Eating food which is earned through haram means

Sep 4, 2010 | Halal and Haram


If one eats food which is earned through haram means but the food itself is properly slaughtered, will this affect a person and if so, how?

Answered by: Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf

Assalamu alaykum

In the name of Allah, most gracious most merciful.

It is related in the Sahih of Imam Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the messenger of Allah (upon him be peace) said:

“Allah the Almighty is pure and accepts only that which is pure. Allah has commanded the faithful to do that which he commanded the Messengers, and the Almighty has said:

“O ye Messengers ! Eat of the pure things and do right.”

And Allah the Almighty has said : “O ye who believe! Eat of the pure things wherewith We have provided you.”

Then he mentioned (the case of) a man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty and who spreads out his hands to the heavens [saying] :

“O Lord! O Lord! while his food is unlawful, his drink unlawful, his clothing unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully, so how can he be answered !?” (Muslim)

Another hadith narrated by him on the authority of Rafi? ibn Khadij radhiyallahu anhu states that:

The Prophet (upon him be peace) said the earnings from selling dogs is filthy, the earnings of a prostitute is filthy…. (Muslim).

Imam Bukhari relates on the authority of ‘Aisha radhiyallahu anha that:

Abu Bakr radhiyallahu anhu had a slave who would earn and Abu Bakr radhiyallhu anhu would receive a share of this earning. One day he came with something which Abu Bakr radhiyallahu ate from. The slave asked him if he had any idea as to where he had received this food from. He told him that he did not, so his slave informed him that during the days of ignorance, he had undertaken some soothsaying for a person without really knowing how to do it well. Hence, he had deceived him. (Later on) this person had met the slave and gave him this as payment. So this is what you have eaten from. Abu Bakr radhiyallahu anhu placed his finger in his mouth and vomited out everything that was in his stomach. (Bukhari)

From the above narrations, it is clearly understood that consuming food earned through unlawful means is also unlawful, just as food which is either haram in itself or that which contains some haram ingredients. The Companions were extremely cautious in this regard, since du’as are not accepted for the one consuming haram.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf