PARTS OF THE MEAT THAT ARE FORBIDDEN
QUESTION: Which parts of the zabiha [slaughtered animal] should not be eaten?
ANSWER: Replying the same question, Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Rehmatullah Alaihi says, 'All the parts of a Halal animal are Halal except a few ones which are either Haram or prohibited or Makruh. They include veins blood, gall bladder, bladder, the private organs of the male and the female animals, testicles, glands, tendons that stretch from the neck to the shoulders, liver-blood, spleen-blood, meat-blood emanating from meat after the slaughter, heart-blood, bile, nasal fluid, anus, tripe [stomach], intestines, sperm, the sperm turned into blood, the sperm turned into a piece of flesh and the one turned into a complete animal and was born dead or born alive but died before the slaughter. (Fatawa-e-Razavia, v-20, p-240,241)
Knowledgeable butchers usually separate some forbidden parts of the animal but even they are unaware of some other forbidden parts or they do not take care. Therefore, I identify some of the forbidden parts of the animal that are usually cooked with the meal because of lack of knowledge.
The blood that oozes out at the time of zibah [slaughtering] is called “Dam-e-Masfuh.” This blood is impure just like urine, and it is Haram [Strictly Forbidden] to consume it. Though the blood that remains after slaughtering in some organs like the neck, heart, spleen, liver, small veins in the meat, is not impure; however, it is still Haram [Strictly Forbidden] to consume it. Therefore one should thoroughly clean these organs before adding them to the food. There are very small veins in the meat, which contain blood. It is extremely difficult to identify them. These small veins turn black after the meat is cooked. If you identify these black strands while eating, remove them. Do not cook the whole heart of a chicken. Cut it open first, and clean the blood inside.
Spinal Cord is a white thread like strand which extends from the base of the brain through the length of the backbone [spine.] Experienced butchers take out the spinal cord. However, some spinal cord still remains due to their laziness and is cooked with our food. Therefore, separate the spinal cord when washing and preparing the meat for cooking. The spinal cord is also found in birds and chicken and is extremely difficult to remove as it is very thin; therefore, remove it before you eat.
Tendons are two bands of yellow fibrous tissue, on both sides of the neck, which serve to connect the shoulder muscles to the neck. It is Haram [Strictly Forbidden] to consume this tendon tissue. You can easily spot these tendons on large animals but it is difficult to find them on small animals like the chicken. Remove them when you are eating. If you do not know, then ask someone who does.
Around the neck, throat, and also in fat, you can find these reddish lymph glands [also called lymph nodes], which in Arabic are called “Ghaddah.” It is Haram [Strictly Forbidden] to consume them. Remove them before cooking and if you spot them in cooked meat remove them then.
Testicles are called “Khusyah”, “Fautah”, “Baydah”. It is Haram [Strictly Forbidden] to consume them. You can easily see the testicles on male animals, like goat and cattle. In chicken they are located behind the intestine, and are small minute egg-like structures, remove them [while cleaning the meat.] Tragically, “Kata kat” is a commonly sold cuisine in restaurants which is made with the livers and hearts. It also contains goat and cattle testicles. This is prepared on a large iron griddles, and I guess the reason why it is called “Kata kat” is because it is prepared right before the customer using some utensils that make a sound of “kat”, “kat” when it hits against the iron griddle.
Tripes contain rubbish. It is Haram [Strictly Forbidden] to consume the guts and tripe [stomach] of the animal. Tragically several Muslims relish it.
DON’T ADD A WHOLE KIDNEY TO THE FOOD
QUESTION: What is the Islamic ruling regarding the blood that comes out of the animal when it is being slaughtered? Is it permissible to place the whole kidneys in the food, when preparing it?
ANSWER: One should take extreme caution when cooking meat. The blood that comes out, when the animal is slaughtered is impure and is Haram [strictly forbidden] to eat it. Therefore, wash the meat thoroughly so that all the blood is drained. Do not put whole kidneys into the food; cut them open, wash them and then add them.
QUESTION: Is it permissible to eat the spleen and the kidney?
ANSWER: Yes it is permissible; however, the Noble Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam did not like to consume these organs. Hear these two Prophetic Narrations [hadis]:
1. The Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam disliked the consumption of the kidney as it was closer to the area of urine. (Kanz-ul-’Ummal, pp. 41, vol. 7, Hadis. 18212)
2. The Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam detested the consumption of the spleen, but he did not declare it Haram [strictly forbidden.] (Ithaf-us-Sadat-il-Muttaqin, pp. 243, vol. 8)
QUESTION: So, should we refrain from the consumption of Kidney and Spleen?
ANSWER: The true love and devotion would certainly demand you not to eat them, but do not pick on those who consume it as it is Halal [permissible.] It has been narrated on the authority of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar RadiAllahu Anhu that the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam has stated, “Two dead animals and two bloods have been made Halal for us. The two dead are fish and locusts and the two bloods are the spleen and the liver.” (Musnad Imam Ahmad, pp. 415, vol. 2, Hadis. 5727)
PRESERVE RAW MEAT FOR SEVERAL DAYS
QUESTION: Is there a way to preserve raw meat so that it remains edible for longer periods of time?
