The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Meat

1 Question: What kind of marine animals are Halal?
Answer: It is not permissible to eat from marine animals anything except fish that has scale; shrimp is considered from that category [of permissible sea animals]. But other than fish, like lobster, and similarly the fish that does not have scale is forbidden.
2 Question: Is Kosher meat Halal?
Answer: It is not Halal.
3 Question: Can I eat Christians' foods that contain meat?
Answer: The food containing meat is not permissible, unless you are certain that the food prepared is from Halal meat (ritually slaughtered according to Islamic Law).
4 Question: Are chickens slaughtered by Christians Halal?
Answer: They are not Halal.
5 Question: On the package of meat that is produced in Muslim countries by non-Muslim companies, it says, “slaughtered according to Islamic laws”. Are we allowed to eat that meat? Can we eat that meat, if it comes from Muslim companies in non-Muslim countries? And what is the ruling, if the source is non-Muslim company from a non-Muslim country?
Answer: The writing [on the package] has no value at all. If the producer is a Muslim or it was produced in a place where Muslims are in the majority and it is not known that the producer is a non-Muslim, then it is permissible to eat it.
But if the producer is a non-Muslim or it was produced in a place where Muslims are not in the majority and it is not known that the producer is Muslim, then it is not permissible to eat it.
6 Question: We enter some supermarkets in Europe and find meat in tin containers produced by a European company with the writing on the package that conveys the sense of it being “Halal” or “slaughtered according to Islamic laws”. Is it permissible to buy and eat such meat?
Answer: The writing [on the package] has no value if it does not lead to certainty [that it is actually Halal].
7 Question: Meat companies slaughter a large number of chickens at one time [that is, simultaneously]. Now if the person running the slaughtering machine is a Muslim, who says Takbír and says the name of Allah only once at the time of slaughtering all the chicken [simultaneously], is it permissible for us to eat those chickens? If we have doubt about these chickens being Halal, can we [ignore that doubt and] eat them and consider them pure (Tahir)?
Answer: If he repeats the name of Allah as long as the machine is continuing to slaughter, it is sufficient. In the event of doubt about its being Halal (a doubt which arises concerning the mentioning of the name of Allah), it can be considered pure and be consumed.
8 Question: Is it permissible to buy meat thinking that it is slaughtered according to Islamic laws from a supermarkets owned by a Muslim who [also] sells alcoholic drinks?
Answer: Yes, it is permissible; and it is Halal to eat.
9 Question: At times we find the name or picture of fish on the cans and come to know that the fish is a scale fish. So, is it permissible for us to rely on the name or the picture in determining the category of fish, knowing well that a wrong statement of this kind would put the manufacturers in great loss or even more serious [situation] than just a loss?
Answer: If one is satisfied it is the truth, it is permissible to act upon it.
10 Question: Is it permissible to eat lobster, in all its varieties, by following the pattern of shrimp?
Answer: It is not permissible to eat lobster.
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