Slaughetering and Hunting of Animals
2592. If an animal, whose meat is lawful to eat, is slaughtered in the manner which will be told later (whether it be a wild animal or a domestic one) its meat becomes lawful and its body becomes pure after it has breathed its last. However, if a man has sexual intercourse with an animal or a sheep sucks the milk of a sow or an animal has habituated itself to eating impurities and its confining (Istibra’ ) has not been performed in accordance with the rules prescribed by law (See: Article 226), it is not lawful to eat the meat of such an animal after its being slaughtered.
2593.If a wild animal like deer, partridge and wild goat whose meat is lawful to eat, and an animal whose meat is lawful to eat, and which was a domestic one and became wild later (e.g. a cow or a camel which runs away and becomes wild) is hunted in accordance with the orders which will be narrated later, it is pure and lawful to eat. However, a domestic animal like sheep and fowl whose meat is lawful to eat and a wild animal whose meat is lawful to eat and which is domesticated by means of training does not become pure and lawful by hunting.
2594. A wild animal whose meat is lawful to eat becomes pure and lawful by hunting in case it can run away or fly away. Hence, the young one of a deer which cannot run, and the young one of a partridge which cannot fly, do not become pure and lawful to eat by hunting. And if a deer and its young one which cannot run are hunted with one arrow the deer is lawful but its young one is unlawful.
2595. If an animal like fish whose meat is lawful to eat, and whose blood does not gush, dies a natural death, it is pure but its meat cannot be eaten.
2596. The dead body of an animal whose meat is unlawful to eat and whose blood does not gush (e.g. snake) is pure, but does not become lawful by slaughtering.
2597. Dogs and pigs do not become pure by slaughtering and hunting and it is also unlawful to eat their meat. And it a flesh eating animal like wolf and leopard is slaughtered in the manner which will be told later, or is hunted by means of arrow etc. it is pure, but its meat does not become lawful to eat, and if it is hunted with a hunting dog, it is difficult to say that its body becomes pure.
2598. If elephant, bear, monkey, rat and animals like lizard which live underground have gushing blood and die a natural death, they are impure. In case, however, they are slaughtered are hunted with weapons they are pure.
2594. If a dead young comes out of the body of a living animal or is brought out of it, it is unlawful to eat its meat.
2600. The method of slaughtering an animal is that the four main arteries of its neck should be completely cut (viz. jugular artery, esophagus canal, jugular vein and trachea). It is not sufficient only to incise these arteries. The well known opinion is that, they should be cut from below the knot of the throat of the animal. It is not sufficient to cut them from outside only.
2601. If a person cuts some of the four arteries and waits till the animal dies and then cuts the remaining arteries it is of no use. In case, however, the four arteries are cut before the animal dies, the animal is pure and lawful to eat though they are not cut consecutively as usual. However, the recommended pre caution is that they should be cut consecutively.
2602. If a wolf tears the throat of a sheep in such a way that nothing remains out of the four arteries in its neck which should be cut while it is slaughtered, the sheep becomes unlawful. However, if it tears a portion of its neck and the four arteries remain intact, or it tears some other part of the body, and in case the sheep is still alive and is slaughtered in the manner, which will be stated later, it is lawful and pure.
2603. There are certain conditions for the proper slaughtering of an animal. They are as follows:
(i) A person, whether a man or a woman, who slaughters an animal must be a Muslim. An animal can also be slaughtered by 'Muslim child who is mature enough to distinguish between good and bad, but not by an infidel, or by a person belonging to any of those sects (e.g. Khawarij, Ghulat or Nawasib), which are regarded to be infidels.
(ii) The animal should be slaughtered with the iron weapon. However, if a thing made of iron is not available and it is necessary to slaughter the animal immediately, for instance it is about to die, or there is some other reason, it can be slaughtered with any sharp thing (e.g. glass or stone), which can cut off its four arteries.
