Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quran & Hadith: Toxins



TOXINS, INTOXICANTS in the Quran

وانفقوا في سبيل الله ولاتلقوا بايديكم الى التهلكة واحسنوا ان الله يحب المحسنين

Give generously for the cause of Allah and do not cast yourselves into destruction by your own hands. Be charitable: Allah loves those who are charitable.
— Quran, Surat Al-Baqarah 2:195

Hadith referencing TOXINS, INTOXICANTS

Although not one-and-the-same, many foods identified as TOXINS are also INTOXICANTS, consumed because of the effects they have on a person's state of being. AMNA has differentiates between ALCOHOL products and INTOXICANTS. The reason for this is simply to provide more precision in our judgements.

Much of the hadith prohibiting intoxicants is the same the ahadith prohibiting alcohol. The explanation being that:
  1. First the Prophet (s.a.s.) first prohibited khamr (wine), 
  2. Then he extended the meaning of khamr to include the prohibition of all alcoholic beverages, regardless of what they are made from.
  3. Finally, he further extended the meaning of khamr to include any substance that intoxicates.
Prohibition against drinking / consuming alcohol 
or other intoxicants in any quantity or strength

Narrated by Ahmed bin al-Musnad:
"Whatever intoxicates in large quantities, a small amount of it is haram.”
— al-Musnad, 2/91, 167, 179; 3/343.

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
"I heard the Prophet of Allah (s.a.s.) say: 'Every intoxicant is forbidden; if a faraq ('fraction') of anything causes intoxication, a handful of it is forbidden.'"
— Abu Dawoud. Book 26, Number 3679

Prohibition against khamr as medicine
and recognition of it as a disease


Narrated Tariq ibn Suwayd:
"Wa'il said: 'Tariq ibn Suwayd asked the Prophet about wine, but he forbade it. He again asked him, but he forbade him. He said to him: "Prophet of Allah, it is a medicine." The Prophet said: "No it is a disease."'"
— Abu Dawoud

Umm Salamah, the wife of the Prophet reports that he once said:
"Allah has not placed a cure for your diseases in things that He has forbidden for you.''
— Bukhari on the authority of Ibn Mas'ud.

Abu ad-Darda reported that the Prophet said:
"Allah has sent down both the malady and its remedy. For every disease He has created a cure. So seek medical treatment, but never with something the use of which Allah has prohibited.''
— Abu Dawoud; Sahih Bukhari

Prohibition against buying, selling, transporting, producing alcohol

Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar:
"The Prophet (s.a.s.) said: 'Allah has cursed wine, its drinker, its server, its seller, its buyer, its presser, the one for whom it is pressed, the one who conveys it, and the one to whom it is conveyed.'"
— Abu Dawoud. Book 26, Number 3666

Defining word khamr ('wine') to extend to all alcoholic beverages, 
beyond those produced by grapes

Narrated An-Nu'man ibn Bashir:
"The Prophet (s.a.s.) said: 'From grapes wine is made, from dried dates wine is made, from honey wine is made, from wheat wine is made, from barley wine is made.'"
— Abu Dawoud. Book 26, Number 3668

Narrated An-Nu'man ibn Bashir: 
"I heard the Prophet of Allah (s.a.s.) say: 'Wine is made from grape-syrup, raisins, dried dates, wheat, barley, millet, and I forbid you from every intoxicant.'"
— Abu Dawoud. Book 26, Number 3669

Narrated AbdurRahman ibn Ghanam:
"Malik ibn AbuMaryam said: 'AbdurRahman ibn Ghanam entered upon us and we discussed tila' and he said: "AbuMalik al-Ash'ari told me that he heard the Prophet of Allah (s.a.s.) say: 'Some of my people will assuredly drink wine calling it by another name.'"'"
— Abu Dawoud. Book 26, Number 3680

Extending prohibition of khamr (alcoholic beverages) to all intoxicants

Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu'minin:
"The Prophet of Allah (s.a.s.) forbade every intoxicant and everything which produces languidness."
— Abu Dawoud. Book 26, Number 3672

Islamic Schools of Thought

"It is prohibited to have any kind of food or drink that causes harm to the body, such as poison, intoxicants, hashish or tobacco... [the] Quranic verse [above] indicates the prohibition of eating or drinking anything that may cause harm. In addition, there are many other legal proofs that emphasize the prohibition of any kind of food or drink that may be harmful either to one's mind or body."
— Al Fawzan, Dr. Salih (Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence. Member, The Permanent Committee on Fatwa and Research). "A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence, Vol. 2," Section XI: Food, Chapter 1, p. 652.

HARAM: Toxins

TOXINS - A poisonous substance produced by living cells or organisms that is active at very low concentrations. Toxins are capable of causing disease, paralysis or death on contact or absorption with body tissues by interacting with the body.

AMNA identifies foods containing substances that contain toxins that can do harm to the body, whether slowly in small amounts and over a long term, or immediately. Although not one-and-the-same, many foods identified as TOXINS are also INTOXICANTS, consumed because of the effects they have on a person's state of being. Much of the hadith prohibiting intoxicants is the same the ahadith prohibiting alcohol.

Islamic Prohibition against TOXINS

Islam forbids intentionally harming oneself. Foods which contain toxic substances which can do harm to the body's cells or nervous system, whether slowly in small amounts over a long term, or immediately, are then included under this prohibition.

[ TOXINS in Quran & Hadith ]

AMNA's Criteria for TOXINS

The table below describes our criteria for judging a FOOD as TOXIN. Helpful icons make it easy to judge foods at a glance.
 ICON
CLASS
  AMNA JUDGING CRITERIA
  SOME EXAMPLES...

TOXIN
Any food or ingredient containing TOXINS that cause damage to the body's systems, paralysis or death.
bromated flour, fugu (blowfish), ephedrine

Quran & Hadith: Halal


HALAL in the Quran
اليوم احل لكم الطيبات وطعام الذين اوتوا الكتاب حل لكم وطعامكم حل لهم والمحصنات من المؤمنات والمحصنات من الذين اوتوا الكتاب من قبلكم اذا اتيتموهن اجورهن محصنين غير مسافحين ولامتخذي اخدان ومن يكفر بالايمان فقد حبط عمله وهو في الاخرة من الخاسرين

“Today the good things are permitted you, and the food of those who were given the Book is permitted to you, and permitted to them is your food; Likewise believing women in wedlock, and in wedlock women of them who were given the Book before you if you give them their wages, in wedlock and not in licence, or as taking lovers. Whoso disbelieves in the faith, his work has failed, and in the world to come he shall be among the losers."
— Quran. Surat al-Ma'idah 5:5

ياايها الذين امنوا كلوا من طيبات مارزقناكم واشكروا لله ان كنتم اياه تعبدون

"O ye who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him ye worship."
— Quran. Surat al-Baqarah 2:172

والانعام خلقها لكم فيها دفء ومنافع ومنها تاكلو ٥ ولكم فيها جمال حين تريحون وحين تسرحون ٦

"And cattle He has created for you (men): from them you derive warmth, and numerous benefits, and of their (meat) you eat. And you have a sense of pride and beauty in them as you drive them home in the evening, and as you lead them forth to pasture in the morning."
— Quran. Surah an-Nahl 16:5-6

Hadith referencing HALAL

“Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”
— Collected by At-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’I and ad-Darimi; authenticated by Sheikh al-Albaani in Sahih al-Jami as-Saghir, Vol. 1, p. 637, Number 3378

