Misconceptions About Islamic way of Killing Animals and HALAL

killing animals and halal foodBismillah,
I came across a article this post called, “Killing Animals and HALAL” in the blog called All About Buddhism. It contains several misconceptions about the Muslim way of killing animals, so I left a comment in it explaining them. I think it is good to post it here too, so I am reproducing that article below together with the comment I left in that blog. I would be happy if you joined in this disussion and share your views and any experiences you have had or heard on this topic through the comments section below. Thanks in advance.

Killing Animals and HALAL

In Buddhism, killing a living being is always considered to be a sin as we have no right to take some other living creature’s life. But as I can see in other religions there are variations for this.

Muslims do believe in animal welfare “Whoever is kind to the creatures of God is kind to himself” (Wisdom of Prophet Mohammad; Muhammad Amin; The Lion Press, Lahore, Pakistan; 1945)

They have regulations in meat. But… He hath forbidden you only carrion and blood and swine flesh and that which hath been immolated to any other than Allah.. (Quran Chapter II , Verse 173) The prophet has forbidden flesh only if it is not a sacrifice for himself. Does that mean he always expect sacrifices from men?.NO. Obviously he can’t be that much cruel to accept meat from billions of people per day!.

That sacrifice ritual is called HALAL ( correct me if i am wrong ). As I know the original ritual of killing an animal is, the killer should be on a plate which is heated to become red and kill the animal. That ritual make sense, as no one would do such a commitment to kill another. So, he meant not to kill ( in an implicit way ). But the time has changed, you wouldn’t believe how the ritual carried out now. They use a red colored plate as the seat when killing animals. You really can’t symbolize a ritual in that way. But they perform other ritual there. That is never show the weapon to the animal before being killed🙂.

The religion should sometimes be adapted to the current society , but not in a selfish manner like this. I don’t think this post would hurt Muslims ( as I didn’t criticize holy prophet ) . This is what I see as truth. Always open for debate.

The comment I left in that blog in reply to the above article follows…

Hello,
I would like to bring to your notice some factual errors in this post.

Firstly it says, “The prophet has forbidden flesh only if it is not a sacrifice for himself. Does that mean he always expect sacrifices from men?.NO. Obviously he can’t be that much cruel to accept meat from billions of people per day!.”

Correct me if I am wrong but this statement implies that Muslims kill animals as a sacrifice for Muhammad! This gives me the feeling that the writer of this post is ignorant of Islam. FYI – prophet Muhammad is just a human being like you and me. God (‘Allah’ in Arabic) choose Muhammad as a messenger (prophet) to mankind to guide them in the correct path for our benefit in this world and the hereafter.

And this path (Islam) allows us to kill animals for our benefit in this world and hereafter. In Islam killing a animal is not a sin provided you have a good reason. We our allowed to kill animals for 1) for Food, 2) as a sacrifice to God, 3) for protection (e.g. like killing a snake) I don’t need to explain about killing animals for food or protection but I’ll expound about sacrificing animals.

You may already know that Muslims sacrifice animals on occasions like Haj festival or when a new baby is born etc. If a animal is killed as a sacrifice that should only be in the name of God not for any human being or anything else. And also God is not in need of our sacrifices like this article tries to imply. A animal sacrifice is done only as an act of worship through which the person/s sacrificing the animal intends to seek God’s pleasure and gain good deeds for them. (note: What matters here is the intention. You can eat the meat of the sacrificed animal just like you would if you had killed it for food but it is encouraged to be distributed among the poor and needy.)

And what is this rot about Halal procedure that a plate needs to be heated etc. etc. Halal means anything that is permissible for a Muslim to consume or use be it clothing, employment etc. not only meat or flesh.

In the natural state meat or animal flesh is not Halal. If a Muslim wishes to eat meat it should be made Halal (i.e. lawful) through a simple ritual. This ritual requires that you kill the animal by cutting its throat and when cutting you invoke God. (you invoke God by saying “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar”). After this ritual the meat is Halal and you can consume it.

