Slaughtering animals on machines

Question :

The virtuous scholar Abdul-Azeez bin Baz –may Allaah have mercy upon him- was asked:

What is (your) opinion Shaykh, with regard to the mechanical slaughterhouses, is eating the animal slaughtered (in them) halal or haram? The question is from a student in Libya O eminent Shaykh.

Answer :

The Shaykh responded by saying:

The (matter) of the mechanical slaughterhouses requires elaboration. If the one slaughtering uses a sharp utensil and cuts the throat, esophagus the jugular veins, this is the prescribed slaughtering. Similarly, if it was to slaughter by cutting the throat and esophagus it would be an (accepted) slaughtering in the correct (opinion). And if it (i.e. the animal) was slaughtered by also cutting one of the jugular veins it would be better, and if the jugular veins are cut along with the throat and esophagus this would be more and more complete as this is the prescribed slaughtering.

However, if the one slaughtering slaughters (in a manner) other than this, by striking (the animal) in the head until it dies, or he pierces it until it dies then this is not a legislated (slaughtering) and the slaughtered animal will not be permissible.

Thus, it is mandatory that the one slaughtering is a Muslim or a person of the Book (i.e. A Jew or Christian) as it is (also) mandatory that the utensil is sharp and cuts the throat, esophagus and jugular veins meaning he cuts the head.

And if he has done this and said the name of Allaah (i.e. bismillaah when slaughtering), then this is a slaughtering which is valid. And if he leaves off (saying) bismillaah due to ignorance or by mistake, then there is no harm and his slaughtering is valid. **

However, if the slaughtering is by (a means) other than this, such that it is struck with a heavy object until it dies or it is shocked by electricity until it dies or other forms of slaughtering (of the animals) which are not legislated, then this makes them haraam (forbidden) and enters them into the category of the al-maytah (the animal which passes away without being slaughtered in the legislated manner) from the class of the munkhaniqah (that which has been killed by strangling).

Therefore, it is an obligation on the Muslim that he slaughters the prescribed slaughtering and this is with a sharp utensil in and the place of slaughter; in the throat of cattle as well as goats and sheep. And for the camel in al-labbah (the pit of soft flesh above the breast, between the collar-bones).

Thus, it has come in the Sunnah of the Prophet –may peace and salutations be upon him- that he said:

Allah has ordained for proficiency in all affairs, so if you kill, kill well and if slaughter then slaughter well. Let one of you sharpen his blade and spare suffering to the animal he slaughters. Narrated Muslim in his Saheeh

Therefore, it is upon the slaughters to fear Allaah and that they take account for themselves, and that they strive in (fulfilling) the prescribed slaughter so as not to cause the people to eat al-maytaat (the animals which pass away without being slaughtered in the legislated manner).

And they must also mention the name of Allaah when slaughtering, as the slaughterer must also be a Muslim or a person of the Book, and that is a Jew or Christian.

As for the animal slaughtered by the pagan such as the majoosee (fire worshipper) and those who worship the graves or the dead as well as the ibaahi (one who confines to no limitations and has no religion), (then) the animal slaughtered by these people is not to be eaten because they are not Muslims. And likewise, the one who does not pray the correct opinion is that his ruling is the same as the disbelievers. Hence, the animal he slaughters is not to be eaten nor is (his slaughtering) valid.

Therefore, the slaughtering of the animal is not valid except by way of a Muslim known to be upon al-Islam or a person of the Book; a Jew or Christian.

** Note: From the conditions of a correct slaughtering is for the one slaughtering to mention the name of Allaah (i.e. say bismillah) at the time of slaughtering. On the other hand, if the name of Allaah is not mentioned whilst slaughtering intentionally or unintentionally then the animal slaughtered in this manner WILL NOT be permissible. From the evidences for the stance is the statement of Allaah –‘Azz wa Jall-:

Eat not of that (meat) on which Allaah’s Name has not been pronounced (at the time of the slaughtering of the animal), for sure it is Fisq (a sin and disobedience of Allâh) and certainly, the Shayatin (devils) do inspire their allies (from mankind) to dispute with you, and if you obey them, then you would indeed be Mushrikun (polytheists). {Al-Anaam: 121}

This view was ascribed to a number of the scholars from the era of the Sahaba and onwards, the likes of Ibn Umar, Nafi’ Mawla Ibn Umar, Sha’bee, Muhammad bin Seereen and was one opinion of the two Imams Ahmed and Malik. This position was also deemed correct by Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyah and from the great scholars of our time Shaykh Uthaymeen as well as Shaykh Muqbil. And Allaah knows best.

Refer to: Misbaah adh-Dalaamah fi Ma’rifati Ahkaam adh-Dhabaaih… compilation Yahya bin Qasim adh-Daylami. Via

The fatwa of Shaykh Muqbil can be found in: Ijaabatus-Saail (Pg.668)

Compiled by: Noble brother Abu Atiyah Mahmood Bin Muhammed.