Fatwaa ID: 712
Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barkatuh
I have recently changed my opinion to only eat hand slaughtered chicken given the abuses in the mechanical slaughter process such as the stunning that kills the chickens and tape recorders saying tasmiya. I would eat a mechanically slaughtered chicken if there were no other abuses committed in the slaughter process, however. Upon telling my (Muslim) parents I won’t eat machine slaughtered chicken they were very upset with me and told me that all the other Muslims in our community including our local imam eat machine slaughtered halal-labeled chicken. I told them I would still eat only hand slaughtered chicken and they were upset with me telling me not to be an extremist in the religion. They were also upset with me that I would not eat the machine slaughtered chicken they make at home. My question is how should I handle this situation and whether or not it is permissible for me to eat the halal-labeled machine slaughtered chicken my parents want me to eat at home.
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.
We commend you for choosing to eat halaal. However, we wish to advise that you should not be opting for hand-slaughtered chicken simply because of the abuse found in the mechanical slaughtering process. Even without the abuse, it would still not be permissible. Mechanical slaughtered chicken is haraam. Your purpose and reason for changing should be the pleasure of Allaah Ta’aala and His obedience. You may refer to the works of Mufti Taqi Uthmani and Mufti Faraz Adam (Hafizahumallaah) for insight and understanding of this matter. We have attached the links in the footnotes for your convenience.
Eating halaal and tayyib is essential in the life of a Muslim. The acceptance of his worship and du’aa is affected by what he eats. His spirituality and wellbeing is affected by what he consumes. One should be conscious over this and avoid anything that jeopardizes his worship.
Nevertheless, we pray that Allaah Ta’aala blesses your parents with hidaayah. Their disapproval and becoming upset in this matter is irrelevant. You are excused to disobey them, but with kindness and gentleness. Obedience cannot be given to others while disobeying Allaah Ta’aala. Continue encouraging them and educating them. In most cases, it is the lack of education regarding the reality of the matter that leaves them on the incorrect side. Make du’aa for their hidaayah as well.
In regards to your parent’s claim that everyone eats it, that is not a justifiable reason. Just because everyone is doing something, it does not make it halaal. Most Muslims simply purchase and eat based on seeing a halaal sign. Unfortunately, the abuse of this in the market is unfathomable. It is not permissible to suffice on a halaal sign when we know that the majority is haraam. It is necessary to verify further. The default in meat is prohibition unless proven otherwise. A good portion of the Muslims in America simply eat anything and everything besides pork and alcohol. Does that make haraam beef, chicken and other items halaal? We are all accountable to Allaah Ta’aala individually. We are not accountable for others and their doings.
We advise you to encourage your local establishments to get certified by reputable certification boards such as HFSAA. Third-party certifications and inspections give you the peace of mind that everything in the restaurant is halaal. When there is a demand from the consumers, the suppliers consider and comply. You will be rewarded for that as well by Allaah Ta’aala.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين
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