Doubtful restaurant food
1) Is it okay to eat meat from a restaurant whose supplier's certificate says that their slaughtering methods follow Islamic Guidelines, but it doesn't mention specifically whether it is hand-slaughtered?
2) Follow up to Q.1: Is it okay to eat fries or seafood from a restaurant/fast food place where this is cooked in the same oil as chicken (cooked separately from the chicken though) that was, again, apparently slaughtered as per "Islamic Guidelines" but with no guarantee that it was by hand? The restaurant does not have impermissible meat such as pork; hence, it's just a matter of slaughtering method in question here.
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
1) 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. Besides, many people today are careless about the consumption of real halal food; hence, they advertise their meat as "halal" or "slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines" 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/restaurant, and the owner of the store is not a practicing Muslim, or you are unaware of his religious condition, you must investigate and ascertain whether the meat is genuinely halal or not. Once it has become clear to you that this person serves authentic halal meat, you may consume it. Allah (SWT) 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 market or restaurant you intend to buy from.
Nevertheless, suppose the individual selling the meat is a pious, trustworthy Muslim who is known for following the Quran and Sunnah and possesses sufficient knowledge regarding what constitutes halal meat. In that case, you may purchase meat from him/eat at his restaurant. 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]).
2) We should refrain from eating fries and seafood cooked in the oil used to cook doubtful meat because any impermissible meat cooked in oil would render the oil impure. By adopting precaution, we will maintain our peace of mind, contrary to indulgence in doubtful matters. The Prophet (SAW) has stated, “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt” (Tirmidhi: Hadith 2518).
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