Concerns About Food Offered By A Host

Question

I follow the opinion that we can only eat the food if Allah's name has been invoked upon it (along with other necessary conditions), even if its sacrificed by Muslims, Christians or Jews. Is that correct? Considering the opinion I hold, my question is regarding eating food at some of our Muslim brothers' homes. We come across different situation in western countries that I am mentioning below.

1. We know about one of our Muslim brothers that he doesn't strictly care about the halal and haram food. If he invites us for a dinner, should we specifically ask him whether the food is halal or not, and refuse to eat if its not (this is what I think I should do). Or can we have a positive-thinking about our Muslim brother that he would have arranged halal food for us.

2. We know about one of our Muslim brothers that he considers the food of all the people of book as Halal (even without invoking Allah's name). What should be our approach in this situation. I have read that in case of difference of opinions in fiqh between Muslims, we should respect and follow the opinion of our Muslim brother who is hosting us. Does that apply in this situation too, such that we may respect and follow his opinion when we are at his home, and eat the food without hesitation (this is what I currently think I should do)?


Answer

Yes according to our understanding saying the name of God before slaughtering is essential.

Please let me explain my view on the general concept and leave it to you to apply it to the situation you described:

- When we are given food by a Muslim (or people of the book that we =now follow Sharia, like Jews) we do not need to ask whether the food is halal.

- If we know that a Muslim does not really care that the food is halal or not then we need to remind him that he needs to make sure that when we are having his food, that is halal food according to our standards. If the Muslim under discussion is known to be a trusted and honest person then we do not need to remind him about this or to ask about it every time. We can presume that the first reminder was enough.

- Eating halal food is not like following Imam in prayers. While in the latter case the Feqhi school of thought of Imam does not matter, in the first case every individual is responsible for his own acts. Therefore if you know that your friend offers you meet that according to you is not halal, you cannot consume that meet even if your friend considers that meet to be halal.

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