A muhrim is forbidden to partake of any land game prepared for his sake, at his suggestion or with his help. Abu Qatadah reported that Allah’ s Messenger (peace be upon him) went for Hajj and they also went with him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) dispatched a group, including Abu Qatadah, and told them: “Follow the seashore until we meet again.” All of them except Abu Qatadah were in the state of ihram. On the way, they saw a herd of zebras. Abu Qatadah attacked them and killed a female zebra. They all ate of its meat but said: “Is it permissible for us to partake of this land game in the state of ihram?” Then they carried the rest of the meat to the Prophet (peace be upon him), and told him the whole story. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to them: “Did any one of you ask Abu Qatadah to attack the herd, or point it out to him?” They said: “No.” He said, “Then, you may eat what is left of the quarry.” This is reported by Bukhari and Muslim.
A muhrim may eat the meat of a game which is neither killed by him, nor for him, nor pointed out by him to someone else, and in the hunting of which he did not help others.
Al-Muttalib reported from Jabir that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The (eating of) land game is lawful for you in the state of ihram provided you yourselves do not kill it but it is killed for you (by someone else).” This is reported by Ahmad and Tirmizhi, who said: “Jabir’s hadith is explanatory, but we do not know the narrator who reported it from Jabir to Al-Muttalib.”
Some of the schol;lrs follow this principle and consider that eating meat of land game is lawful for a muhrim if he does not hunt it, nor is it hunted for his sake. Ahmad, lshaq, Malik and the majority of scholars hold a similar view. Ash-Shafi’i said: “This is the best and the most correct hadith reported on this issue.”
The eating of a land game hunted by a muhrim or for a muhrim is unlawful for him, whether it is done with or without his permission. But, if someone else who is not in the state of ihram, hunted it for himself, and offered or sold some of it to a muhrim, he is permitted to partake of it.
Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Uthman At-Taimi reported: “We went for Hajj with Talhah bin Obaidullah. While we were in the state of ihram, some meat of birds was given to Talhah. He was asleep. Some of us ate of this meat, while others refrained. When Talhah woke up (and was told about this) he approved of those who had eaten it and said: “We used to eat such meat while we were with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him). (Reported by Muslim and Ahmad) Other ahadith forbid a muhrim eating the meat of a land game, such as the one reported from As-Sa’ab bin Jathamah al-Laithee which says: “Someone presented meat of a zebra to the Prophet (peace be upon him), while he was in the area known as Al-Abwa or Bawaddan. The Prophet (peace be upon him) declined it, but when he saw marks of disquiet on the presenter’s face, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him: “We declined (your) present only because we are in the state of ihram.”
Considering the assumption behind declining the meat – that it was hunted for the sake of those who were in the state of ihram – these ahadith can be reconciled. The people who were not in the state of ihram meant to hunt for those who were in the state of ihram. Ibn Abdul Barr said: “The argument of those holding this view is that it is supported by sound ahadith on this subject. When taken in this sense we find no contradiction or disagreement in these ahadith. All Sunan should be interpreted in this manner. They do not contradict or disagree with each other when applied in their proper contexts. Ibn Al Qayyim prefers this opinion, and says: “All the traditions of the Companions approve of this course.”