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Slaughtering and Hunting of Animals

Issue 2592: * If an animal whose meat is halal to eat, is slaughtered in the manner which will be described later, irrespective of whether it is domesticated or not, its meat becomes halal and its body becomes Clean (tahir/pak) after it has died. But camels, fish and locust become halal without their heads being slaughtered, as will be explained later.

Issue 2593: If a wild animal like deer, partridge and wild goat whose meat is halal to eat, or a halal animal which was a domestic one but turned wild later, like, a cow or a camel which runs away and becomes wild, is hunted in accordance with the laws which will be explained later, it is Clean (tahir/pak) and halal to eat. But, a domestic animal like sheep and fowl whose meat is halal to eat, or tamed wild animal whose meat is halal to eat does not become Clean (tahir/pak) and halal by hunting.

Issue 2594: A wild animal whose meat is halal to eat becomes Clean (tahir/pak) and halal to eat by hunting if it is capable of running away or flying. Based on this, the young one of a deer which cannot run away, and the young one of a partridge which cannot fly, do not become Clean (tahir/pak) and halal to eat by hunting. And if a deer and its young one which cannot run are hunted with one bullet, the deer will be halal but its young one will be haraam to eat.

Issue 2595: If an animal like fish, whose meat is halal to eat and whose blood does not gush, dies a natural death, it is Clean (tahir/pak) but its meat cannot be eaten.

Issue 2596: The dead body of an animal whose meat is haraam to eat, and whose blood does not gush, like, a snake, is Clean (tahir/pak) but does not become halal by slaughtering.

Issue 2597: * Dogs and pigs do not become Clean (tahir/pak) by slaughtering and hunting and it is also haraam to eat their meat. And if a flesh-eating animal like wolf and leopard is slaughtered in the manner which will be mentioned later, or is hunted by means of bullet etc. it is Clean (tahir/pak), but its meat does not become halal for consumption. And if it is hunted down by a hunting dog, then its body cannot be considered as Clean (tahir/pak).

Issue 2598: Elephant, bear, monkey are classified as predators. But the insects or the small animals who live in the holes, like, mice, lizards, if they have gushing blood, their meat and skin will not be considered Clean (tahir/pak) if they are slaughtered or hunted down.

Issue 2599: If a dead young is born from the body of a living animal, or is brought out of it, it is haraam to eat its meat.

Method of Slaughtering Animals

Issue 2600: * The method of slaughtering an animal is that the four main arteries of its neck should be completely cut (jugular artery, foodpipe, jugular vein and windpipe). It is not sufficient to split open these arteries or to cut off the neck. And the cutting of these four main arteries becomes practical when the cutting takes place from below the knot of the throat.

Issue 2601: If a person cuts some of the four arteries and waits till the animal dies and then cuts the remaining arteries, it will be of no use. If the four arteries are cut before the animal dies, but the cutting was not continuous as is usually done, the animal is Clean (tahir/pak) and halal to eat. However, the recommended precaution is that they should be cut in continuous succession.

Issue 2602: * If a wolf tears off the throat of a sheep in such a way that nothing remains of the four arteries which could be cut for slaughter, the sheep becomes haraam. Similarly, it will be haraam if nothing remains of its gullet. In fact, if its neck is torn open by the wolf leaving arteries connected with the head or the body, as a precaution, it will be haraam. But if the sheep is bitten on other part of the body, and it remains alive, it will be Clean (tahir/pak) and halal if slaughtered according to the rules which will be described later.

Conditions of Slaughtering Animals

Issue 2603: * There are certain conditions for the slaughtering of an animal. They are as follows:-

(i) A person, a man or a woman, who slaughters an animal must be a Muslim. An animal can also be slaughtered by a Muslim child who is mature enough to distinguish between good and bad, but not by non-Muslims other than Ahle Kitab, or a person belonging to those sects who are classified as Kafir, like, Nawasib - the enemies of Ahlul Bait (A.S.). In fact, even if Ahle Kitab non-Muslim slaughters an animal, as per precaution, it will not be halal, even if he utters 'Bismillah'.

