Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
It is lawful for us to eat the food prepared by Hindus as long as they are strictly vegetarian. If they are not, then we can only eat the food which is prepared in conformity with the Islamic teachings of halal (the lawful) and haram (the unlawful).
In other words, we cannot simply eat dishes containing meat that they have prepared unless we have ascertained without doubt that they have obtained the meat from halal sources.
It is common knowledge that eating fish has no such restrictions, in other words we can eat it without any problem.
Our religion is simple and natural, and teaches us to deal with all people fairly and justly; halal is halal and haram is haram regardless of whether it is provided by a Muslim or a non-Muslim. The laws of Allah do not discriminate among people.
It may be illuminating to know that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions used to eat food that had been prepared by their pagan relatives and friends. They only avoided those foods which are forbidden in Islam. Likewise, the Muslims of India have always eaten in Hindu restaurants while observing the above restrictions.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.