Is Horse Meat Halal? What Quran And Hadith Say About It?

Reviewed by: Shakira Ahmed
Fact Checked by: Shahina Islam

Is Horse Meat Halal or  Haram?

Is Horse Meat Halal? Many people don’t know the answer to Is Horse Meat Halal? the debate as to whether horse meat halal has existed for centuries.

Different interpretations of Islamic law have led some Muslims to believe horse meat is halal while others consider horse meat haram (forbidden).

Is Horse Meat Halal? At its core, horse meat is a form of red meat and therefore should be treated like any other red meat such as beef or lamb when it comes to determining whether horse meat is halal. Many countries in Asia and Europe serve horse meat and horse meat products as cuisine at famous restaurants.

But in many countries eating horse meat is found rare only 8 countries around the world consider horse meat its delicacy.

The Quran does not explicitly state whether or not eating horse meat is prohibited therefore it is rather safe to say that horse meat is halal and is confirmed by many fatwas and hadiths explained in the post later on.

Is Horse Meat Halal In Islamic World?

Is Horse Meat Halal? In many countries, consuming horses for their meat is an established tradition and accepted practice. However, in certain parts of the world where Islam is prevalent, such as the Middle East, many Muslims consider eating horse meat haram.

It is important to understand both sides of this issue to make an informed decision about what is best for one’s religious beliefs.

Sahih al-Bukhari, the famous Persian Imam compiled the hadiths into Sahih al-Bukhari, explaining norms for Sunni Muslims. There he declared,

(Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah: On the day of Khaybar, Allah’s Messenger “SAW ” forbade the eating of donkey meat and allowed the eating of horse meat

Sahih al-Bukhari 4219

Can We Eat Horse Meat In Islam?

Islamic scholars claim that it is acceptable to consume horse meat in Islam. The majority of scholars believe that eating horse meat is halal, notwithstanding the opinion of others who oppose it. Therefore, if Muslims so want, they may consume horse flesh. 

According to Islamic experts, eating horse meat is permissible in Islam. Despite the views of some who disagree, the majority of scholars agree that eating horse flesh is permissible under Islamic law. Therefore, Muslims are permitted to eat horse flesh if they so choose. 

Different readings of Islamic law and the Quran are the cause of the divergent views on eating horse meat in Islam.

The Quranic passage is translated by some scholars as “And (He) created horses, mules, and donkeys for you to ride upon and use for display; and He created (other) things of which you are ignorant.” (Surah al-Nahl, V: 8) as only allowing their use for display and riding, and forbidding their ingestion. 

However, other scholars believed that while horses were halal, mules and donkeys were not. 

All You Need To Know Before Eating Horse Meat.

In the past, eating horse flesh was not considered to be sinful like eating pig because of its numerous significant uses.

Instead, it was considered makruh, which implies it should be avoided. There are two main views among Islamic scholars concerning whether or not eating horse meat can be considered halal.

Is Horse Meat Halal? The first view holds that it is permissible for Muslims to consume horse meat if it has been properly killed according to Islamic law and slaughtered by a certified Muslim slaughterer – known as dhabiha– and then cooked by Islamic dietary laws (halal).

The second view holds that horse meat can never be considered halal due to its association with idolatry in pre-Islamic Arabia.

Therefore, based on hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad), some scholars have argued that it should not be consumed by Muslims even if it has been slaughtered with proper dhabiha techniques. 

What Views Support Horse Meat As Halal?

Famous preachers have weighed in on this issue with various opinions on whether eating horse meat can be considered halal or haram.

Is Horse Meat Halal? Some famous preachers have argued against allowing any kind of consumption from horses stating that due to its association with idolatry, it cannot ever be considered halal regardless of how it was slaughtered.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) forbade the flesh of horses, mules, and donkeys

Sunan Ibn Emaia book 27 hadith 3319

Other preachers however have argued that since horses were domesticated after the advent of Islam they could potentially fit under the category of allowed foods if they were slaughtered properly according to dhabiha guidelines. 

