Fiqh class- Islamic Laws of Slaughtering and Hunting

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Weekly Fiqh classes on various important subjects are conducted by Mufti Kaleem. These are beneficial and practical summaries of the classes.


Islamic Laws of Slaughtering and Hunting

Three legal requirements

  1. Correct method of Slaughtering.
  2. Reciting Tasmiyah at the time of Slaughtering
  3. Legit slaughterer.

The method of Slaughtering

There are two types of Slaughtering:

(i) Voluntarily Slaughtering        (ii) Slaughtering forced by necessity (hunting)

The first type is for domesticated animals whereas the second is for wild animals or a domesticated animal which runs wild.

Method of Voluntarily Slaughtering

The four vessels should be cut i.e. trachea (air passage), oesophagus (food passage) and both jugular veins.[1] If however, one cuts three of the vessels it will suffice.

Place of Slaughtering

Madh’bah- The cutting point is where the throat meets the upper part of the chest.

Manhar- As for camels, the neck is pierced or stabbed then a horizontal cut is made. This is the Sunnah method of slaughtering the camel as it is the easiest and safest.

NB: As for “forced slaughtering”, it is sufficient to wound the animal with a sharp, piercing object which causes the blood to flow until it dies. It is not necessary to slaughter or pierce the four vessels mentioned above.

Tools used for slaughtering 

The tool used must be sharp so that it easily cuts and pierces the animal because of its sharpness and not its heaviness. It is not necessary that a knife be used, anything having a sharp edge whether it be made from steel, stone, bone etc. What is necessary is that the blood flows, so whatever tool causes the blood to flow with be allowed.

Types of Prohibited Slaughtering

وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ

[Prohibited for you are those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a predatory animal has eaten [killed]. (4:3)

  1. Munkhaniqa– An animal which was killed by strangling or suffocating, whether on purpose or accident. Similarly, if a dull object were to be used for slaughtering, the animal may die due to strangling or suffocation rather than due to the actual slaughtering.
  2. Mawqudha-An animal which has be beaten to death with an object, piece of wood etc. This rule will apply if a person (with the intent of killing) pelts a stone or any object at an animal thereby killing it. Similarly, if a person shoots a bird with a stone, marble. The reason being it that animal would die from the blow and not because of the piercing.
  3. Mutaraddiya-An animal which falls off an elevated place (mountain, cliff etc.) thereafter dies, whether naturally or while being chased by the hunter or predator. Similarly, if the animal was wounded by the hunter thereafter falls of the mountain and dies or falls into water and dies. The reason being is that, there is a possibility that the animal dies due to the fall or drowning and not from the wound.
  4. Natiha– An animal which dies from the butting of another.
  5. Ma Akala al-Sabu’– An animal which dies due the pounce or attack of a predator. The impermissibility of such animals is irrespective of whether the blood flows or not.

NB: The 5 aforementioned cases, if the hunter reaches the animal before it dies, thereafter he slaughters it (using the method of voluntary slaughtering), it will be Halal for consumption.

Tasmiyah at the time of Slaughtering

Say Bismillah at the time of Slaughtering, verbally by movements of the lips. Allah ﷻ mentions in the Quran: And do not eat that on which the name of Allah has not been mentioned [at the time of slaughtering].

  1. If a person omits the Tasmiyah forgetfully at the time of slaughtering, the animal will still be Halal. If however, a person intentionally omits the Tasmiyah then the animal is Haram for consumption.
  2. If a person hunts using guns, arrows etc. he must recite Tasmiyah before shooting or releasing the arrow. Similarly, if a person hunts using dogs, he must say Tasmiyah before sending/releasing the dogs.

Kalb Mu’allam– Only a trained dog may be used for hunting. A trained dog is a dog that hunts for its master and not itself. The sign of a dog being trained is his catching the prey three times without eating it.

  1. If a person sends his dog or shoots at a prey, thereafter upon reaching the prey, he finds it alive, he must slaughter it as mentioned above (i.e. voluntary slaughtering).
  2. If a hunter sends his dog thereafter upon reaching the prey finds another dog with his dog he should not eat from that prey. The reason being is that there is a possibility that the other dog killed the animal and not his. If the other dog however, was sent with Tasmiyah the animal will be permissible.
  3. If the hunter finds his dog eating from the prey then it will not be permissible as the dog killed for itself and not his master.
  4. In voluntary slaughtering Tasmiyah is done upon the animal, so much so that if a person recites Tasmiyah upon an animal thereafter slaughters another, such animal is unlawful (Haram)
  5. If a hunters sees a prey and recites Tasmiyah before sending his dog, thereafter his dog kills another animal, it will be lawful (Halal).


Legit Slaughterer

The Slaughterer must be;

  • Sane; thus if a person is mad, intoxicated, unconscious he is not allowed to slaughter. If he slaughters, the animal will be unlawful (haram).
  • Age of discretion (Mumayaz), thus it is not a condition for the person to be ritually mature.
  • Muslim or Kitabi (People of the Book), this includes Jews and Christians, male and female.

Thus if a non-Muslim other than a Jew or Christian slaughters, even though he mentions the name of Allah ﷻ the animal will be unlawful to consume (haram).



A Muslim is required to cut the respected vessels and recite Tasmiyah in order for the animal to be lawful (Halal). Are these requirements also applicable if the slaughterer were to be a Katabi (Jew or Christian)?


