Tuesday, Fabruary 27, 2024 AD / Sha’aban 17, 1445 AH
Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani
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Question & Answer
 

Is there a legitimate criterion for the ruling on eating animal meat? Please explain.

The criterion is the words of God Almighty that has said: ﴿قُلْ لَا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنْزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ[1]; “Say: ‘In what has been sent down to me, I do not find anything forbidden to one who would eat it unless it is carrion, spilled blood, pork, which is unclean, or a sinful offering in the name of any other than God’”; because it is exclusive and cannot be generalized with the Sunnah, according to what Mansoor, may God Almighty protect him, has stated in the book Return to Islam[2]. Therefore, the prohibitions stated in the Sunnah carry the meaning of detestation in order to reconcile them with the Book of God; as one of our companions informed us, he said: «سَمِعْتُ الْمَنْصُورَ الْهَاشِمِيَّ الْخُرَاسَانِيَّ أَيَّدَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى يَقُولُ: إِنَّكُمْ لَتُحَرِّمُونَ أَشْيَاءَ مَا جَعَلَهَا اللَّهُ إِلَّا مَكْرُوهَةً، فَكُلُوا مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ، ثُمَّ قَرَأَ: ﴿قُلْ لَا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنْزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ[3]»; “I heard Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani, may God support him, say: ‘Indeed, you forbid things that God has made but as detested, so eat anything except for what the Book of God has made unlawful.’ Then he recited (this verse): ‘Say: In what has been sent down to me, I do not find anything forbidden to one who would eat it unless it is carrion, spilled blood, pork, which is unclean, or a sinful offering in the name of any other than God,’” and one of our companions informed us, he said: «سَأَلْتُ الْمَنْصُورَ عَنِ الْأَرْنَبِ وَالسَّنْجَابِ وَالسُّلَحْفَاةِ وَالْحَيْوَانِ الَّذِي لَمْ يُحَرِّمْهُ اللَّهُ فِي الْقُرْآنِ، فَقَالَ: كُلٌّ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ، فَاخْتَارُوا الْأَطْيَبَ مِنْهَا فَالْأَطْيَبَ»[4]; “I asked Mansoor about rabbits, squirrels, turtles, and other animals that God has not forbidden in the Quran, so he said: ‘They are all pure, so choose what is purer from among them,’” and what Mansoor, may God Almighty protect him, has said is an authentic narration from the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, and his Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them; because they do not separate from the Book of God, as indicated by the Hadith of al-Thaqalayn; as it has been narrated from Abu Darda’ that he said: The Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, said: «مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ فِي كِتَابِهِ فَهُوَ حَلَالٌ وَمَا حَرَّمَ فَهُوَ حَرَامٌ وَمَا سَكَتَ عَنْهُ فَهُوَ عَافِيَةٌ، فَاقْبَلُوا مِنَ اللَّهِ عَافِيَتَهُ، فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمْ يَكُنْ نَسِيًّا، ثُمَّ تَلَا هَذِهِ الْآيَةَ: ﴿وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّا»[5]; “Whatever God has made lawful in His Book is lawful, whatever He has made unlawful is forbidden, and whatever He is silent about is pardoned, so accept the pardon of God, for God is not forgetful. Then he recited this verse: ‘And your Lord is not forgetful,’” and it has been narrated from Abu Ja‘far, peace be upon him, that «أَنَّهُ سُئِلَ عَنْ سِبَاعِ الطَّيْرِ وَالْوَحْشِ حَتَّى ذُكِرَ لَهُ الْقَنَافِذُ وَالْوَطْوَاطُ وَالْحَمِيرُ وَالْبِغَالُ وَالْخَيْلُ، فَقَالَ: لَيْسَ الْحَرَامُ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ فِي كِتَابِهِ الْعَزِيزِ وَقَدْ نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَوْمَ خَيْبَرَ عَنْ أَكْلِ لُحُومِ الْحَمِيرِ وَإِنَّمَا نَهَاهُمْ مِنْ أَجْلِ ظُهُورِهِمْ أَنْ يُفْنُوهُ وَلَيْسَتِ الْحُمُرُ بِحَرَامٍ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: اقْرَأْ هَذِهِ الْآيَةَ: ﴿قُلْ لَا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنْزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ»[6]; “he was asked about birds and wild animals until hedgehogs, bats, donkeys, mules, and horses were mentioned. So he said: ‘Nothing is forbidden except for what God has made unlawful in His Noble Book, and the fact that the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, forbade eating donkey meat on the day of Khaybar was only because they would not kill them, and donkey meat is not forbidden.’ Then he recited this verse: ‘Say: In what has been sent down to me, I do not find anything forbidden to one who would eat it unless it is carrion, spilled blood, pork, which is unclean, or a sinful offering in the name of any other than God.’”

