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Why Stunning The Animal Before (Dhabh) Slaying Can Not Be Accepted By The Muslims?

by Dr A Majid Katme

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Islam, the last religion to mankind, is a comprehensive full way of life.The holy book al, Qur'an and the sayings/actions of the last prophet Muhammad (peace he upon him) or Sunnah are the two major holy references for every Muslim for all affairs and all issues of life. Food, diet ,eating, what is allowed to eat(Halal) and what is not allowed to eat(Haram),when to eat, how to eat, what animals allowed to eat, what animals not allowed to eat, how to do(dhabh)/slaying the animal for food..? And how the teacher and the model prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did do dhabh and slayed the animal for food...all these and many more have been explained clearly and in detail in the teachings of Islam.

Allah (god) the creator, the legislator, the compassionate, the merciful to man and the animal has said clearly in the last holy book al Qur'an:

In the name of Allah the most compassionate, the most merciful

"Forbidden for you (for food) are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine and that which has been invoked other than the name of God.

That which has been killed by strangling or by violent blow or by a headlong fall or by being gored to death (by horns) that which has been (partly) eaten by a. Wild beast, unless you are able to do dhabh/slaying (in due form) and that which has been sacrificed on stones/idols…." (Quran: chapter 5, verse 3)

According to this holy verse it is prohibited to eat:

• any dead animal before doing dhabh/the cut.
• any blood or blood inside the meat.
• any dead animal as a result of strangulation (and not dhabh)
• any dead animal as a result of a violent blow (and not dhabh)
• any meat contaminated or mixed with Halal meat.

And certainly Islam is against any cruelty or any painful procedure done to the animal. Unfortunately most of these prohibitions do occur in many techniques used in stunning the animal today..!

Not only that but the last prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has taught us clearly how to do dhabh/slaying in the only merciful way, without any cruelty and he did it himself and showed us how to do it?

He said in the Hadith:

"verily Allah has prescribed /goodness (ihsan) in all things; thus if you kill, kill well (painlessly), and if you do dhabh/slaying, do best dhabh /slaying ;( perfect) by sharpening well the blade/knife in order the dhabiha die comfortably/painlessly"

We know medically and physiologically today that when proper dhabh/slaying of the animal is done, by cutting the blood vessels of the neck, in the right anatomical site: sudden profuse bleeding does occur quickly, hemorrhagic shock and an instant "anaestisation" in the brain as a result of the quick loss of the blood from the brain in the fast bleeding out thus taking away instantaneously any functioning of the brain (sensation). There are many types of stunning techniques today:

• the captive bolt pistol (used for cows/cattle).
• Electric stunning (used for sheep).
• electrified water bath (used for poultry).
• carbon dioxide (co2) gas (used for pigs).

Medical research, scientific and medical evidence has, shown that stunning causes: some animals to die as in the electrified water- bath for poultry or chicken: government figures about 1/3 of chickens die before doing the cut. This is mitah/dead and is prohibited to eat in Islam. The problem today: there is no body or doctor checking each animal after death (sheep, chicken...) if it died from stunning or from the cut? At least many are shubuha (doubtful) and a Muslim should avoid it.

The verse was clear before: it is prohibited to eat any dead animal before the cut. Less bleeding out, more blood in the meat;

Stunning causes "salt and pepper hemorrhage" inside the meat and blood can not be taken out, also by causing some animals to die when the heart stops, this will causes less bleeding out and more blood inside. It has been proved that the direct method of slaying the animal without stunning as in dhabh causes more bleeding out. Blood is harmful to health as it is full of bacteria, infective agents and waste and harmful substances. Chemical changes in the meat… Making the meat less healthy and less nutritious. Cruelty and suffering to the animal that can not complain or speak up.

More stress to the animal which causes more discomfort and some harms to our health by consuming the meat of the "stressed animal". Failure on proper effective stunning, half stunning, paralysis and re-stunning; surely this is cruel. Not only that but today there are many non Muslim scientists who oppose stunning, in the west for humane and health reasons like: van der wal, wenberg, mcloughlin, pollard, winstanley, marple etc....and it is legal…the law of the land: Muslims and Jews to do dhabh /slaying without stunning. (Religious slaughter).

The official response given by the Muslims in Britain before to the government and following a national conference of Muslim organisations and Muslim leaders in regent park mosque and following many meetings:

Muslims are against stunning and will not accept stunning (see official response on 22nd Oct/1985 from regent park mosque on behalf of the Muslims in Britain). Since then there have been any new decisions or any change in the Muslim view.

The declaration of the European council for' fatwa and research, in may 1999 in their annual meeting in cologne/Germany against the consumption of the animals stunned, especially the chickens and the cows, (the decision of over 35 l\1uslim theologians/ulamas who are living and working in Europe).The Jews in Britain and in many other countries oppose strongly all types of stunning.

Lastly: new scientific medical researches done by doctor’s, vets, pharmacists, pathologists and members of parliament in Syria have showed clearly the therapeutic effect of saying: Bismillah Allah akbar (in the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest) on the animals:

if the animal hears that, it gives him/her the tranquility and it takes away any germ or infection to give you pure healthy meat, the animal has to be fully conscious and alive before the cut/dhabh...and not unconscious or dead as it happens with some animals when stunning was used.

There are also two well known Islamic rulings:

• the first, any step or action leading to Haram is not allowed to do. We know well today that some animals die before we do any cut and a dead animal is forbidden to consume if it dies before slaying/dhabh. Also scientists have proved that stunning causes blood hemorrhage and blood inside the meat. Consuming blood is forbidden in Islam.
• The second ruling; a golden rule in Islam. If anything is doubtful (shubaha), the Muslim has to avoid it and we know today about the doubt in the stunned animals (death and blood).

This was done and repeated in many double blind "studies. Video, slides and the book is available, even the Syrian doctors and scientists are willing to come to Britain to explain it all. Lately also, Britain and Europe has prohibited one type of stunning (pithing) because of the risk of BSE.

One could see clearly that many haram/prohibited things can occur as a result of stunning like: eating dead animal/mitah (not from the cut), consuming blood, which is forbidden too, meat not tayyib/wholesome/natural/pure due to some chemical changes in the meat. Besides it is cruel to the animals.

Our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has told us and showed us clearly how to do dhabh for real proper tayyib/wholesome halal meat.

It is wise and sensible and more humane and more healthy to stick to the prophetic way in dhabh/slaying the animal for food, especially as no one can find any mistake or cruelly or fault in this divine method as it is the only way to treat the animal humanly and to get healthy safe meat.

Allah, the creator of all animals and man and the universe is called also: al rahman al rahim (the most compassionate, the most merciful) and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the mercy to all. There will never ever be any religious instructions which can cause suffering or pain to any animal.

The Muslim Campaigner for Halal Meat and Food

[Source: Halal Monitoring Committee ]


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