Food of the People of the Book (Christians & Jews)

Narrated Abu Tha'laba Al-Khushani: "I said, 'O Allah's Prophet! We are living in a land ruled by the people of the Scripture; Can we take our meals in their utensils? In that land there is plenty of game and I hunt the game with my bow and with my hound that is not trained and with my trained hound. Then what is lawful for me to eat?' He said, 'As for what you have mentioned about the people of the Scripture, if you can get utensils other than theirs, do not eat out of theirs, but if you cannot get other than theirs, wash their utensils and eat out of it. If you hunt an animal with your bow after mentioning Allah's Name, eat of it. and if you hunt something with your trained hound after mentioning Allah's Name, eat of it, and if you hunt something with your untrained hound (and get it before it dies) and slaughter it, eat of it.'"
— Sahih Bukhari. 67: 387

CHICKEN
Narrated Abu Musa al-Ashari (r.a.a.):

"I saw the Messenger of Allah (r.a.a.) consuming (the meat of) chicken."
— Sahih al-Bukhari, Number 5198

CHEESE
Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:

"The Prophet (s.a.s.) was brought a piece of cheese in Tabuk. He called for a knife, mentioned Allah's Name and cut it."
— Abu Dawoud. Book 27, Number 3810

Jallalah of halal animals 
Narrated by Ibn 'Umar and 'Amr Ibn Shu'ayb:

"The Messenger of Allah (s.a.s.) forbade the eating (of) jallalah or (drinking) its milk."
— Imam Ahmad. Abu Dawud.

[AMNA Note:] The jallalah of otherwise halal animals (chicken, cows, camel, etc.) are excluded from being lawful food. Jallalah are those otherwise halal animals which eat impurities, such as animal feed 'enriched' with animal protein, (sometimes from the same species, making them cannibalistic) or with bone meal [pig-derived].)

In this regard, Ibnul-Qayyim says:

"Muslim scholars have unanimously agreed that if the animal is fed on imure fodder (animal feed), then detained and fed on pure food, its meat and milk became lawful. Likewise, if plants and fruits are watered with impure water, ten watered with pure water, they are deemed lawful. Thus, they are no longer deemed impure food because they have been converted to good and lawful food by means of pure water."
— I'lam Al-Muwaqqi'in 1:40

Quran & Hadith: Food of Shirk (شرك)


FOOD of SHIRK in the Quran

حرمت عليكم الميتة والدم ولحم الخنزير ومااهل لغير الله به والمنخنقة والموقوذة والمتردية والنطيحة ومااكل السبع الا ماذكيتم وماذبح على النصب وان تستقسموا بالازلام ذلك فسق اليوم يئس الذين كفروا من دينكم فلا تخشوهم واخشون اليوم اكملت لكم دينكم واتممت عليكم نعمتي ورضيت لكم الاسلام دينا فمن اضطر في مخمصة غير متجانف لاثم فان الله غفور رحيم

“Forbidden to you (for food) are: … meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allâh, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allâh's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering,…”
— Quran, Surat Al-Ma'idah 5:3

The food of Christians and Jews has been made lawful for Muslims to eat (so long as it doesn't contain a prohibited substance). Conversely, the food of pagans, polytheists, athiests or those who divert is forbidden. This prohibition is not limited to only meat, but to 'food' in the broadest sense (at-T3am).

اليوم احل لكم الطيبات وطعام الذين اوتوا الكتاب حل لكم وطعامكم حل لهم والمحصنات من المؤمنات والمحصنات من الذين اوتوا الكتاب من قبلكم اذا اتيتموهن اجورهن محصنين غير مسافحين ولامتخذي اخدان ومن يكفر بالايمان فقد حبط عمله وهو في الاخرة من الخاسرين

“Today the good things are permitted you, and the food of those who were given the Book is permitted to you, and permitted to them is your food; Likewise believing women in wedlock, and in wedlock women of them who were given the Book before you if you give them their wages, in wedlock and not in licence, or as taking lovers. Whoso disbelieves in the faith, his work has failed, and in the world to come he shall be among the losers."
— Quran. Surat al-Ma'idah 5:5

Hadith referencing FOOD of SHIRK

Though it is impermissible to eat the food of those who are not People of the Book, pagans, athiests, etc., it is incumbant on Muslims to not reject feeding them.

Prophet Ibrahim had the habit of sharing breakfast with another person. So one day, an old man, a traveler appeared before him, ending his wait for a guest to share his meals. The Prophet invited the old man to breakfast with him. While they were introducing each other, he found that his guest was an idol worhipper. Ibrahim was fiercely opposed to idol worship; he had revolted against his own father earlier. Ibrahim told the man to leave. He waited for another person to share his meal with. According to the tradtion, the Archangel Gabriel appeared and asked Ibrahim why he would not share breakfast with the man. Ibrahim replied that it was because he was an idol worshipper. Gabriel then asked Ibrahim to tell him how old the man was. Then Gabriel asked Ibrahim: "If God can tolerate and provide a man who's been an idolator for his whole long life with food and other things for his survival, then why can’t Ibrahim tolerate him for just one meal? Ibrahim went out to call the traveler back to breakfast with him and apologized to the man.

HARAM: Food of Shirk (شرك)


SHIRK (شرك‎) — the Islamic concept of the sin of polytheism specifically, but in a more general way refers to worshipping other than Allah, associating partners with Him, giving His characteristics to other than Him, or not believing in His characteristics.

Islamic Prohibition against FOOD of SHIRK

Associating others with Allah is known as shirk, and is an unforgivable sin. Muslims are prohibited from eating the food (some Schools of Jurisprudence say meat) of those who are mushriqeen (polytheists), as well as any food sacrificed to a diety or offered in a religious rite that conflicts with tawheed (the Oneness of Allah).

[ FOOD of SHIRK in Quran & Hadith ]

AMNA's Criteria for FOOD of SHIRK

The table below describes our criteria for judging a FOOD as SHIRK. Helpful icons make it easy to judge foods at a glance.

 ICON
CLASS
  AMNA JUDGING CRITERIA
  SOME EXAMPLES...

SHIRK
Animals or foods ritually sacrificed in the name of anyone but Allah. [Quran 2:173];
Food created in remembrance of, or as an offering to, a deity: Jesus, Buddha, etc.;
Food that symbolically represents non-monotheistic belief elements such as the trinity.
Eucharist (communion bread or wine);
magiritsa (Greek), christopsomo (Christmas bread) (Greek);
lambropsomo (Easter bread) (Greek)

Related Topics:
What's the difference between kosher and halal?
Where can I find verses from the Quran, or hadith about FOOD of SHIRK?

SPOTLIGHT on ETHICS: Supermarket Meat

Supermarket Meat. Is it halal?
Is the meat — chicken, turkey, beef or lamb — found in your supermarket up to Islamic standards of halal?

This article discusses Islamic concerns of animal welfare, jallalah and the potential for contamination with haram substances, when considering supermarket-bought meat as halal or not. Zabiha (Islamic slaughter) is outside of the scope of this article.

Overview of Meats Found in Supermarkets

Factory Farmed Meat
If you've ever bought meat from your local supermarket, chances are it was raised in dense confinement with many other animals in the environment of a large-scale agrobusiness, known as Factory Farming. In fact, according to the Worldwatch Institute, 74 percent of the world's poultry, 43 percent of beef, and 68 percent of eggs are produced this way.[1] Factory farmed animals are reported to suffer a variety of health and emotional problems.

Organic Meat
Organic meat is meat from animals that have been raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics. Unlike most supermarket meat, organically raised chickens, cows, sheep and swine (yes, there are even organic pigs!) are given freedom of movement and allowed to roam freely in wide fields. Although preferable over standard supermarket meat, organic meat is not automatically halal.[2]

Butchering, Packaging of Supermarket Meats

If you buy chicken, beef or lamb at the supermarket, you should know where it was before it was packaged in plastic. Here are some important questions Muslim shoppers should ask their supermarket meat department, and the reasons why.

Question: Is the meat packaged at the store, or at the farm?
Most name-brand meat products specialize in one type of meat. One type of animal. Turkey farmers don't raise cows, for example. When a chicken company sells its product to supermarkets all over the country, then the equipment it uses to produce and package that chicken will be in demand 24/7, processing ONLY chicken.

If your meat is the store brand, butchered on your food store's butcher's table, then you have another question to ask to know if that chicken, beef or lamb is clean.

Question: How many butchering tables does the store's butcher have?
Many of today's supermarkets are equipt with two to three butcher tables. Typically, there is one dedicated to pork, and one to beef. Other meats such as rabbit, lamb or chicken can be cut on either, depending on store policy.

Organic stores tend to have a relatively small butcher shop, but typically offer their high-end consumers a wide range of meats, from buffalo to beef, pork, wild boar, ostrich, pheasant and chicken. Because of the low volume, and high variety of meats organic butchers typically offer, the butcher shops in organic and whole foods stores tend to have one butcher table for cutting and trimming these meats.

Bottom Line: You should ask the meat department of your supermarket or whole foods store what their butchering policies are.

Question: Does the butcher shop meat grinder grind both pork and beef?
Some supermarkets that we're familiar with purchase all of their ground pork, lamb, turkey and chicken pre-ground from their suppliers, but grind beef in-house. These suppliers, especially poultry processors, typically specialize in processing meats from one type of animal.

Bottom line: Ask which of the meats are ground using supermarket meat grinders, and if they have more than one machine to grind each type of meat.

Recommended Topics:
Jallalah of halal animals
Factory Farming
Zabiha, Islamic slaughter
Organic Meats

[1] State of the World 2006. Special Focus: China & India. "Chapter 2: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry." Danielle Nierenberg. Worldwatch Institute, p. 26. Online Summary found at: http://www.worldwatch.org/node/3993
[2] SPOTLIGHT on ETHICS: Organic Meat
[3] "Best Practices for Beef Slaughter," 2003. Edited by: National Meat Association, Southwest Meat Association, American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. http://haccpalliance.org/sub/food-safety/BestPracslaught1103.pdf [PDF]

SPOTLIGHT on ETHICS: Organic Meat

Is Organic Meat halal?
For the most part, the conditions under which organically raised animals are kept are more in line with Islamic ethical and cleanliness standards than with the typical practices and conditions of Factory Farming. However, the method of slaughter is a factor as to whether organic meat remains permissible. Also of importance is the cleanliness of the butchering space, specifically whether the knives or the butcher table are contaminated with the meat of a haram animal such as the pig.

Some important questions Muslim shoppers should ask
If you buy organic meat at a supermarket or organic food store...

Question: Is the meat packaged at the store, or at the farm?
Why?: If you are buying meat packaged by the producer, chances are that that producer specializes in one type of meat, one type of animal. Organic cattle farms don't often raise pork, for example. When an organic chicken farm sells its product to supermarkets all over the country, then the equipment it uses to produce and package chicken will be in demand 24/7, processing ONLY chicken.

If your organic chicken meat is butchered and packaged at the store...

Question: How many butchering tables does the store's butcher have?
Many organic stores have a relatively small butcher shop. Organic butchers tend to offer a wide range of meats, from buffalo to beef, pork, wild boar, ostrich, pheasant and chicken in low volume amounts. More-so than with supermarket butchers, organic butchers use the same table for cutting beef, lamb and buffalo as for cutting wild boar and pork. Ask the butcher at your whole foods store if they use the same butchering table and meat grinder for pork and wild boar as for beef, lamb, buffalo or venison. If they do, choose prepackaged organic meats.

If you buy zabiha slaughtered organic meat...

You are truly in the best possible situation. Your meat is in no-doubt halal, from the food that animal ate, the way it was treated, its death and the butchering conditions.

If you buy zabiha, but don't know about the farming conditions that the cow, goat or lamb was raised under, ask your halal butcher to carry organically-raised zabiha slaughtered meats.

Recommended Topics:

HARAM: Jallalah of Halal Animals

Jallalah is an Arabic term meaning an otherwise halal animal which has been made (temporarily) unclean due to the unclean food it eats. This encompasses cattle fed garbage, waste and animal (by-)products. The meat from such an animal is considered haram until it is fed a diet of clean food for a period of 3 months. Most "supermarket meat" comes from animals raised in Factory Farms, where efficiency of production (high volume, low cost) outweighs other concerns.

Jallalah of halal animals Narrated by Ibn 'Umar and 'Amr Ibn Shu'ayb:
"The Messenger of Allah (s.a.s.) forbade the eating (of) jallalah or (drinking) its milk."
— Imam Ahmad. Abu Dawud.

In this regard, Ibnul-Qayyim says:
"Muslim scholars have unanimously agreed that if the animal is fed on imure fodder (animal feed), then detained and fed on pure food, its meat and milk became lawful. Likewise, if plants and fruits are watered with impure water, ten watered with pure water, they are deemed lawful. Thus, they are no longer deemed impure food because they have been converted to good and lawful food by means of pure water."
— I'lam Al-Muwaqqi'in 1:40

Related Topics:

SPOTLIGHT on ETHICS: Islam & Vegetarianism

Islamic dietary law permits eating the meat of halal animals—halal meaning permitted. A halal animal must be in good health, not under duress and conscious at slaughter in order for the meat from it to be halal.

Vegetarianism
Islam permits all food, except for what is prohibited in the Quran and sunnah (tradition and teachings of the Prophet). It is highly frowned upon for Muslims to be vegetarian because it goes against the tenet of the permissibility of meat in Islam. The following verse says that everything that Allah gave us is halal to eat, except that which He assigned haram.

"Eat from what Allah has given you of halal and good; give thanks to Him for his blessings if you worship Him."
—Quran, Surat an-Nahl: 114

When Muslims prohibit themselves from eating meat, they go against the following Quranic verse ordering Muslims not to characterize something as forbidden which has been made permissible by Allah.

"He only prohibited to you, the dead, blood, the flesh of pigs and whatever was offered in sacrifice to deities. So whoever eats any of these out of extreme necessity, without exceding (what is needed to sustain life), then Allah is forgiving and merciful; And do not falsely state that this is halal and that is haram, so that you may create a lie on behalf of Allah; Know that those who attach lies to Allah shall not be successful; They will be given a little bit of joy in this life, then they will have severe torment."
—Quran, Surat an-Nahl 115-117

Related Topics:
Halal Animals
Haram Animals
Zabiha: Islamic slaughter

HARAM: Animals

Categories of haram Animals

Listed below, the basic Islamic principles of permissibility and impermissibility, within the Hanafi School of Thought, with regards to animal consumption. Muslim scholars[1] have classified prohibited (haram) land and air animals into six categories. These are:
  1. Animals specifically stated in the Quran and Sunnah as haram, such as domestic donkeys and pigs.
  2. Animals restricted by certain characteristics and criteria, like fanged beasts of prey (predators) and birds with talons.
  3. Scavengers that feed on carrion (dead animals), like vultures, crow, insects.
  4. Whatever is pernicious and causes harm, injury, ruin, like rats, snakes, scorpions, raccoon, and the kite hawk.
  5. Whatever is born as a result of copulation between two animal species, one of which is lawful to be eaten and the other which is prohibited, like the mule.
  6. Whatever the Shari'ah has ordered us to kill, like the five pernicious animals, and what Allah has forbidden us from killing, like the frog, the hoopoe (a crested bird) and the shrike (a bird with a hooked, jagged bill).
All other animals and birds are considered lawful, according to the rule stating that anything is deemed halal (lawful)[2, 3] until proved otherwise.

Things to Keep in Mind




  1. Each of the four Sunni (Shafa'i, Maliki, Hanbali & Hanafi) and the Shi'a (Jafari) Schools of Thought developed principles of permissibility with regards to which animals are lawful (halal) and which are unlawful (haram) for consumption. That being said, the basis for their jurisprudence (fiqh) is the common source of guidance for all Muslims—the Quran & Sunnah. While the principles above are representative of the whole, variations may exist.
  2. There are separate rules with regards to slaughtering and hunting halal animals. Failure to comply with these rules may render the meat of a halal animal haram.
  3. The jallalah of halal animals (cows, chicken, camels, etc.) are temporarily excluded from the lawful foods until they can be cleansed.
A list haram animals

ANIMAL
HALAL
COMMENTS
Boar
No

Cephalopods
octopus, squid, cuttlefish
Yes*
Sunni: Hanafi fiqh split on its legality. Halal in all other sunni Schools of Thought.
Shi'a: Not halal in Jafari.
Crustaceans
crab, lobster, crawfish
Yes*
Sunni: Hanafi fiqh split on its legality. Halal in all other sunni Schools of Thought.
Shi'a: Not halal in Jafari.
Donkey
No

Frog
No

Horse
Yes*
While permitted, eating horse meat is hated (makrouh).
Insects
carmine, shellac, cheese mites
No*
The Arabian locust is the only insect that is allowed by both halal and kosher dietary laws.
Pig
swine, boar
No

Predators, Air
hawk, owl, falcon
No

Predators, Land
bear, dog, alligator, snake
No

Scavengers, Carrion Eaters
buzzards, raccoon, worms
No*
Scavenging sea creatures are permitted.
Shellfish
mussels, clams, oysters
Yes*
Sunni: Hanafi fiqh split on its legality. Halal in all other sunni Schools of Thought.
Shi'a: Not halal in Jafari.
Snails
No

Zebra
Yes*
A wild donkey, zebra meat is permissible.

HALAL: Animals

What are the halal animals?

The following animals are halal for eating. This list is not inclusive.

Non-Predatory Birds:
Capon; Chicken; Dove; Duck; Francolin (a partridge); Goose; Heron; Hoopoe (hudhud); Lark; Nightingale; Ostrich; Parrot; Partridge; Peacock; Pigeon; Squab; Quail; Rooster; Sparrow; Starling; Stork

Herbivorous Land Animals:
Antelope; Buffalo; Camel; Caribou; Cow; Deer; Gazelle; Goat; Rabbit; Sheep (lamb); Stag; Wild-Ass such as Zebra (domesticated donkeys are haram according to hadith)

Fish and Seafood*
*Shi'a (Jafari mathhab) limit to fish with scales. Sunni mathahib permit all food from the sea.

The Arabian Locust (hadith on the locust)


Related Topics:
A comparative list of kosher and halal animals
A list of haram animals
Supermarket Meat
Zabihah, the Islamic method of slaughter
The jallalah (impure) of halal animals

HALAL: Certification

Products that have been certified as halal are labeled with halal symbols. Halal symbols are registered trademarks of their respective halal certification organizations, and cannot be placed on a food label without that organization's permission.

HALAL, Kosher and American Law
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

In the U.S., there can be no legal definition of kosher or halal, therefore, no legal mechanisms to regulate the standards used by food manufacturers. Legally, manufacturers can use either word on product labeling. They can call their products 'halal' or 'kosher' simply if they believe that their food meets these standards. This practice of labeling a food or ingredient like gelatin as 'kosher' is effective in attracting a significant portion of the "kosher consumer" most of whom are Muslims. 


As the food industry's awareness of the market size for halal foods increases, we can expect to see more tactics by the food industry aimed at garnering the halal consumer. Therefore, moving forward, it is increasingly important to build awareness of and to support halal certification to ensure a product's compliance with Islamic dietary standards.


-- Read more about U.S. Laws concerning halal and kosher foods here. --

Guide to Halal Food Symbols
This guide identifies the halal certifying agencies behind the most commonly used halal symbols in the United States. Different halal certifying agencies can follow different halal certification standards, some more strict and others more lenient. More information about each agency, and the halal standards it maintains, can be found on each agency's web site.

Major Halal Certification Agencies in North America

SYMBOL
AUTHORITY
DENOMINATION
CITY, COUNTRY



Muslim Consumer Group
Sunni
Huntley, IL, U.S.

The Muslim Consumer Group for Food Products is a non-profit and non-political organization, incorporated in 1993 as a Halal foods educational and Halal certification organization for Muslims consumers and food industry. http://www.muslimconsumergroup.com/


Islamic Food and Nutritional Council of America (IFANCA)
Sunni
Chicago, IL, U.S.

The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) is a non-profit Islamic organization dedicated to promote halal food and the institution of halalhttp://www.ifanca.org/

Related Topics:
Kosher Certification Symbols
Halal, Kosher: A comparison
Market for Halal Products & the Muslim Consumer

Monday, January 12, 2009

SPOTLIGHT on ETHICS: Factory Farming

This article is an important read for all Muslims concerned with adhering to Islamic law which mandates the humane treatment of animals. There is no guarantee that zabiha-slaughtered cattle did not also live under the questionable conditions imposed by large-scale agro-business.

If you've ever bought meat from your local supermarket, chances are it was raised in the environment of a large-scale agrobusiness, known as Factory Farming. In fact, according to the Worldwatch Institute, 74 percent of the world's poultry, 43 percent of beef, and 68 percent of eggs are produced this way.[1]

What is it?


Cows in a U.S. factory farm
Factory farming is the practice of raising farm animals in confinement and 'high stocking density'. Factory Farming is the practice of operating a farm as a factory, as is typical in industrial farming by agribusiness.

Factory farms hold large numbers of animals, typically cows, pigs, turkeys, or chickens, often indoors, typically in crowded conditions. The aim is to produce as much meat, eggs, or milk at the lowest possible cost. A wide variety of artificial methods are employed to maintain animal health and improve production, such as the use of antimicrobial agents, vitamin supplements, and growth hormones. Animals are physically restrained to control movement or actions regarded as undesirable.

There is a continuing debate over the benefits and risks of factory farming. The issues include food production; animal welfare; the environmental impact and health risks.

Is the Meat halal?
As pertains to the feeding, raising and care of animals meant for food, some of the basic Islamic requirements for halal meat are:

Islamic Requirement: Cleanliness of feed.
Under Islamic Law, animals fed unclean food or garbage are called Jallalah. Muslims are temporarily forbidden from eating or drinking meat or milk from jallalah animals until that animal's diet can be cleaned. This cleansing period is commonly around 3 months.