(ii) The animal should be slaughtered with a weapon made of iron. However, if an implement made of iron is not available, it should be slaughtered with a sharp object like glass or stone, so that the four veins are severed, even if the slaughtering may not be necessary, like when the animal is on the verge of death.

(iii) When an animal is slaughtered, it should be facing Qibla. If the animal is sitting or standing, then facing Qibla would be like a man standing towards Qibla while praying. And if it is lying on its right or left side, then its neck and stomach should be facing Qibla. It is not necessary that its legs, hands and face be towards Qibla. If a person who knows the rule, purposely ignores placing the animal towards Qibla, the animal would become haraam; but if he forgets or does not know the rule, or makes a mistake in ascertaining the Qibla, or does not know the direction of Qibla, or is unable to turn the animal towards Qibla, there is no objection. As a recommended precaution, the person slaughtering should also face Qibla.

(iv) When a person wants to slaughter an animal, just as he makes the Niyyat to slaughter, he should utter the name of Allah, and it suffices if he says 'Bismillah' only, or if he utters 'Allah'. But if he utters the name of Allah without the intention of slaughtering the animal, the slaughtered animal does not become Clean (tahir/pak) and it is also haraam to eat its meat. And if he did not utter the name of Allah forgetfully, there is no objection.

(v) The animal should show some movement after being slaughtered; at least it should move its eyes or tail or strike its foot on the ground.This law applies only when it is doubtful whether or not the animal was alive at the time of being slaughtered, otherwise it is not essential.

(vi) It is necessary that the blood should flow in normal quantity from the slaughtered animal. If someone blocks the vein, not allowing blood to flow out, or if the bleeding is less than normal, that animal will not be halal. But if the blood which flows is less because the animal bled profusely before the slaughter, there is no objection.

(vii) The animal should be slaughtered from its proper place of slaughtering; on the basis of recommended precaution, the neck should be cut from its front, and the knife should be used from the back of the neck.

Issue 2604: * As a precaution, it is not permissible to sever the head of the animal from its body before it has died, though this would not make the animal haraam. But if the head gets severed because of sharpness of the knife, or not being attentive, there is no objection. Similarly, it is not permissible to slit open the neck and cut the spinal cord before the animal has died.

Method of Slaughtering a Camel

Issue 2605: * If one wants to slaughter a camel so that it becomes Clean (tahir/pak) and halal after it has died, it is necessary to follow the above mentioned conditions for slaughter and then thrust a knife or any other sharp implement made of iron into the hollow between its neck and chest. It is better that the camel at that time is standing. But if it has knelt down, or if it is lying on its side with its face towards Qibla, the knife etc. can be thrust into the hollow of its neck for slaughtering.

Issue 2606: If a camel's head is cut instead of thrusting a knife into the depth of its neck, or if knife is thrust into the depth of the neck of a sheep or a cow etc. as is done in the case of a camel, it is haraam to eat their meat and their body is Najis. However, if the four arteries of the camel are cut first and a knife is then thrust into the depth of its neck, in the manner stated above, while it is still alive, it is halal to eat its meat and its body is Clean (tahir/pak). Similarly, if a knife is first 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 Clean (tahir/pak) and its meat is halal to eat.

Issue 2607: * If an animal becomes unruly, and one cannot slaughter it in the manner prescribed by Shariah or, if, it falls down into a well and one feels that it will die there and it will not be possible to slaughter it according to Shariah, one should inflict a severe wound on any part of its body, so that it dies as a result of that wound. Then it becomes Clean (tahir/pak) and halal to eat. It will not be necessary that it should be facing Qibla at that time but it should fulfil all other conditions mentioned above regarding slaughtering of animals.

Mustahab Acts While Slaughtering Animals

Issue 2608: * The Fuqaha, may Allah bless them with His Pleasure, have enumerated certain Mustahab acts for slaughtering the animals:

(i) While slaughtering the sheep (or a goat), both of its hands and one foot should be tied together and the other foot should be left free. As for a cow, its two hands and two feet should be tied and the tail should be left free. And in the case of a camel, if 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 wings and feathers.

(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, that is, it should be swiftly slaughtered with a very sharp knife.