Also you must remember that only a few animals are Halal (lawful) to eat. These include camels, cows, rabbits, some birds, goats, horses among a few more. It should also be noted that fish or any creature that lives only in the water need not be made Halal. They are suitable for consumption whatever way they are killed.

Animals that have claws, or sharp teeth and prey on other animal (e.g. cats, dogs, vultures, tigers , lion etc) and repulsive animals like snakes, lizards etc. and animals that eat dirty things (e.g. pigs etc) are not permissible to eat even if you do the Halal ritual on them.

I hope I have explained about Halal. If you have anything about it I would be glad to discuss it with you.

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33 Responses to Misconceptions About Islamic way of Killing Animals and HALAL

  1. L G says:

    hi, I am a Muslim, but i was just wondering that cutting the throat of the animal is cruel, and i believe that the animal must first be stunned and then killed. I read some articles stating that it is perfectly halal to stun the animal then kill it. What do you think?

  2. Salam LG,
    You have a very kind heart bro🙂 I agree killing that way looks more humane. But going a little further in that line of thought, doesn’t it look cruel killing a animal in the first place irrespective of the method used?

    I think the way prophet showed us is the best way because it is the way Allah (the creator of us and the animal we kill) wants us to follow. Even from a humane point of view you must admit slitting the throat and killing is the quickest way for the animal to die. And it is also the most feasible way. I’ve also read that recent scientific research indicating that by this way of killing the blood that gushes out of the throat of the animal takes away certain harmful substances from the animal’s body which doesn’t happen if you kill in any other way. This goes to prove that Allah has shown us the best way.

    Regarding whether stunning and killing is halal I don’t know. You maybe able to find that out from a Islamic scholar or a fatwa website.

  3. L G says:

    thank you for the response, and i do agree that the halal way is the most humane and least painful way for the animal being killed.

  4. shanX says:

    Awesome response🙂

  5. Robie says:

    Bismillah,

    obviously Islamic way is the most humane way of slaughtering animals. Pls find the info below:
    http://www.islamonline.net/english/Science/2003/02/article01.shtml

    Thanks,

  6. Joannah says:

    This my sound stupid but can we buy the meat from the halal market instead of killing one for sacrifice? In our part of the world, it is hard to find a place in the city where we can kill animals unless it is in a slaughterhouse

  7. Sara says:

    So if bleeding to death is so painless why did Romans sit in baths of warm water to speed the suicide? I understood as the blood leaves the body it causes terrible cramps.

    • Zahara says:

      when you cut the major vessels that are present in the neck.. the blood gushes out instead of coming out slowly.. moreover… your brain is your major organ of sense.. so you pretty much put knock the animal’s nervous system out so the pain is the least out of any method of killing. I’m in med school.. and this makes a lot of sense.

  8. muslimah says:

    Mashallah, that’s good of you for commenting. Now while reading the comment that you replied on that website i noticed that you wrote that we can only sacrifice things to/for Allah.
    Now i was watching TV and there’s this channel called Sharjah TV that had a nasheed on. it was about the guy’s love for Muhammad (S.A.W). it was in arabic with subtitles in english. as i was reading, it said that he would sacrfice his mother and father for you (he was referring to Muhammad (S.A.W).
    is that wrong??

  9. Sadeepa says:

    Dear Friends ,

    According to you Sacrifice to Allah is a great thing. Everything sacrified to Allah is good , why dont you sacrifice your Children to Allah , cut there throat according to correct ‘Halal’ way and offer it to Allah !!!!

    Killing a being is sinful whether it’s unconscious , conscious , halal or Haram !!

  10. H. K. Khan says:

    You are under grave misconception. Allah is All Beneficient and All Merciful. To our knowledge , Allah has only commanded Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son as test which he did and a ram/sheep was sacrifice instead.

  11. Beke Fuzwayo says:

    Hi! I am a Christian and live and work with moslem and treat them as brothers and sisters as much as they treat me like wise. We respect each other and love each other so much. I was taken aback this weekend when my Pastor (Christian) said in his preaching that Halaal killing is by straggling an animal to death and causing it pain while thanx are being said to Allah. This sounds wrong to me. Please give me the exact way of halaal killing as in our african culture we always cut the beast on the nake and allow the blood to flow out.

