Saturday 21 Sha‘ban 1445 - 2 March 2024
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Is It Prohibited to Throw Away Food?

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Publication : 24-07-2010

Views : 117278

Question

What is the ruling on pouring tea and coffee down the drain? If milk has gone off, is it permissible to throw it out with the trash?

Summary of answer

It is not permissible to throw leftover food and drink that can be used down the drain or to put them out with the trash. With regard to food that is not good or that has gone off, and drinks that cannot be used, such as leftover tea and coffee, there is nothing wrong with throwing them out with the trash or into drains.

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

It is not permissible to throw leftover food and drink that can be used down the drain or to put them out with the trash. 

In Fatawa al-Lajnah Ad-Da’imah (22/341) it says: “Leftover food must be saved for the next time or it should be given to the needy; if there are no needy people, then it should be given to animals, even after it has dried out, for the one who is able to do that.” 

Shaykh Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“With regard to bread, meat and other kinds of food, it is not permissible to throw them in the dumpster; rather they should be given to those who need them, or they should be put in a visible place where they will not be mistreated, in the hope that someone who needs them for his animals will take them, or they will be eaten by some animals or birds. 

It is not permissible to put leftovers in the trash or impure places or in the road, because that is mistreatment of them, and because putting them in the road is mistreating them and causes annoyance to those who use the road.” (Fatawa Islamiyyah, 3/633) 

Shaykh Salih Al-Fawzan (may Allah preserve him) said: “It is not permissible to throw any food into dirty places or impure places such as washrooms, because that is a waste, mistreatment of the blessing and a lack of gratitude to Allah. 

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) found a date in the road and said “Were it not that I am afraid that it came from the zakah, I would have eaten it.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih) And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) ordered the one who eats to lick his fingers before washing them or wiping them on a handkerchief, and he instructed that if a piece of food is dropped, it should be picked up and any dirt should be removed from it, and it should be eaten. 

This indicates that it is not permissible to throw any kind of food, dates or other eatables in dirty or impure places; rather the blessing should be respected and preserved, because that is part of gratitude for it, and because this blessing may come to one who needs it and will eat it, even animals. So throwing it in the garbage is not permissible.” 

With regard to food that is not good or that has gone off, and drinks that cannot be used, such as leftover tea and coffee, there is nothing wrong with throwing them out with the trash or into drains. 

Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymin (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on students throwing leftover food and drink in the trash? 

He replied: 

“As for that which cannot be eaten, such as the peels of oranges, apples and bananas and so on, there is nothing wrong with that because this has no value in and of itself. 

But with regard to things that may be eaten, such as leftover bread, condiments and the like, they should not be thrown in dirty places. If they must be thrown into the trash, then they should be placed in a separate bag, so that the cleaners will know that they are to be respected.” (Fatawa Nur `ala Ad-Darb, 6/205) 

For more details, please see the following answers: 145160 , 88124 , 102374 , and 11153 .

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A