Practice: Feed
The main ingredients used in commercially prepared cattle feed are: corn, soybeans, sorghum, oats, and barley. Up until the spread of BSE (mad cow disease), cattle feed contained meat and bone meal (MBM). MBM is the product of bones and waste tissue from the meat processing industry. Having a formula of about 50% protein, 35% ash, 8-12% fat, and 4-7% moisture, it was used in animal feed to increase the protein content. In most parts of the world, including America, MBM is no longer allowed in feed for ruminant animals such as cows and sheep, however it is still used in pig feed.[2, 3]

Practice: Cleanliness of Environment
One of the main features of densely populated factory farms is that waste, feces and urine, from animals is constantly being produced. Perpetually caged animals such as chickens are often urinated on by chickens in cages above them.

Islamic Requirement: Ease and Well-being of the Animal
In both Quran and Hadith, Islam mandates humane treatment towards animals. The Prophet Muhammad forbade people to capture and cage birds, burn anthills, and whip or brand animals. Muslims are forbidden from eating the meat of al-mujathama (مجثمة)—animals penned in and killed under duress for sport.

Muslims are responsible for the care of animals. So much so that an ill-treated animal will testify against the one who abused it on the Day of Judgment. It is such a serious matter that in Islam, one could gain Heaven or Hell due to one’s treatment of animals. Even in slaughtering animals for food, Islam requires that the slaughtering be done according to Islamic procedure, which aims to cause the animals as little suffering as possible.[4]

Practice: Animal Welfare



        Breeding sows in gestation crates
The large concentration of animals, animal waste, and the potential for dead animals in a small space poses ethical issues. It is recognised that some techniques used in industrial agriculture can be cruel to animals.[5]

Raising a large number of animals under confinement in crowded conditions often requires that certain animals, such as veal calves, and pregnant cows or pigs be confined in cages where they cannot move or change position.[6]

In factory poultry farming, particularly for eggs, birds are kept in rows of cages, and their environment, ventilation, heating and lighting are dictated automatically.[7] The small confining cages reduce stimulation of the poultry, which often results in chickens pecking each other or themselves.[8] A study by the Agricultural and Food Research Council in 1992 also found that 50% of battery farmed poultry had bone disorders such as osteoporosis[7] or breakages. In some farms, chickens are debeaked, their beaks removed so they will not be tempted to fight each other or to resort to cannibalism.[5, 9]

Because the aim of factory farming is high-output at low cost, animals are unfortuntely regarded as a commodity to be optimized. This objectification of animals can lead to mistreatment, abuse or neglect. There have been several documented cases of such animals being mistreated, even when using the industry's guidelines as a standard.

It is AMNA's stand that meat, eggs and milk from animals coming from such an environment cannot be considered halal. The challenge, then, facing the Muslim consumer is knowing if the meat they are purchasing, whether supermarket meat, or zabiha slaughtered, is from one such animal. The growth of free-range and organic cattle farming practices, and the availability of organic and free range meat, whether at the supermarket or the local halal butcher, has made it easier for Muslims to buy meat that is truely in-line with Islamic law, from birth-through-slaughter.

References:
[1] "State of the World 2006," Worldwatch Institute, p. 26.
[2] Wikipedia: Meat and Bone Meal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meat_and_bone_meal
[3] Adedokun, S. A. and L. Adeola. 2005. "Metabolizable energy value of meat and bone meal for pigs." J. Anim. Sci. 83(11): 2519-2526.
[4] "The Love of Animals." Hediyah Al-Amin, Islam-Online.net. http://www.islamonline.net/english/introducingislam/Environment/article04.shtml
[5] UK DEFRA comment on de-beaking recognising it as cruel. http://www.kt.iger.bbsrc.ac.uk/FACT%20sheet%20PDF%20files/kt32.pdf
[6] Wikipedia: Factory Farming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factory_farming
[7] Animal Liberation NSW Battery Hens
[8] VEGA Laying hens, free range and bird flu
[9] Wikipedia: Poultry Farming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poultry_farming
[10] "Best Practices for Beef Slaughter," 2003. Edited by: National Meat Association, Southwest Meat Association, American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. http://haccpalliance.org/sub/food-safety/BestPracslaught1103.pdf [PDF]

Quran & Hadith: Predators

Hadith referencing PREDATORS
Narrated by Ibn 'Abbas:
"The Prophet (s.a.s.) prohibited eating (the meat of) every taloned bird and every predatory animal possessing canine teeth."
— Sahih Muslim, Book 021, Number 4752

Narrated by Abu Darda:
"The Prophet (s.a.s.) prevented the eating of khatafah (خطفة) [creatures that snatch (monkeys, raccoons, etc.)], nahabah (نهبه) [creatures that plunder (mice, rats, etc.)] and mujathama (مجثمة) [animals which are tied down, restricted or trapped for target shooting], and every predator possessing canine teeth / fangs."
— Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja and Nisaa'i

Narrated Abu Tha'laba Al-Khushani:
"Allah's Prophet forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs."
— Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67; Muslim.

There is only one noted exception and that is the hyena, as indicated in the following hadith.
Narrated by Jabir ibn 'Abdullah:
"I asked Allah’s Messenger about the hyena and he replied, 'It is game, and if one in the state of ihram hunts it, he should give a sheep as atonement.'"
— Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 3, p. 1071, Number 3792; As-Daarimee, Al-Bayhaqee, Ibn Hibaan, Ad-Daaraqutnee and Al-Hakim, and declared Sahih by al-Haakim and al-Albaani in Irwaa al-Ghaleel, Vol. 1, p. 242, Number 1050

Islamic Schools of Thought
Predatory Land Animals
The Shafi'i School of fiqh states:
In Shafi'i fiqh, there is a distinction between animals with an innate 'predatory nature' that can conceivably prey on humans and those that do not or which are opportunists / scavengers.

Imam Shafi'i states:
"There is no eating of predatory animals with claws which feed on people: lion, tiger, and wolf. There is eating of the hyena and the fox."

Within the Shafi'i madh'hab, the great scholar Ibnul-Qayim has said: 
"The animals that are prohibited are those having the two attributes of having fangs and being predators by nature such as lions, wolves, tigers and leopards. But, as for the hyena, it only has one of these two attributes; it has fangs, but it is not a predatory beast by nature. The predatory beasts are forbidden to be eaten owing to the predatory nature they possess which is transmitted to the one feeding on them. However, the hyena is not considered a beast of prey by nature whether linguistically or conventionally."
— Ibnul-Qayim. "I'lam Al-Muwaqqi'in" (2/126), (4/ 240, 380).

The Hanafi School of fiqh states:
In Hanafi fiqh, the hyena and the fox are not permissible because this School (مذهب) defines a predatory animal as an animal that habitually snatches, plunders, wounds and kills aggressively, using the above hadith (as narrated by Abu Darda) as its proof.

See the principles of permissibility & impermissibility of animals in Hanafi fiqh.

The Maliki School of fiqh states:

In Maliki fiqh, the School takes the principle to forbid those predatory animals that have fangs. His opinion is based on the fact that the Prophet (s.a.s.) forbade the eating of predatory animals with fangs, which birds do not have, and are thus not forbidden although they might be predatory.

Imam Malik states: 
"There is no eating of lions, nor cats whether wild or domestic, nor fox, nor hyena, nor anything that is predatory."

