Is it permissible to consume horse meat?
In light of the “horse meat” scandal which erupted in Europe not to long ago, I’m curious as to whether its permissible 2 consume horse meat? (Just curious)
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
Alhamdulillaahi was salaatu was salaamu `alaa Rasoolillaahi wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa man waalaahu, wa ba`d:
It is permissible to eat horse meat, though it is better not to do so.
Imaam Abu Haneefah Rahimahullaah had originally been of the view that it is not permissible to eat horse meat, as Imaam Al-Margheenaani Rahimahullaah mentions in Al-Hidaayah:
“It is (prohibitively) disliked to eat horse meat according to (Imaam) Abu Haneefah (Rahimahullaah).” [i]
He then mentions:
“According to Abu Yusuf, Muhammad and Ash-Shaafi`i Rahimahumullaah they say: “There is no harm in eating it (i.e. horse meat) because of the Hadeeth of (Hadhrat) Jaabir Radhiallaahu `Anhu who said: “Rasoolullaah Sallallaahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam prohibited the eating of the meat of domestic donkeys on the day of (the conquest of) khaybar, and he (Sallallaahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) gave permission to eat the meat of horses.”” [ii]
This Hadeeth is reported by Imaam Muslim Rahimahullaah in his Saheeh. [iii]
However Imaam Abu Haneefah Rahimahullaah retracted this view (of impermissibility) at the end of his life and followed the view of its permissibility, though he said that it is better not to eat it.
Imaam Al-Haskafi Rahimahullaah mentions in Ad-Durrul Mukhtaar:
“It was mentioned that (Imaam) Abu Haneefah (Rahimahullaah) retracted this view three days before he passed away, and the Fatwaa is upon that (i.e. its permissibility).” [iv]
Imaam Ibn `Aabideen Rahimahullaah narrates in Raddul Muhtaar the words of Imaam Abu As-Su`ood Rahimahullaah who said:
“There is no difference between the Imaam (Abu Haneefah Rahimahullaah) and his two companions (Imaam Abu Yusuf and Imaam Muhammad Rahimahumallaah), because though they said it is permissible but it is disliked (i.e. better not to do so).” [v]
So in summary, a person should try and avoid eating horses, but if he does eat it then it will be permissible.
And Allaah knows best.
Ubaidullah Ibn Adam Aal-Ebrahim.
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Rashid Ahmed Moosagie.
Thursday 24th Rabee` Al-Aakhir 1434 – 7th March 2013.
[i]ويكره لحم الفرس عند أبي حنيفة.– ذكره الإمام المرغيناني رحمه الله في كتابه الهداية.
[ii]وقال أبو يوسف ومحمد والشافعي رحمهم الله: لا بأس بأكله لحديث جابر رضي الله عنه أنه قال “نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن لحوم الحمر الأهلية، وأذن في لحوم الخيل يوم خيبر. – ذكره الإمام المرغيناني رحمه الله في كتابه الهداية.
[iii]عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ، «أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَهَى يَوْمَ خَيْبَرَ عَنْ لُحُومِ الْحُمُرِ الْأَهْلِيَّةِ، وَأَذِنَ فِي لُحُومِ الْخَيْلِ». –رواه الإمام مسلم رحمه الله في صحيحه.
[iv]وَقِيلَ إنَّ أَبَا حَنِيفَةَ رَجَعَ عَنْ حُرْمَتِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ بِثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ وَعَلَيْهِ الْفَتْوَى. – ذكره الإمام الحصكفي رحمه الله في كتابه الدر المختار.