AND SHARI'A RULES FOR SLAUGHTERING THEM
Quote - The Council of the Islamic Fiqh Academy, holding its Tenth session
in Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), from 23 to 25 Safar 1418H (28 June to
3 July 1997);
Having taken cognizance of the research papers prepared and relating to
"Sacrificial animals and Shari'a rules Slaughtering them" and Having
listened to discussions held around this topic, with the participation
of Fiqh Scholars, physicians and nutrition specialists;
Recalling that animal slaughtering is one of the issues subject to Shari'a
rules confirmed by the Holy Book and the Tradition (Sunnah) of the Prophet
(PBUH);observing these rules is part and parcel of the respect towards
Islamic tenets and signs distinguishing a Muslim from a non-Muslim.
Recalling also the saying of the Prophet (PBUH) : "He who does his prayer
as we do ; who turns his face as we do towards the Qibla, who eats the meat
of the animal we have slaughtered, that one is a Muslim and enjoys the
protection of God and His Prophet".
DECIDES THE FOLLOWING:
First: The lawful killing of an animal is carried out according to one
of the following methods:
1. Cutting the throat of the animal (Dhabh) : it consists in cutting
the esophagus, the two jugular veins and the pharynx of the animal. This is
the method preferred by Shari'a for killing cattle, sheep, goats and
poultry. It is also permitted for other animals.
2. Slaughtering (Nahr) : it consists in plunging a knife in the base
of the neck. This is the method preferred by Shari'a for killing camels and
similar animals. This method is also tolerated for the killing of cattle.
3. Immolation (Aqr) : it consists in wounding an animal when there is
no other choice, at any part of the body. This method is applied for wild
animals hunting of which is lawful (Halal), or ferocious domestic animals.
If the animal is captured alive, it should be slaughtered or have its
Second: Lawful killing of an animal is subject to the following conditions:
1.The person performing the killing must be of age and enjoying full mental
faculties ; he must be a Muslim or belonging to a religion of the book(Jews
or Christians). The meat of an animal killed by pagans. atheists,
non-believers, Mazdeans, renegades, or any other infidels, at the exception
of the People of the Book, is prohibited for consumption.
2.The killing must be performed with a sharp cutting instrument, either
made of iron or other metal, able to make the blood spurt. Teeth (ivory) or
fingernails cannot be used.
3.It is prohibited to eat the meat of animals killed by suffocation, or
knocked out with a blunt object (stone, stick, etc.), or killed after a
deadly fall from an elevated spot or in a ravine or after receiving a blow
from the horn of another animal, or the remains of an animal devoured by
wild animals or birds of prey not trained for hunting. Nevertheless, if the
animal is captured alive, then slaughtered, it is lawful(Halal) to eat it.
4.The person performing the killing must invoke the Name of God at the
beginning of the operation. The use of a recorded "Takbir" cannot replace
the act of "Takbir" (invocation of the Name of God). But if the person
performing the killing forgets to invoke the Name of God, the meat of the
killed animal id still lawful (Halal) for consumption, according to Shari'a.
Third:The killing of an animal should be performed with a decent behavior,
as required by Shari'a, like being merciful and gentle towards the animal,
before, during and after the killing.
The sharpening of the instrument should not be performed in front of the
animal. An animal should not be slaughtered in front of another animal. It
is forbidden to kill an animal with a non-sharpened instrument. The animal
to slaughter should not be tortured. No part of its body should be cut off
and it should not be skinned, or thrown into boiling water, or plucked,
before one makes sure it is completely dead.
Fourth:The animal to be slaughtered must be free from any contagious
disease that would alter the consistency of its flesh and be harmful to the
consumer's health. This sanitary requirement is imperative concerning the
meat sold on the market place or imported.
1.The lawful slaughtering must, in principle, be carried out without
knocking out the animal, since the Islamic method, by its requirements and
rules, is the best because it is more merciful towards the animal and
shortens its suffering. Therefore, it is requested from the concerned
authorities to develop the means and tools to be used in slaughtering large
animals, so as to fully comply with these requirements.