The slaughtering of a Kitabi will not be correct unless he adheres to the requirements of Islamic Slaughtering i.e. severing the necessary vessels and taking the name of GOD.

If a Kitabi mentions the name of GOD and intends thereof Jesus (peace be upon him) or the Holy Spirit the animal will still be lawful.

If a Kitabi mentions in the name of God who is one of three it will be unlawful.

  • If a Kitabi mentions the name of the Almighty together with the name of Jesus (peace be upon him) it will be unlawful.
  • Similarly, if a Muslim mentions the name of Allah ﷻ together with the name of Muhammad ﷺ the slaughtered animal will be unlawful.

Hafidh Ibn Kathir (ra) mentions; this ruling is unanimously agreed upon by the Scholars i.e. their slaughtered animals (of the Jews and Christians) are lawful (Halal) for Muslims because they (of the Jews and Christians) believe that slaughtering for other than Allah is prohibited and they do not mention any name except the name of Allah over the animals they slaughter- even though they have beliefs that are not befitting of Almighty Allah the Exalted. (Tafseer 2:19)


Is it permissible to eat the meat slaughtered by a Kitabi (Jew or Christian)?


If all the requirements are met then it is permissible to eat the slaughtered meat of a Kitabi. However, the following must be taken into consideration;

  • Firstly, the Kitabi must be a true Jew or Christian believing in the fundamental principles of the religion (despite the fact that their beliefs are corrupted). Many of them are Christians and Jews by name and registration but are in reality Atheists. Such are not real Jews and Christians and hence their slaughtered animals are Haram.
  • Secondly, if it is believed that the Kitabi does not adhere to the laws of slaughtering prescribed by the Shariah then it will be un-lawful (Haram).

N.B. Kosher certified consumables are not necessarily Halaal- Refer to-

In conclusion, it will be un-lawful to consume the slaughtered meat of the “People of the Book” unless one is certain that the method of Islamic slaughtering is adhered to.


البحث مستفاد من أحكام الذبائح لفضيلة الشيخ المفتي تقـي العثماني حفظه الله تعالى و رعاه

Ruling on Stunning

It is very clear that stunning is a cruelty to chickens. Nobody can deny that. We should endeavour to change the system. The stunned chickens are the creation of Allāh ﷻ and deserve our kindness in dealing with them. We will be held accountable in the court of Allāh ﷻ for oppressing these poor chickens. Supporting an oppressive system is party to the oppression.

The other issue is the Shari’a’s position of the chickens slaughtered through the stunning procedure. If the chicken is alive after being stunned and slaughtered, one cannot regard the slaughtered animal to be harām, in spite of the impermissible practice of stunning.

While we do condemn the practice of stunning, from a practical point of view, we are aware that many Muslims do consume such chickens. We should discourage people from supporting this oppressive system.  It is in that regard, we advise that the voltage of the stunner should be controlled. This should not be interpreted as our approval of such systems. It is mere damage control method from consuming harām.[2]

Ruling on Mechanical Slaughtering

As stated above, the necessary conditions for an Islamic slaughter are as follows:

  1. The slaughterer being Muslim.
  2. That Allah’s name is taken at the time of slaughter.
  3. That the throat, windpipe and jugular veins are cut.

If anyone of these conditions are not met, the slaughter will not be considered Islamic. Mechanical slaughtering does not meet the first two conditions as it is a condition that Tasmiyah be pronounced on each animal and the slaughterer be legit. In the case of mechanical slaughtering these two requirements are not met as the slaughterer is a machine and not a human. Thus it will be unlawful to consume animals mechanically slaughtered.


I’ve heard that it is not permissible to consume chickens that are plucked using boiling water as the impurities of the chickens penetrate into the meat. Is that correct?


If the chickens are placed into boiling water having extremely high temperatures to the extent that the water penetrates the flesh of the birds then it would not be permissible to consume because the impurities present in the water have penetrated the flesh. These impurities include the faeces of the birds, both internal (in the intestines) and external (attached to the body) and also the flowing blood (after slaughtering) that clots on the neck or comes in contact with the feathers of the bird.

However, when chickens are normally processed these impurities do not penetrate the flesh as the water in which it is dipped into is not extremely hot. Furthermore, the chicken is not left therein for a lengthy period of time that would result in such penetration.  Therefore it would be permissible to consume chickens that are Islamically Slaughtered and processed using the above method of plucking.

It must also be taken into consideration that; the water in which the birds are dipped into is Najis (impure) due to the presence of blood and feces. Consequently, whatever comes into contact with that impure water would also be regarded as Najis (impure). Therefore when the birds are plunged into that Najis water the outer parts of the birds (feathers, feet, head and skin) also becomes Najis (impure).These impurities must be removed by washing the chicken thoroughly using running water. Thereafter, it would be permissible to consume, this is because the impurities have not penetrated the flesh.


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Kaleem Muhammad

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom

Trinidad, West Indies. /

[1] Imam Abu Hanifa (ra) states that if one cuts into three of the four passageways, whichever three they may be, and leaves one uncut, the animal is lawful. Imam Abu Yusuf (ra) states that it is not lawful until one cuts into the trachea, oesophagus, and one of the two external jugular veins. And Imam Muhammad (ra) states that it is not lawful until one cuts into most of every one of the four passageways. {بدائع الصنائع 5:41)

[2] Excerpt from Mufti Ebrahim Desai Fatwa Darul Iftaa