  12. Bilal Hussain Syed says:

    Salam Alekum,
    Your Pastor is wrong bro. Halal killing is by slitting the throat.
    Even from a humane point of view you must admit slitting the throat and killing is the quickest way for the animal to die. And it is also the most feasible way. I’ve also read that recent scientific research indicating that by this way of killing the blood that gushes out of the throat of the animal takes away certain harmful substances from the animal’s body which doesn’t happen if you kill in any other way. This goes to prove that Allah has shown us the best way.
    And while slaughtering we say Bismillahi Allahu Akbar which is translated as, “In the name of Allah who is the greatest”

    • dhaya says:

      humane u say..??
      slitting the throat…?
      wat’s so humane in killing…?
      perhaps u think humans were created just to kill other species….

  13. human says:

    Brothers and sisters sorry for being anonymous about my religion or for that matter any identity, but I am a believer. I was amused by the information about how to kill in the Islamic way. Even I agree with the Muslim way of killing is right because its the best scientific way we have. But I would like to know about the red-hot plate, which in turn became a red coloured plate. I am interested in this because it’s quite human to change the religion/ rituals according to the way he wants. I wish we had a ritual like that before killing. That means eating meat will be reserved to only special occasions. I also believe that’s plants o has life and be treated equally like animals (which includes human beings). This doesn’t mean that I don’t sit on a wooden chair or not eat the steaming beef steak in front of me. After all if I knew what is right and what is wrong I wont be asking you all these questions. Knowledge is a small boat rocking inside the vast ocean. Please let me know the source of the red hot plate story if there is any. doesn’t matter if its the Islamic way or the non Islamic way.

  14. dhaya says:

    be it your “so called sacrifice”…(ultimately u r killing just to satisfy ur tongue)…..or protection…(killing harmless animals…..)…
    u can be considered nothing less than murderers……when a festival is celebrated what is the need to kill…?when a baby is born why do u need to kill …?(perhaps to create space for the baby in this world??)

    monsters….!(not all…)killing by thousands..n thousands…..not realizing the meaning of love for life…u r but another animal….(Homo sapiens …tat’s all…)..do the other species behave so…?
    as far as i know or everyone knows…..other animals do not kill for any happy occassion…(birth of puppies or kittens…)or to satisfy their tongue,…..they hunt only for their stomach…..(not greedy)…

  15. ThinkAboutIt says:

    You all can “believe” whatever you want, but the scientific facts are that having your throat cut open and being left to bleed out is far more painful than being stunned and then killed.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17972-animals-feel-the-pain-of-religious-slaughter.html

  16. ThinkAboutIt , thank you for that interesting link.

  17. saleh says:

    Alhamdullilah, there are many topics in this article that have not been covered by the author. First of all slaughtering should not happen in front of other animls and this is a must. The current system of slaughterhouses is basically UnIslamic as I have seen people working there without any concern for being humane to the animals. Just because you are killing an animal does not give you the right to treat the animal with cruelty.
    Sadly it is difficult to expect kindheartedness from the Ummah when they busy killing each other times.
    Our beloved Prophet said had warned us of these times.

  18. rasik says:

    I get an impression from above that Islam imposes/supports non-vegitarianism.

    Millions are living without killing & eating any animals. How could anybody kill animals and then justify/glorify it.

  19. raj says:

    hi everyone gone through all of ur comments…I ahave a strange kind of feelings about eating meat…I eat meat very occasionly(like once in 3 months)..and everytime i feel uncomfortable abt it……sometimes i feel its not good ..and sometimes i feel its ok…
    as far as killing is concerned i feel completly agree with the above post that hallal way of killing is most painful( I think its like tadpa tadpa ke marna)…..
    correct me if i am wrong but i feel muslims eat lot of meat…hardly seen any vegetarian muslim or heard about(Except Dr Apj Abdul Kalam)..

