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Halal Meat in the Qur’an

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In the Qur’an, we only have the right to kill any living being for consumption because He, the Creator of them, has given us this privilege via religion – killing for food would otherwise be a criminal act!:

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَسَوَّاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

“He is the One who created for you, all things on earth and then turned to the heavens and made them seven heavens. He is knowledgeable of all things.” (Qur’an 2:29)

The importance of mentioning Allah’s name over an animal to be sacrificed for consumption is immense. These regulations are made on certain living beings in the way we take their lives in order that we recognise that Allah has created all living beings for our use:

“We have subjected the [animals] unto you, so that you may give thanks.”
(Qur’an 22:36)

The ‘name of Allah’ to be mentioned over animals to be sacrificed are not merely words uttered mechanically, rather it is a realisation on part of the person sacrificing the animal. A realisation that it is a gift from God (Allah), and by the permission of the animal’s creator is he taking the life while mentioning or having mentioned Allah’s name (suitable words commemorating Him). Therefore, only believers, or people of the Book who have faith in Allah may carry out this procedure (Qur’an 5:5), and not a disbeliever. Note, the process must involve pronouncing Allah’s name over the animal even if done by people of the Book, “Therefore eat of that on which Allah’s name has been mentioned if you are believers in His verses.” (Qur’an 6:118)

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Verses of Allah’s tell us that the meat we eat must comply with the following:


1) The name of Allah must be mentioned at or around the time of sacrifice.
2) The person sacrificing it must be a believer, or from the People of the Book.
3) The animal to be eaten must not be one that died by itself, or be strangled to death, beaten to death or has fallen to its death.
4) The animal must not be killed by goring attacks i.e. by horns, arrows or stabbed to death, or has been eaten by other animals.
5) Meat assigned through gambling.
6) The animal must not have been dedicated to any other than Allah.
7) Consumption of blood is prohibited, therefore must be drained.
8) Pigs are forbidden for consumption.
9) In addition, all methods or procedures that make the process of death easier and painless should be utilised as Allah is Most-merciful and loving. If stunning before sacrificing is available, it should be used as the verse which prohibits meat of animals killed through violent means (strangling, beating, goring – 5:3) indicates Allah’s mercy towards creation and how we should carry on the understanding and utilise methods that ease animal suffering.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Mentioning Allah’s Name at Sacrifice

فَكُلُوا مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ بِآيَاتِهِ مُؤْمِنِينَ

“Therefore, eat of that on which Allah’s name has been mentioned if you are believers in His verses.” (Qur’an 6:118)

This verse is in reference to meat, because meat and pronouncing Allah’s name over it is a topic of significance and a point of contention in the Qur’an (from context of the Qur’an). For example:

وَقَالُوا هَذِهِ أَنْعَامٌ وَحَرْثٌ حِجْرٌ لا يَطْعَمُهَا إِلا مَنْ نَشَاءُ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَأَنْعَامٌ حُرِّمَتْ ظُهُورُهَا وَأَنْعَامٌ لا يَذْكُرُونَ اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا افْتِرَاءً عَلَيْهِ سَيَجْزِيهِمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ

“And they say: these animals and crops are forbidden – no one may eat them except those we wish” – this is their claim. Animals whose backs are forbidden, cattle over which they do not (even) mention the name of Allah. (All that is) a lie against Him. He will repay them for that which they invent.” (Qur’an 6:138)


يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ وَمَا عَلَّمْتُمْ مِنَ الْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ تُعَلِّمُونَهُنَّ مِمَّا عَلَّمَكُمُ اللَّهُ فَكُلُوا مِمَّا أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

“They ask you of what is lawful to them (as food). Say: lawful unto you are (all) things good and pure: and what you have taught your trained hunting animals (to catch) in the manner directed to you by Allah. Eat what they catch for you, but pronounce the name of Allah over it: and fear Allah. for Allah is swift in taking account.” (Qur’an 5:4)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Meat over which No Name is Pronounced

Meat of animals over which Allah’s name has not been mentioned is termed “Al-Fisq / الفسق” (abomination):

وَلا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلَى أَوْلِيَائِهِمْ لِيُجَادِلُوكُمْ وَإِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ

“Do not eat anything over which the name of Allah has not been mentioned. To do so is abomination. The Satans inspire their friends to dispute with you. If you obeyed them, you would then be idolaters.” (Qur’an 6:121)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”383″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Some say that the order to “mention Allah’s name” is complied with if one simply says the name of Allah when eating. This is incorrect, because there would be no cause for such concern over meat from so many verses of the Qur’an. In essence, we should say “bismillah” (begin in the name of Allah) on everything we do and eat and the Qur’an need not dedicate so many verse with such stern emphasis.