↑[1] . Al-An‘am/ 145
↑[3] . Al-An‘am/ 145
↑[5] . Musnad al-Shamiyyin by al-Tabarani, vol. 3, p. 209; Sunan of al-Daraqutni, vol. 2, p. 120; al-Mustadrak Ala al-Sahihain by al-Hakim, vol. 2, p. 375; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi, vol. 10, p. 12
↑[6] . Tahdhib al-Ahkam by al-Tusi, vol. 9, p. 42
The website for the office of Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani The section for answering questions
Appendices
Sub-questions & answers
Sub-question 1
Author: Reza Razi
Date: 2016 March 3

It has become common in some Islamic countries to eat crab, crocodile, octopus, and shark meat. What is the ruling on that in the opinion of His Excellency Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani?

Answer to
sub-question 1
Date: 2016 March 4

It is not forbidden to eat crab, crocodile, octopus, and shark meat for the following reasons:

1. The principle is the permissibility of what does not harm the human being until there is certain evidence from Sharia that it is forbidden; as God Almighty has said: ﴿وَأُحِلَّتْ لَكُمُ الْأَنْعَامُ إِلَّا مَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ[1]; “And the cattle are lawful for you except for what is recited to you,” and there is no certain evidence from Sharia that the meat of these animals is forbidden.

2. God Almighty has listed forbidden foods in His Book, and these animals are not among them; as He has said: ﴿قُلْ لَا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنْزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ[2]; “Say: ‘In what has been sent down to me, I do not find anything forbidden to one who would eat it unless it is carrion, spilled blood, pork, which is unclean, or a sinful offering in the name of any other than God,’” and it is clear that He has not forgotten to mention these animals.

3. There are narrations from the Ahl al-Bayt that forbid eating scaleless fishes, among which are crabs, octopuses, and sharks, but the rule in the opinion of His Excellency Allamah, may God Almighty protect him, is that narrations cannot specify or generalize the Book of God Almighty[3]; especially if they are contradictory in and of themselves, and there are narrations from the Ahl al-Bayt that indicate the permissibility of any edible thing except for what the Book of God Almighty has made unlawful, and this is clear evidence that their forbidding narrations are not in the context of prohibition, but rather they seek to elucidate detestation, and there are explicit narrations in this regard; such as the authentic narration from Zirarah who said: «سَأَلْتُ أَبَا جَعْفَرٍ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ عَنِ الْجِرِّيثِ، فَقَالَ وَمَا الْجِرِّيثُ؟ فَنَعَتُّهُ لَهُ، فَقَالَ: ﴿قُلْ لَا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَى آخِرِ الْآيَةِ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: لَمْ يُحَرِّمِ اللَّهُ شَيْئًا مِنَ الْحَيَوَانِ فِي الْقُرْآنِ إِلَّا الْخِنْزِيرَ بِعَيْنِهِ، وَيُكْرَهُ كُلُّ شَيْءٍ مِنَ الْبَحْرِ لَيْسَ لَهُ قِشْرٌ مِثْلُ الْوَرِقِ، وَلَيْسَ بِحَرَامٍ، إِنَّمَا هُوَ مَكْرُوهٌ»[4]; “I asked Abu Ja‘far, peace be upon him, about eels, so he said: ‘What are eels?’ So I described them to him, so he said: ‘Say: In what has been sent down to me, I do not find anything forbidden to one who would eat it,’ until the end of the verse, then he said: ‘God has not forbidden any animal in the Quran except for pigs, and anything from the sea that has no scale like paper is detested, and it is not forbidden but detested,’” and the authentic narration from Muhammad ibn Muslim who said: «سَأَلْتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللَّهِ -يَعْنِي جَعْفَرَ بْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ الصَّادِقَ- عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ عَنِ الْجِرِّيِّ وَالْمَارْمَاهِي وَالزِّمِّيرِ وَمَا لَيْسَ لَهُ قِشْرٌ مِنَ السَّمَكِ، أَحَرَامٌ هُوَ؟ فَقَالَ لِي: يَا مُحَمَّدُ، اقْرَأْ هَذِهِ الْآيَةَ الَّتِي فِي الْأَنْعَامِ: ﴿قُلْ لَا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ، قَالَ: فَقَرَأْتُهَا حَتَّى فَرَغْتُ مِنْهَا، فَقَالَ: إِنَّمَا الْحَرَامُ مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ فِي كِتَابِهِ، وَلَكِنَّهُمْ قَدْ كَانُوا يَعَافُونَ أَشْيَاءَ فَنَحْنُ نَعَافُهَا»[5]; “I asked Abu Abdullah -i.e., Ja‘far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq- peace be upon him, about catfishes, eels, zimmirs[6], and what does not have scales, are they forbidden? So he said to me: ‘O Muhammad! Recite this verse in Surah al-An‘am: “Say: In what has been sent down to me, I do not find anything forbidden to one who would eat it.”’ So I recited it until I finished, then he said: ‘Forbidden things are what God and His Messenger have made unlawful in His Book, but they have detested things, so we too detest them,’” and this is the truth that His Excellency Allamah, may God Almighty protect him, says; as one of our companions informed us, he said:

