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:
1- Allah permits us to consume animals slaughtered by Jews and Christians. There is only one condition, that is, the animal must be properly slaughtered.
2- We cannot consume the meat of any animal that is not allowed in the first place (such as pork) or one that has not been slaughtered by slitting its jugular vein.
3- Meat in the US is halal as long as you mention the name of Allah before eating it.
Responding to your question, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shinqiti, Professor of Political Ethics and Religions History at Qatar University, states:
One sentence is not enough to answer such a complex question. For example, I myself used to eat meat when I first came to the United States, but then I stopped eating beef for 3 years.
Only after conducting research and several field studies, I feel confident that meat in the US is halal as long as you mention the name of Allah before eating it.
There are three basic conditions that make meat halal as follows:
1- That the name of Allah is mentioned over the animal. This can be done after it is slaughtered.
2- That the method of slaughter causes the blood to be drained. Animals are slaughtered using this method in America.
3- That the animals are slaughtered in a merciful way. I believe that the methods used in the United States to slaughter animals are more merciful to animals than those used in many Muslim countries.
Moreover, the US Congress issued a law called The Humane Slaughter of Animals Act. The law requires that specific methods that cause less pain to the animal should be used for slaughtering.
As for the claims by some scholars that a lot of these animals die as a result of being stunned before having their jugular vein slit, I conducted research on this subject and found that these claims are baseless.
This is so because the reports by the general inspector of the US Government confirmed that a lot of animals do not get affected by the stunning so when they are slaughtered, they still experience pain.
Muslim scholars who forbid the consumption of beef based their argument on the assumption that stunning kills the animal before their jugular vein is slit. This is not true according to the report released by the general inspector.
Therefore, I believe animals slaughtered in the United States are halal to consume as long as you say the name of Allah before eating the meat.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.