(iii) When an animal is slaughtered, its face, hands, feet and belly should be facing Qibla. However, when a person knows that, while he is slaughtering the animal it should be facing Qibla but intentionally does not make it lie in that posture, the slaughtered animal will be unlawful. However, there is no harm in the animal not facing Qibla, if the slaughterer forgets to turn its face towards Qibla or does not know the rule, or is mistaken about the direction of Qibla, or does not know towards which side Qibla is, or it is not possible for him to turn the face of the animal towards Qibla. And the recommended precaution is that the person slaughtering the animal should also be facing Qibla.
(iv) When a person wants to slaughter an animal or puts the knife on its neck for that purpose, he should utter the Name of Allah, and it suffices if he says Bismillah.only. In case, however, he utters the Name of Allah without the intention of slaughtering the animal, the slaughtered animal does not become pure and it is also unlawful to eat its meat. However, there is no harm in one's not uttering the Name of Allah, if one forgets to do so.
(v) The animal should move after being slaughtered and it suffices if it moves its eyes or tail or strikes its foot on the ground. This order applies only when it is doubtful whether or not the animal was alive at the time of being slaughtered. It is also obligatory that the blood news from the body of the animal in such quantity as it usually does.
(vi) On the basis of obligatory precaution the head of the animal (except in the case of birds) should not be severed from its body before its death. And it is difficult to say that this act (viz. severing the head) should in itself be correct even in the case of birds, but no harm is caused if the head of a bird is severed owing to negligence or on account of the knife being too sharp, and the bird so slaughtered is lawful. And, on the basis of precaution, the white cord which starts from the vertebrae and goes up to the tail of an animal, and is called the spinal cord, should not be cut intentionally.
(vii) The animal should be slaughtered from its proper place of slaughtering; it is not permissible, on the basis of obligatory precaution, that neck be cut from its back side.
2604. If we want to slaughter a camel, so that it may become pure and lawful, after it has breathed its last, it is necessary for the person slaughtering it to comply with the above mentioned conditions, thrust into the depth between its neck and chest, the knife or some other sharp thing made of iron.
2605. It is better to thrust a knife in the neck of the camel when it is standing. However, there is no harm in thrusting a knife into the depth of its neck when it kneels down, or lies on one side, and its arms, feet and chest face Qibla.
2606. If a camel's head is cut instead of thrusting a knife into the depth of its neck, and the knife is thrust in the depth of the neck of a sheep or a cow etc. as is done in the case of a camel it is unlawful to eat their meat and their body is impure. How ever, if the four arteries of the camel are cut and a knife is thrust into the depth of its neck in the manner stated above while it is still alive it is lawful to eat its meat and its body is pure. Moreover, if a knife is thrust into the depth of the neck of a cow, sheep etc. and then its head is cut while it is still alive, it is pure and its meat is lawful to eat.
2607. If an animal becomes unruly and it cannot be slaughtered in the manner prescribed by law or, for example, it falls down into a well and the probability is that it will die there and it is not possible to slaughter it according to law, and a wound is inflicted on any part of its body and consequently it is killed, it becomes pure and lawful to eat. It is not necessary that it should be facing Qibla at that time but it should fulfil other conditions mentioned above regarding slaughtering of animals.
2608. The following things are recommended at the time of slaughtering the animals: (i) While slaughtering a sheep (or a goat) both of its hands and one foot should be tied and the other foot should be left fee. As regards a cow, its two hands and two feet should be tied and the tail should be left free. As regards a camel in how it is sitting, its two hands should be tied with each other from below up to its knees, or below its armpits, and its feet should be left free. And it is recommended that a bird should be left free after being slaughtered so that it may flap its plumage. (ii) Water should be placed before an animal before slaughtering it. (iii) An animal should be slaughtered in such a way that it should suffer the least (i.e. it should be swiftly slaughtered with a sharp knife).
