If we are given a non-halal food or an article of clothing that we are not able to wear, is it permissible to re-gift this item to someone who will eat/wear it?

If a gifted item is strictly haram, then it is not permissible to re-gift this item to another individual (i.e. alcohol and pork).(1) It’s also not appropriate to be used, benefited from, sold or donated and should be disposed of.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The One Who forbade drinking it also forbade selling it.” Then he opened the vessels and poured out their contents. Sunan an-Nasa’i 4664

However, if the gifted item is not fundamentally haram such as revealing clothing then that item may be re-gifted. A Muslim woman may wear revealing clothing at home next to her husband with no question of the clothing itself being haram. We are not responsible for where the person we re-gifted the clothing to will choose to wear it. 

If there is a difference of opinion among the madhahib on the permissibility of a food item, for example a food is not permissible in the Hanafi madhhab but permissible in the Shafi’i madhhab, then a Hanafi may gift this food to someone who views the food as permissible to eat. The indicator to follow here is whether or not the food is fundamentally halal for a Muslim.

What is the ruling on exchanging gifts on non-Islamic holidays? 

It is not permissible for Muslims to participate in celebrations based in the religion of non-Muslims or to partake in gift exchanges during the holiday as it would seem accepting and approving of the manifestations and symbols of their faith.

Ibn ’Umar (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “He who imitates any people (in their actions) is considered to be one of them.” Related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Hibban graded it as Sahih.

One should avoid accepting gifts from non-Muslims specifically related to these  celebrations. However, if denying the gift will cause problems in a mutual relationship, then the gift may be taken. It is also not appropriate to use the holiday as an excuse to give gifts. In essence, it is permissible to exchange gifts with non-Muslims during different times that do not coincide with these religious holidays.

Is it permissible to eat at a non-Muslim’s home?

We can answer this question by referring to the 5th verse of Surah Al-Ma’idah(2). According to this verse, animals slaughtered or hunted by the People of the Book and the food they cook are halal for Muslims, and the food of Muslims are also halal for them in return. However, if they add anything haram, such as pork or wine, to their meals, it is no longer halal for Muslims to consume.

Also the below hadith narrates that the Prophet (ﷺ) ate meat offered to him by a Jewish woman.

Al-Bukhari (2617) and Muslim (2190) narrated from Anas that a Jewish woman came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) with some poisoned mutton. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) ate from it, then he asked her about that. She said, “I wanted to kill you.” He said, “Allah would not let you do that.” They said, “Shall we kill her?” He said, “No.” He said, I can still see the effect of that on the palate of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). Al-Nawawi said: It is as if the poison still left some trace of blackness etc. The name of this woman was Zaynab bint al-Haarith, the wife of Salaam ibn Mashkam, one of the leaders of the Jews.

Since animals slaughtered by people who are not of the Book should not be eaten, one should be cautious of the meat they offer to eat. But anything else they offer other than meat can be eaten provided that it is not haram for Muslims.

Should we ask whether or not the food served at a Muslims home is halal or not?

If the question is from the perspective of whether or not the person’s income is halal, the criterion is as follows: If it is not certain whether the person’s income is haram or if a portion of their income is halal, it is permissible to eat the food of such people. However, one should avoid accepting the invitation or gift of a person who openly commits major sins and shows no remorse such as someone whose income mostly comes from haram sources such as interest or bribery.

If the question is from the perspective of whether or not there may be things in the food that are not halal for Muslims, we do not ask. If the food is offered by someone whom we have not witnessed consuming haram or disregarding whether or not it is halal, we eat it assuming it is halal. However, if we know someone is not sensitive about consuming alcohol or pork, we should question when we are offered the food.

September 2023

REFERENCE from The Glorious Qur’an – Server Publishing

1. Refer to Surah Al-Ma’idah (5:3) : Forbidden to you (for food) are carrion and blood and swine flesh, and that which has been dedicated to any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, by a headlong fall, and the dead killed by (the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, saving that which you make lawful (by slaughtering decently before they die), and that which has been sacrificed to idols. And (forbidden) also is settling matters with gambling-arrows. That is an abomination. This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, and fear Me! This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed my favor upon you, and chosen for you as religion al-Islam. Whose is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin: (for him) Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (All the world’s religions, recognizing man’s inability to work out the truth for himself, establish certain guidelines to show him what is lawful and what is not. These laws serve the individual as well as society. Islam, by its dietary regulations, which, although simpler, in many ways reflect those given by Allah to ancient Israel, seeks to protect the individual from the spiritual dirt which proceeds from consuming animals which are themselves dirty. All scavenging animals, therefore (as opposed to grazing ones), are forbidden. Similarly, animals slain in accordance with non-monotheistic principles, are seen as unjustly killed, and hence cannot be consumed. In these regulations, too, we find a hint of asceticism and renunciation reminiscent of the Islamic rules of fast. To renounce the world with the soul, and hence to address oneself to God, one does not have to renounce everything in the world, but only some things, as a symbol and reminder.)  


Surah Al-An’am (6:145) : Say: “If find not in that which is revealed to me anything (of meat) prohibited to an eater that he eat thereof, except it be carrion, or blood poured forth, or swine flesh, for that assuredly is foul, or the abomination which was immolated to the name of other than Allah. But whose is compelled (thereto), neither craving nor transgressing, (for him) surely your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.  

2.Surah Al-Ma’idah (5:5) : This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when you give them their marriage portions and live with them in honor, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whose denies the faith, his work is vain, and in the Hereafter, he will be among the losers. (Muslim can eat and will be blessed in all foods which are both inherently wholesome and permitted in the Sacred Law. The verse indicates too, that the food slaughtered by Jews and Christians, despite the distorted and abrogated status of their scripture is permissible, if it is slaughtered correctly (the flesh of the pig is an exception: it was never authorized as a food in either Judaism or Christianity, despite later interference. Muslim men are likewise permitted to marry believing Jewish and Christian women. Muslim women however cannot marry non-Muslim men. For while Muslims recognize the prophets of the other faiths, Jews and Christians do not acknowledge Muhammad. Hence a woman should not be set under a man who utterly rejects her religion and does not share her love of all the Prophets.)