Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it our duty to search under rocks for an answer? For example, with regards to food we consume, or products we use, is it an obligation on me to read the ingredients list one by one, and then confirm that every ingredient is halal, and if there is doubt to contact the company? If the company cannot decisively confirm the status of an ingredient, do I avoid the product altogether, or do I assume I’ve done my part and continue to use/consume the product?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

The default on meat is that is not permissible to eat until you are very certain that it is halal. You can trust the halal label on it, or the word of the shop owner unless it is clear that they are not reliable or you know that they following some extremely minority opinion that is not valid within one of the Four Schools of fiqh.

For more details, please see this answer.

With regards to everything other than meat, the default it that it is pure and halal until proven otherwise. That means that you can eat it or use it without reading the ingredients, or researching where the ingredients come from, unless you know that that kind of product is highly likely to contain haram ingredients.

That said, it would be more precautious, but not obligatory, to research more into certain food products, and to avoid certain foods when other foods that are more likely to be 100% halal are available.

This way of precautiousness (wara) should only be applied by yourself and your family, and you should not refuse other people’s food that is merely possible haram.

Unless you know that your host doesn’t care about eating non-dhabiha meat, or follows extremely minority opinions that are not valid within one of the Four Schools of fiqh, then you should eat their meat with asking questions.

I pray this helps.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed. 

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