Muslims can eat from the food of people from earlier revelation unless their belief has been distorted to total atheism. If so, they are considered unbelievers and any meat they have prepared is unlawful to eat. 

Non-Muslims Whose Food is Permissible to Eat

Similar Questions 

· Followers of divine religions whose meat is permissible.
   · The distortion of the faiths of Jews and Christians. 

The Issue

How to define the people of earlier divine religions whose food, especially meat, is permissible to eat and whose women are permissible to marry? Does the fact they have deviated from the true Christian faith on many questions affect the ruling?


People are considered to be followers of earlier divine religions when they are Christians or Jews and affiliate themselves to such communities. This is not affected by the distortion that has crept into their faiths, unless such distortion is tantamount to total atheism. In this particular case they are no longer classified as belonging to earlier divine religions, but as idolaters and atheists, and any meat they have prepared for meals is unlawful to eat, This is the view of the late Shaikh Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen and of the General Secretary of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America. It is also stated in Fatawa al-Aqaliyyat al-Muslimah and endorsed by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa.[1]


The distortion of the beliefs of people of earlier revelations predates the time of the Prophet. God mentions many aspects of such distortion, such as the belief in the Trinity, the claim that He has a son, the deliberate distortion of His words, etc. Nevertheless He has permitted us to eat of their meat.

He says

Unbelievers indeed are those who say: “God is the Christ, son of Mary.” The Christ himself said: “Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord. Whoever associates partners with God, God shall forbid him entrance into Paradise and his abode will be the Fire. Wrongdoers will have no helpers.” Unbelievers indeed are those who say: “God is the third of a trinity.” Of certain, there is no god save the One God. Unless they desist from so saying, grievous suffering will surely befall those of them who are unbelievers

5: 72–73

Yet God says in the same surah

The food of those who were given revelations is lawful to you, and your food is lawful to them

5: 5

The Prophet is reported to have said

The animals slaughtered by Arab Christians are lawful to eat. If you hear the slaughterer mention the name of someone other than God, then refrain from eating it. If you hear nothing of the sort, then God has permitted eating it and He knows their disbelief

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith Nos 7 and 92

· Fatawa al-Aqaliyyat al-Muslimah by a group of scholars.
· Fatawa by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa.


  1. Fatawa al-Aqaliyyat al-Muslimah pp. 95 and 97; Fatawa by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa, vol. 22, pp. 391–5 and 404–7.