Monday, January 12, 2009

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.
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."

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