Is eating with a Hindu friend allowed in Islam
I reside in the US. Is it allowable for me to have meals with a Hindu friend?
There is no prohibition for Muslims against dining with non-Muslims, whatever faith they may be. All you need to ensure is that in doing so, you are not consuming anything haraam from an Islamic point of view. If the food is halaal, then I would believe that many a times, it would be desirable that you dine with your non-Muslim friends, for in the process, you’ll be able to demonstrate your Islamic manners, code of conduct, and at times, be allowed to explain your faith and religion to them. If you can influence them even in a little way, it shall carry great import, insha’Allah.
The question has probably been asked, based on the understanding that, in the Quran, the Almighty has allowed Muslims to dine with the People of the Book, and since Hindus fall outside that category, this possibility may be disallowed. I would like to bring to your notice that this is, in fact, a misunderstanding, owing itself to a Quranic verse, not properly understood.
“This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them.” (5:5)
This verse is not allowing or disallowing Muslims to have food with the People of the Book; rather, it is proclaiming that since Muslims have been trained about the kinds of food that are permissible to them, and the kinds that are not, they can dine with the Jews and the Christians. Of course, now, were any haraam food put before them at all, they’d recognise, and refrain. But given that the People of the Book in Medina, too slaughtered their animals by pronouncing the name of Allah, the meat prepared in their quarters would quality as halaal.
Since only the People of the Book invoked the name of the One Allah at the time of slaughter, consuming food with them was allowed. And with others, it was disallowed, owing to the impermissibility of the food prepared, and not owing to the difference of creed. For instance, even though Hindus may slaughter an animal while invoking the name of Allah, we know that they generally are polytheists (in many cases, they own polytheism to be their religion), and therefore, the meal prepared from the animal thus slaughtered would be haraam.
So if you can ensure that the food on the table is halaal (example: you may have prepared it yourself), most certainly, dine together with your Hindu friend. You just need to ensure that nothing haraam is being consumed – like pork, un-Islamically slaughtered animal, alcohol etc.
It needs to be repeated that even if an animal is slaughtered by a Hindu, while invoking Allah’s name, given his/her polytheistic tendencies/adherence, the meat will remain haraam for you. Make sure that the animal was either slaughtered by a fellow Muslim, a Jew or a Christian.