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If I purchased a non-Halal consumable, will it not be sufficient to say ‘Bismillah’ before eating it in order to render it Halal due to the following hadith? ; Aisha RA narrated, “A group of people said to the Prophet PBUH, “Some people bring us meat and we do not know whether they mentioned Allah’s name or not upon it (i.e. when slaughtering it)?” So he PBUH replied, “Mention Allah’s name on it and eat.” The people who were being referred to had embraced Islam recently,” (Al-Bukhari)
The answer is NO. This hadith, unfortunately, is one of the most misused and misunderstood hadith by the general public. Therefore it is extremely important to be acquainted with the correct implications of this hadith, and in general any hadith, before jumping to any conclusions. In the afore mentioned hadith, the people who approached the Prophet PBUH were inquiring about the meat they were receiving from a tribe which had newly embraced Islam, whether the requisites of Dhabihah, the most important of them being the recital of Bismillah at the time of slaughter had been fulfilled.
The reason they posed this question was that they were uncertain whether these new – muslims were aware of this ruling or not. Therefore in the light of this uncertainty what were they to do with this meat, consume it or throw it away? Their questioning was not in regards to how to make non Dhabihah meat halal. The Prophet PBUH answered their question in the most eloquent style by reminding them of their responsibility which was to recite bismillah before eating and then partake of the meal. Indirectly the Prophet PBUH had told them that this concern should not arise when the meat is being provided by a good Muslim. When a consumable is provided by a good muslim there should stand no doubt that the consumable is shariah compliant and Islamically edible. The answer of the Prophet PBUH by no way means that by saying bismillah on non-dhabihah items, the item will be rendered Halal. May Allah give us all the correct understanding. Ameen!