“FOOD (HUNTING AND SLAUGHTERING)”
Translated by Suheil Laher from
Kitab al-Sayd wal-Dhaba’ih in “Mukhtasar al-Quduri”
(a summary-text of Hanafi law), with some re-arrangement and editing.
Rulings presented are as inferred from Qur’an and Sunnah by scholars of the Hanafi school.
DISCLAIMER: Information presented here is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a call to perform or abstain from any specific action mentioned in the text. Religious decisions should be taken with due care and thought, after reading and investigating, but also after consulting with reliable people of knowledge – who are aware of one’s particular circumstances – and then pondering and exercising one’s conscience.
- Use of Animals
- The Animal
1. The hunting of a Zoroastrian, apostate or idolater may not be eaten.
2. It is permissible to hunt those animals whose meat may be eaten [for the purpose of acquiring food],
and also those which may not be eaten [for the purpose of non-food benefits and/or prevention of harm].
- If one slaughters that whose meat may not be eaten, its flesh and skin become pure [but not permissible to eat], except for the human and the pig, for slaughter does not have any effect on them [i.e. they remain impermissible both to consume and to use]
1.2 Use of Animals
1. It is permissible to hunt with a trained dog, panther, falcon, or any other trained predatory animal or bird.
- The training of a dog is : that it refrain from eating three times.
- The training of a falcon is : that it return when you call it.
2. So, if one sends his trained dog, or falcon, or hawk, and mentions the name of Allah, the Exalted upon it at the time of sending, and then [the animal] seizes the prey and wounds it such that it dies, it is permissible to eat it.
- If the dog eats from it, [the prey] may not be eaten, but if the falcon eats from it, it can be eaten.
- If the dog strangles [the prey] and does not wound it, it may not be eaten.
- If an untrained dog – or a Zoroastrian’s dog, or a dog on which the name of Allah, the Exalted was not mentioned – participated with [the trained dog], [the prey] may not be eaten.
3. If the sender reaches the prey alive, it is obligatory upon him to slaughter it, and so if he refrains from slaughtering it until it died, then it may not be eaten.
1. If a man shoots an arrow at prey, and mentions the name of Allah at the time of shooting, he may eat what he strikes provided the arrow wounded it so that it died [as a result]. But, if he reaches it alive, he [must] slaughter it, and so if he refrains from slaughtering it until it died, then it may not be eaten.
- If the arrow strikes, and the animal struggles [and moves] so that it disappears from him, but he continues to pursue it until he overcomes it dead, it may be eaten. But, if he sat back from pursuing it, and then came upon
it dead, it may not be eaten.
- If he strikes quarry which then falls into the water and dies, it may not be eaten.
- Similarly, if it falls on an inclined surface or mountain, and then tumbles down to the ground, it may not be eaten, but if it falls to the ground initially, it may be eaten.
- If someone shoots a quarry, and strikes it without incapacitating it nor preventing it from escaping, and then someone else shoots it and kills it, it is his and may be eaten. But, if the first one incapacitates it and then the second one kills it, it may not be eaten, and the latter must reimburse the former for its price less its wound
2. That which a featherless arrow strikes with its breadth may not be eaten, but if it wounds [the quarry] it may be eaten.
- That which is struck by a pebble may not be eaten if it dies from that.
3. If one shoots at quarry and severs a piece from it, [the animal] may be eaten, but the piece may not be eaten. But, if he cuts it in thirds, and the major portion is adjacent to the rump, then it may [all]be eaten. If the major portion is adjacent ot the head, the larger portion may be eaten, but the lesser one may not.
2.1 Conditions for Slaughtering
1. The slaughter of a Muslim or a Kitabi is permissible [to eat].
- The slaughter of a Zoroastrian, apostate, idolator, or of [a Muslim] in ihram may not be eaten.
2. If the slaughterer omitted the pronouncment of the name [of Allah] deliberately, then the slaughter is carrion which may not be eaten. But, if he left it out forgetfully, it may be eaten.
3. The vessels which must be severed in slaughtering are four : the trachea, the oesophagus and the two jugular veins. So, if he cut [all] these, eating [from the animal] is permissible. If he cut most of them, then similarly [it is valid] according to Abu Hanifah. Abu Yusuf and Muhammad said : it is essential to cut the trachea, the oesophagus and one of the two jugular veins.
- If one reaches the spinal cord with the knife, or severs the head, that is repugnant for him [to do], but the slaughter may be eaten.
- If one slaughters a ewe from the back of its head, then if it remains alive until he severs the [required] vessels it is valid but repugnant. But, if it dies before the cutting of the vessels it may not be eaten.
4. It is permissible to slaughter with a sharp reed or stone, or anything that causes the blood to flow out, except for an intact tooth or an intact nail.
It is recommended that the slaughterer sharpen his blade.
2.2 The Sacrifical Animal
1. An animal with severed ears or [severed] tail does not suffice, nor one from which the major part of the ear has gone. But, if the major portion of the ear or tail remains, it is permissible.
2. It is valid to sacrifice a hornless animal, a castrated animal, a mangy animal [provided it is plump], or an insane
animal [provided it is plump].
3. Animal-sacrifice is [only] from amongst camels, cows and sheep [or goats].
A thaniyy [two-year old cow/buffalo or five-year old camel, or one-year old sheep/goat], or better, of [any of] these suffices, except for the sheep, of which a jadha` [well-built six-month old] suffices.
4. If one performs nahr on a camel, or slaughters a cow or sheep, and then finds in its belly a dead fetus, it may not be eaten, [egardless of] whether its features are discernible or not.
2.3 Methods of Slaughter
1. Domesticated game must be slaughtered, and wild livestock may be wounded [as in hunting].
2. The recommended [technique] for camels is nahr [thrusting the knife into the base of the neck], but if one slaughters them, it is valid but disliked.
3. The recommended [technique] for cows and sheep is slaughtering, but if one performs nahr on them, it is valid but disliked.
3.0 WHAT MAY AND MAY NOT BE EATEN
1. It is not permissible to eat any canine-toothed beast of prey, nor any taloned [predatory] bird.
- There is no objection to [eating] the agrarian crow, but the speckled one that eats corpses may not be eaten.
- It is repugnant to eat the hyena.
2. [It is repugnant to eat the] lizard and all vermin.
3. It is not permissible to eat the flesh of the domesticated donkey or mule.
- The meat of the horse is discouraged according to Abu Hanifah.
4. There is no objection to eating the rabbit.
5. Nothing may be eaten of the animals of the water except fish.
6. It is repugnant to eat floating [fish that died on their own].
7. There is no harm in eating the jirrith and eel
8. It is permissible to eat locusts, and there is no slaughter [needed] for them.
3 thoughts on “Islamic Regulations of Hunting and Slaughtering (Food)”
Dear Respected Dr. Suheil Laher
As Salam Alaikum
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I am unable to trace it on your website. Could you please email it if possible. Thanks
It is an informative article.
It is aninformative articel and provides good advice on Zabiha.