Saying Bismillah on Suspicious Food to Make it Halal

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 15 Muharram 1422, 9 April 2001

Q.) Some people in the Arab countries say that as per some hadith whose meaning is something like this "That people asked as to whether we should eat from food offered from people of other religions, as we do not know of if it is Halal or not" upon which the answer from the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam was that say Bismillah and eat."

I do not know the exact words nor I know this hadith. Please advice. Wassalam. Hasan - Jeddah.

A.) The Hadith in the question is incorrectly quoted.

The Hadith in reference is quoted in Bukhari. The Sahaba, Radi-Allahu anhum, enquired from Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam about the meat slaughtered by the A’araab (Muslims living in the outskirts). Since they have recently accepted Islam and the Sahaba, Radi-Allahu anhum, did not witness the slaughtering and the Tasmiyah (reciting of Bismillah) during the slaughter, that created a doubt in them.

Upon that, Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, "You say Bismillah and eat the meat." In other words, you do what you are supposed to do, that is, recite Bismillah before eating and do not have a baseless doubt as the animal is slaughtered by Muslims who must have recited Tasmiyah before slaughtering. The order to recite Bismillah and eat was not as a substitute for the Bismillah at the time of slaughtering. (Fathul Bari; Ibn Hajar)

It is not permissible to purchase meat from non-Muslim outlets and simply recite Bismillah and eat it.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best