The level of skepticism that people expressed when they first heard that the lamb at Outback steakhouse was halal was amazing. Who said it was halal? Is your source reliable? Where do they get their meat? Do they mix meats? To some, it wasn't enough that several people (including myself) circulated an e-mail from Michelle Robinson, a representative from the company who confirmed that the food was halal. Some would rather go to the restaurant and confirm for themselves that it's halal. Of course, this last option might be impossible, considering that the restaurants might just trust upper-level management when they say that it's halal.
Without a doubt, everyone has had their own unique experience with someone who seems unusually critical of any assertion that a product is halal. Some will go as far as to go into the back of a restaurant and check the packaging of the food to be certain that the food served is halal. One can hardly criticize someone who is so prudent as to whether or not it is permissible to eat a certain product.
Abu Hurayrah narrated:
The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "O people, Allah is Good and He therefore, accepts only that which is good. And Allah commanded the believers as He commanded the Messengers by saying, 'O Messengers, eat of the good things, and do good deeds; verily I am aware of what you do" (Al-Mu'minoon 23:51).' And He said: 'O those who believe, eat of the good things that We gave you" (Al-Baqarah 2:172)'" He then made a mention of a person who travels widely, his hair dishevelled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky [and thus makes the supplication], "O Lord, O Lord," whereas his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How can his supplication be accepted? (Muslim)
However, what's disappointing is that, as prudent as we are regarding describing a food as halal, we're not nearly as prudent when describing a saying as that of the Prophet's (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam). This happens in spite of the fact that, when one attributes a saying to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam), they are attributing something to the religion. But no one can attribute something to the religion unless they have strong proof to do so.
Additionally, there are the consequences of lying about the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam).
The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Narrate from me even if it is one aayah and narrate from the Children of Israel and there is no problem. And whoever lies upon me, then let him take his seat in the Fire." (Bukhari)
Imam As-Suyuti said, about the one who merely narrates fabricated hadiths, that he deserves to be whipped and threatened with worse. Additionally, his greeting shouldn't be returned, and the community can backbite and warn against him (Tahdheer al-Khawaas min Akaadheeb al-Qussaas). This is because of the damage that he can potentially cause from narrating fabricated hadiths (these measures only come after someone of knowledge has attempted to correct the person - please don't walk around whipping people).
The protection that the scholars utilize - and the one that people seem to ignore the most often - is the chain of narration (isnaad).
Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Ahmad said, "It has reached me that Allah has singled out this Ummah with three matters and which were not given to those before it: [one of them being] the isnaad."
Muhammad bin Hatim bin al-Mudhaffar said, "Verily, Allah ennobled this Ummah and dignified it and gave it preference by way of the isnaad. And there is no one in any of the nations, past or contemporary that has isnaad. Rather, they only have scrolls in their hands, and their learned oens have caused confusion in their books. They do not have any way of distinguishing between what has been revealed in the Torah and the Bible from what was brought by their Prophets, and what they've added to their books of reports and narrations that they recieved from untrustworthy people.
"And this Ummah writes hadith from a trustworthy person known in his time, famous for his trustworthiness and integrity, from someone who is just like him. Then they research in the most critical manner until they come to know the best memorizers, then those after them; and those who are most precise and exact, then those after him; and those who accompanied for the longest time, those whom they narrate from, then those who spent lesser time. Then, after all this, they write down the hadiths from at least twenty different angles (chains) such that they remove from this hadith all the errors and mistakes, and they exact its wording" (Tahdheeb Sharaf As'haabul-Hadith of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee).
Why would one want to ignore this blessing, by which Allah (Ta'ala) has dignified us?
Instead, we spread hadiths, claiming that we heard it from an "authentic" scholar, or read it as a result of a search on that great bastion of Islamic knowledge - Google.com. The hadith will spread far and wide on the Internet, until someone has the good sense to consult a hadith scholar, who tells us that it's weak or even false. However, by that time, the damage has been done.
Here are the rules, in terms that we'll all be able to understand:
Don't bother to
eat read/listen to a animal hadith if no source is mentioned.
You can only
eat narrate meat hadiths that you know for certain a well-known organization hadith scholar has certified as halal authentic.
If there are any doubts as to whether or not the
meat hadith has been slaughtered narrated properly, it's haraam not authentic.
Jazakum Allah Khairan for the reminder.
But you are right, there are some folks, who would not settle down unless they see for themselves if the animal was zabiha or not...its like asking "Is eating zabiha meat Halal"?
Ma'Assalaamaon July 31, 2006 7:42 PM
When one claims that the meat is Zabiha, how much can one be sure that he is saying the truth?
2 days back, in one south indian city , Hyderabad it came to light by the research efforts of a urdu newspaper that in one of the public arbrators, where as of norm only muslims do the zabiha, here is this case, non muslims were also sacrificing the animals, and even the muslims who were scrificing didnt knew the proper words to be uttered while doing sacrifice! (One used to say Allah hu akber while sacrificing).
Now the news paper is going to make sure that knowledgeable muslims do the sacrifice, but it shows how much we can be deceived by the zabiha claims. I think the best option is to do the sacrifice oneself.
I agree, the best is to do zabiha yourself, then there wont be doubts left at all.
Another way to remove this doubt completely, is to become a vegetarian...
Ma'Assalaaamaon August 1, 2006 9:23 AM
Interesting how the comments went toward the halal meat issue, despite the article not being about that.
Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,
Sticking to the topic of zabiha:
I remember the first few days I was in Egypt I while back I was in a supermarket with my cousin shoppping. When we got to the meat section, and I saw coldcuts among other things, I instictively asked him "Is this Halal?"