2609. The following acts are abominable regarding the slaughtering of animals: (i) To slaughter an animal at a place where another animal can see it. (ii) To remove the hide of an animal before it has breathed its last. (iii) To slaughter an animal on Friday night (i.e. the night preceding Friday), or on Friday before noon. However, there is no harm in doing so in the case of necessity. (iv) To slaughter an animal which some one has bred and brought up himself.
2610. If a wild animal, whose meat is lawful, is hunted with a weapon and it dies, it becomes lawful and its body becomes pure, if the following five conditions are fulfilled:
(i) The weapon used for hunting should be able to cut like a knife or a sword, or should be sharp like a spear or an arrow, so that, on account of its sharpness, it may tear the body of the animal. In case, therefore, an animal is hunted with a net or a piece of wood or a stone, it does not become pure, and it is unlawful to eat its meat. And if an animal is hunted with a gun and its bullet is so fast that it pierces into the body of the animal and tears it up, the animal will be pure and lawful, but if the bullet is not fast enough and enters the body of the animal with pressure and kills the animal or bums its body with its heat, and the animal dies on account of burning, it would be difficult to say that the animal is pure or lawful.
(ii) The hunter should be a Muslim or a Muslim child who can distinguish between good and bad. If an unbeliever, or one, who is regarded to be an unbeliever (like one of Ghulat, Nawasib. or Khawarij) hunts an animal, the animal is not lawful.
(iii) The hunter should use the weapon for hunting. In case, therefore, a person takes an aim at some place but kills an animal accidentally, that animal will not be pure and it will be unlawful to eat its meat.
(iv) While using the weapon the hunter should recite the Name of Allah. In case, therefore, he does not recite Allah's Name intentionally the animal does not become lawful. There is, however, no harm if he fails to do so on account of forgetfulness.
(v) The animal will be unlawful if the hunter approaches it when it is dead or, even if it is alive, there is no time left to slaughter it or even if there is enough time to slaughter it, he does not slaughter it until it dies.
2611. If two persons hunt an animal and one of them is a Muslim but the other is an unbeliever or one of them utters the Name of Allah whereas the other does not utter the Name of Allah intentionally, that animal is not lawful.
2612. If an animal is shot with an arrow and, for example, it falls into water and a person knows that the animal has died on account of having been shot with an arrow, and falling into water, it is not lawful Rather, if he does not know that the animal has died only on account of having been shot with an arrow, it is not lawful.
2613. If a person hunts an animal by means of a usurped dog or a usurped weapon the hunted animal is lawful and becomes his property. However, besides the fact that he has committed a sin he should pay the hiring charges for the weapon or dog to its owner.
2614. If a person cuts an animal into two parts with a sword or something else with which hunting is permissible, fulfilling the conditions mentioned in Article 2610, and its head and neck remain in one part and the hunter reaches the animal when it is dead both the parts are lawful. And the same order applies if the animal is alive at that time but there is not enough time to slaughter it. However, if there is time for slaughtering it and it is possible that the animal may live for some time, the part which does not contain head and neck is unlawful, and as regards the part which contains head and neck, it is lawful if the animal is slaughtered according to the rules prescribed by law, but otherwise that part, too, is unlawful.
2615. If an animal is cut into two parts with a stick or a stone, or something else, with which it is not correct to hunt, the part which does not contain the head and the neck is unlawful. As regards the part which contains the head and the neck, in case the animal is alive and it is possible that it may live for some time and it is slaughtered in accordance with the rules prescribed by law, that part is lawful, otherwise that part, too, is unlawful.
2616. If an animal is hunted or slaughtered and its young one, which is alive, is taken out of its body that young one will be lawful if it is slaughtered in accordance with the prescribed method, but failing that, it will be unlawful.
2617. If an animal is hunted or slaughtered and its young one which is dead comes out of its body it will be pure and lawful, if it is fully developed and hair or fleece have grown on its body.
