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Published: 24/08/2011 12:42:00 PM GMT
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Is horsemeat lawful for a Muslim to eat? Is it true that Imam Mâlik regarded it as prohibited? Is it prohibited in the Mâlikî school of thought? Is it prohibited in any other school of thought?

Answered by

Sheikh Khâlid al-Mushaykih, professor at al-Imâm University, al-Qasîm branch

The Mâlikî school of law is the only school from among the four canonical schools of law that prohibits horsemeat. Interestingly, in most issues, that Mâlikî school is generally the most liberal of the four schools of law in its approach to questions of dietary law.

For instance, the majority of scholars categorically prohibit the flesh of fanged predatory animals and taloned birds of prey. Mâlik b. Anas, on the other hand, regarded the flesh of such animals as permissible to eat.

However, it is worth saying that Mâlik’s opinion on this issue is a weak one, since it is related in Sahih Muslim that Ibn `Abbâs said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade eating the flesh of fanged predatory animals and birds of prey”.

In spite of this liberality, Mâlik regarded horsemeat as unlawful. This opinion of his is likewise a weak one.

The correct ruling is the one advanced by the majority of jurists that horsemeat is permissible to eat. The proof for this is the hadîth in Sahîh al-Bukhârî where `A’ishah relates: “We slaughtered a horse during the time of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and we ate it.”

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Today

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