He looked at me so strangely...
Then I realized...duhhh...all the meat made in this country is Halal.
on August 1, 2006 10:51 AM
People, this article is not about meat. It is about hadith and verification procedures of the same.
I wish we were half as careful about narrating from our Messenger as we are about eating zabiha.on August 1, 2006 11:07 AM
i think everyone read between the lines.
:)on August 1, 2006 11:52 AM
Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,
I think even more dangerous than listineng to a hadith which might be wrong, or might be right but the person just doesn't have the narration memorized, is taking a fatwa from a layperson without verifying it with a sheikh. This usually goes hand in hand with a bad hadith but not always (sometime it's just misinterpretation of a good hadith).
I have pretty much taken it to rule now that I'm not going to change my actions if someone tells me such and such is haram or being done wrong unless I verify with a scholar.
I stopped making sujud 'knee first,then hands' because someone told me that is not permissible because a hadith that Rasul Allah (peace be upon him) did not want us to go down as the camel goes down. Wll...the hadith was right, but upon seeing how a camel goes down I realized that it goes down front legs first and upon verifying I found out that I should indeed be going "knee first, then hands"
I know a brother (this is quite funny) who stopped wearing deoderant (must stop myself from laughing) for a month because someone told him it was Haram. After complaining like heck he asked me if this was true and I started cracking up and told him to go ask the sheikh at the masjid, who then also was amuzed that he stopped doing this and said that there's no problem.
The things go on and on...
Including (just to bring up the topic of Beef, or beef and hadiths), someone told me that it makruh (disliked) or even haram to eat beef (cow's meat) because of some hadith he heard form some person somewhere at sometime that your not suppose to eat cow meat.
Now how in the world are you going to tell me not to eat beef. If it was possible to be a meatetarian I would probably be one.
on August 1, 2006 12:25 PM
"Wll...the hadith was right, but upon seeing how a camel goes down I realized that it goes down front legs first and upon verifying I found out that I should indeed be going "knee first, then hands"
Br. Rami, are you suggesting that the front legs of the camels does not have "knees"...and so a camel going down is not similar to us going down on our knees?
Please elaborate, as I may benefit from your research into this matter, insha'Allah.
And as far as halal meat is concerned....I have a story that still amazes me...It happenend some 9 years ago, when some Desi guest were invited at my home and when the food was served to them(including the meat), they asked me if this meat was halal and inquired if I bought it from fulan & fulan or not...and I replied in negative...to my surprise, they completely declined to eat and left shortly...hahahahaha....well to each their own!
and sister Saima is right...I read between the lines and replied that piqued my curiosity.
Ma'Assalaamaon August 1, 2006 10:01 PM
"Interesting how the comments went toward the halal meat issue, despite the article not being about that.
Br. Talal, since you are the MAN on this site...I will be brutaly honest with you...insha'Allah
I really do enjoy the articles on this site, by all our esteemed brothers and sisters...and some of the writers are truly amazing..>Masha'Allah.
I try to read all posted articles (in a timely manner) and make comments and/or critique them as I see fit...sometimes, I may even engage in a healthy discussion on the topic with our fellow brethren and sisteren.
However, I am also notorious for hijacking the conversation to another topic that is on my mind... or is of interest to me.
So, being that you are the Chief administrator of this site, I will have no problem if you choose to delete any (or all) of my comments or discussion that you see fit not appropriate and not related to the topic of the original article-including this long winded comment. :-)
on August 1, 2006 10:18 PM
I am sorry for making this comment about Zabiha meat issue in my city, I hope the webmasters will forgive me for this.
Yes, the importance of narrating the hadith of the prophet(saw) correctly and stating the source is very very valid, and cannot be stressed enough.
This reminds me of an article I read once (I believe it was on sunnipath.com, by Sheikh Faraz Rabani) -- The author said that when it comes to the medical field, most of us ONLY adopt a certain treatment refferred/recommended/ordered to us by an expert in the field. Same maybe the case for some of us investing our finances. Yet, amazingly, when it comes to religion, we go around quoting quotes (or rather, misquoting often enough) and giving fatwas based on sources we don't even remember, let alone bothered to have authenticated. And even more interesting is the fact that many of us put into practice what we may have heard from anyone.
Then comes the fact that 'our parents/grandparents/sigfig relative' used to do/say so. Many get offended if you ask to trace back to an authentic source. I know many women (I'm only including desi women here and a few arabic muslim women THAT I KNOW) who'll have certain practices believed to grant certain desires (jobs, child, sahar, etc.) but I have yet to find out if this is coming from the Quran, or an authentic hadith.
At one of the halaqas in my days at RU, I remember we covered the topic of the importance of speaking, and the severity of the consequences of saying/relaying something incorrectly. Naturally, when it comes to ahadith (and quotes from the Quran), multiply that caution by a lot.
We should exercise due dilligence in quoting ahadith, and before putting them to pracatice, just as Br. Gillette listed. Do your research to find out if it is classified as un-authentic and/or harmful.on August 3, 2006 2:00 PM
An interesting read:
Yo Editor, all previous posts are messed up. All quotes have been turned into question marks and many commas too.on August 15, 2006 4:16 PM
yeah coming from latenight convos
yo its about after midnight, keepin tight, im representin when these otha cats spit phrases i spit full sentences, and these otha cats think i cant seeya, man i could run this isht betta than the prez and make u my CONDOLEEZA...betta yet do it like the Romans, and be like Ceazar...or betta yet take over cups like ITaly with Afifa, yea i keep my lungs clean while this cats think they high off the SHEESHA...on August 25, 2006 12:36 AM