2618. If a retriever hunts a wild animal the meat of which is lawful to eat, the following six conditions should be fulfilled for its being pure and lawful:
(i) The dog should be trained in such a way that as and when it is sent to catch the prey it should go, and when it is restrained from going, it should stop. Moreover, its habit should be such that so long as its master does not reach the spot, it should not eat out of the prey. However, if it is its habit to drink the blood of the prey, or if it eats out of the prey by chance there is no harm in it.
(ii) It should be directed by its master. In case, if it hunts of its own accord and preys upon an animal, it is unlawful to eat the meat of that animal. Rather, if it goes for hunting of its own accord and later its master calls it out so that it should reach the prey quickly and even though it may become more quick on hearing its master's cry, eating the meat of that prey should be avoided on the basis of obligatory precaution.
(iii) The person who sends the dog, should be a Muslim or a Muslim child, who can distinguish between good and evil, and if an infidel, or one, who is as bad as an infidel (e.g. a Ghulat, a Kharriji or a Nasib i.e. one who betrays enmity with the progeny of the Holy Prophet)sends a dog, the prey of that dog is unlawful.
(iv) The man should utter the Name of Allah while sending the dog. In case, therefore, he does not utter the Name of Allah the prey is unlawful. But if he forgets to utter the Name of Allah there is no harm in it (i.e. the meat of the prey will be lawful if all the necessary conditions are fulfilled).
(v) The prey should die on account of the wound, which it sustains, and which is due to the biting of the dog. Hence, if the dog suffocates the prey to death or the prey dies on account of running or fear, it is not lawful.
(vi) If the person who sends the dog reaches the spot when the animal is dead, or if it is alive, there is not enough time to slaughter it, and in case he reaches there when there is enough time to slaughter it, but he does not slaughter it WI it dies, the prey is not lawful.
2619. When a person who sends the dog reaches the spot when he can slaughter the animal, and if for example, the animal dies on account of the delay in taking out the knife or because of some other similar act, the animal is lawful. However, if he does not have anything with which he may slaughter the animal, and it dies, it does not become lawful, but in this event it becomes lawful if he makes the dog kill the animal.
2620. If a person sends a few dogs, and they hunt an animal together, and if all of them satisfy the conditions mentioned in Article 2618, the prey is lawful, but if any one of them does not fulfill those conditions, the prey is unlawful.
2621. If a person sends a dog for hunting an animal and that dog hunts another animal the prey is lawful and pure, and if it hunts another animal along with that animal (which it was sent to hunt) both of them are lawful and pure.
2622. If some persons send a dog jointly and one of them is an infidel or does not utter the Name of Allah intentionally that prey is unlawful. Furthermore, if one of the dogs which have been sent is not trained in the manner mentioned in Article 2618 the prey is unlawful.
2623. If an animal besides a hawk and a hunting dog, hunts an animal, the prey is not lawful. However, if a person reaches the spot when the animal is alive and slaughters it in the manner prescribed by law, it is lawful.
2624. If a fish, bearing scales, is caught alive from water and it dies thereafter, it is pure, and it is lawful to eat it, but if it dies in the water it is pure, but it is unlawful to eat it. However, it is lawful to eat it if it dies in the net of the fisherman. A fish which has no scales is unlawful even though it is caught alive from water and dies after having been taken out of water.
2625. If a fish springs out of water or a wave throws it out, or the water recedes and the fish remains on the earth, it is lawful after its death if some one catches it with his hand or by some other means, before it dies.
2626. It is not necessary that a person catching a fish should be a Muslim or should utter the Name of Allah while catching it. It is, however, necessary that, if he is a non-Muslim, a Muslim should have seen him catching it or he (the Muslim) should have become sure by some other means that he caught it from water while it was alive.
2627. If a dead fish about which it is not known whether it was caught from water alive or dead is in the hands of a Muslim it is lawful, but if it is in the hands of an infidel it is unlawful although he says that he has caught it alive.
2628. It is lawful to eat a living fish and it is better to refrain from eating it.
2629. If a fish is roasted alive or is slaughtered out of water while it is alive, it is lawful to eat it, but it is better to refrain from eating it.
