I've asked several people and the opinion seems to be split. Some people say it's completely haram eating non-halal meat. Others tell me that if you say Bism-Allah Alrahaman Alraheem before eating the meat then it's ok.

No one can come and try to convince you that eating pork is halal because we know it's completely forbidden. However, how strict are the rules for halal meat?

5 Answers 5


Let me firstly bring to light a hadith which is well known....

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying:

O people, Allah is Good and He therefore, accepts only that which is good. And Allah commanded the believers as He commanded the Messengers by saying: "O Messengers, eat of the good things, and do good deeds; verily I am aware of what you do" (xxiii. 51). And He said: 'O those who believe, eat of the good things that We gave you" (ii. 172)

He then made a mention of a person who travels widely, his hair dishevelled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky (and thus makes the supplication):" O Lord,O Lord," whereas his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How can then his supplication be accepted?

(Muslim Book #005, Hadith #2214)

I consider the understanding of this hadith as very crucial to Muslims today.

In the first part of this hadith...

... the prophet(pbuh) quotes two verses from the Quran where Allah lays emphasis on eating halal food and doing good deeds. It affirms that Allah is aware of all that we do.

In the second part of this hadith...

... the prophet (pbuh) gives us an example of a person "who travels widely". As we all know, that Islamic rules are relaxed for travelers BUT the prophet (pbuh) is laying emphasis on NOT CROSSING THE LINE towards evil under the guise of relaxation. This part implies that our supplications will not be accepted if we eat haram, dress haram and have haram hygiene.

The prophet (pbuh) describes this person as...

  • A person who travels widely

  • His hair dishevelled and covered with dust (i.e. not much personal hygiene)

  • His diet is unlawful

  • His drink is unlawful

  • His clothes are unlawful

  • His nourishment is unlawful

In short, if we want our duas to be accepted by Allah we should eat halal and be very cautious that we don't consume haram.

Halal and saying Bis-millah

The Quranic laws of halal food are well known. So I will skip quoting the verses from the Quran but will provide some practical examples.

Example: chicken meat is halal but if the chicken was previously dead due other causes it becomes haram. (refer to Quran 2:173 about dead animals)

Certain places have passed laws that allow animals to be served even after they are dead on the condition that they are cleaned and frozen within the first few hours after they are dead. BUT this practice is haram

Example: Recently all most all non-Muslim butchers have started to stun the animals. This is due to the pressure from animal rights groups . This practice keeps the blood of the animal in the body hence this meat is haram even if bismillah is said. This is because blood itself is haram. (refer to Quran 2:173 about blood)

There was a fatwa in the 90's that meat in North America/Europe was halal if bismillah was said before eating it, BUT that fatwa IS NOT VALID ANYMORE as almost all meat processors have moved to stunning. This old fatwa was based on the process they used to follow previously i.e. cut the animals like we do (by draining the blood) but they did not say bismillah.


There are differences in opinion as to what is regarded as halal. This depends on which madhab(school of law) or scholarly opinions you follow.

It is clear that no meat can be consumed without saying Bismilah. According to Sh. Yusuf Qaradawi, he said the following.

"It is not required of the Muslim to inquire about what he has not witnessed, i.e., How was the animal killed? Did the manner of slaughter meet the Islamic conditions? Was the name of Allah mentioned while slaughtering or not? If the animal was slaughtered by a Muslim, even if he is ignorant or sinful, or by someone from among the People of the Book, eating it is halal for us."

The Prophet was asked, “People bring us meat and we do not know whether they have mentioned the name of Allah over it or not. Shall we eat it or not?” and the Prophet (peace be on him) replied, “Mention the name of Allah (over it) and eat.” (Bukhari)

Concerning the application of this hadith, scholars say: This is proof that the actions and practices of people are ordinarily considered to be correct and appropriate, while deviation or error must be proved.


Concerning meat from the Christians and the Jews.

 According to Sh. Yusuf Qaradawi, meat from Christians and Jews are halal for Muslims. He quotes the verse Quran 5:5. He states that while Islam takes an uncompromising attitude towards polytheists, it is lenient towards the People of the Book for they are closer in their belief in divine revelation.

Sh. Yusuf Qaradawi also states that even animals slaughtered for Christian festivals is halal for us to eat if we don't hear the name of other than God mentioned. He also mentions that some jurist are of the opinion that because food from the People of the Book has been permitted to us by God, then so is anything that is slaughtered by Christians and Jews regardless of whose name is mentioned.

Narrated by At-Tabari, someone asked Abu ad-Darda' whether he could eat the flesh of lamb slaughtered for the Church of St.George, which has been given to him. Abu ad-Darda' answered, "Are they not the People of the Book, whose food is halal for us and ours for them?" He then told the person to eat it.

Imam Malik was once asked about eating the flesh of animals slaughtered for Christian festivals and churches. He replied, "I classify it as mukruh but not haram."

He classified it as makruh because he was afraid that it might have been dedicated to someone other than Allah but not as haram because perhaps, with respect to the People of the Book, the meaning of the phrase, 'that which has been dedicated to any other than Allah,' applies only to those animals which they slaughter for the purpose of seeking the pleasure of their deities and not to eat. As for what they slaughter to eat, it is their food, and God says, "The food of those who were given the Scripture is permitted to you...." (Quran 5:5).

This has been taken from 'The Lawful and The Prohibited in Islam' by Sh. Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Pg. 56 - 58

An important point to take note

The first answer provided by islam101 claiming that if one does not eat halal, our duas will not be answered. This is incorrect. The hadith islam101 used to justify this is from the book of zakat. This hadith refers to having a legitimate income and not about the consumption of halal food. If one's income is unlawful such as gaining financially by forcing someone into prostitution, then his food is unlawful, his cothes are unlawful and his nourishment becomes unlawful. How can Allah accept his supplications?

If this hadith was about the consumption of halal food and the effects of supplications, then this hadith would be in the book of supplications or the book of dietary requirements.

And Allah knows best.

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    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 7:39

I am not scholar so I don't have any authority to give FATWA (juristic ruling) on this matter. As an ordinary Muslim I can answer that saying Bism-Allah Alrahaman Alraheemon Haram food do not make it halal.

A link on this topic:

Haram and Halal Meat


Assalaam alaykum I have heard this several times. In the Qur'an Allah swt allows us to eat from the Ahlil kitaab because they also believed in one God. But today there isn't any real Ahlil kitaab around at least not in the food processing plants and abattoirs. Furthermore saying Bismillahir rahmanir rahim is just saying In the name of Allah the most merciful the beneficent. It doesn't change haraam to halaal. In fact its an irony because we say this phrase before we do anything to indicate that we are doing it for the sake of Allah and to please Him. So its like saying it before you rob an old woman or steal a car. It doesn't make your sin any less. Eating halaal is extremely important because no ounce of body will enter jannah without being purified by hell fire. So the more you eat haraam the more you'll burn. It's really a sensitive issue.


Allah has stated that "إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ" which implies "Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil)" [5:27]. Even if "Bism-Allah Alrahaman Alraheem" can do something (which can but in its place), it would not be accepted from a guy who easily eat what Allah has forbidden for him, he is obviously not a Muttaghi! So Haram is Haram, nothing can change it to Halal unless there is another rule for it, e.g. in the case of Taghiyyeh, or extreme hunger when there is no other thing to eat, and etc.


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