Fatwa ID: 04246
Answered by: Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani
What is the ruling of saying Bismillah before consuming haram meat when one is compelled to eat it due to fear of losing their life out of starvation?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Allah تعالى says, “so whoever is forced (to consume that which is prohibited) by necessity, (and they eat) neither to fulfil one’s desires nor transgress the limits, then there is no sin upon him…” (Surah Baqarah: v. 173). Mufti Shafi Usmani رحمه الله states regarding the explanation of this verse: “Here, the eating of things forbidden even under a situation of compulsion (idtirar) has not been made lawful as such by the noble Qur'an, instead, the expression used is لا اثم عليه (there is no sin on him) which means that these things continue to be haram as they are, but the sin of using what is haram has been forgiven because the eater has done so under the compulsion of necessity.”
(M’aariful Quran: v. 1, p. 436 [Maktaba-e-Darul-’Uloom])
Furthermore, scholars explicitly mention that it is impermissible to recite bismillah upon haram food (Hashiyah Tahtawi: p. 6 [Qadeemi Kutub Khana]; Raddul Muhtar: v. 9, p. 490 [Maktaba Imdadia]; Fatawa Hindiya: v. 5, p. 416 [DKI]), thus it is prohibited to recite bismillah upon haram meat even if one is compelled to eat it due to fear of losing one’s life (out of extreme hunger).
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham