The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Rules of Slaughtering

1 Question: What are the conditions for slaughtering of an animal?
Answer: There are certain conditions for the slaughtering of an animal. They are as follows:-
1. A person, a man or a woman, who slaughters an animal must be a Muslim. An animal can also be slaughtered by a Muslim child who is mature enough to distinguish between good and bad, but not by non-Muslims other than Ahle Kitab, or a person belonging to those sects who are classified as Kafir, like, Nawasib - the enemies of Ahlul Bait (A.S.). In fact, even if Ahle Kitab non-Muslim slaughters an animal, as per precaution, it will not be halal, even if he utters 'Bismillah'.
2. The animal should be slaughtered with a weapon made of iron. However, if an implement made of iron is not available, it should be slaughtered with a sharp object like glass or stone, so that the four veins are severed, even if the slaughtering may not be necessary, like when the animal is on the verge of death.
3. When an animal is slaughtered, it should be facing Qibla. If the animal is sitting or standing, then facing Qibla would be like a man standing towards Qibla while praying. And if it is lying on its right or left side, then its neck and stomach should be facing Qibla. It is not necessary that its legs, hands and face be towards Qibla.
If a person who knows the rule, purposely ignores placing the animal towards Qibla, the animal would become haraam; but if he forgets or does not know the rule, or makes a mistake in ascertaining the Qibla, or does not know the direction of Qibla, or is unable to turn the animal towards Qibla, there is no objection. As a recommended precaution, the person slaughtering should also face Qibla.
4. When a person wants to slaughter an animal, just as he makes the Niyyat to slaughter, he should utter the name of Allah, and it suffices if he says 'Bismillah' only, or if he utters 'Allah'. But if he utters the name of Allah without the intention of slaughtering the animal, the slaughtered animal does not become Pak and it is also haraam to eat its meat. And if he did not utter the name of Allah forgetfully, there is no objection.
5. The animal should show some movement after being slaughtered; at least it should move its eyes or tail or strike its foot on the ground.This law applies only when it is doubtful whether or not the animal was alive at the time of being slaughtered, otherwise it is not essential.
6. It is necessary that the blood should flow in normal quantity from the slaughtered animal. If someone blocks the vein, not allowing blood to flow out, or if the bleeding is less than normal, that animal will not be halal. But if the blood which flows is less because the animal bled profusely before the slaughter, there is no objection.
7. The animal should be slaughtered from its proper place of slaughtering; on the basis of recommended precaution, the neck should be cut from its front, and the knife should be used from the back of the neck.
2 Question: What is the ruling in the matter of the meat or hide of an animal sold by Muslims, especially, when it is not known it was ritually slaughtered?
Answer: You should assume that it was ceremonially slaughtered, unless you have proof to the contrary.
3 Question: Would prevention by law, of slaughtering at Mina be sufficient to realise the inability to carry out slaughtering there, especially, if there was reason to believe that a financial or physical harm could ensue, should the law be broken?
Answer: Fear of consequential harm for breaking the law should lift the obligation of slaughtering at Mina. It must not be understood, though, that slaughtering elsewhere would make up for slaughtering in it. However, what makes slaughtering elsewhere in order is [indeed] Mina’s small capacity to host all pilgrims as discussed in Manisikul Hajj. Apparently, slaughtering was made impossible, for the reasons mentioned in the question, not for the smallness of Mina? Therefor, combining both slaughtering outside Mina and fasting in lieu of hady (sacrificial offering) should be in order, as a matter of ihtiyat luzumi.
4 Question: A pilgrim secured the value of the share of the poor and the believers (mu’mineen) in the hady. What is the basis of evaluation? Should it be before or after slaughtering?
Answer: What is of importance is securing the value after slaughtering.
5 Question: Is it permissible to eat the meat of an animal which has been slaughtered by a non-Muslim?
Answer: No, it is not permissible.
6 Question: Nowadays, it is not feasible to divide hady into three shares. Even the authorities prevent the owner of hady to eat from it. Similarly, they prevent distributing hady on the poor and the believers. What should one do?
Answer: What is obligatory, that must not be fluted for reasons of ihtiyat, out of the said division is giving the third [of hady] to the poor. As for eating of one’s own share and giving some of it out for present to others, they are not obligatory. Giving the third party by way of sadaqah can cease to be operative, should it become impossible or difficult.
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