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You Are Here: Knowledge Base Aqeedah (Pillars of Faith) Kufr (Disbelief) and its types

Animals slaughtered by those who supplicate to and implore other than Allah


Question: Some students of Islamic knowledge claim that it is permissible to eat the meat of animals slaughtered by people who seek relief from and supplicate to people other than Allah in matters that only Allah is Able to do.

They say that this is permissible as long as they mention the Name of Allah upon slaughtering. They support their claim by the saying of Allah (Exalted be He): So eat of that (meat) on which All‚h‘s Name has been pronounced (while slaughtering the animal) and His saying: And why should you not eat of that (meat) on which All‚h‘s Name has been pronounced (at the time of slaughtering the animal), while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity? And surely many do lead (mankind) astray by their own desires through lack of knowledge. Certainly your Lord knows best the transgressors.

Such students hold that those who prohibit eating from the meat of these animals belong to the transgressors who lead people astray by their own desires due to lack of knowledge. They add that Allah explains in detail what is forbidden for us in His saying: Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maitah (the dead animals- cattle- beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which All‚h‘s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering and His saying: He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than All‚h (or has been slaughtered for idols, on which All‚h‘s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering).

In addition to other similar Ayahs (Qur'anic verses), which give details concerning the slaughtered animals that Allah prohibits. In these Ayahs, it was not mentioned that any of the animals on which the Name of Allah is pronounced is prohibited even if the slaughterer is idolatrous or Magian.

They claim that Shaykh Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab used to eat from the animals slaughtered by those who used to invoke Zayd ibn Al-Khattab if they pronounced the Name of Allah upon slaughtering. Is this correct? If they are wrong, how can we understand the evidence they use? What is the true stance in this regard? Please, substantiate your answer with evidence.


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A: The ruling on slaughtered animals, being lawful or not, varies according to the status of the slaughterers. If the slaughterer is Muslim and known to avoid committing actions that take him out of Islam, provided that he pronounces the Name of Allah or it is not known whether he pronounces the Name of Allah on his slaughtered animals or not, this animal will be lawful according to the Ijma` (consensus of scholars) of Muslims.

Allah (Exalted be He) says, So eat of that (meat) on which All‚h‘s Name has been pronounced (while slaughtering the animal), if you are believers in His Ay‚t (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.). And why should you not eat of that (meat) on which All‚h‘s Name has been pronounced (at the time of slaughtering the animal), while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity?

If the slaughterer belongs to the People of the Book, i.e. a Jew or a Christian, and pronounces the Name of Allah upon slaughtering the animal, it will be lawful according to the Ijma`.

Allah (Exalted be He) says, The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you

Scholars differed about the lawfulness of animals slaughtered by the People of the Book if they do not pronounce the Name of Allah or any other name on it. Scholars who deemed it lawful supported their opinion by the general meaning of the saying of Allah (Exalted be He): The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you

Whereas, scholars who prohibited it drew the general evidence on the obligation of pronouncing the Name of Allah upon slaughtering or hunting an animal and the prohibition of eating animals on whose slaughtering the Name of Allah is not pronounced, from Allah's saying (Exalted be He): Eat not (O believers) of that (meat) on which All‚h‘s Name has not been pronounced (at the time of the slaughtering of the animal)

This is the preponderant opinion. If the person who belongs to the People of the Book pronounces a name other than Allah's upon slaughtering an animal, such as saying, "In the name of Ezra, or Jesus, or the Cross", it will not be permissible to eat from that animal.

In fact, it is included in
the saying of Allah (Exalted be He) that explains the prohibited types of food, reading: and that on which All‚h's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, (that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than All‚h for this Ayah specifies the general meaning of Allah's Saying: The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you

If the slaughterer is a Magian, the animal he slaughters cannot be eaten, whether he pronounces the Name of Allah upon slaughtering it or not. We do not know any scholar contesting this ruling, with the exception of an opinion reported from Abu Thawr which states that the animal hunted or slaughtered by a Magian is lawful.

He supported this opinion by a report in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Treat them [Magians] in the same way you treat the People of the Book. He argued that Magians are left to practice the rituals of their religion like the People of the Book, in return for paying Jizyah (poll tax required from non-Muslims living in an Islamic state). Therefore, the animals they hunt and slaughter are lawful.

Scholars criticized Abu Thawr and considered his opinion against the Ijma` of the early Salaf (righteous predecessors) scholars. Ibn Qudamah stated in Al-Mughny:

Ibrahim Al-Harby said:
"Abu Thawr violated the Ijma`." Ahmad said: "There are some scholars who see no harm in eating the meat of the animals slaughtered by the Magians. How strange that is!" He implicitly criticizes Abu Thawr through this saying.