Within the Maliki Madh'hab it is considered to be makrouh tahreem to eat vultures and hyena.

al-Awza'i says: 
"All birds are allowed except vultures (which are) reprehensible."

al-Layth says:
"There is no harm in eating a cat but a hyena is reprehensible."

[AMNA Note: The Arabic phrase "ذى ناب" can be understood to mean both "possessor of fangs" or "possessor of canine teeth." This could be the source of difference of opinion between the Maliki and Hanafi medhahib.]

Predatory Birds
The Shafi'i School of fiqh:
Imam Shafi'i states: 
"There is no eating of ... the vulture, falcon and birds like them because they are birds that feed on people."

The Hanafi School of fiqh:
Imam Abu Hanifa dislikes the eating of the meats of vultures and small hunting birds, that people do not normally eat, because they eat carcasses (carrion, الميتة).

The Maliki School of fiqh:
Imam Malik states: 
"There is no harm in eating predatory birds: Egyptian vultures, eagles, other vultures, and other birds that do not eat carrion."

"Among the birds that are forbidden to be eaten are those which feed on carrion, like vultures and crows, owing to the evil food they feed on."
— Al Fawzan, Dr. Salih (Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence. Member, The Permanent Committee on Fatwa and Research). "A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence, Vol. 2," Section XI: Food, Chapter 1, p. 654.

Quran, hadith and fiqh on eating Snakes and Scorpions.
Crocodiles
The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fatawa said:

“Malik and a number of other scholars, and Ash-Shafi’I, permitted eating snail and crocodiles, because they are from the game of the sea. [However,] Abu Hanifah and a number of other scholars forbade them because they are predators [and are not truly ocean creatures]. And the question is one requiring Ijtihaad and the matter is a wide one, so it is more prudent not to eat them, bearing in mind the difference of opinion and the preponderance of the likelihood that it is not allowed.”
— Fatawa Islamiyah, 6/230

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid was asked about Crocodiles and he said:

“The correct view is that eating these is not allowed, because they have fangs and live on land – even though they may spend a lot of time in the water – so precedence should be given to the reason for forbidding it (it is a land animal that has fangs)” and Allah Knows Best."

HARAM: Predator

PREDATOR - In the strictest sense, predators are hunting animals. In Islam, explicitely prohibited are land animals posessing fangs or canine teeth and claws, as well as birds possessing talons. Omnivorous animals and non-hunting carnivores (scavengers) are considered within AMNA's PREDATOR classification. Though omnivorous, the pig and wild boar are included in a AMNA's PORK class, due to the specific Quranic prohibition against swine.

Islamic Prohibition against PREDATORS:
Islam forbids consuming the meat of predatory land animals and birds. Specifically the prohibition is against animals possessing canine teeth or fangs and claws and birds possessing talons. Islam also forbids eating the meat of carrion eaters.

[ PREDATOR in Quran & Hadith ]

AMNA's Criteria for PREDATOR:
The table below describes our criteria for judging a FOOD as PREDATOR. Helpful icons make it easy to judge foods at a glance.


 ICON
CLASS
  AMNA JUDGING CRITERIA
  SOME EXAMPLES...

PREDATOR
Meats from predatory, scavenging, or omnivorous land or air creatures.
o'possum, alligator meat, gaeju (Korean)


Related Topics:
Where can I find verses from the Quran, or hadith about PREDATOR?
What are the food import regulations for countries like Saudi Arabia?
What are the halal animals?
What are the haram animals?
How does AMNA identify and label foods containing other HARAM substances like PORK, or BLOOD?
What's the difference between kosher and halal?
Why do we use "?" on some icons? What does it mean?
What if a food contains TWO haram substances?

Quran & Hadith: Zabiha (ذبيحة)

Zabihah in the Quran
اليوم احل لكم الطيبات وطعام الذين اوتوا الكتاب حل لكم وطعامكم حل لهم والمحصنات من المؤمنات والمحصنات من الذين اوتوا الكتاب من قبلكم اذا اتيتموهن اجورهن محصنين غير مسافحين ولامتخذي اخدان ومن يكفر بالايمان فقد حبط عمله وهو في الاخرة من الخاسرين

"This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)."
— Quran, Surat Al-Ma'idah 5:5

ولاتاكلوا مما لم يذكر اسم الله عليه وانه لفسق وان الشياطين ليوحون الى اوليائهم ليجادلوكم وان اطعتموهم انكم لمشركون

"Do not eat that which the name of Allah has not been mentioned."
— Quran. Surat al-Ana'm. 6:121

Hadith referencing Zabihah
Prohibition Against Cruelty to Animals
Narrated by Abu Darda: "
The Prophet (s.a.s.) prevented the eating of khatafah (خطفة) [creatures that snatch (monkeys, raccoons, etc.)], nahabah (نهبه) [creatures that plunder (mice, rats, etc.)] and mujathama (مجثمة) [animals which are tied down, restricted or penned in for target shooting], and every predator possessing canine teeth / fangs."
— Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja and Nisaa'i

“When you will show mercy on an animal, God will show mercy on you.”
—Al-Hakim

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:
"Allah's Apostle said, 'A woman was tortured and was put in Hell because of a cat which she had kept locked till it died of hunger.' Allah's Apostle further said, '(Allah knows better) Allah said (to the woman), "You neither fed it nor watered when you locked it up, nor did you set it free to eat the insects of the earth."' "
— Bukhari 3:553. Also in Muslim, Narrated Abu Huraira

Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (r.a.a.):
"The Prophet (s.a.s.) said: 'Do not take anything in which there is a soul as a target.' "

Narrated by Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (r.a.a.):
"The Messenger of Allah (s.a.s.) forbade tormenting any kind of animal to death."
— Muslim

... In Slaughter
“If one wishes to slaughter an animal, let him prepare for it”
— Ibn Majah

On the authority of Abu Ya’la Shahddad ibn Aus, the Messenger of Allah said:
“Verily Allah has prescribed proficiency in all things. Thus, if you kill, kill well; and if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters”
— Muslim

lbn `Abbas once recorded that the Prophet (s.a.s.) saw a man who was sharpening his knife after laying down a sheep to be slaughtered. He rebuked him saying, “Did you intend to make it die two deaths? Why did you not sharpen your knife before laying it down?”
— Al-Hakim

"Allah has ordained kindness (or excellence) in everything. If killing is to be done, do it in the best manner, and when you slaughter, do it in the best manner by first sharpening the knife and putting the animal at ease."
— Muslim

In an incident narrated by Rafi’ bin Khadij, the Prophet told Muslims who wanted to slaughter some animals using reeds: “Use whatever causes blood to flow, and eat the animals if the Name of Allah has been mentioned on slaughtering them...”
— Bukhari

Islamic Schools of Thought
Regarding the Mentioning of bismillah 
... at the Time of Slaughter
Between the Islamic Schools of Thought, there are differences of opinion as to the mentioning of the Name of Allah at the time of slaughter, which would render the same meat either permissible or impermissible by different Schools.

The Hanafi School of fiqh states:
"If the slaughterer intentionally does not mention Allah's name (at the time of slaughter), then the slaughtered animal is 'dead meat' (maytah) and is not allowable. If the slaughterer leaves off the name of Allah forgetfully (but with intention), then it is allowable."
— Al-Hidayah. Kitab al-Dhabaha.