Makrooh Acts

Issue 2609: * In certain Traditions, the following have been enumerated as Makrooh acts while slaughtering the animals:

(i) To slaughter an animal at a place where another animal of its own kind can see it.

(ii) To skin an animal before it has died.

(iii) To slaughter an animal on Friday night (i.e. the night preceding Friday), or on Friday before Zuhr. However, there is no harm in doing so in the case of necessity.

(iv) To slaughter an animal which someone has bred and reared himself.

Hunting with Weapons

Issue 2610: * If a halal wild animal is hunted with a weapon and it dies, it becomes halal and its body becomes Clean (tahir/pak), if the following five conditions are fulfilled:

(i) The weapon used for hunting should be able to cut through, like, a knife or a sword, or should be sharp like a spear or an arrow, so that due to its sharpness, it may tear the body of the animal. If an animal is hunted with a trap, or hit by a piece of wood or a stone, it does not become Clean (tahir/pak), and it is haraam 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 Clean (tahir/pak) and halal, but if the bullet is not fast enough and enters the body of the animal with pressure and kills, or burns its body with its heat, and the animal dies due to that heat, it is a matter of Ishkal to say that the animal is Clean (tahir/pak) or halal.

(ii) The hunter should be a Muslim or at least a Muslim child who can distinguish between good and bad. If a non-Muslim, other than Ahle Kitab, or from those sects like, Nawasib - enemies of Ahlul Bait (A.S.) who are classified as Kafir, hunts an animal, the animal is not halal. As a matter of precaution, an animal hunted by Ahle Kitab is also not halal, even if he may have uttered the name of Allah.

(iii) The hunter should aim the weapon for hunting the particular animal. Therefore, if a person takes an aim at some target, and kills an animal accidentally, that animal will not be Clean (tahir/pak) and it will be haraam to eat its meat.

(iv) While using the weapon the hunter should recite the name of Allah, and it is sufficient if he utters the name of Allah before the target is hit. But if he does not recite Allah's name intentionally, the animal does not become halal. There is, however, no harm if he fails to do so because of forgetfulness.

(v) The animal will be haraam if the hunter reaches it when it is already dead, or, even if it is alive, he has no time left to slaughter it. And if he has enough time to slaughter it and he does not slaughter it till it dies, it will be haraam.

Issue 2611: * If two persons jointly hunt an animal and if one of them fulfils the requisites while the other does not, like, if one of them utters the name of Allah whereas the other does not do so intentionally, that animal is not halal.

Issue 2612: If an animal is shot with an arrow and, if it falls into water and a person knows that the animal has died because of being shot with an arrow, and falling into water, it will not be halal. In fact, if he is not sure that the animal has died only because of being shot with an arrow, it is not halal.

Issue 2613: If a person hunts an animal employing a usurped dog or a usurped weapon, the hunted animal is halal 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.

Issue 2614: * If a person using weapons like a sword, cuts off some limbs of animal while hunting, those cut off limbs will be haraam. But if that animal is slaughtered according to the conditions of rule no. 2610, the remaining part of its body will be halal. But if the weapon with the aforesaid conditions cuts the animal into two parts, with head and neck on one part, and the hunter reaches the animal when it is dead, both the parts will be halal. And the same rule 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 halal if the animal is slaughtered according to the rules prescribed by Shariah, otherwise that part, too, will be haraam.

Issue 2615: If an animal is cut into two parts with a stick or a stone, or another implement with which hunting is not proper, the part which does not contain the head and the neck will be haraam. As for the part which contains the head and neck, if 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 Shariah, that part is halal, otherwise that part too, will be haraam.

Issue 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 halal if it is slaughtered in accordance with Shariah, otherwise it will be haraam.

Issue 2617: * If an animal is hunted or slaughtered, and its dead young one is brought out of its body, it will be Clean (tahir/pak) and halal if it had not died before the mother was killed, or it should not have died because of delay in bringing it out from the mother's womb, and provided it is fully developed, with hair or wool grown on its body.