2630. If a fish is divided into two parts out of water and one part of it falls into water while it is alive, it is lawful to eat the part which has remained out of water, and the recommended precaution is that one should refrain from eating it.
2631. If a locust is caught alive and it dies later it will be lawful after it has died, and it is not necessary that the person catching it should be a Muslim or should have uttered the Name of Allah while catching it. However if a non-Muslim is holding a dead locust in his hand and it is not known whether or not he caught it alive, it will be unlawful, even though he says that he had caught it alive.
2632. To eat the locust, which has not yet developed its wings and cannot fly is unlawful.
2633. The meat of domestic hens, pigeons, sparrows and other such birds is lawful (e.g. nightingale, starling, lark etc.). The meat of bats, peacocks, different kinds of crows and of all birds like falcons, hawks etc. which have claws and less flap their wings while flying, and keep them static for a longer time, is unlawful. Similarly the meat of the birds which have no crop and gizzard and do not also possess spur on the back of their feet, is unlawful. The meat of those birds about which it is known that, while flying, they keep their wings static for a less time and flap them more, is lawful. It is abominable to eat the meat of martins (Ababil) and hoopoes (Hudhud).
2634. If a thing which possesses soul is removed from the body of a living animal for example, if the fat or a portion of flesh is removed from the body of a living sheep it is impure and unlawful.
2635. Some parts of the animals, whose meat is lawful, are doubt unlawful and some are unlawful on the basis of obligatory precaution. They are fourteen: (i) Blood (ii) Excrement (iii) Penis (iv) Vagina (v) Womb (vi) Glands (vii) Testicles (viii) Penial gland, a thing in the brain which resembles a pea (ix) The marrow which is in the spinal cord. (x) The two wide (yellow) nerves which are on both sides of the spinal cord. (xi) Gallbladder (xii) Spleen (xiii) Urinary bladder and (xiv) Eyeballs. Apparently none of the things mentioned above forms part of the bodies of the birds except blood, excrement, gall bladder, spleen and testicles.
2636. It is lawful to drink the urine of a camel. It is however, better to avoid the urine of other animals, whose meat is lawful to eat, and all other things, which one abhors.
2637. It is unlawful to eat earth. However, there is no harm in taking Daghistan or Armenian clay as a medicine. It is also permissible to take a small quantity of the clay of the Shrine of Imam Husayn (usually called Turbatul Husayn) for the purpose of recovery from illness. It is better to dissolve a small quantity of Turbatul Husayn in water and drink it.
2638. It is not unlawful to swallow the mucus (liquid running from the nose) and phlegm which comes in one's mouth Furthermore, there is no harm in swallowing the food which comes out from between the teeth at the time of picking one's teeth with tooth pick.
2639. It is unlawful to eat a very harmful thing or that which may cause death.
2640. It is abominable to eat the meat of a horse, a mule or a donkey. If a person has sexual intercourse with them those animals and their offspring become unlawful, and their urine and dung become impure. They should be taken out of the city and should be sold at some other place. And as regards the person who has sexual intercourse with the animal it is necessary for him to give its price to the owner. And if a person commits sexual intercourse with an animal like cow and sheep the meat of which it is lawful to eat, its urine and excrement become impure, and it is also unlawful to eat their meat, and to drink their milk. The same is the case with their offspring. Such an animal should be killed and burnt at once, and one, who has had sexual intercourse with it should pay its price to its owner.
2641. If the kid of a goat or the lamb of a sheep sucks the milk of a sow to such an extent that its flesh and bones gain strength, it itself and its offspring become unlawful, and in case the quantity of milk sucked by it is less, it is necessary that its confining (Istibra’ ) should be performed and thereafter it becomes lawful. And its Istibra’ is that it should suck milk from the breast of a goat of a sheep for seven days and in case it does not need milk it should eat grass for seven days. Moreover, it is also unlawful to eat the meat of an animal which eats impurities and it becomes lawful when its Istibra’ is performed. The manner of observing Istibra’ has been narrated in Article 226.