  20. indo gal says:

    In the Islamic world, when a baby is born, they usually slaughter a goat/lamb. This however, is not obligatoary. It must be noted that this slaughter is not as a sacrifice, but as a symbol of gratitude, where parents want to share their joy with the poor and needy. The poor and needy people in poor or developing countries would never eat or even if they do, can just afford to eat meat once a year. When a more well-off family receives joy of a new born and have a goat/lamb killed, the meat is distributed amongst the poor. Its a way to share joy and happiness. The only sacrifice in Islamic belief is when Prophet Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, which was then changed into a lamb. That’s it.
    By the was, its so much easy for you guys coming from developed countries to pledge vegetarianism. Come and see for yourself how poor people in poor countries live, and how they are vegetarians by force. Please, do not judge those who eat animals.

  21. indo gal says:

    I hope the following article will satisfy those who have the strongest affection towards animal.

    German Research Studies Pain

    It therefore may come as a surprise to those who have made such acclimations to learn of the results of a study carried out by Professor Wilhelm Schulze and his colleague Dr. Hazim at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover University in Germany. The study: ‘Attempts to Objectify Pain and Consciousness in Conventional (captive bolt pistol stunning) and Ritual (halal, knife) Methods of Slaughtering Sheep and Calves’ concludes that Islamic slaughtering is the most humane method of slaughter and that captive bolt stunning, practiced in the West, causes severe pain to the animal.

    In the study, several electrodes were surgically implanted at various points of the skull of all animals, touching the surface of the brain. The animals were allowed to recover for several weeks. Some animals were then slaughtered by making a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck cutting the jugular veins and the carotid arteries as well as the trachea and esophagus (Islamic method). Other animals were stunned using a Captive Bolt Pistol (CBP). During the experiment, an electroencephalograph (EEG) and an electrocardiogram (ECG) recorded the condition of the brain and the heart of all animals during the course of slaughter and stunning.

    The results were as follows:

    I – Islamic Method

    1. The first three seconds from the time of Islamic slaughter as recorded on the EEG did not show any change from the graph before slaughter, thus indicating that the animal did not feel any pain during or immediately after the incision.

    2. For the following 3 seconds, the EEG recorded a condition of deep sleep – unconsciousness. This is due to the large quantity of blood gushing out from the body.

    3. After the above-mentioned 6 seconds, the EEG recorded zero level, showing no feeling of pain at all.

    4. As the brain message (EEG) dropped to zero level, the heart was still pounding and the body convulsing vigorously (a reflex action of the spinal cord) driving a maximum amount of blood from the body thus resulting in hygienic meat for the consumer.

    II – Western method by C.B.P. Stunning

    1. The animals were apparently unconscious soon after stunning.

    2. EEG showed severe pain immediately after stunning.

    3. The hearts of animals stunned by C.B.P. stopped beating earlier as compared to those of the animals slaughtered according to the Islamic method resulting in the retention of more blood in the meat. This in turn is unhygienic for the consumer.

    Western-Style Slaughtering and Mad Cow’s Disease

    Not only is this method of stunning animals before the slaughter severely painful as shown by the previous experiment, but there is also a rising concern that this method may be a factor in the spread of mad cow’s disease from cattle to humans as it was discovered in recent research carried out at Texas A&M University and by Canada’s Food Inspection Agency, that a method called pneumatic stunning (which is the firing of a metal bolt into the cow’s brain followed by a pulverizing burst of 150 pounds of air pressure) delivered a force so explosive that it scattered brain tissue throughout the animal. This news is disturbing since the brain tissue and spinal cord are the most infectious parts of an animal with mad cow disease, which causes fatal Swiss cheese like holes in the brain of the infected animal. It is more disturbing to find out that around 30 to 40 percent of American cattle are stunned by pneumatic guns.

  22. indo gal says:

    I hope the following link of a valid article will satisfy those who have the strongest affection towards animal.

