Bison meat has been gaining popularity in recent years as a healthy and sustainable alternative to traditional beef. But for those who follow a halal diet, the question remains: are bison halal?
In this blog post, we will explore the guidelines for determining whether bison is halal and the factors that can affect its status.
Are Bison Halal?
Yes, bison is a halal animal because there is no basis for its prohibition. The only condition is that it should be slaughtered with all necessary requirements of Islamic slaughtering. As long as the bison is slaughtered according to the requirements of Dhabiha, bison-meat should be halal for Muslims.
Why is Bison Halal?
The basic principle with regard to land animals is that it is permissible to eat them unless there is evidence to show that it is prohibited.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The basic principle with regard to food is that it is permissible, except that for which there is evidence that it is prohibited. If we are uncertain about something, whether it is halaal or haraam, the basic principle is that it is permissible unless we find proof that it is prohibited.
The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“He it is Who created for you all that is on earth” [surah al-Baqarah 2:29]. That includes everything on earth, animals, plants, clothing and so on.
And Allah says:
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِّنْهُ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
Interpretation of the meaning:
“And He has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth – all from Him. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought.”Surah al-Jaathiyah :13
This verse shows that Allah SWT has subjected everything in the heavens and on earth that consists of the sun, moon and stars as well as everything on earth that includes the animals (for food and land transportation), plants and crops, ships and others for your benefit.
All of these blessings are a gift only from Allah and He granted these to you as His blessings and gifts. Hence, only to Him you should worship, and never associate anything with Him.
Indeed, with everything that He has subjected for you are signs and evidences that prove His Oneness for those who contemplate on the verses of Allah SWT (signs of His greatness) as well as arguments and supports, then they learn and take lessons from them. Tafsir al-Muyassar, pg. 499
- RECOMMENDED READING: Is Kangaroo Halal? Here’s What You Should Know
Based on that, the basic principle with regard to all animals is that they are permissible unless there is evidence to prove that they are prohibited.
It was narrated that there was consensus among the scholars that it is permissible to eat wild cattle.
It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (5/134): Every wild animal that does not have fangs with which it kills prey and is not vermin – animals such as gazelles, wild cattle, wild donkeys (onagers), and wild camels – are permissible according to the consensus of the Muslims, because they come under the heading of that which is good (al-tayyibaat). End quote.
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Mountains goats are halaal, and there is no difference of opinion concerning that. End quote from al-Majmoo‘, 9/9
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Wild cattle are all permissible, of all types, including wild goats, mountain goats, wild cattle and other types of game. They are all permissible, and there is scholarly consensus on all of that; we do not know of any difference of opinion concerning it.
So it is permissible to eat it because it comes under the heading of al-tayyibaat (that which is good, i.e., halaal), and it does not come under the category of fanged predators or vermin.
According to the above arguments and discussions, bison meat is halal to be eaten. The reason is it is similar to farm animals such as cows and is under the cow family. Thus, it is a type of wild cow that is permissible to be eaten as stated by scholars.
Furthermore, it is not an animal that has incisors to hunt others for its food but included as herbivores who eat only grass, shrubs and other plants.
Moreover, facts show that bison meat can be eaten as steak or grilled and cooked the same way as other red meat without fat.
Due to its rich nutrient content., it is beneficial for one’s health and muscle mass, when eaten in moderation and as a part of a healthy diet.
And Allah knows best.