Are machine slaughtered chickens Halaal?

Question:

Assalmualikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,  sheik .is it permissible  to eat mechanically  slaughtered  chicken that is halaal. Example  like sausages etc. Because there is a brand called greatfood , and they have a variety  of sausage etc and they are putting halaal  on it. And when reading the pack itself , it is written  mechanically  slaughtered.

And supermarkets that are run by muslim people ,they are having these types of products. I don’t understand why they are selling products  that have gelatin as well as mechanically  slaughtered  products. They are having the muslims confused on what to eat or not to eat. And it’s obvious  to a muslim who shops there , because it runs by muslims so obviously  everything is halaal. But sadly that’s not the case. Jazakallah khair sheik.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Consuming Halal is an order of Allah and an essential part of the Islamic faith. Allah has repeatedly emphasised the consumption of Halal in The Quraan. The following are some examples of such verses:

يَا أَيُّهَا الرُّسُلُ كُلُوا مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحًا ۖ إِنِّي بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ

1.“O Messengers, eat from the pure foods and work righteousness” (Holy Quran 23:51)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

2.“O you who have believed, eat from the pure things which we have provided you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship” (Holy Quran 2:172)

By being careless about the dietary laws of Islam a believer puts himself in sin and difficulties both in this world and the world hereafter. In this world, due to consuming Haraam, he deprives himself from having any of his good deeds and Duas accepted by his Creator while in the hereafter he suffers the greatest loss ever imaginable i.e. refusal from being admitted to Paradise. All this is confirmed in the following Ahadith:

1.   Abu Hurairah (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah () said, “O people! Allah is Pure and,  therefore, accepts only that which is pure. Allah has commanded the believers as He has commanded  His Messengers by saying: ‘O Messengers! Eat of the good things, and do good deeds.’ (23:51) And He  said: ‘O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allah)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided  you…”‘ (2:172). Then He () made a mention of the person who travels for a long period of time,  his hair is disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky and thus makes the  supplication: ‘My Rubb! My Rubb!’ But his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful, how can, then his supplication be accepted?” (Muslim)

2.     S’ad RA relates: Allah’s messenger said “O S’ad purify your food (and as a result) you will become one who’s supplications are accepted. I swear by He in whose hands the soul of Muhammad lies, verily a servant (of Allah) tosses a Haram morsel in his stomach (due to which) no deed is accepted from him for 40 days” (Tabarani)

Machine slaughtered chickens are not halal. It is not permissible to purchase, sell and consume such chickens. Selling any haram product, to muslims or non-muslims is impermissible.

The issues of concern from a shar’i perspective are:

1.  The passage of chickens through electrified water to stun prior to slaughter

2.   The cutting of throats with a rotating blade / knife

3.  The obligation of mentioning Allah’s name

4.  The passage of chickens through hot water after slaughter/

These issues of machine slaughtering of chickens has been discussed in detail by Mufti Taqi Usmani Saheb in his detailed treatise:

https://attahawi.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/mufti-taqi-uthmani-legal-rulings-on-slaughtered-animals.pdf

You may also refer to a research carried out by Muhtaram Mufti Faraz ibn Adam Al-Mahmudi: http://darulfiqh.com/a-research-on-mechanical-slaughter/

The summary is as follows;

The question and answer reflect multiple issues of concern with the conventional mechanical slaughter procedure.  Even if one angle is modified and customised to Sharī’ah standards, others are left requiring urgent attention.  Therefore, as a whole, the mechanical slaughter process is not permissible unless the following issues are reviewed and adjusted to meet Sharī’ah standards:
1)     The throat is cut correctly with the necessary veins cut each time.
2)     The animal dies as a result of the vessels being cut and not as a result from a strike from the back.
3)     Each and every animal is singled out with the tasmiyah.
4)     The tasmiyah is administered by the slaughterer himself and not played on a tape or written somewhere.
5)     The slaughter follows the tasmiyah without the intervention of a long pause.
6)     The issue of whether the functioning of the machine can be attributed to the human or not is a critical point of consideration.  Whilst some scholars affirm that the functioning of the machine can be attributed to the human slaughterer, others disagree.  This leads us to the issue of difference of opinion among the Muftis.
Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Desai Sahib’s personal opinion is that machine slaughter is not permissible in the current setup.  His view is that manual slaughter can be very efficient and the production can meet the current global demand if organised and configured accurately.  Many slaughterhouses in South Africa and other parts of the world are proofs that manual hand slaughter can be very efficient if structured properly.  This view is also endorsed by Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib Daamat Barakatuhum

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Arshad Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net