The Hanafi School of fiqh allows the meat to be eaten when the mentioning has been left off, forgetfully, to allow for the forgetfulness of mankind and to ease hardship on the people. For the Hanafis, the action is what is sanctified, not the animal (meat) to be slaughtered, citing the hadith below. The slaughterer's intention is voiced by his saying bismillah, but the forgetting of saying bismillah does not nullify the intention of the sincere slaughterer. Therefore, by the same rites, it is not sufficient to say bismillah only on the meat while it is on your plate because the action has already occured.

Narrated Aadee bin Hatem:
"I said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, I send my (hunting) dog and mention the Name of Allah.’ The Prophet (s.a.s.) told me: ‘If you send your dog mentioning the Name of Allah and he killed, you eat; but if he eats from it, do not eat. He has caught it for himself.’ I said: ‘I send my dog, and then I find another dog with him, and I do not know which one caught for me.’ The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Do not eat, because you only invoked the Name on your dog, and not on the other.’"
— Al-Bukhari and Muslim

With regards to the requirement that the slaughterer must mention the Name of Allah, the Hanafi School does not make a distinction as to whether the slaughterer is Muslim, Christian or Jew. All must mention His Name, since all are regarded as worshipping Allah, the God of Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

The Maliki School of fiqh states:
"The meat is not allowable from both angles (whether or not the Name of Allah was left off intentionally, or non-intentionally)."

Imam Malik takes the literal meaning of the ayyah [6:121], to allow only those meats over which the Name of Allah has been mentioned at the time of slaughter. Period.

The Shafi'i School of fiqh states: 
The Shafi'i School of fiqh is of the opinion that the meat of halal animals is edible regardless of whether the Name of Allah has been pronounced on it at the time of slaughter, so long as the conditions of slaughter are met. The Shafi'i School cites the following ahadith for its position:

Narrated Hadrat Sayyidah A’isha:
"A group of people said to the Nabi (s.a.s.), 'Some people brought us meat and we do not know whether or not they have mentioned Allah’s name on it (while slaughtering the animal) or not.' He (s.a.s.) said, 'Mention the Name of Allah over it and then eat it.'”
— Sahih al-Bukhari

"The Muslim slaughters in the Name of Allah, whether it is mentioned or not mentioned."
— Dar al-Qutni and Baihaqi

Regarding Food (Meat) of the People of the Book
The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fataawa (http://www.fatwa-online.com), an Islamic organization consisting of the most senior Sunni scholars of fiqh in Saudi Arabia says:

"[At the time of the Prophet (s.a.s.)], the Jews and Christians were disbelievers in many of the fundamentals of faith which were brought in the Torah and Injeel: the Jews disbelieved in the prophethood of some prophets, such as ‘Isa and Muhammad (p.b.u.t.), and they killed the prophets unlawfully and corrupted many of the laws of the Torah. A number of them said ‘Uzair was the son of Allah, etc. [Also at that time] the Christians used to [and still] say that Allah is the Third of Three (in a trinity), and that Isa is the son of Allah, and they disbelieve in the prophethood of Muhammad (p.b.u.h.).

"In spite of this, Allah called them the People of the Scripture and He made it permissible for the Muslims (to eat) their slaughtered animals and to marry their chaste women. Their disbelief, their polytheism and their corruption of their Scriptures did not prevent the ruling of the People of the Scripture being implemented regarding them during the time of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.). So it does not prevent them from being implemented regarding them until the Day of Resurrection.”
— Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 6, p. 247

AMNA Note: It is AMNA's position that (strictly speaking) it is not haram to eat meat that the name of Allah was not spoken over during slaughter, so long as it is said before the food has been consumed AND so long as it can be reasonably established that the animal was slaughtered in an 'Islamic manner'— not shocked, maltreated, stunned or otherwise rendered unconscious before death.

However, AMNA acknowledges that given the prevailing conditions found in Factory Farming, particularly the well publicized mistreatment of some animals in certain slaughterhouses, buying supermarket meat is problematic and raises more questions than answers, and as such is best to avoid.

Therefore, AMNA believes where halal butchers exist, Muslims should buy zabihah so that they may avoid problematic or questionable foods.

Regarding Stunning before Slaughter
In slaughterhouses, it is common to give large animals such as cows a blow to the forehead using a retractable bolt gun. Because a small fraction of these animals die from the blow, instead of just being knocked unconscious, and because of issues of animal cruelty, there has been an ongoing debate as to whether this practice is halal. Here, we provide a brief overview of positions from both sides.

"If it is not easy to slaughter animals unless they have been stunned by a method that will not kill them before they are slaughtered, then it is permissible to stun them and slaughter them whilst they are still alive, in cases of necessity. "
— Fataawa al-Lajnah al-‘Daa’imah, 22/456-457

"Cattle that have been exposed to a fatal blow are permissible so long as they are slaughtered properly before they die, otherwise it is not permissible to eat them."
— Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 22/455

According to the ruling on animals which are slaughtered after suffering a violent blow (but before dying), these scholars take the position that if the butcher slaughters the cattle as soon as it is struck, then it is permissible to eat it. But if it is 'slaughtered' after it has died then it is not permissible to eat.

The problem for Muslims is that U.S. Meat Industry regulations do not prohibit meat from animals that have died from the blow. Muslims have no way of knowing if supermarket meat came from an animal who died before slaughter or not.

Reference:
"Best Practices for Beef Slaughter," 2003. Edited by: National Meat Association, Southwest Meat Association, American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.  http://haccpalliance.org/sub/food-safety/BestPracslaught1103.pdf [PDF]
SPOTLIGHT on ETHICS: Factory Farming

ZABIHA (ذبيحة): Slaughter

What is Zabiha (ذبيحة)?
Zabiha is the Islamic method of slaughtering halal (permissible) land animals and birds for food. In the Arabic language, zhebH means "to slay (by drawing blood)". For zhebH to be religiously correct, a few other conditions must be met:
  • The animal must be in good physical and emotional health.
  • The animal must be made to be comfortable (not anxious). 
  • The animal cannot see other animals being killed, nor see their bodies.
  • The animal must not see the slaughtering knife.
  • The animal cannot be rendered unconscious, electrocuted or stunned by a blow to the head. 
  • The knife must be sharp enough to sever the major arteries of the neck with one sure swipe.
  • The slaughterer should be a Muslim. (Muslims are permitted to eat the food of People of the Book [Christians and Jews], however; Some Islamic Schools of Thought hold that only a Muslim of good piety can perform zabiha.)
  • Recitation of "in the name of Allah" (bismillah) should be performed before slaughter.
  • The slaughter must be swiftly completed in one swipe.
  • The animal must be exsanguinated - drained of all flowing blood.

Should Muslims buy only Zabiha meat?
This is a complex and personal question. The answer to which is determined by many factors, some of which are:


Availability -
There are many Muslims living in places where it is difficult to find fresh, unprocessed Zabiha meat.


Diversity of Islamic Tradition -
The diverse American Islamic Community brings together people from varying Islamic traditions (Schools of Thought). This diversity creates a situation where Muslims can hold sometimes conflicting opinions on the acceptability of meat from Ahl al-Kitaab (Christians and Jews), supermarket meat and the necessity of zabiha meat.


Regulations -
Some countries, like Great Britain legally require an animal to be stunned before slaughter.


Industry Practices -
Muslims in America and other Western countries may find that it is common practice to electrocute certain animals before slaughter, or that some animals die from blows to the head that were meant to only render them unconscious. In these case, that animal becomes "dead meat" -- forbidden for Muslims to eat. Because it is impossible to discern how the animal who provided the meat in your grocer's butcher died, it is advisable for Muslims to stay away from all meat where that type of animal commonly is stunned before slaughter.