The above verses are from Surah Al-An’am and Surah Al-Maeda. The verses from Surah Al-Hajj shown below elaborate further on mentioning Allah’s name over the animal at sacrifice. Note that the verses are not restricting themselves to Hajj only: Just because some of the verses on sacrificing animals fell in the context of Hajj (because the process of Hajj requires the sacrifice of animals), it does not mean whatever mentioned in Surah Al-Hajj is only for Hajj. The verses of all the surahs (chapters) are mutually enlightening on Halal (permissable) meat for true believers. The following verses of Surah Al-Hajj are therefore elaborations of verses that asks believers’ to mention Allah’s name when sacrificing animals.

لِيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ عَلَى مَا رَزَقَهُمْ مِنْ بَهِيمَةِ الأَنْعَامِ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْبَائِسَ الْفَقِيرَ

“That they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention the name of Allah on appointed days over the beast of cattle that He has bestowed upon them. Then eat from it and feed the unfortunate and the poor.” (Qur’an 22:28)

The above and the following are an application of the procedure mentioned already in Surah Al-An’am, not a unique request for Hajj.

وَالْبُدْنَ جَعَلْنَاهَا لَكُمْ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ فَاذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا صَوَافَّ فَإِذَا وَجَبَتْ جُنُوبُهَا فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْقَانِعَ وَالْمُعْتَرَّ كَذَلِكَ سَخَّرْنَاهَا لَكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“And the camels! We have appointed them among the ceremonies of Allah. Therein you have much good. So mention the name of Allah over them when they are drawn up in lines. Then when their flanks fall (dead), eat thereof and feed the beggar and the suppliant. Thus have We made them subject unto you, so that you may give thanks.” (Qur’an 22:36)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1571232667537{margin-top: -20px !important;}”]

Meat Dedicated to Something ‘other’ than Allah

The following verse orders to not eat meat that has been dedicated to something “other” than Allah. But the restriction to only eat those meat over which Allah’s name has been mentioned is still there from the verses discussed so far e.g. 6:118 and 6:121:

قُلْ لا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلا أَنْ يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنْـزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”385″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“Say: I do not find in that which is revealed unto me anything prohibited to eat, except it be carrion, or blood poured forth, or swineflesh – for that verily is foul – or the abomination which was immolated to the name of other than Allah. But whoever is compelled (thereto), while neither craving nor transgressing, (for him) your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Qur’an 6:145)

Note that it can be argued by the concept of idolatry in the Qur’an that animals over which Allah’s name is not pronounced is inherently dedicated to something other than Allah. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1571232552594{margin-top: -40px !important;}”]

Prohibition of using Violent or Grotesque means of Killing Animals

Finally, Allah prohibits meat of animals killed through violent means where the animal had to suffer. It is a privilege to eat animals, not a right, as animals too are living beings. Allah has granted believers exclusive privilege to eat from them (He created them for us). Believers must respect their lives by using all means possible to use the least painful method of taking their lives, and this is demonstrated in the following verse:

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْـزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلا مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ وَأَنْ تَسْتَقْسِمُوا بِالأَزْلامِ ذَلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ الْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ دِينِكُمْ فَلا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْني

“Prohibitted for you is the dead (الْمَيْتَة), blood (وَالدَّم), meat of swine (وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْـزِير), what has been offered to anyone other than Allah (وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِه); and that which is strangled (وَالْمُنْخَنِقَة), that which has been beaten to death (وَالْمَوْقُوذَة), that which had a fatal fall (وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَة), that which is gored by horns (وَالنَّطِيحَة), that which a beast of pray has eaten (وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُع), except for what you slaughter yourselves, [forbidden also] what is sacrificed on alters (مَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُب), and what you allocate by divining arrows (gambling) (وَأَنْ تَسْتَقْسِمُوا بِالأَزْلام) – that is abomination for you. Today, those who disbelieved have become hopeless with regards to your religion so do not fear them, but fear Me.” (Qur’an 5:3)