Hunting with a Retriever (Hunting Dog)

Issue 2618: * If a retriever hunts a wild animal whose meat is halal to eat, the following six conditions should be fulfilled for its being Clean (tahir/pak) and halal:-

(i) The dog should be trained in such a way that when commanded to catch the prey, it goes and when restrained from going, it stops. But if it does not stop after having come closer to the hunted animal and seen it, there is no harm. And it is necessary that it should have a habit of not eating anything of the prey till its master arrives. In fact, if it has the habit of eating bit of the prey before the master arrives, or drinking its blood, there is no objection.

(ii) It should have been directed by its master. If it hunts of its own accord and preys upon an animal, it is haraam to eat the meat of that animal. In fact, if it follows a prey of its own accord, and later its master calls out to encourage it to reach the prey faster, even if it may quicken its pace because of 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 for hunt should be a Muslim, with all the conditions already mentioned in the rules concerning hunting with the weapon.

(iv) The hunter should utter the name of Allah at the time of sending the dog. If he purposely does not utter the name of Allah, the prey is haraam. But if he forgets to utter the name of Allah there is no harm in it.

(v) The prey should die as a result of the wound inflicted by the dog's teeth. Therefore, if the dog suffocates the prey to death, or the prey dies because of running or fear, it is not halal.

(vi) The hunter who sends the dog should reach the spot when the animal is dead, or if it is alive, there should not be enough time to slaughter it. But if he reaches there when there is enough time to slaughter it, yet he does not slaughter it, allowing it to die itself, the prey is not halal.

Issue 2619: * When a person who sends the dog reaches the prey when he can slaughter the animal, but the animal dies while he is preparing for the slaughter, like, the delay in taking out the knife, the animal is halal. However, if he does not have anything with which he can slaughter the animal, and it dies, it does not become halal, but if he releases the animal so that the dog may kill it, it will become halal.

Issue 2620: If a person sends several dogs, and they jointly hunt an animal, and if all of them satisfy the conditions mentioned in rule 2618, the prey is halal, but if any one of them does not fulfil those conditions, the prey is haraam.

Issue 2621: If a person sends a dog for hunting an animal and that dog hunts another animal, the prey is halal and Clean (tahir/pak), and if it hunts another animal along with that animal (which it was sent to hunt), both of them are halal and Clean (tahir/pak).

Issue 2622: * If several persons send a dog jointly and one of them does not utter the name of Allah intentionally, that prey is haraam. Also, if one of the dogs sent is not trained in the manner mentioned in rule 2618, the prey is haraam.

Issue 2623: If a hawk or an animal besides the hunting dog hunts an animal, the prey is not halal. However, if a person reaches the prey when it is alive, and slaughters it in the manner prescribed by Shariah, it is halal.

Hunting of Fish and Locust

Issue 2624: * If a fish with scales is caught alive from water, and it dies thereafter, it is Clean (tahir/pak) and it is halal to eat it, even if the scales are shed off later due to some reasons. And if it dies in the water, it is Clean (tahir/pak), but it is haraam 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 haraam even if it is brought alive from water and dies out of water.

Issue 2625: If a fish falls out of water or a wave throws it out, or the water recedes and the fish remains on dry ground, if some one catches it with his hand or by some other means before it dies, it will be halal to eat it after it dies.

Issue 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 a Muslim should have seen or ascertained that the fish was brought alive from the water, or that it died in the net in water.

Issue 2627: * If a dead fish about which it is not known whether it was caught from water alive or dead, is bought of a Muslim, it is halal, but if it is bought of a non-Muslim it is haraam even if he claims that he has brought it alive from the water; except when a man feels satisfied that the fish was brought alive from the water or that it died in the net in the water.

Issue 2628: It is halal to eat a live fish but it is better to avoid eating it.

Issue 2629: If a fish is roasted alive, or is killed out of water before it died itself, it is halal to eat it, but it is better to avoid eating it.

Issue 2630: If a fish is cut into two parts out of water, and one part of it falls into water while it is alive, it is halal to eat the part which has remained out of water, and the recommended precaution is that one should refrain from eating it.

Issue 2631: If a locust is caught alive by hand or by any other contrivance, it will be halal after it dies, 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. But, 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 haraam even if he claims that he had caught it alive.

Issue 2632: To eat the locust which has not yet developed its wings and cannot fly, is haraam.

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