2.While complying with the provisions of here above paragraph 1, it is
permitted to eat the meat of an animal slaughtered in a lawful way, after
it is knocked out, when it is technically certified that the animal did not
die from this operation before it is slaughtered. This procedure is defined
as follows by experts :
a)Application of two electrodes on the temples or the forehead or the nape
of the animal.
b)The voltage must be between 100 and 400 volts.
c)The electric power must be between 0,75 to 1 ampere for sheep and between
2 and 2,5 amperes for cattle.
d)The electrical shock must last 3 to 6 seconds.
e)It is prohibited to knock the animal out with a needle gun, an axe, a
hammer or by inflating the animal as in the English method.
f)It is prohibited to knock out poultry by electric shock, experience
having demonstrated that in this method many animals die before they are
g)It is allowed to eat the meat of an animal slaughtered after knocking it
out with the use of a mixture of carbon dioxide and air or oxygen, by using
a round-headed pistol that would not provoke the death of the animal before
it is slaughtered.
Sixth:Muslims living in Islamic countries must try, through legal ways, to
obtain permission to slaughter animals according to the Islamic method,
without knock out.
Seventh:Muslims travelling abroad or living in a non-Islamic country are
allowed to consume the meat of lawful animals slaughtered by People of the
Book, after making sure it is free from any forbidden ingredient. This meat
is however prohibited if it is proven that the animal has been killed using
a prohibited method.
Eighth:In principle, the killing of poultry or other animals must be done
manually; however, it is permitted to use mechanic instruments for
slaughtering poultry, if conditions stipulated in Paragraph "SECONDLY" are
met. It is permitted to invoke the Name of God once before the slaughtering
of several animals, provided that there is no interruption in the process.
If the operation is interrupted, the invocation must be repeated.
1.If meat are imported from countries where the majority of the population
is from the People of the Book and where animals are killed in modern
slaughterhouses, following one of the lawful methods and abiding by the
conditions set by Shari'a in this regard in Paragraph "Second", Their
consumption is lawful, in compliance with the Divine Worlds: " The food of
the People of the Book is lawful to You "(Surat The Table Spread /
2.Meat imported from countries where the majority of the population does
not belong to the People of the Book are forbidden, since there is a strong
suspicion that the slaughtering of the animals has been carried out by an
unauthorized person in regard of Shari'a.
3.Consumption of meat imported from countries defined in Paragraph 2 here
above is permitted if the slaughtering process is supervised by an
authorized Islamic institution and if the person carrying out the operation
is a Muslim or from the People of the Book.
THE COUNCIL RECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING:
1.Governments of Islamic countries are hereby invited to approach the
authorities of non-Muslim countries where Muslims live, so as to offer the
Muslim community the possibility to slaughter animals using method
acceptable to Shari'a without knocking them out.
2.To eliminate all problems arising from the importation of meat from
non-Muslim countries, it is necessary to implement the following measures:
a)To develop livestock in Islamic countries in order to achieve
self-sufficiency in this field.
b)To limit, as much as possible, the import of meat to Islamic countries.
c)To import live animals and slaughter them according to the Islamic
method, so as to make sure that conditions set by Shari'a are observed.
d)To request the Organization of the Islamic Conference to set up a unique
Islamic Body in order to improve the control operations of imported meat,
and thus by creating an institution entrusted with the task of setting
detailed rules specifying Shari'a conditions for slaughtering and to carry
out directly on the spot the control and supervision of this task, with the
assistance of experts in Shari'a and technicians. A distinctive trademark
registered and protected internationally by law would validate meat
certified by this body.
e)Endeavor in view of making of the institution mentioned in paragraph (d)
the only authority entrusted with carrying out this mission of control and
calling upon the Islamic countries to recognize only this authority.
f)Pending the implementation of the recommendation contained in paragraph
(d) above, it is requested from meat importers and exporters to commit to
fully respect lawful conditions for the slaughtering of any animal intended
for the consumption in Islamic countries, in order to spare Muslims from
committing prohibited acts (Haram) by resorting to easy solutions and
importing meat without making sure form the outset that the animal has been
slaughtered in a proper way.
Verily Allah is All Knowing Unquote
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