catch tons of fish which are
then sold in the markets. It is well known that
modern methods of fishing are based on catching the
fish alive, & that the fishermen throw the dead
fish back into the water for fear of contamination.
Therefore, is it permissible for us to buy such fish
in the markets of non-Muslims? Is it permissible for
us to buy such fish from Muslims who are not
considerate of religious laws? In both the cases to
ascertain that this particular fish in front of me
was taken out of the water alive, should seek the
advice of an expert & reliable witness to testify
to that fact which may prove difficult, impractical,
So, is there a solution for practicing Muslims who
face difficulty in ascertaining whether or not the
meat of chicken, cow or sheep is halăl, & therefore take to eating fish instead?
A. There is no problem in buying it from Muslims
or non-Muslims; as there is no problem in eating it, if they are satisfied that
the fish was caught by the method mentioned above & that it belongs to the
category of scale fish.
At times we find the name or picture of fish on the
cans & come to know that the fish is a scale fish.
So, is it permissible for us to rely on the name or
the picture in determining the category of fish,
knowing well that a wrong statement of this kind
would put the manufacturers in great loss or even
more serious [situation] than just a loss?
A. If one is satisfied it is the truth, it is
permissible to act upon it.
Is it permissible to buy a fish from a Muslim who is
not a Shi‘a while we have no knowledge whether it is
from the category of scale fish
A. It is permissible to buy it but one cannot eat
it unless he makes sure that it is from the category of scale fish.
Question: Kindly explain the kinds of
fish & the
conditions required to be fulfilled for fish to be Halaal to eat.
Answer: All types of fish that have scales (even
if it is not fully covered with scales & even if it has but a single scale)
& are caught alive from water are allowed to eat. Details as under:
1] If a fish with scales is caught alive from
water, & it dies thereafter, it is Paak & Halaal to eat, even if the scales
are shed off later due to some reasons. It is also lawful to eat if it dies in
the net of the fisherman.
2] If a fish falls out of water or a wave throws it out, or the water recedes
& the fish remains on dry ground, if some one catches it with his h& or by
some other means before it dies, it will be Halaal to eat it after it dies.
3] It is not necessary that a person catching a fish should be a Muslim or
should utter the name of Allah while catching it. It is, however, necessary that
a Muslim should have seen or ascertained that the fish was brought alive from
the water, or that it died in the net in water.
4] If a dead fish about which it is not known whether it was caught from water
alive or dead, is bought from a Muslim, it is Halaal, but if it is bought from a
non-Muslim, it is Haraam even if he claims that he has brought it alive from
the water; EXCEPT WHEN A MAN FEELS SATISFIED THAT THE FISH WAS BROUGHT ALIVE
FROM THE WATER OR THAT IT DIED IN THE NET IN THE WATER.