Chicken Hand Slaughter

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Question:

 

Assalamualaikum Maulana sahab. How are you? Can you plz tell me that hand slaughtered chicken and machine one are halal or not according to all four Imams? Jazak Allah

Answer:

Wa alaykum salam.

Before answering this question there are some introductory points that need to be understood regarding halal slaughtering.

Please take note of the following matters required for a halal slaughter;

1. The slaughterman. (It must be his action that facilitates the slaughtering).

2. The instrument used for slaughtering.

3. The parts of the animal that must be cut.

4. The ruling of tasmiyah (pronouncing the name of Allah) at the time of slaughter.

اتفق الفقهاء على أن كل ما أنهر الدم وفرى الأوداج من حديد أو صخر، أو عود، أو قضيب، أو زجاج تحل التذكية به

The jurists of all schools have agreed that every instrument that makes the blood flow and severs the veins/arteries (of the animal) whether made of iron, rock, wood, a rod, or glass will be permissible to use for slaughtering.

ما أنْهَرَ الدَّمَ وذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عليه فَكُلْ، ليسَ السِّنَّ
والظُّفُرَ،
(Bukhari).

“That which makes the blood flow apart from teeth and nails and the name of Allah is recited upon it then you may eat it”.

From the hadith above it is understood that any sharp instrument will be considered permissible to use, provided that the instrument severs the arteries which are required to be cut with the exception of fingernails/toenails and teeth.

The four arteries that should be cut are;

1. The trachea (wind pipe).

2. The esophagus (food and water passage).

3. The two large blood veins in the neck.

If all four arteries are cut then the animal will be rendered halal according to all the scholars however the four schools have differed as to what happens if less than four are cut.

.فقال أبو حنيفة : يجب قطع الأكثر من أربعة أي ثلاثة منها: وهي الحلقوم، والمري والودجان، فلو ترك الذابح واحداً منها يحل

According to Imam Abu Hanifah at least three of the four veins must be cut. Imam Abu Yusuf from the Hanafi school says that the three arteries cut must include the windpipe and esophagus.

وقال المالكية في المشهور عندهم : لا بد من قطع جميع الحلقوم وجميع الودجين. ولا يشترط قطع المري عندهم.

What is well known according to the Maliki school is that the entire windpipe must be severed along with the blood veins.

وقال الشافعية والحنابلة : لا بد من قطع كل الحلقوم (مجرى النفَس) والمري (مجرى الطعام)؛ لأن الحياة تفقد بفقدهما ويستحب قطع الودجين

According to the Shafi and Hanbali schools the windpipe and esophagus must be cut while the cutting of the blood veins is mustahab (desirable).

The ruling of tasmiyah (pronouncing the name of Allah by the slaughterman at the time of slaughtering);

ولا تأكلوا مما لم يذكر اسم الله عليه، وإنه لفسق
surah Al An’am 121

“And do not eat of that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned, for indeed, it is grave disobedience”.

قال جمهور الفقهاء غير الشافعية : تشترط التسمية عند التذكية فلا تحل الذبيحة في حال ترك التسمية عمداً فلو تركها سهواً تؤكل

The majority of the schools have stipulated that saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter is a requirement for halal slaughtering and if the name of Allah is omitted intentionally, the animal will not be halal however if the name of Allah is omitted due to forgetfulness then the animal will be deemed as halal.

قال النووي في المجموع: (الرابعة) التسمية مستحبة عند الذبح والرمي إلى الصيد وإرسال الكلب ونحوه، فلو تركها عمدا أو سهوا حلت الذبيحة لكن تركها عمدا مكروه على المذهب الصحيح كراهة تنـزيه لا تحريم… اهـ

What is well known from the Shafi school is that the saying of Bismillah is a Sunnah.

Imam An-Nawawi states in his Majmu’:

“The tasmiyah is Mustahabb upon slaughtering, or using a projectile while hunting, or sending forth the dog or the like. And if the tasmiyah is abandoned intentionally or forgetfully the dhabihah (slaughtered meat) is Halal, however, if it is abandoned intentionally it is Makruh (disliked) upon the correct view of the madh-hab, with a suggestive (tanzih) Makruh not with the Makruh of forbiddance (tahrim).”

وقال في موضع آخر: مذهبنا أنها سنة في جميع ذلك فان تركها سهوا أو عمدا حلت الذبيحة ولا إثم عليه. اهـ

He says in another place,

“It is our madh-hab that (mentioning the tasmiyah) is Sunnah in all situations, and if it is abadonded forgetfully or intentionally the dhabihah (slaughtered meat) is Halal, and there is no sin regarding it.”

Nonetheless, according to the Shafi school if the tasmiyah was omitted due to istikhfaf (regarding of religious matters with disdain) like the attitude of the slaughterman saying “I will not recite the tasmiyah even though it is a sunnah” then he will be guilty of istikhfaf and the animal slaughtered will not be permissible to eat.

Although the official view of Imam Shafi and his school considers the animal slaughtered by one who intentionally omits the tasmiyah as halal, with all due respect to the Shafi school, in this matter one should exercise caution by making sure that the name of Allah is not omitted intentionally at the time of slaughtering.

Now to answer your question, mechanical slaughter is of three types:

1. Chickens are transported to the place of slaughter through a conveyer belt and are manually slaughtered. If there is certainty that the chicken is alive and the Muslim slaughterer recites the name of Allah upon slaughtering, then the chicken is Halal. In this case, only the transportation is mechanical but the slaughtering is manual.
This procedure is unanimously permissible and recommended.

2. Chickens are transported by means of the conveyer belt to the mechanical slaughter blade. Once the mechanical plant comes into operation, the blade also comes into operation and cuts the chicken. This procedure is not permissible. It does not matter if the plant and the blades are controlled together or separately.

3. The chickens are transported by means of the conveyer belt to multiple slaughter blades and every blade is controlled separately by a Muslim who recites the name of Allah upon effecting the mechanical slaughter. This procedure conforms to the principles of Shariah set out by the Fuqahaa.

The above is an extract of a fatwa given by Mufti Ebrahim Desai of South Africa.

Regarding the last method (number 3),
after discussing with senior Muftis I would like to add the condition that the Muslim standing at the point where the chickens reach the blades must be the one who physically facilitates the slaughter of the chicken by controlling the chicken up to the blade. Only in this manner will the action of slaughtering be attributed to him otherwise it will be attributed to the machine.

I am not aware of any chicken abattoir in WA that is following the procedure outlined in method number 3.

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mohammed Shakeeb.

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