Imam W. Deen Muhammad
QUESTION: Muslims should eat halal meat, but when they go to a restaurant or have been invited to homes of non-Muslims, are they permitted meat that is not halal?
IMAM: I think here, again, the question is very hard to answer with just a direct answer. Muslims are supposed to eat halal meats, but again, we have to understand that we live in a society and we have relatives and friends.
We are a very small minority in America and we can't isolate ourselves to the extent that we don't visit the homes of relatives and friends and don't eat with them — we can't do that.
So I think we have to understand that, and as much as possible, eat halal meats. But if we visit non-Muslim relatives or friends who are eating non-halal meats, I think we should weigh the damage that would be done to the friendship if we turn down that meat that wasn't halal, because they won't see the seriousness of it as we do.
In fact, many Muslims don't know the seriousness of it. We can't see how serious it is -- it has a symbolic application as well as a practical application or a direct application to the material knowledge. We should understand that breaking any rule that God has given us just kind of edges us on towards the cliff of leaving all the rules, all the disciplines.
So we should be very careful, and I think if we eat with them, we should ask Allah for forgiveness and pray to Him that He not let this permissiveness on our part or this taking liberties on our part lead us into disobedience.