I know that there have been so many questions (and answers) regarding halal meat and that the standard answer is that meat from animals that aren’t slaughtered observing Islamic rituals are haram. However I would like to know what a Muslim who is living in a country where halal meat isn’t available at all should do.
I’m Brazilian and the position adopted by most, if not all, Islamic centers in Brazil is that it is enough to say bismillah” to make the meat halal. The argument is that there is no halal meat available and that it’s haram to consume such meat only when a Muslim has the choice to eat halal meat and is careless about it. They also say that imposing more conditions would create much hardship for Muslims in Brazil. At least one of the persons who advocate such position considers himself a Hanafi.
Is this a valid opinion, even if a weak one, in the Hanafi School? If not, is there a more lenient opinion in another school that Brazilians could take in this case?
Consuming unlawful (haram) meat becomes permissible only when one’s life is threatened in that one fears death. As such, consuming Haram meat will remain unlawful even in countries where Halal meat is not easily available.
Allah Most High says:
He (Allah) has only forbidden upon you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name has been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, then he is guiltless. For Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful.” (Surah al-Baqarah, 173)
Therefore, it will not be sufficient to merely pronounce the name of Allah on the meat and then consume it; rather, all the necessary conditions for a valid slaughter must be fulfilled, even in countries such as Brazil.
If one is unable to obtain Halal meat, then one will have to do with fish, vegetables and other types of Halal food.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK