taught by Yasir Qadhi
Section 2.2: Slaughtering: Conditions
The requirements for the dhabh, or slaugthering, are as follows:
The Intelligence of the one who slaughters or niyah: The person must understand what he is doing. If someone were to accidentally slice the throat of an animal, then it wouldn’t be halaal. All of the scholars, except for Shafi’ee, say that this is a prerequisite.
The scholars do not say that you must be baligh (reached puberty) or that you must be in a state of tahaarah. The scholars do not differentiate on gender either.
The religion of the one who slaughters: A Muslim, an “original Christian” or a Jew must have slaugthered the animal, by unanimous consensus.
The instrument used must meet the following conditions:
It should be sharp.
It cannot be made from animal’s teeth or claws. Yasir Qadhi believes that this point is often misunderstood. It does not mean that the instrument with which you are sacrificing cannot be made of teeth or claws. In the old days, they would take a chicken and have it clawed/ripped to death and allow it to bleed. Those sick practices have no place in our deen.
If the animal is slaughtered in any other way then it is haraam. That is, if it is electrocuted to death, etc. This raises an important issue: Federal law requires slaughterhouses to stun the animal before slaughtering. We’ll come back to this point later inshaAllah.
The vein that has to be cut: mammals have four primary passages: air passage, food passage, two jugular veins. By unanimous consensus: the perfect slaughter gets all four and leaves the spinal cord. By unanimous consensus, if you get the spinal cord as well, the animal is still halal, although it is makruh.
What is the bare minimum that is required for the slaughter? This varies by madhab.
- The tasmiya (saying bismillah): the different schools of thought all vary on whether or not saying bismillah is fardh or not. We went over all of the proofs as well, but I didn’t include them as there are a ton 😀
- Ibn AlQayyim, Ibn Taymiyyah and one opinion of the Hambalis: If you do not say bismillah, the meat is haraam
- Standard Hambali, Maliki and Hanafi: Saying bismillah is waajib. That is, it is obligatory, but if you forget to say it, there is no sin on you.
- Shafi’ee: Since the Shafi’ees do not consider slaughtering an act of worship, they say that saying bismillah is simply a Sunnah.
So, to quickly sum it up (and add a few fiqh issues not mentioned above):
- The person slaughtering must be a Muslim, a Jew or an original Christian.
- The state of the animal about to be cut must be alive. Most likely the chicken in the US is, but the beef is often times dead before it is cut, even though the FDA requires that it be alive.
- The three madhabs say that Allah’s name must be mentioned. Automatically, all of the meat in North America would be haraam – well, with the exception of kosher meat.
- Cleansliness of the animal is also important. If the animal was fed najas, then it would be makruh by the consensus of the scholars.
- Halal and dhabiHa are synonymous. The difference is only a cultural difference we have invented ourselves.
Also, the shaykh added this small list in the Q&A which I thought was very relevant:
The Etiquettes of Sacrificing/Dhabh
- Feed it.
- Give it water.
- Sharpen the blade, but AWAY from the animal!
- Leave the animal away from other animals. Do not slaughter in front of other animals.
- Lay it down on the ground (if it’s not a camel) and cause it’s neck to face the qiblah, and slaughter by saying, “Bismillah, Allahu Akbar.”
- Slaughtering it quickly.
Stay tuned for the next post – it’s very relevant to those of us living in the US – it has to do with alcohol and gelatin, etc 🙂 I was so happy to cover this in the class! That’s one of the things I was really happy about when I took the class – the content was so relevant to our daily lives and simplified things 🙂