I heard – before I came to China – that the animals that are slaughtered by atheists or rather are killed by them are not permissible for Muslims to eat. Here in the university we have a small restaurant for the Muslims, in which there is meat, but I am not sure whether it is slaughtered in the Islamic manner and I have my doubts about that. Please note that my classmates do not share my doubts and they eat it. Are they doing the right thing or are they eating haraam food?
Similarly with regard to the vessels used, no distinction is made between vessels for Muslims and other vessels. What should I do concerning that?.
It is not permissible to eat meat slaughtered by kaafirs, apart from the People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians, whether the kaafirs in question are Magians, idolaters, communists or any other kind of kaafirs. It is also not permissible to eat anything that has been mixed with their meat, such as soups, sauces, etc. Allaah has not permitted us to eat the food of the kuffaar apart from the food of the People of the Book, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halaal (lawful) foods, which Allaah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them”
“Their food” means the meat that they slaughter, as mentioned by Ibn ‘Abbaas and others.
With regard to fruits and the like, there is nothing wrong with eating them, because they are not included among the foods that are haraam. As for the food of the Muslims, it is permissible for them and for others, if they are true Muslims who worship none but Allaah and do not call upon anyone besides Him such as Prophets, awliya’ (“saints”), occupants of graves and others who are worshipped by the kuffaar.
With regard to vessels, the Muslims should have vessels separate from those of the kuffaar which the latter use for their food, wine, etc. If none are available then the Muslim cooks should wash the vessels that the kuffaar use and then put the Muslims’ food in them, because of the report narrated in al-Saheehayn from Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani (may Allaah be pleased with him), that he asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about eating from the vessels of the mushrikeen; the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him, “Do not eat from them unless you cannot find anything else, in which case wash them and eat from them.”
May Allaah send blessings upon Muhammad and upon his family and companions.