In the name of Allah, Most gracious, Most merciful
Asalaamalikum Brothers and Sisters and Ramadan Mubarak.
Many of you may have noticed 'halal' meat behind sold in supermarkets such as Asda and Sainsbury’s. One such brand supplying this meat is Tahira Foods. Having done some initial research on this forum, I realise that the main objection to their food by the Muslim community is that they stun their meat before slaughtering their poultry. So I began by my research by asking them 'Do you stun your poultry products (and other animals) prior to slaughtering?'
What follows is a transcript of our comments via email:
Me: Do you stun your poultry products (and other animals) prior to slaughtering?
> All beef and lamb products come from animals which have not been stunned.
> However the chicken products do come from animals which have gone through a
> "bain marie" prior to slaughtering with an inspector on hand to ensure that
> the animal is still alive. This has been authorised by advice from sheikh
> Youssef Qaradawi (mufti of Qatar) as well as the late Ayatollah Mohamad
> Hussein Fadhlallah and sheikh Zaki Badawi rahimahuma Allah.
Me:Thank you for your reply.
What do you mean by "bain marie"? Please make it clear: do you stun animals prior to slaughtering? (A yes or no answer will suffice)
If you answer yes, then please tell me which evidence from the Quran or hadith have you based this conclusion (that stunning is permissible) on?. If you quote a shiekh or mufti, then please provide details of which evidence from Quran and Sunna they have based their decision to allow stunning on?
Tahira: You are welcome. A bain marie is an electrified bathing which drowses the animal.
None of us in the company is ‘alim enough and that is the reason we defer to people who know better than us. We have asked and were advised. I suggest that you raise your question directly with Sheikh Youssef who is an erudite and certainly an authority on the matter.
Me: Please give me the contact details for Sheikh Youssef and/or anyone else from whom you have sought guidance on this matter.
Tahira: Please go on his website.
Me: Salaam. Please give his website address. I tried to find it myself on Google but had no luck.
Tahira: Try Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Me:Thank you for your replies. I appreciate you being so co-operative. However, you must understand that without a specific website or specific contact details, I am unable to contact Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. The internet is a very big place, and simply typing this name in a search engine returns all sorts of results, from preachers banned from entering the UK to those who have insulted our deen, and I am sure you do not wanted to be associated with these types of people. You must be able to get the contact details of this shiekh, considering that he is the man (amongst others) who has deemed your methods of bain Marie (electrified bathing of animals prior to slaughtering) acceptable according to sharia.
I intend to inform our Muslim brothers and sisters of the answers you give me, so your cooperation can only serve to help your business in the sense that it shows you have nothing to hide, and you are sincere about providing halal meat for the Muslim community.
Tahira: You don’t have to thank me. It is your right to know and our duty to respond. Yusuf is the mufti of Qatar. You may find his website that way.
From the above, you can see they were very cooperative (all this emails were exchanged over one day) but not very informative. Anyway, praise be to Allah, I managed to find this shiekh and his specific comments regarding this matter. The following is taken from Yusuf al-Qaradawi's book entitled 'The lawful and prohibited in Islam' (http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/Q_LP/), Chapter 2 under subsection 'Islamic manner of slaughtering'
Animals Slaughtered By Electric Shock and Other Methods
The second question is this: Is it necessary that the method of slaughter of an animal employed by the People of the Book so that it is halal in their religion be the same as ours, which is to cut the throat? A majority of jurists stipulate this as a condition, while a number of Maliki jurists have ruled that it is not a condition.
Qadi Ibn al-Arab), in explaining the verse of Surah al-Maidah, "The food of those who were given the Scripture is permitted to you," (5:6 (7)) says: This is a decisive proof that the game and food of the People of the Book are among the good things which Allah has allowed for us. He, the Most High, has repeated it twice in order to allay doubts and to seal the mouths of those mischievous objectors, who would raise questions and prolong the discussion. I was asked: 'If a Christian kills a chicken by cutting off its head and then cooks it, is it permissible to eat with him or to partake of his food?' I said: 'Eat it, as this is his food and the food of his priests and monks. Although this is not our way of slaughtering the animal, yet Allah has permitted their food to us unconditionally, and also other things in their religion excepting those which Allah says they have falsified.' Our scholars have said: They give us their women in marriage and it is permissible to engage in sexual intercourse with them. In matters concerning halal and haram, sexual intercourse is of graver import than eating; how then does it make sense to say that their food is not halal?
This is the opinion of Ibn al-Arab). On another occasion he says: "What they eat without intending to make it lawful for eating, as for example by strangling the animal or smashing its head, is haram." There is no contradiction between these two statements of his. What is meant here is that what they consider as religiously lawful to eat is halal for us, even though the method of killing the animal in their religion may be different from ours, and what is not religiously lawful to them is haram for us. What is meant by killing the animal in their religion is killing it with the intention of making it lawful as food according to their religion. This is the opinion of a group of Maliki jurists.
In the light of this ruling, we know that imported meats, such as chicken and canned beef, originating with the People of the Book are halal for us, even though the animal may have been killed by means of electric shock or the like. As long as they consider it lawful in their religion, it is halal for us. This is the application of the above verse from Surah al-Maidah.
Well, this was revealing! Not only is he saying that animals killed by electric shock are halal, but so is any meat which the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) have prepared according to their criteria of what is halal and what isn't.
Notice I have not said anything about him being right or wrong on this matter. This I am going to leave to the knowledgeable brothers and sisters on this forum to decide. Please give evidences with comments,