In the Name of Allāh,
the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful
Praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, may the blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the last of prophets, on his family, and all his companions.
Resolution No. 95 (3/10) Animal Slaughters
The Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, holding its 10th session in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 23–28 Ṣafar 1418h (28 June – 3 July 1997),
Having examined the research papers submitted to the Academy concern- ing Animal Slaughters,
Having listened to the discussions on the subject with the participation of Fiqh scholars, medical and nutrition specialists,
Having recalled that animal slaughtering is one of the issues subject to Shariah rulings confirmed by the Quran and the Sunnah,
Having considered that observing these rulings is part and parcel of the re- spect towards Islamic rites and symbols distinguishing Muslims from non-Mus- lims, as the Prophet SAW said, “He who does his prayer as we do; who turns his face as we do towards the Qibla, who eats the meat of the animal we have slaughtered, is a Muslim and enjoys the protection of Allāh and His Prophet,”
First: The lawful slaughter of an animal is performed in one of the follow- ing methods:
- Cutting the animal’s throat (Dhabḥ): it consists of cutting the esophagus, the two jugular veins, and the pharynx of the This is the method preferred by Shariah for slaughtering cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry. It is also permissible for other animals.
- Plunging a knife in the base of the neck (Naḥr): This is the method preferred by Shariah for slaughtering camels and similar animals. This method is also permissible for the cattle.
- Wounding (ʿAqr): it consists in wounding an animal when there is no other choice, at any part of the body. This method is applied for wild animals hunting of which is lawful, or ferocious domestic If the animal is captured alive, it should be slaughtered using the first or the
Second: The lawful slaughter of an animal is subject to the following conditions:
- The person performing the slaughter must be of appropriate age and enjoying full mental faculties; he must be a Muslim or belonging to the People of the Book (Jews or Christians). It is not permissible to eat the meat of an animal killed by pagans, atheists, non-believers, Magus, apos- tates, or any other disbelievers, at the exception of the People of the
- The slaughtering must be performed with a sharp cutting instrument, either made of steel or other metal, capable of making the blood spurt, at the exception of teeth and fingernails which should not be used.
It is prohibited to eat the meat of animals killed by suffocation, or knocked out with a blunt object (stone, stick, etc.), or killed after a dead- ly fall from an elevated spot or in a ravine or after receiving a blow from the horn of another animal, or the remains of an animal devoured by wild animals or birds of prey not trained for hunting. Nevertheless, if the animal is captured alive, then slaughtered, it is lawful to eat it.
- The person performing the slaughter must invoke the Name of Allāh at the beginning of the operation. The use of a recorded Tasmiya (invo- cation of the Name of Allāh) cannot replace this act, but if the person performing the slaughter forgets to invoke the Name of Allāh, the meat of the slaughtered animal is indeed lawful for consumption.
Third: The slaughter of an animal should be performed in accordance with the rules of ethics prescribed by Shariah, like being merciful and gentle towards the animal, before, during and after the slaughter.
The sharpening of the instrument should not be done in front of the animal. An animal should not be slaughtered in front of another animal. It is forbidden to kill an animal with a non-sharpened instrument. The animal to slaughter should not be tortured. No part of its body should be cut off and it should not be skinned, or thrown into boiling water, or plucked, before one makes sure it is completely dead.
Fourth: The animal to be slaughtered must be free from any contagious disease that would alter the consistency of its flesh and be harmful to the con- sumer’s health. This sanitary requirement is imperative concerning the meat sold on the marketplace or imported.
- The lawful slaughter must, in principle, be carried out without stunning
the animal, as the Islamic method, by its requirements and ethics, is the best because it is more merciful towards the animal and shortens its suf- fering. Therefore, competent authorities are called upon to develop the means and instruments to be used for the slaughter of large animals, so as to fully comply with these requirements.
While complying with the provisions of the above paragraph, it is per- missible to consume the meat of a lawfully slaughtered animal after it has been stunned, if it is technically certified that the animal did not die from this operation before its slaughter. This procedure is defined by Muslim experts as follows:
- Application of two electrodes on the temples or the animal’s forehead or nape.
- The voltage should be between 100 and 400
- The electric power should be between 75 to 1 ampere for sheep and between 2 and 2.5 amperes for cattle.
- The electrical shock should last 3 to 6
- It is prohibited to knock out the animal with a needle gun, an axe, a hammer or by inflating it as in the English method.
- It is prohibited to stun poultry with electric shocks, as experience has shown that many animals die before slaughter with this
- It is not prohibited to consume the meat of an animal lawfully slaughtered after stunning it by using a mixture of carbon dioxide and air or oxygen or by using a round-headed gun that would not cause the death of the animal before
Sixth: Muslims living in non-Muslim countries must strive, through legal ways, to obtain permission to slaughter animals following the Islamic method, without stunning.
Seventh: Muslims travelling abroad or living in a non-Muslim country are allowed to consume the meat of lawful animals slaughtered by the People of the Book, after making sure it is free from any forbidden material. However, this meat is prohibited if it is proved that the animal has not been slaughtered according to the Islamic method.
Eighth: The slaughter of poultry or other animals should – in principle – be performed manually with the butcher’s hand; however, it is not prohibited to use mechanic instruments for slaughtering poultry if conditions prescribed in
paragraph (2) above are met. It is also permissible to invoke the Name of Allāh once before the slaughtering of several animals, provided that there is no inter- ruption in the process. If the operation is interrupted, the invocation should be repeated.
- If meat is imported from countries where the majority of the population is from the People of the Book and where animals are killed in modern slaughterhouses, following one of the lawful methods and abiding by the Shariah conditions in this regard in Paragraph (2), then their consump- tion is lawful, in compliance with the Divine Words, «The food of the People of the Book is lawful to » (Al-Māʾidah, 6)
- The meat imported from countries where the majority of the population does not belong to the People of the Book are forbidden since there is a strong suspicion that the slaughter of the animals has been carried out by an unauthorized person in the regard of Shariah.
- The consumption of meat imported from countries defined in the above paragraph (2) is permissible only if a certified Islamic institution super- vises the slaughtering process and if the person operating is a Muslim or from the People of the
- Call upon the governments of Muslim countries to approach the au- thorities of non-Muslim countries where Muslims live, in order to offer the Muslim community, the possibility of slaughtering animals using the Shariah-compliant method, without stunning.
In order to eliminate all problems related to the importation of meat from non-Muslim countries, it is necessary to implement the following measures:
- To develop livestock production in Muslim countries to achieve self- sufficiency in this field.
- To rely, to the extent possible, on importing meat only from Muslim
- To import live animals and slaughter them according to the Islamic method, to ensure that the Shariah conditions are fully
- To request the Organization of the Islamic Conference to establish a unified Islamic Authority to undertake control operations over
imported meats, thus creating an institution entrusted with the elaboration of detailed rules specifying Shariah requirements for slaughter, and to carry out control and supervision directly on site, with the assistance of experts in Shariah and technicians. A distinctive trademark registered and protected internationally by law should be stamped on the meat certified by this authority.
- To endeavor making the institution mentioned in paragraph (d) the only authority entrusted with this control task and to call upon Muslim countries to recognize this exclusive
- Pending the implementation of the recommendation contained in paragraph (d) above, meat importers and exporters are requested to commit themselves to full compliance with the Shariah conditions for slaughtering any animal intended for consumption in Muslim countries, in order to prevent Muslims from falling into prohibited acts by resorting to effortless solutions and importing meat without ensuring at the outset that the animal has been slaughtered in accordance with Shariah.
Indeed, Allāh is the Giver of success.