Related topics:
What are the halal animals?
What are the haram animals?
What are the differences and similarities between kosher and halal animals?
What is Factory Farming?
What about Supermarket Meat?
Organic Meat
Does Islam prohibit cruelty to animals?
The jallalah (impure) of halal animals.
How does AMNA judge foods containing meat?

Quran & Hadith: Carrion, Dead (الميتة)



CARRION in the Quran
حرمت عليكم الميتة والدم ولحم الخنزير ومااهل لغير الله به والمنخنقة والموقوذة والمتردية والنطيحة ومااكل السبع الا ماذكيتم وماذبح على النصب وان تستقسموا بالازلام ذلك فسق اليوم يئس الذين كفروا من دينكم فلا تخشوهم واخشون اليوم اكملت لكم دينكم واتممت عليكم نعمتي ورضيت لكم الاسلام دينا فمن اضطر في مخمصة غير متجانف لاثم فان الله غفور رحيم

"Forbidden to you (for food) are: carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah; that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety. This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. "
— Quran, Surat Al-Ma'idah 5:3

Hadith referencing CARRION
Narrated by Muhammad bin Idris Ash-Shafi`i :
Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said, “We were allowed two dead animals and two (kinds of) blood. As for the two dead animals, they are fish and locust. As for the two bloods, they are liver and spleen.”
[Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ibn Majah, Ad-Daraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi also recorded this hadith]

Islamic Schools of Thought
In his tafsir Imam Ibn Katheer says:
Allah informs His servants that He forbids consuming the mentioned types of foods, such as maytah (carrion), which is the animal that dies before being properly slaughtered or hunted. Allah forbids this type of food due to the harm it causes, because of the blood that becomes clogged in the veins of the dead animal. Therefore, the maytah is harmful, religiously and physically, and this is why Allah has prohibited it. The only exception to this ruling is fish, for fish is allowed, even when dead, by slaughtering or otherwise.”

Sheikh Ibn Baz said:
“If a person is forced by necessity to (eat dead meat), it is permissible for him to do so." according to the Words of Allah*, Most High."
* [Reference: Surat al-Ma'ida 5:3]

AMNA Note: As agreed upon by all the 4 methahab, "severe hunger" is defined as facing death through starvation. In which case, it is permissible for a person to eat only as much (of the haram substance) as he or she needs to sustain themselves to stay alive. It does not refer to simply feeling hungry.

Animals Which Eat Carrion
"Among [the creatures] it is forbidden to be eaten are those which feed on carrion (dead meat), like vultures and crows, owing to the evil food they feed on [so] it is prohibited to eat insects, as they are injurious."
— Al Fawzan, Dr. Salih (Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence. Member, The Permanent Committee on Fatwa and Research). "A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence, Vol. 2," Section XI: Food, Chapter 1, p. 654.

HARAM: Carrion, Dead (الميتة)



CARRION - the carcass of a dead animal. Carrion begins to decay the moment of the animal's death, and it will increasingly attract insects and breed bacteria. Islamically the concept of, carrion — or more specifically al-maita (الميتة) — extends to animals which have been killed by means other than exsanguination during slaughter or the hunt.

Islamic Prohibition against CARRION:
The Quran forbids the consumption of dead animals or "carrion" (الميتة) — of animals which have been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a fall, or which have been gored to death.

Islamic law commands that all halal animals meant for food, with the exception of locusts, fish and sea creatures, be slaughtered by cutting the jugular vein in the animal's neck to allow death by exsanguination. This is known as zabihah. Game animals which have been killed in the hunt, by bleeding out, are likewise permissible.

[ CARRION in Quran & Hadith ]

AMNA's Criteria for CARRION:
The table below describes our criteria for judging a FOOD as CARRION. Helpful icons make it easy to judge foods at a glance.
 ICON 
CLASS
  AMNA JUDGING CRITERIA 
  SOME EXAMPLES... 

CARRION
Foods which it is known that the animal has died by means other than exsanguination, excepting fish and sea creatures.
balut (Filippino), trứng vịt lộn (Vietnamese)


Related Topics:
What does Quran and hadith say about CARRION (dead meat)?
What is Islamic slaughter, zabihah (ذبيحة).
How does AMNA identify and label foods containing other HARAM substances like PORK, or BLOOD?
Why do we use "?" on some icons? What does it mean?
What if a food contains TWO haram substances?

Quran & Hadith: Blood



BLOOD in the Quran
حرمت عليكم الميتة والدم ولحم الخنزير ومااهل لغير الله به والمنخنقة والموقوذة والمتردية والنطيحة ومااكل السبع الا ماذكيتم وماذبح على النصب وان تستقسموا بالازلام ذلك فسق اليوم يئس الذين كفروا من دينكم فلا تخشوهم واخشون اليوم اكملت لكم دينكم واتممت عليكم نعمتي ورضيت لكم الاسلام دينا فمن اضطر في مخمصة غير متجانف لاثم فان الله غفور رحيم

"Forbidden to you (for food) are: carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah; that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety. This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
— Quran, Surat Al-Ma'idah 5:3

Hadith referencing BLOOD
Narrated by Muhammad bin Idris Ash-Shafi`i :
Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said, “We were allowed two dead animals and two (kinds of) blood. As for the two dead animals, they are fish and locust. As for the two bloods, they are liver and spleen.”

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ibn Majah, Ad-Daraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi also recorded this hadith.

Islamic Schools of Thought
There are no differences between the methahab with regards to the consumption of blood.

"People of the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance (Al-Jahiliyyah) used to put [blood] in the entrails, grill it and eat it. However, whatever blood remaining inside the flesh of the slaughtered animal or in the veins is lawful. Rather, it is ot considred impure even if one touches it with the hand or with a piece of cotton for example and it leaves visible traces."
— Al Fawzan, Dr. Salih (Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence. Member, The Permanent Committee on Fatwa and Research). "A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence, Vol. 2," Section XI: Food, Chapter 1, p. 652.

In this respect, Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
"The right opinion is that the blood that is forbidden is the shed, the spilled or the poured blood; however, the blood left in the veins is not deemed prohibited by any of Muslim scholars."

HARAM: Blood


Islamic Prohibition against BLOOD:
Islam forbids the consumption of BLOOD. Muslims are forbidden to drink or eat blood products such as blood pudding or blood sausages, even if the blood comes from an halal animal.

Islamic slaughter, known as zabihah (ذبيحة), dictates that the animal be exsanguinated — drained of all flowing blood — after slitting the jugular vein. In their kitchens, Muslims routinely wash raw meat, soaking it in a solution of vinegar and water, or water and salt, to further draw out blood from the meat.

[ BLOOD in Quran & Hadith ]

AMNA's Criteria for BLOOD:
The table below describes our criteria for judging a FOOD as BLOOD. Helpful icons make it easy to judge foods at a glance.

 ICON
CLASS
  AMNA JUDGING CRITERIA
  SOME EXAMPLES...

BLOOD
Food items made from BLOOD.
dồi (Vietnamese), larp lu (Thai), blodpudding (Swedish), seonji (Korean)




Related Topics:
What does Quran and hadith say about drinking or eating blood?
How does AMNA identify and label foods containing other HARAM substances like PORK, or ALCOHOL?
What's the difference between kosher and halal?
Why do we use "?" on some icons? What does it mean?
What if a food contains TWO haram substances?