Is it a sin to eat halal meat without realizing it?

edited December 1969 in Non-Orthodox Inquiries
Since my new apartment here in Albuquerque is infested with cockroaches at the moment (through no fault of my own; it was like that before I got here), I have been trying out a lot of local restaurants. The other day I ate a Middle Eastern restaurant a few miles away that is clearly run by Christians (I think they were Lebanse; they sounded Lebanese). The server wore a large cross NOT tucked inside of his shirt ( :o  :)), and they even placed a small wooden cross and Holy Bible on a stand atop the display case that faces the door, so that these are the first things you see when you come in! Maybe that's a bit showy, but I like the idea of supporting a business run by proud Middle Eastern Christians.

Today since my foot is hurting me I decided to look for a place closer to my apartment. The place I wanted to eat at is having live jazz music night, and I'm just not up to it, so I tried the Middle Eastern place next to them (no more M.E. food for a while after today...), which was pretty good. After I finished my meal, I was drinking a glass of water when a young Muslim guy and his wife or girlfriend came in. They decided what they wanted in Arabic, and then the lady sat down and the man stayed at the counter and ordered in English. He asked the cashier if the meat was halal, because his lady friend wanted to know. The cashier said yes, all the meat is halal.

I had a meat dish. I'm not going to lose my dinner over it, but I'm not happy. This place did not advertise halal meat (as some of the local butcher shops do), so I hadn't thought to ask. Anyway, did I somehow do wrong by eating here, particularly when there is a Christian alternative where, presumably, the animals who gave their lives for the food were not slaughtered in the name of a false god?


  • + Irini nem ehmot,

    I personally don't think it's something you should trouble yourself over. I have lived in Egypt and Saudi Arabia for a significant amount of time, and the reality is, almost all the meat I ate was halal. Despite the fact that food may be halal or not is not important. As the psalmist says, 'The earth is the Lord's and everything in it.' Additionally, St. Paul teaches us

    [quote=1 Corinthians 8: 1-9]1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

    Do not trouble yourself brother. If it bothers you, at least now you know and you can avoid the place.
  • Thank you, Cephas. I was thinking about that verse earlier, but I wasn't sure if maybe there could be something more applicable to a situation like this, where there is meat offered to idols (~ halal meat) but also non-idol meat. Obviously, if you are in Egypt or Saudi or any place where the majority are Muslims, it would be unreasonable to expect to not eat any halal meat.

    In the end I don't think this is a major issue. I was just curious. It's worth to go the extra mile or two (when I can manage it) to eat at the Christian place instead. Thank God I have the option.
  • + Irini nem ehmot,

    Well it is great that you do have the option of a Christian owned restaurant. I'm like you, if I have the option, I'd go to the Christian one as well.
  • Dear dzheremi,
    Here is a similar thread...,9784.0.html
    Oujai qen `P[C
  • if u make friends with the people who work in the restaurants, u might then get a chance to share yr faith.
    far more valuable than worrying what meat you eat.
    and if you are with a Christian who worries about the type of meat, go veggie (so not to worry his conscience, as in 1 corinthians 10).
    a lot of the time u will have to be veggie anyway (fasting!)

    where i live, the turkish and middle eastern kebab shops have awesome vegan food. in fact i am moving soon to a much more rural area, and one of my first questions will be 'where is the kebab shop?'
    i hope there is one...
  • i was also i middle east and in turkey, they really have an awesome vegan food.  i persolanally like milk and milk products a lot, but don't like meat too much. except fish and chicken. pork chops, lamb chops, beef etc..i don't like too much. i am eating it from time to time, but i am not so much "fan" of meat..
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