Some other scholars see that it is Makruh (reprehensible) to eat the slaughtered animals of the Magians, such as Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, `Aly, Jabir, Abu Burdah, Sa`id ibn Al-Musayyib, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad, `Ata', Mujahid, `Abdul-Rahman ibn Abu Layla, Sa`id ibn Jubayr, Murrah Al-Hamadany, Al-Zuhry, Malik, Al-Thawry, Al-Shafi`y and As-hab-ul-Ra'y (scholars, especially the Hanafys, who exercised personal reasoning to reach judgments in the absence of clear texts).

Ahmad said:
There are no scholars who hold a contradicting opinion save a doer of Bid`ah (innovation in religion), because Allah (Exalted be He) says: The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you It implies that food of the disbelievers, other than the People of the Book, is unlawful.

Additionally, Magians do not have a Divine Book, so their slaughtered animals are not lawful just like the idol worshippers.

Ibn Qudamah added that Jizyah is collected from them because of the fact that they might have a Divine Book necessitates that their lives must be protected. Since it proved weighty with regard to protecting their lives, it is obligatory not to consider them having a Divine Book when it comes to the prohibition of their slaughtered animals and marrying their women.

This ruling imposes some sort of precaution regarding the prohibition of the two incidents. It is also an Ijma` since it represents the opinion of the scholars we mentioned above with no dissenting voice recorded at their age or later save a report from Sa`id, who held otherwise.

If the slaughterer is a Mushrik (one who associates others with allah in His Divinity or worship), idol worshipper or the like, apart from Magians and People of the Book, Muslim scholars unanimously held that the animals they slaughter are prohibited, whether they pronounce the Name of Allah upon slaughtering them or not. Allah (Exalted be He) says:

The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you

This Ayah implies that slaughtered animals of the disbelievers are unlawful; otherwise there is no point in mentioning People of the Book exclusively in this ruling.

Likewise, whoever belongs to Islam, while invoking someone other than Allah for things that only Allah is Able to fulfill or seeking relief from someone other than Allah, their slaughtered animals take the same ruling of the animals slaughtered by the idolatrous disbelievers and atheists.

Accordingly, the animals they slaughter are not lawful, just as the slaughtered animals of the disbelievers, due to their Shirk (associating others in worship with Allah) and apostasy are unlawful. Thus, their slaughtered animals are unlawful according to Ijma` and the implication of the Ayah, for both specify the general indication of Allah's saying: So eat of that (meat) on which All‚h‘s Name has been pronounced (while slaughtering the animal) and His saying: And why should you not eat of that (meat) on which All‚h‘s Name has been pronounced (at the time of slaughtering the animal)

Therefore, these two Ayahs or other Ayahs to that effect cannot stand as evidence on lawfulness of the animals slaughtered by the idol worshippers or the like who abandoned Islam by persisting in seeking relief from people other than Allah and supplicating the dead for matters that only Allah is Able to fulfill.

This comes after establishing the proof against him that his action is a kind of Shirk like that which was common in the pre-Islamic era.

It is not valid to rule as lawful the animals slaughtered by the Muslim who seeks relief from people other than Allah, like the dead, or implores creatures for things that are sought only from Allah, when he pronounces the Name of Allah upon slaughtering.

This cannot be concluded based on the notion that their slaughtered animals are not explicitly listed in the Ayah, which reads: He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than All‚h (or has been slaughtered for idols, on which All‚h‘s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering).

Furthermore, it is not right to rely on other similar Ayahs that expound the unlawful types of food. Though the animals slaughtered by such a category of people are not explicitly mentioned in the texts, which explain the unlawful foods, they are generally included in the flesh of dead animals. That is because those people renounced Islam by committing acts that contradict the very foundations of their faith and insisted on doing them after they have been educated beyond a shadow of doubt.

Whoever claims that the Imam Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab (may Allah be merciful with him) used to eat from the animals slaughtered by the people of Makkah, who invoked Zayd ibn Al-Khattab, this is nothing more than guessing and an unfounded claim.

On the contrary, it contradicts what is stated in his books about considering those who invoke people other than Allah, being a closer angel, a prophet or a righteous slave, for matters that only Allah is Able to fulfill, are Mushriks and apostates.

According to him, Shirk committed by these people is more heinous than the Shirk which was common in the pre-Islamic era.

Therefore, they and their slaughtered animals take the same rulings of the disbelievers of the pre-Islamic era, or even worse. Muslim scholars have unanimously agreed on the prohibition of animals slaughtered by the disbelievers, excluding People of the Book, even if they pronounce the Name of Allah upon slaughtering.

In fact, saying Tasmiyah (in the Name of Allah) before slaughtering an animal is an act of worship that will not be accepted save after dedicating it solely to Allah (Glorified be He) Alone.

Allah (Glorified be He) says: But if they had joined in worship others with All‚h, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!



Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'

Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz


Browse by Volume Number > Group 1 > Volume 22: Hudud - Slaughtering and Hunting > Slaughtering and hunting > Animals slaughtered by those who supplicate to and implore other than Allah / Fatwa no. 1423.



Reference: qsep.com