THE LAW OF SHARI'AH
REGARDING MECHANICAL SLAUGHTER
Muhaddith-e-Kabeer Hazrat Allama Zia-ul-Mustapha Al-Qaderi Rizvi Amjadi
Mohammed Afthab Cassim Razvi Afriqi
ALLAH, IN THE NAME OF, THE COMPASSIONATE, MOST MERCIFUL
"PRAISE BE TO ALMIGHTY ALLAH, SALUTATIONS ON THE HOLY
PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)"
In our present day and age, the method of mechanical slaughter, i.e. slaughter by use of machines, has become a common practice and animals slaughtered mechanically are generally being imported into Muslim countries. In many countries, numerous Muslim butchers, after becoming aware of such meat being imported into their countries, have raised the matter with the authorities and have even established their own abattoirs so that the proper slaughtering of animals is in their control. This was done to prevent the innocent and unsuspecting Muslim masses from eating such meat, and to also avoid themselves from selling Haraam meat.
However, certain westernized Molvis have, without providing any proper Islamic reasons, certified such meat as being Halaal, and they have also given the green light to Muslims to buy "Halaal meat" from non-Muslim butchers. Why such Molvis have implemented this, fails to make sense as there is no complete or partial evidence from the Shari'ah, namely, from the Holy Quran, Ahadith or Books of Fiqh to substantiate their arguments. They have tried various means to establish that the method of mechanical slaughter as being permissible, but were hopelessly unsuccessful.
Due to the fear of the detrimental effect that may be caused by establishing mechanical slaughter, I have decided to give a brief explanation of the differences between mechanical slaughter and proper Islamic Zabiha (Slaughter) so that the unsuspecting Muslims are not trapped into eating Haraam meat.
PROPER SLAUGHTERING ACCORDING TO THE SHARI'AH
Every Muslim should at least be aware of the fact that for the flesh of any animal, with the exception of fish and locusts, to become Halaal, it must pass through the proper method of Islamic slaughter, i.e. in accordance with the Shari'ah. There are basically two methods of slaughter in Shari'ah, which are:
1. Zibah-e-Ikhtiyaari: Slaughter of animals in one's control, eg. livestock and poultry.
2. Zibah-e-Iztiraari: Slaughter of uncontrolled animals, that is, animals (game) that are hunted.
In both methods, the animal must be slaughtered by a sharp weapon (knife, spear, etc.). With the exception of these methods, almost all the other methods are improper.
In Zibah-e-Ikhtiyaari, the wind pipe, the food pipe, and the two blood vessels on either side of the throat must be severed. If at least three of the four mentioned vessels are severed, then the animal is regarded as Halaal.
In Zibah-e-Iztiraari, the animal may be severed (cut) anywhere on the body by being stabbed or cut by the sharp edge of the weapon causing its death. If a trained dog or hunting bird causes such injury to the animals being hunted, thus causing its death, then such an animal is Halaal.
Zibah-e-Iztiraari is for those birds, who due to their height of flying cannot be caught, or those animals (such as wild birds and animals) whose speed does not allow them to be easily captured.
Zibah-e-Ikhtiyaari is the law applicable to those animals, such as sheep, poultry, etc. which are in one's control and possession. If an animal in the category of Iztiraari is injured by a spear, etc. or a hunting animal, and such an animal, before its death, comes within the control and possession of the hunter, then until and unless it is not slaughtered in the method of Zibah-e-Ikhtiyaari, it will not be Halaal. (Hidayah Aakhirain, pg. 505)
It is quite obvious that for those animals slaughtered by a machine to be Halaal, such animals would need to be slaughtered according to Zibah-e-Ikhtiyaari, where it is in possession. It is obvious that it is only then that it can pass through the procedure of mechanical slaughter. If it is said that the method that is used is not Ikhtiyaari, then it would be impossible for the animal to be mechanically slaughtered.
During mechanical slaughter, the physical strength and intention of the person is not used, rather, the person appointed presses a button or releases a switch on the machine, which in turn causes electricity to pass through the cables of the machine giving motion to the motor, which in turn gives motion to the pulleys, which in turn gives motion to the blade causing the animal to be slaughtered. Neither is the motor, nor the blade brought into motion by the direct strength of the person operating the machine. If there is no electricity, then the motor would not run, therefore, not allowing the blade to operate and slaughter the animal. It is thus evident that the machine operator is not directly linked to the motion of the blade nor the actual slaughtering of the animal.
For a moment, let us presume that a person places a sharp weapon firmly into a wall or ties it to some object with the intention of Zibah, after which livestock is chased in the direction of the knife, whereby it crashes into the knife in a manner causing the necessary vessels to be severed. Even under these conditions, the animal is Haraam since it was killed through its own action and strength and not through the strength of the slaughterer, even though there are fewer Zari'ah or means ("processes") here than as in mechanical slaughter.
It is stated in "Kanzul Daqaaiq": "If a person places a small saw or a sharp weapon in a jungle by saying the Bismillah with the intention of hunting an antelope, and if he returns the next day to find the animal dead, due to it being severed by the weapon placed, then too it is not allowed for such an animal to be eaten". (Kanzul Daqaaiq, pg. 220)