Conditions for proper slaughter
Slaughter should be in accordance with the way recommended by Islam, it is obligatory, if not, it is not permitted to eat that animal. Scholars unanimously agree on this.
Conditions for proper slaughter
Different conditions apply to the slaughterer, the animal being slaughtered and the tool used for slaughter.
One: Conditions applicable to the slaughterer
1- The slaughterer, whether man or woman, Muslim or a follower of another divine religion, must be a sane person of sound judgement. Regarding Muslims, God says after mentioning the animals that are forbidden to eat:
‘except that which you may have slaughtered when it is still alive’
In respect of non-Muslims,
‘The food of those who were given the Scriptures before you is lawful to you’
Ibn Abbas said: ‘The food to which the verse refers is their slaughtered animals.’ It is not permissible to eat of the animals slaughtered by other unbelievers, or by a mad or drunk person, or by a child.
2-The slaughterer must not dedicate his slaughtered animal to anyone other than Allah, or in the name of anyone else. If the slaughterer dedicates it to an idol, or a Muslim or non-Muslim person, or to a Prophet (peace be upon him) , it becomes forbidden to eat. In giving the details of what is forbidden,
:Allah includes the animal
‘and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah.’
When these two conditions are met, the slaughtered animal is lawful to eat, and it does not matter if the slaughterer is a man, a woman, old, young, or free.
Two: Conditions applicable to the slaughtered animal
1-To cut the animal’s throat, oesophagus, trachea, and the two jugular veins.
:Rafi' ibn Khadij reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said
‘When the animal’s blood has been profusely shed and Allah’s name is mentioned at the time of slaughter, then eat of it, but do not use teeth and claws.’
Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 2,488; Muslim, hadith No. 1,968
2- Allah’s name must be mentioned when the slaughter is about to be made.
‘And do not eat of that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned, for indeed, it is grave disobedience.’
It is recommended also to glorify Allah, saying Allah-u akbar, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have done so.
Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 5,565; Muslim, hadith No. 1,966.
Three: The condition applicable to the tool
When slaughtering an animal, a blade of iron or brass or sharp stone should be used, provided that it is sharp enough to cut the throat and the jugular veins swiftly to let the blood pour out. It should not be a blade made of a bone like an animal’s teeth, or of claws like those of birds.
Things to avoid
1- It is reprehensible to slaughter the animal with a blunt blade, because this tortures the animal.
Ibn Umar reports: ‘Allah’s messenger commanded that blades should be sharpened and kept unseen by the animals.’
Related by Ahmad, hadith No. 5,864; Ibn Majah, hadith No. 3,172.
2- It is also reprehensible to break the animal’s neck or to start to skin it before it is dead. Shaddad ibn Aws quotes the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying:
‘When you slaughter, slaughter well.’
Related by Muslim.
Umar said: ‘Do not be hasty before the slaughtered animal has died.’
Related by al-Bayhaqi in Al-Sunan al-Kubra, vol. 9, p. 278.
3- The slaughterer should not sharpen his blade with the animal looking at what he is doing.Slaughter by followers of other religions nor slaughter an animal while the other animal is watching.
Slaughter by followers of other religions
The animals slaughtered by Jews and Christians are lawful for Muslims to eat, as Allah says:
‘The food of those who were given the Scriptures before you is lawful to you.’
All Muslim scholars are in agreement with this. This is due to the fact that like Muslims, Jews and Christians believe that it is forbidden to dedicate their slaughtered animals to anyone other than Allah or to eat carrion. In this, they are unlike idolaters, atheists, Majians, etc. whose slaughtered animals are forbidden for Muslims to eat. The same applies to those who ascribe partners to Allah or who worship graves and shrines.