ANSWER: If you put raw meat, in large containers in the freezer, it is likely that the meat will not freeze properly as the central part of the meat may remain unfrozen. Therefore, one should place a layer of ice at the bottom of the container, top that with a layer of meat and then another layer of ice, then another layer of meat and put it into the freezer. In this way, all parts of the meat will properly freeze and thus the meat will, Insha-Allah azwajal!, last longer.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO IF THE BIRYANI ROTS?
QUESTION: What are the signs of food spoiling?
ANSWER: Rotting cases a sour [foul] smell to emanate. One can also see froth develop in foods that have gravy. If sour smell begins to emanate from Biryani or Pulao or Qormah, then take the pieces of meat from it wash it and re-use it as the softer ingredients in a cuisine begin to rot first, (provided that the meat has not gone bad). Do not purposely throw away the meat if it has not gone bad.
IT IS HARAM TO EAT ROTTEN MEAT
QUESTIONS: What shall we do if the meat rots?
ANSWER: Throw it away. It is stated in “Al-Ashbah wan-Nazair” that, “The food that rots (to the extent that it would harm the consumer) is impure and it is Haram [Strictly Forbidden] to consume it. Similarly it is Haram [Strictly Forbidden] to consume rotten Milk, Oil and Clarified Butter. (Al-Ashbah wan-Nazair, pp. 418, vol. 1)
HOW TO TENDERIZE HARD MEAT
QUESTION: How should we tenderize meat of an old animal?
ANSWER: If one mixes in papaya fruit with hard meat from an older animal it will cook faster. Raw papaya fruit is also used with spices in barbeque. Those who enjoy the Nihari [Indo-Pak dish] at hotels are usually served meat from old camels or cows or buffaloes that have stopped giving milk or retired farm buffaloes. This is all magic of the papaya fruit that the hard meat becomes soft. Sugar, peppermints, and betel-nuts are also used for cooking meat. Letting it cook on the stove also softens the meat.
When you cook stew or Pulaoo [rice Pilaf] put in small pieces of chicken or meat so that the meat gets cooked all the way to the inside. In instances when the meat is put in larges pots or pans the meat becomes cooked because of the heat.
My Madani suggestion is that one should also put some squash for barakah [blessing] in the stews [as squash was dearly liked by the Noble Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam Another benefit of putting vegetables in the meat is that they get rid of the negative effects of the meat.
THE MEAT THAT DOES NOT COOK
QUESTION: What to do with the meat that does not tenderize at all?
ANSWER: There is no solution for it. My Master, ‘Ala-Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Rehmatullah Alaihi said, “The meat of the ‘Khuntha (animal which has both male and female parts, it urinates from both places, and there is no sign that would conclusively make it a male or a female) does not cook in any way. If one were to zabh [slaughter] it according to the Sharia’ and eat the uncooked meat, that is Halal. However, its’ sacrifice [qurbani] is not jaaiz [permissible]. (Fatawa RaZawiyyah (Jad id), pp. 255, vol. 20)
SIGNS OF GOOD MEAT
QUESTIONS: What are the Signs of Good Meat?
ANSWER: Meat of an old animal is red whereas that of a younger animal is brownish and usually has less fat. Brownish meat is better. It is beneficial to buy the last of the meat because the meat vendors try to sell the fat and bones quickly and the meat remaining in the end tends to have more meat86! It is quite the opposite when it comes to vegetables and fruits because the fresh ones sell quickly and the rotten and old ones remain. Seeing this, the saying is very true…’Buy the fruits and vegetables in the beginning and the meats in the end.’
CAN WE EAT BONES OR NOT?
QUESTION: Can we eat the bones of animals which have been slaughtered?
ANSWER: Yes. ‘Ala-Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Rehmatullah Alaihi has stated: “The bones of Halal animals are not prohibited in any way, unless there is harm in consuming them (Fatawa RaZawiyyah (Jad id), pp. 340, vol. 20).”
The white bones which are elastic like plastic are often soft and tasty. Similarly, the rib bones and the white pair of bones near the flat bones of the hands are also soft. The windpipe which is above the lungs should be pierced and cleaned along the length.
The bones of the breast area, which are white, can also be eaten after they are cooked. There is also a black bone with it, which is crisp and tasty as well.
Nearly all the young animal’s black bone is crisp. Chew it well and spit out the dry portions. One also chew these broken bones which cannot be eaten. So, as long as one is enjoying the taste, take benefit from the blessings of Allah azwajal and place the remainders on the dining mat.
QUESTION: We haven’t seen the black bone on uncooked meat before!
ANSWER: It is the reddish bone which becomes black when cooked. In fact, when blood is cooked, it becomes black as well.