Meat in restaurants in non-Muslim countries
Praise be to Allaah.
The meats available in non-Muslim countries are of different types:
-- Fish is halaal in all circumstances, because its being halaal does not depend on how it is slaughtered or whether the name of Allaah is mentioned over it.
-- With regard to other kinds of meat, if those who slaughter it – companies or individuals – are from the People of the Book, Jews or Christians, and it is known that they do not kill the animals by means of electric shocks, strangulation or blows to the head, as is known in the West, then the meat is permissible. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halaal (lawful) foods, which Allaah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them”
But if they kill the animals by means of some of these methods (electric shocks, etc), then the meat is haraam, because in that case the animals are counted as having been killed by strangling or by a violent blow (cf. Al-Maa’idah 5:3). If those who slaughter the meat are not Jews or Christians, then the meat that they offer is haraam. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Eat not (O believers) of that (meat) on which Allâh’s Name has not been pronounced (at the time of the slaughtering of the animal), for sure it is Fisq (a sin and disobedience of Allâh)”
So the Muslim must strive to avoid what is obviously haraam, and be cautious of doubtful things, and be keen to keep his religious commitment safe and to protect his body from haraam foods.