We slaughtered a horse and ate it during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger “SAW ”

-Asma bint Abi Bakr

What Does Quran Say About Eating Horse Meat?

Is Horse Meat Halal?

The Quran does not explicitly forbid or allow consuming horsemeat. However, some verses indicate that horses should be respected and treated with kindness:

“Therein you shall have [that which leads to] joy—matching pairs [of horses], with white markings on their necks.”

(Surah Al-Fil 1:5)

Is Horse Meat Halal? Additionally, reports indicate that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) refrained from eating it despite being offered it by his host during travels.

These facts might suggest why some Muslim preachers believe that eating horsemeat is not recommended even though it would be technically permissible under specific circumstances. 

Furthermore, Abu Hanifah and his two companions are often found to quote Quran this quote to prove his claim of calling out horse meat as makrooh.

“And (He has created) horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride and as an adornment.”

[al-Nahl 16:8]

They said: He did not mention eating them, but He mentioned eating an’am animals (camels, cattle, etc) in a previous verse (verse 5). 

Is Horse Meat Halal? The late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz maintained that eating horse meat was haram (forbidden) without exception since there was no evidence to suggest otherwise in Islamic primary sources such as the Quran and Hadith.

He also argued that consuming horse meat could lead to moral corruption as it encourages immorality and misbehavior in society. Similarly, Imam Shafi’i, one of the four major imams of Sunni Islam also declared eating horse meat as haram.

Nonetheless, some Muslim scholars have allowed for its consumption if the animal is slaughtered according to Islamic laws (dhabiha) or a person who is spending time in a non-Muslim country finds themselves unable to procure other types of food due to its unavailability. 

Read Also

Is Zebra Halal Or Haram? Complete Information

What Hadith Explains Eating Horse Meat Is Sunnah?


There are several hadiths addressing the issue of whether or not Muslims can eat horsemeat but most agree that it should only be consumed when needed due to food shortages, not out of desire or pleasure. A hadith from Ibn Majah narrates

“We were traveling with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). We saw a red beast with two humps like two mountains; we said: ‘O Allah’s Messenger! What animal is this?’

He replied:

‘It is a female camel.’ We said: ‘It has two humps!’ He said: ‘It will give birth twice.’
Then he asked us: ‘Shall I tell you something about riding beasts?’ We replied: ‘Yes’. He said: ‘If any of you rides an animal he must say at its neck whenever he mounts it:’ Bismillāh – In the Name Of Allah.”

The hadith further states that if anyone eats any riding beast such as a horse then they must also pronounce Bismillah before doing so too because these animals are considered sacred in Islam just like camels and cows. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is Elephant Meat Halal?

Yes. No, eating elephant meat is not halal according to Islamic law. The Quran states that animals with fangs are forbidden and elephant tusks are considered fangs under Islamic law.

Q2. Is Donkey Meat Halal?

Yes. No, eating donkey meat is not halal according to Islamic law. Donkeys are considered sacred in Islam and therefore their meat should not be consumed.

Q3. Is Horse Meat Halal In Sunni Islam?

Yes. The consumption of horse meat can only be allowed under specific circumstances such as if the horse was slaughtered according to dhabiha guidelines.


Is Horse Meat Halal? So, Is Horse meat halal according to you? We hope that reading this blog post was illuminating for you in terms of what is halal and what isn’t.

If you still have any queries, leave the doubt in the comment section so we can revert with a new teachable article sooner.

Also, Check:

Is Donkey Halal Or Haram? A Complete Information

Is Alligator Meat Halal Or Haram? Complete Information In 2023
Hafeez Aamir

Hafeez is a Muslim who is dedicated to the rules and regulations of his religion. He spends much of his time exploring halal and haram sites, in order to better understand the distinctions between the two....

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