Can we buy meat from “halal” stores in the U.S. despite not knowing how it was slaughtered and who slaughtered it? Can we eat such meat? Some halal-labeled meat is imported from Australia, can we eat that?
ِﺑ ْﺴ ِﻢ ا ِﷲ اﻟ ﱠﺮ ْﺣﻤ ِﻦ اﻟ ﱠﺮ ِﺣْﯿﻢ
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
In today’s day and age, the term “halal” has been misused so much to the extent that you will find halal labels on pork products. In addition, many people today are careless about the consumption of real halal food, hence, they advertise their food as “halal” in order to make a profit without investigating whether their meat supplier is providing them with authentic halal meat or not.
We are living in an era of deceit and fitna (trials), thus, when you go to purchase meat from a “halal” meat market and the owner of the store is not a practicing Muslim, or you are unaware of his religious condition, it is obligatory for you to investigate and ascertain whether the meat is truly halal or not. Once it has become clear to you that this person serves authentic halal meat, you may consume it. Allah (s.w.t) says, “O you who believe! If a sinner brings news to you, then verify (that news).” (Surah Al-Hujurat: v. 6) It is advised that you consult your local Ulema or pious Muslims living in your area regarding the status of that particular market or restaurant which you intend on buying from.
Nevertheless, if the individual selling the meat is a pious, trustworthy Muslim who is known for following the Quran and Sunnah and possesses sufficient knowledge with regards to what constitutes halal meat, then you may purchase meat from him. For the meat to be halal, three conditions must be fulfilled: 1) The slaughterman is a Muslim or from the People of the Book (i.e. a Jew or Christian) 2) The tasmiya (the name of Allah) must be pronounced at the time of slaughter upon EACH animal 3) At least three out of the four vessels must be cut BY HAND using a sharp instrument, e.g. a knife (Legal rulings on Slaughtered Animals: p. 16 [Maktaba-e-Darul-Uloom]).
Halal-labeled meats that are imported from Australia are not all authentic halal. Hence, it is advised that you avoid it until you are certain that it is halal according to the above-mentioned Islamic standards. To conclude, halal labels and claims made by unreliable sources do not necessarily entail that the meat is halal. One must do their due diligence and ensure that the product is genuinely halal before purchasing from any store or individual. In regards to Halal beef and lamb exported from Australia or New Zealand, there are two Halal certifiers from each of these two countries whose beef and lamb products are endorsed by HFSAA (https://www.halaladvocates.org/). It is recommended that you verify that the product has not been further processed in the USA because that can pose cross-contamination issues. Once you can confirm this, you will need to note the Australian/New Zealand establishment number listed on the packaging and contact the following local Halal certifiers to verify if the establishment number is certified by them. These are the Halal certifiers whom HFSAA works with in those regions and endorses their beef and lamb products (this does not apply to poultry)-- Australia: ICCV; SICHMA New Zealand: FIANZ; NZIMM (Information regarding Australian and New Zealand meat was provided by
Raddul Muhtar: v. 6, p. 346-347 (Darul Fikr); Ruhul M’aani: v. 13, p.
297-298 (DKI); Tafseer Mazhari: v. 9, p. 46 (Maktaba Rasheedia); Ahkamul Quran: v. 5, p. 278 (Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi); Al-Mabsoot li Al-Sarakhsi:
v. 10, p. 162-164 (Darul M’arifah)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah Darul Ifta Birmingham