Wednesday 11 Sha‘ban 1445 - 21 February 2024
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She is concealing her Islam from her family; can she eat their haram food so that they will not suspect anything?

Question

I am secretly Muslim. My mother cooked food in which she put some meat that is not halal, then she put some stuffed vegetables on top of it and cooked it. Currently I am telling my family that I do not like the taste of meat, so that I can avoid eating meat that is not halal. But in the case of this dish, it would seem to my family that there is nothing wrong with it, because the meat is on the bottom and the vegetables are on top, and they eat all the meat. Of course the non-halal meat is mixed with these vegetables, hence Islamically, as far as I know, it is not permissible to eat it. Now my mother has asked me more than once why I am not eating it, and I am afraid that she will begin to suspect something. She is the type that quickly notices things and is very suspicious. In the past, I tried as much as possible to avoid this, but sometimes I eat to ward off their suspicion, then I repent and pray for forgiveness. Now, when I try to be firm about not eating it, I am afraid that my mother has started to be suspicious. In this situation, can I eat a little of these stuffed vegetables, to ward off what I fear of my mother’s suspicion, in this case or in other cases?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

It is permissible to eat meat slaughtered by one of the people of the Book [Jews and Christians] so long as no name other than that of Allah (God) has been mentioned over it, but it is not permissible to eat meat slaughtered by an idolater or an atheist. And it is not permissible to eat pork, no matter who slaughtered it.

If what you mean by non-halal meat is that it is pork or something that has been slaughtered by someone who is not a Jew or a Christian, or it has been slaughtered by a Jew or a Christian who mentioned the name of someone other than Allah over the meat, then that is correct, and it comes under the same ruling as “dead meat” (meat that was not slaughtered in the prescribed manner).

Secondly:

It is not permissible for you to eat meat that is prohibited, unless you are forced to do that. Vegetables and other things that have been cooked with haram meat are also haram because they are impure as a result of being mixed with that which is impure.

If your family’s finding out about your being Muslim will result in severe harm, such as murder or imprisonment or severe trouble or pressure to give up your religion, then there is nothing wrong with you eating some of that haram food for fear of being found out, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful} [al-Baqarah 2:173].

It says in Nazariyyat ad-Darurah ash-Shar‘iyyah by Dr. Wahbah az-Zuhayli (p. 67): Necessity is when a person finds himself in a situation of danger, or extreme hardship, to the extent that he fears that harm or damage will result to life or limb, or to his honour or intellect or wealth and so on, in which case it becomes a must or becomes permissible to commit the haram action, or to refrain from doing an obligatory duty or delay it beyond its time, so to ward off harm that he thinks is most likely to befall him, within the limits stipulated by Islamic teachings. End quote.

We ask Allah to make things easy for you and guide your family.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A