I have a question regarding the permissible food we muslims can eat in the Quran. I was watching videos analyzing the Quran in subjects we can relate today in 2021. One of the videos was about Kosher, seafood, and other foods stated in the Quran. He was saying that in the Quran, Surah 5 Ayah 5, "The food from the people of the book, has made lawful for you." Then he specifically said that the people of the book included Jews and Christians. Is this really true that the food made from the Jews and the Christians is lawful or permissible to eat? Also he stated that if you eat the food from the people of the book while saying Bismillah, the food is lawful. I am really confused and need advice.

This verse has been discussed in great depth by our scholars. We have hadiths that clarify what is meant by “food” in this verse. The hadith states it’s the grains (such wheat, barley, beans and so on). These are lawful for us. As for the meat, it must be slaughtered halal in order for us to eat it. Most scholars don’t accept Kosher meat as halal meat.

Now one may ask: if “food” in the verse means grains, not meat, then why did the Qur’an need to mention that? Isn’t obvious that we can eat grains from the People of the Book? The answer is: no it wasn’t obvious. Many Muslims thought they couldn’t do business with Christians/Jews and buy grains from them, or sell grains to them. The Qur’an clarified that it is permissible.