Al-Muwatta Hadith - 25.19

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Eating Carrion when Forced to, out of Necessity

Yahya related to me from Malik that the best of what he had heard about a man who is forced by necessity to eat carrion is that he ate it until he was full and then he took provision from it. If he found something which would enable him to dispense with it, he threw it away.

Malik when asked whether or not a man who had been forced by necessity to eat carrion, should eat it when he also found the fruit, crops or sheep of a people in that place, answered, "If he thinks that the owners of the fruit, crops, or sheep will believe his necessity so that he will not be deemed a thief and have his hand cut off, then I think that he should eat from whatever he finds that which will remove his hunger but he should not carry any of it away. I prefer that he does that than that he eat carrion. If he fears that he will not be believed, and will be deemed a thief for what he has taken, then I think that it is better for him to eat the carrion, and he has leeway to eat carrion in this respect. Even so, I fear that someone who is not forced by necessity to eat carrion might exceed the limits out of a desire to consume other peoples' property, crops or fruit."

Malik said, "That is the best of what I have heard."

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