The Spirit Of Islam
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
ALMIGHTY Allah in His infinite Mercy has made certain animals halal (permissible) for this Ummah. We are required to be thankful to Him by following the dictates of the Quran and Sunnah by ensuring that His name is taken upon slaughtering of the animal. Allah Ta’ala states in the noble Qur’an: “For every nation We have specified a rite (for slaughtering) so that they may take the name of Allah Ta’ala upon (the slaughter of) the animals granted to them as sustenance.” (Al-Hajj 22:34) “And consume not of that whereupon the name of Allah Ta’ala was omitted (at the time of slaughter). Indeed it is a transgression. Verily the Shayateen inspire their friends to cause division with you. If you obey them, you are indeed Mushriks (ascribing partners to Allah).” (Al-An’am 6:121)
“So take the name of Allah upon them (at the time of slaughter) while they stand in rows.” (Al-Hajj 22:36). In reference to Camels which are slaughtered by Nahr (a swift stab of the neck which severs the four arteries) while standing. “…and such animals upon which they mention not the name of Allah only to fabricate a lie against him.” (Al-An’am 6:138) “Forbidden to you are Maytah (carrion), flowing blood, the flesh of swine and that slaughtered for other than Allah as well as the (animal) expiring by strangulation, illness or pain, falling (from a height), by a wound (sustained through fighting) and by falling to a predator and (about to be consumed), excepting those (animals) upon which you effect Zakah (Shar’ee slaughter).” (Al-Maidah 5:3) From the above verses the following points are understood: Meat is not in the same category as other food items. The most important condition is that tasmiyah (pronouncing the name of Allah) be performed at the time of slaughter. The verses clearly explain the impermissibility of the meat of those animals whose slaughter was not preceded by tasmiyah. The impermissibility of the meat of those animals whose lives were ended by means other than Zabah (Shar’ee slaughter) of which tasmiyah is a condition. All such animals are Maytah (carrion) and are expressly forbidden. The Zabiha (animal slaughtered) by a Kafir (non-believer) or Mushrik (polytheist) is haram (unlawful). However, those Ahlul Kitaab (People of the Book) who also believed in the requirement of tasmiyah at the time of slaughter have been excluded from the Kuffaar majority.
The verse number 121 of Al-An’am explains consumption of meat not slaughtered with tasmiyah as fisq – transgression and disobedience. The verse then explains that to regard consumption of such meat as halal is nothing but a teaching of Shaytaan to cause division among the Ummah. The verse also warns that obedience of Shaytaan in this matter is akin to Shirk (ascribing partners to Allah). Imam Bukhari has quoted this same verse in his magnum opus under the chapter, “Intentional Omission of the tasmiyah at the Time of Slaughter” to the same import as explained by Hafiz ibn Hajar, the renowned commentator of Sahih Bukhari in the following words: “Imam Bukhari (RA) wishes to point out by citing this verse the reproach against using it as proof to legalise omission of tasmiyah by inventing baseless interpretations of the verse and understanding it in a manner contrary to clear import.” (Fathul Bari vol.9 pg.778; Qadeemi) In the case of a Muslim forgetfully omitting the tasmiyah, the animal will be permissible for consumption as is the ruling based on the Hadees of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). “A believer always slaughters upon the name of Allah, whether he (remembers to) recites it or not.” (Fathul Bari vol.9 pg.793; Qadeemi) “The food of Ahlul Kitaab (People of the Book) is lawful for you as is your food for them.” (Al-Maidah 5:5) Concerning the present day Christians there is no doubt that their methods do not fulfill requirements of lawful slaughter.
The reason for permissibility has been explained clearly by Allaamah ibn Katheer that due to the unity of belief regarding slaughter between Muslims and the Jews and Christians of that particular time, Allah Ta’ala had permitted consumption of their slaughter. The Ulama of the time had based their rulings on this very same reasoning. When this unity of belief came into doubt, many great Sahaba (RA) had not hesitated to rule prohibition. “With regards to a Kitaabi, when he omits tasmiyah (the name of Allah) upon his slaughter and takes some other name, his slaughter is not consumable. This is the ruling of Abu Darda, Ubadah bin Saamit and large faction of the Sahaba (RA)” (Jawaahirul Fiqh vol.2 pg.407; Darul Uloom – from Bahrul Muheet) It is a well-known fact that the majority of present day Christians and Jews no longer hold this Aqeedah (belief) regarding slaughter. They do not hesitate to consume meat slaughtered by even Pagans and Mushriks (polytheists) and atheists. They have held to even less of Christianity than the Banu Taghlib. Most of them are just Christians and Jews by name, “atheistic” in their beliefs and actions. Their abattoirs employ machine slaughter wherever possible and do not hesitate to employ pagans and polytheists, e.g. Chinese, Koreans, etc. to carry our slaughter.
Hafiz ibn Abdul-Barr (RA) has emphasized this point very clearly: “Similarly, the slaughter of the Bedouin Muslims will be permissible (for consumption) since they usually know of the tasmiyah (at the time of slaughter).” Ibn Abdul Barr (RA) has concluded, “In this Hadees, it is understood that the slaughter of a Muslim should be consumed and he should be regarded as having performed tasmiyah upon its slaughter (even when one is not certain about this fact) because with regards to a Muslim, one should entertain nothing but good thoughts unless concrete evidence is established to the contrary.” (Fathul Bari vol.9 pg.793; Qadeemi) To conclude this, let us ponder upon the following words of the Holy Prophet (PBUH): “The lawful is clear and the unlawful is clear. Between these lie matters of confusion. Regarding these, many are ignorant. Whomsoever falls into these, falls into the unlawful, like a shepherd grazing (his flock) upon a sanctuary’s perimeter very soon falls into trespass. Beware! Every king possesses a sanctuary and the sanctuary of Allah Ta’ala is His prohibitions. Take note! In body there is a piece of flesh such that when it is good the entire body is good; when it is corrupt whole body is corrupted. Listen! It is the heart.” (Arba’een Nawawiy) — Courtesy: Albalagh.com