    German Research Studies Pain
    It is a study done by a German professor in Germany, so there should be no bias.
    The study proves how the Islamic way of slaugtering animals is not at all painful for the animals.
    http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&pagename=Zone-English-HealthScience/HSELayout&cid=1157365866876

  23. rasik says:

    Hi Indogal,
    I appreciate your effort as depicted in your reply. Your reply hints that you think it is underdevopment of a region that comples people there, to adopt non-vegitarianism. Which itself indirectly suggests that if somebody is developed/wealthy enough, he/she should or may go for veg.
    Further, I draw your attention to my questions, which remains unanswered.
    Do Islam imposes/supports non-vegitarianism ?

    Millions are living without killing & eating any animals. How could anybody kill animals and then justify/glorify it.

  24. Jay says:

    Salaam brothers and sisters, after reading all posts i have a video which may help

  25. Pingback: Beautiful Islamic Ringtones And English Nasheed Ringtones | 1 MUSLIM NATION

  26. rasik says:

    Hi Jay,
    I have seen/heard the video. I will fully reply later on. But right now i give hereunder a passage copied from http://www.al-islam.org/m_morals/chap2.htm
    “In another incident, three women came to the Prophet and complained that their husbands were abstaining from meat, perfume and intimate relations with their wives. The Prophet quickly came to the mosque, went on the pulpit and said, “What has happened to some of my companions that they do not eat meat, they do not use perfume and they do not go to their women?! Whereas I eat meat, use perfume and go to my wives. Therefore whosoever dislikes my tradition, then he is not from me. (Wasa’il, Vol. 14, p.4)”
    Now, if you go through your video (at 0.29 time) the speaker says muslim can be vegitarian and still be muslim.
    I see contradiction in abve passage and the video. Can you through some light ?
    Thanks.

  27. rasik says:

    My following comment is missing from above. Is it inappropriate to publish this message ? date 02.01.2010
    Hi Jay,
    I have seen/heard the video. I will fully reply later on. But right now i give hereunder a passage copied from http://www.al-islam.org/m_morals/chap2.htm
    “In another incident, three women came to the Prophet and complained that their husbands were abstaining from meat, perfume and intimate relations with their wives. The Prophet quickly came to the mosque, went on the pulpit and said, “What has happened to some of my companions that they do not eat meat, they do not use perfume and they do not go to their women?! Whereas I eat meat, use perfume and go to my wives. Therefore whosoever dislikes my tradition, then he is not from me. (Wasa’il, Vol. 14, p.4)”
    Now, if you go through your video (at 0.29 time) the speaker says muslim can be vegitarian and still be muslim.
    I see contradiction in abve passage and the video. Can you through some light ?
    Thanks.

  28. Alchemia says:

    Rasik, in this context, and correct me if I am wrong brothers and sisters, preventing someone from eating meat is forbidden, you cannot force someone to NOT do something that is permitted.

  29. rasik says:

    Alchemia,
    Your comment seems are not throwing light on questions asked here in above. Further, let me answer your question by asking questions.
    Do you think it is about PREVENTING someone from eating meat (WHICH IN FACT IS KILLING AN ANIMAL and not MERELY EATING MEAT) ?
    Who has FORBIDDEN it ? Where ? When ?
    Is it FORCING someone ?

    Dear, it is purely a question to think over sincerely and compassionately. Please do meditate upon the thought. Please. Do answer.

  30. Muhammad says:

    well written reply, it should be noted that in the Holy Qu’ran the LORD has also told us (muslims) the blood of Animals, hence why the blood must escape the Animal before it is Halal, in Islam the creature must be Killed and God’s name must be mentioned for it to be Halal , the Holy Qu’ran makes very few exceptions, for Allah(BGH) does not wish to make things difficult for us, and in the Bible the notion that killing animals is wrong, (somehow sinful) is condemned as “a doctrine of devils” for Allah (blessed and glorified is He) has created Animals for man, and gave to man dominion over the whole world this is reaffirmed in the Holy Qu’ran. buddhism has this strange notion the world is evil and there is no real explanation of creation in buddhism, just the nirvana. polytheism nonetheless.

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