Some scholars permit that Muslims eat permissible animals slaughtered by people of earlier revelations if they live in non-Muslim countries. But electrically shocked animals are prohibited unanimously. 

Animals Slaughtered by People of Earlier Revelations

Similar Questions 

· Animals and poultry slaughtered by people of earlier revelations.
   · The food of people of earlier revelations.

The Issue

Can a Muslim eat of the meat of animals slaughtered by non-Muslims who belong to earlier divine religions in countries where the Muslim community is in a minority, especially when these are offered in shops and restaurants? 


We need to go into the details of this question. 

Contemporary scholars differ on what is the standard ruling on this question. Some of them are of the view that the standard ruling is permissibility, citing as evidence

the Qur’anic verse that says

The food of those who were given revelations is lawful to you, and your food is lawful to them

5: 5

This means that Muslims who visit or are resident in non-Muslim countries may eat the meat of animals slaughtered by people of earlier revelation, if such animals are lawful to eat. However, they need to make sure that nothing is added to them which is forbidden in Islam. In addition, if one is sure that the animal has not been properly slaughtered then the permissibility is cancelled. 

Some contemporary scholars are of the view that the standard ruling on the eating of animals slaughtered by people of earlier revelation in the present time is not permissible for three reasons:

1. Peoples of other religions, like Buddhists, Sikhs and polytheists may be living among them.

2. The normal practice in their slaughterhouses is unlike the proper Islamic method. The Qur’anic verse relates to what the followers of earlier religions used to do during the Prophet’s lifetime, when they slaughtered their animals in the same way as Muslims. 

3. The right thing is to take a cautious attitude so that we do not eat meat unless we know that it is properly slaughtered.  

The late Shaikh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz said that scholars of the first view may reply that God knew perfectly well what will happen in the future, yet He stated a general rule: ‘The food of those who were given revelations is lawful for you.
In his collected Fatwas, Shaikh Ibn Baz said: ‘I have been informed by many residents there that most slaughterhouses in America and Europe do not follow the Islamic way of slaughter. Therefore, if a Muslim takes the precaution of not eating of such meat, that is preferable. It is important that a believer should take a cautious approach with matters related to food and drink. If he can buy a sheep or chicken and slaughter it by himself or if he buys it from butchers that are known to sell only properly slaughtered meat, this is much better.
Scholars who subscribe to the second view may also say that these people are not followers of earlier revelations. They do not show respect for their faith or keenness to follow its teachings. 

If such meat is sold in an area populated by people of earlier divine religions only, i.e. Jews and Christians, their meat is permissible to eat even though the method of their slaughter is unknown. If other unbelievers live in the same area such meat should not be eaten, because what is permissible is mixed with what is not permissible, unless we know that the slaughter is carried out in the appropriate method. 

If it is known that the method of slaughter is unacceptable from the Islamic point of view, as in the case of strangulation or electric shock, then the meat is not permissible to eat, even if the slaughterer is a Muslim.

This is the view of the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa, the International Islamic Fiqh Academy and the European Council for Fatwa and Research, as expressed in its third session. It is also the view of Shaikh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz and Shaikh Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen.[1]

Animals killed by electric shock

All institutions and councils are almost unanimous that the meat of animals known to have been killed by electric shock is unlawful to eat, because then they are carrion. To carry out slaughter on such animals after they have died is meaningless. The decision by the European Council for Fatwa and Research states: ‘Having reviewed the different methods of slaughter and identified the different unacceptable details such methods involve, leading to a large number of such animals, particularly chickens, dying, the Council rules that it is unlawful to eat the meat of poultry and bovine animals. This does not apply to lamb and veal because their method of slaughter in some countries is not unacceptable. The Council recommends the Muslim community in Western countries to establish their own slaughterhouses so that they can be reassured and preserve their own religious and cultural identity. The Council calls on Western countries to acknowledge the religious requirements of Muslims and enable them to slaughter their animals in accordance with the Islamic faith, as they do with other religious communities such as the Jews. The Council recommends Muslim countries to import only permissible meat which is slaughtered under supervision of reliable Muslim centres in Western countries.

Stunning before slaughter

The decision by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy includes: ‘The normal Islamic method of slaughter involves no stunning of the animal, because the Islamic method, under proper conditions, is the most compassionate to animals, causing least pain and suffering. Those who undertake the actual slaughter are advised to develop their methods of slaughtering large animals so as to meet this condition of the best way of slaughter. Muslims living in non-Muslim countries should use legal methods to gain permission to slaughter their animals according to the Islamic method, without stunning. International Islamic Fiqh Council, Decision 94, 3/10

Mentioning God’s name once for a group of animals

The decision by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy concludes that the normal way to slaughter poultry and other animals is manually by the butcher. There is no harm in using machines provided the Islamic conditions are met. Mentioning God’s name once for every group of animals that are slaughtered in succession is sufficient, but if there is disruption, the name of God must be mentioned again. 


God has permitted eating the food of the people of earlier divine religions.

as He says

The food of those who were given revelations is lawful to you, and your food is lawful to them

5: 5

 Therefore, such food may be eaten by Muslims, unless we have a reason that makes it unlawful for us to eat. 

Scholars are unanimous that the food of earlier divine religions is lawful for Muslims to eat. 

It is forbidden to eat the meat of any animal that has been strangled, beaten to death or died in any similar way, or when the name of anyone other than God has been mentioned when it is slaughtered,

as God says

Forbidden to you are carrion, blood, the flesh of swine; and that over which any name other than God’s has been invoked; and the animal that has been strangled, or beaten to death, or killed by a fall, or gored to death, or savaged by a beast of prey, except that which you may have slaughtered when it is still alive

5: 3

Where there is doubt, then the meat should not be eaten.

as the Prophet says

Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt

He also says

He who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honour


· Fatawa by The Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa.
   · Decisions of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.
   · Decisions by the Islamic Fiqh Council of the Muslim World League.
   · Fatawa for Muslim minorities by a group of scholars.
   · The Collected Fatwas by Shaikh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz.
   · Mut’ib al-Qahtani (ed.), Is[af al-Mughtaribin bi Fatawa al-[Ulama’ al-Rabbaniyyin.
   · Abdullah Bin Bayyah, Sina[at al-Fatwa wa Fiqh al-Aqaliyyat.
   · Khalid Abd al-Qadir, Min Fiqh al-Aqaliyyat, Kitab al-Ummah, No. 61.


  1. Fatawa by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa, vol. 22, pp. 387–397, 411, 412 and 418; The International Islamic Fiqh Council, Decision 23 (11/3) and 24 (3/10); the European Council for Fatwa and Research; Ibn Baz, Fatawa, vol. 23, pp. 10–21 and 83; Ibn Uthaimeen, Fatawa al-Aqaliyyat al-Muslimah, pp. 97 and 99.