«سَمِعْتُ الْمَنْصُورَ الْهَاشِمِيَّ الْخُرَاسَانِيَّ أَيَّدَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى يَقُولُ: إِنَّكُمْ لَتُحَرِّمُونَ أَشْيَاءَ مَا جَعَلَهَا اللَّهُ إِلَّا مَكْرُوهَةً، فَكُلُوا مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ، ثُمَّ قَرَأَ: ﴿قُلْ لَا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنْزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ»; “I heard Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani, may God support him, say: ‘Indeed, you forbid things that God has made but as detested, so eat anything except for what the Book of God has made unlawful.’ Then he recited (this verse): ‘Say: In what has been sent down to me, I do not find anything forbidden to one who would eat it unless it is carrion, spilled blood, pork, which is unclean, or a sinful offering in the name of any other than God.’”

Yes, there is no doubt that the meat of some animals, such as sheep, cows, camels, and fishes that have scales is better than the meat of some of them, such as crabs, crocodiles, octopuses, and sharks, and one should choose what is purer, if possible; because of the words of God Almighty that has said: ﴿أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ الَّذِي هُوَ أَدْنَى بِالَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ[7]; “Would you exchange what is better for what is worse?!” As one of our companions informed us, he said:

«سَأَلْتُ الْمَنْصُورَ عَنِ الْأَرْنَبِ وَالسَّنْجَابِ وَالسُّلَحْفَاةِ وَالْحَيْوَانِ الَّذِي لَمْ يُحَرِّمْهُ اللَّهُ فِي الْقُرْآنِ، فَقَالَ: كُلٌّ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ، فَاخْتَارُوا الْأَطْيَبَ مِنْهَا فَالْأَطْيَبَ»; “I asked Mansoor about rabbits, squirrels, turtles, and other animals that God has not made unlawful in the Quran, so he said: ‘They are all pure, so choose what is purer from among them.’”

Of course, this does not mean that it is obligatory to eat the meat of crabs, crocodiles, octopuses, sharks, and the like so that those who are disgusted by it would fear it, but rather it only means they are permissible, so there is no sin on them if they avoid it as long as they do not forbid it; because forbidding what God Almighty has made lawful is a great sin; as He has said: ﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحَرِّمُوا طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ[8]; “O you who believed! Do not forbid the pure things that God has made lawful for you,” and it is clear that the rulings of God Almighty do not follow people’s desires; as He has said: ﴿وَلَوِ اتَّبَعَ الْحَقُّ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ لَفَسَدَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالَارْضُ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ[9]; “And if the truth had followed their desires, the heavens and the earth and whoever is in them would have been corrupted,” and said: ﴿وَعَسَى أَنْ تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَى أَنْ تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ[10]; “And perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you, and perhaps you like a thing and it is evil for you, and God knows and you do not know.”

↑[1] . Al-Hajj/ 30
↑[2] . Al-An‘am/ 145
↑[4] . Tafsir of al-Ayyashi, vol. 1, p. 383; Tahdhib al-Ahkam by al-Tusi, vol. 9, p. 5
↑[5] . Tafsir of al-Ayyashi, vol. 1, p. 382; Tahdhib al-Ahkam by al-Tusi, vol. 9, p. 6
↑[6] . [A type of scaleless fish]
↑[7] . Al-Baqarah/ 61
↑[8] . Al-Ma’idah/ 87
↑[9] . Al-Mu’minun/ 71
↑[10] . Al-Baqarah/ 216
The website for the office of Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani The section for answering questions
Sub-question 2
Author: Farhad Golestan
Date: 2018 December 22

There are other things forbidden to eat without any doubt, and they are impurities such as urine, excrement, and semen. So why has God Almighty not mentioned them in verse 145 of Surah al-An‘am? Is this not evidence that the verse is not exclusive, and it is not permissible to act on its apparent meaning?

Answer to
sub-question 2
Date: 2018 December 24

The verse, as it is apparent from the phrase ﴿طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ; “one who would eat it” in it, states what is forbidden of “foods”, and therefore, it has not discussed urine, excrement, and semen; because these three are not among the foods of any people. Nevertheless, if there is someone who wants to eat urine, excrement, or semen, he should know that eating impurities is forbidden in the Book of God Almighty, where He has said: ﴿وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ[1]; “And He makes lawful for them the pure things and forbids to them the impure things”; considering that ﴿الْخَبَائِثَ; “the impure things,” in general, include edible impurities and non-edible impurities; as taking poison is forbidden in the Book of God Almighty, even though it is not one of the mentioned forbidden foods; because of His words: ﴿وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ[2]; “And do not kill yourselves,” and His words: ﴿وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ[3]; “And do not cast yourselves into destruction with your own hands.”

↑[1] . Al-A‘raf/ 157
↑[2] . Al-Nisa/ 29
↑[3] . Al-Baqarah/ 195
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