2642. Drinking wine is unlawful and in some traditions (Ahadith), it has been declared to be a major sin. If a person considers it to be lawful he is not a Muslim. Imam Ja'far Sadiq (P) says: "Wine is the root of all evils and sins. A person who drinks wine loses his senses. At that time he forgets Allah, does not refrain from any sin, respects no one, and does not desist from committing evil openly. The spirit of faith and piety departs from him and only the impure and malicious spirit, which is far off from the blessings of Allah, remains in his body. Allah, His angels, His prophets and the true believers curse such a man and his prayers are not accepted for forty days. On the Day of Judgement his face will be black and his tongue will come out of his mouth, the saliva will fall on his chest and he will desperately complain of thirst".
2643. Sitting at a table at which people are drinking wine is unlawful if the person sitting there is reckoned to be one of them, and eating and drinking anything at that table is also unlawful.
2644. It is obligatory upon every Muslim to save the life of a Muslim, who is dying of hunger or thirst, by providing him something to eat or drink and thus save his life.
2645. There are certain recommended things to be observed while taking meal; they are as follows:
(i) Washing both the hands before taking meal.
(ii) After taking meal one should wash one's hands and dry them with towel etc.
(iii) The host should begin eating first of all, and should also be the last to stop eating. Before starting to take meal the host should wash his hands first, and thereafter the person sitting on his right should do so. Then the other guests should follow him till the turn of the person sitting on the left side of the host comes. After finishing the meal the person sitting on the left side of the host should wash his hands first and thereafter other persons should follow him till the turn of the host himself comes.
(iv) One should say Bismillah before one starts taking meal and in case there are a number of dishes it is recommended to say Bismillah before eating from each of the dishes.
(v) One should eat food with one's right hand.
(vi) One should eat food with more than two fingers.
(vii) If some persons are sitting together to take their meals, everyone of them should eat the food placed before him.
(viii) One should take small morsels.
(ix) One should prolong the duration of taking meal.
(x) After taking one's meal one should thank Allah.
(xii) One should lick one's fingers after taking food.
(xiii) One should use a toothpick after taking meal. However, the toothpick should not consist of sweet basil (a fragrant grass) or the leaves of date-palm.
(xiv) One should collect and eat the food which falls on the tablecloth. However, if one takes meal in a jungle, it is better to leave the food which has fallen aside, so that it may be eaten by the animals and birds.
(xv) One should take one's meals in the earlier part of the day and in the earlier part of the night and should not take them at midday or at midnight.
(xvi) After taking one's meal one should lie on one's back and should place one's right foot on one's left foot.
(xvii) One should take salt before and after taking one's meal.
(xviii) One should wash the fruit before eating it.
2646. Acts which are indecent to do while taking one's meal:
(i) To eat after being satiated.
(ii) To eat too much. It has been narrated that overeating is the worst thing in the eyes of Allah.
(iii) To look towards others while eating.
(iv) To eat hot food.
(v) To blow on one's food or drink which one is eating or drinking
(vi) To wait for something else after the food has been served on the dining cloth.
(vii) To cut the loaf with a knife.
(viii) To place the bread under one's plate.
(ix) To remove meat from a bone in such a manner that nothing remains on it.
(x) To scrape the fruit.
(xi) To throw away the fruit before it is fully eaten.
2647.There are certain acts which are recommended in connection with drinking water; they are as follows:
(i) Water should be drunk as things are sucked.
(ii) During day time one should drink water while standing.
(iii) One should say Bismillah before drinking water and Alhamdulilah after drinking.
(iv) One should drink water in three sips.
(v) One should drink water according to one's desire.
(vi) After drinking water one should remember Imam Husayn (P) and the members of his family and curse their murderers.
2648. It is improper to drink too much water; to drink water after eating fatty food; and to drink water while standing at the night time. It is also improper to drink water with one's left hand; to drink water from the side of the broken part of the pot, or from the side of its handle.