Q1) What is the ruling on a meat processing company which changes the production date of meat from previous production date to current production date, citing that if this is not done then the company will face huge loss and may shut down. The distributors who buy the meat know this, that the meat is fit for consumption but the is quality deteriorated, but the people who are end buyers from the distributors of the meat don’t know this. What is your advise to those who own this business, they are muslims.
Q2) What is the ruling on working as an accountant or security guard (not being directly involved in changing the production dates of the product) in such a meat production company?
Q3) The government obligates some rules on the production plant, but by following them the business becomes difficult so the plant submits false records to the government. Also, when there is an audit by buyers false medical records of employees are made and shown, painting of machinery is done just before the arrival of foreign visiting auditor to show them that the production is being done as expected and many changes are made in production methods at the time of the audit which are not normally done, thus it becomes like a show. What is the ruling on this way and what is your advise to those who are involved in this?
Q4) What is your advice to Muslims running such businesses or working in such production companies?
There is no shadow of a doubt that these acts and dealings which this company has embarked upon are unlawful and haram.
- Causing possible harm to others (i.e the consumers of the out of date meat).
The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) came across a man selling a tray of food, He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) placed his hand and found that the bottom of the tray was wet (rotten), the man said, rain had reached it. The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said to him: “Why did you not place it on the top of the tray for the people to see (what they are purchasing)?!! Whoever cheats us is not from us.”
Reported by Muslim on the Authority of Abu Hurayrah raḍiyAllāhu ʿanhu
Although the distributor has been made aware, but the consumer who is the one going to eat this meat is unaware!! And he is most likely going to feed his family and children this meat! So who is liable for any poisonous effects which may occur to these consumers?!
Our advice is that they fear Allaah!
Do they not know that Allaah is All Aware of what they are doing although they hide it from the people?
Do they not know that they shall stand before Allaah on a great day?
We remind them that their provision is written, it shall never increase nor decrease and none shall die unless he completes his provision, so they are to fear Allaah and seek their provisions in a lawful manner.
As for the security guard, upon him is to act upon the hadeeth of our Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)
“Whoever sees an evil, let him change it with his hand, if not able then with his tongue, if not able then he forbids and detests to that evil from in his heart.”
Reported by Muslim.
If he cannot change this evil then its not permissible for him to cooperate with them upon this evil. Its upon him to inform the authorities because the selling of out of date meat is very hazardous to one’s health.
Answered by: Abū Hārūn Muḥammad ʿAbdin-Nūr