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The Animals that are Unlawful to Eat Print E-mail

Allah informs His servants that He forbids consuming the mentioned types of foods, such as the Maytah, 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. Malik in his Muwatta, also Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah in their Sunan, Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban in their Sahihs, all recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah was asked about seawater. He said,

«هُوَ الطَّهُورُ مَاؤُهُ الْحِلُّ مَيْتَتُه»

(Its water is pure and its dead are permissible.) The same ruling applies to locusts, as proven in a Hadith that we will mention later. Allah's statement,


(blood...) This refers to flowing blood, according to Ibn `Abbas and Sa`id bin Jubayr, and it is similar to Allah's other statement,

﴿دَمًا مَّسْفُوحًا﴾

(Blood poured forth...) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas was asked about the spleen and he said, "Eat it.'' They said, "It is blood.'' He said, "You are only prohibited blood that was poured forth.'' Abu `Abdullah, Muhammad bin Idris Ash-Shafi`i recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«أُحِلَّ لَنَا مَيْتَتَانِ وَدَمَانِ، فَأَمَّا الْمَيْتَتَانِ فَالسَّمَكُ وَالْجَرَادُ، وَأَمَّا الدَّمَانِ فَالْكَبِدُ وَالِّطَحال»

(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 through `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam, who is a weak narrator. Allah's statement,

﴿وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ﴾

(the flesh of swine...) includes domesticated and wild swine, and also refers to the whole animal, including its fat, for this is what the Arabs mean by Lahm or `flesh'. Muslim recorded that Buraydah bin Al-Husayb Al-Aslami said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ لَعِبَ بِالنَّرْدَشِيرِ، فَكَأَنَّمَا صَبَغَ يَدَهُ فِي لَحْمِ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَدَمِه»

(He who plays Nardshir (a game with dice that involves gambling) is just like the one who puts his hand in the flesh and blood of swine.) If this is the case with merely touching the flesh and blood of swine, so what about eating and feeding on it This Hadith is a proof that Lahm means the entire body of the animal, including its fat. In is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّ اللهَ حَرَّمَ بَيْعَ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْتَةِ وَالْخِنْزِيرِ وَالْأَصْنَام»

(Allah made the trade of alcohol, dead animals, pigs and idols illegal.) The people asked, "O Allah's Messenger! What about the fat of dead animals, for it was used for greasing the boats and the hides; and people use it for lanterns'' He said,

«لَا، هُوَ حَرَام»

(No, it is illegal.) In the Sahih of Al-Bukhari, Abu Sufyan narrated that he said to Heraclius, Emperor of Rome, "He (Muhammad) prohibited us from eating dead animals and blood.'' Allah said,

﴿وَمَآ أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ﴾

(And that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah.) Therefore, the animals on which a name other than Allah was mentioned upon slaughtering it, is impermissible, because Allah made it necessary to mention His Glorious Name upon slaughtering the animals, which He created. Whoever does not do so, mentioning other than Allah's Name, such as the name of an idol, a false deity or a monument, when slaughtering, he makes this meat unlawful, according to the consensus. Allah's statement,


(and that which has been killed by strangling...) either intentionally or by mistake, such as when an animal moves while restrained and dies by strangulation because of its struggling, this animal is also unlawful to eat.


(or by a violent blow...) This refers to the animal that is hit with a heavy object until it dies. Ibn `Abbas and several others said it is the animal that is hit with a staff until it dies. Qatadah said, "The people of Jahiliyyah used to strike the animal with sticks and when it died, they would eat it.'' It is recorded in the Sahih that `Adi bin Hatim said, "I asked, `O Allah's Messenger! I use the Mi`rad for hunting and catch game with it.' He replied,

«إِذَا رَمَيْتَ بِالْمِعْرَاضِ فَخَزَق فَكُلْهُ، وَإِنْ أصَابَ بَعَرْضِهِ فَإنَّمَا هُوَ وَقِيذٌ فَلَا تَأْكُلْه»

(If the game is hit by its sharp edge, eat it. But, if it is hit by its broad side, do not eat it, for it has been beaten to death.) Therefore, the Prophet made a distinction between killing the animal with the sharp edge of an arrow or a hunting stick, and rendered it lawful, and what is killed by the broad side of an object, and rendered it unlawful because it was beaten to death. There is a consensus among the scholars of Fiqh on this subject. rAs for the animal that falls headlong from a high place and dies as a result, it is also prohibited. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that an animal that dies by a headlong fall, "Is that which falls from a mountain.'' Qatadah said that it is the animal that falls in a well. As-Suddi said that it is the animal that falls from a mountain or in a well. As for the animal that dies by being gorged by another animal, it is also prohibited, even if the horn opens a flesh wound and it bleeds to death from its neck. Allah's statement,

﴿وَمَآ أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ﴾

(and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal,) refers to the animal that was attacked by a lion, leopard, tiger, wolf or dog, then the wild beast eats a part of it and it dies because of that. This type is also prohibited, even if the animal bled to death from its neck. There is also a consensus on this ruling. During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to eat the sheep, camel, or cow that were partly eaten by a wild animal. Allah prohibited this practice for the believers. Allah's statement,

﴿إِلاَّ مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ﴾

(unless you are able to slaughter it,) before it dies, due to the causes mentioned above. This part of the Ayah is connected to,

﴿وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَآ أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ﴾

(and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns - and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah's statement,

﴿إِلاَّ مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ﴾

(unless you are able to slaughter it, ) "Unless you are able to slaughter the animal in the cases mentioned in the Ayah while it is still alive, then eat it, for it was properly slaughtered.'' Similar was reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and As-Suddi. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "If you are able to slaughter the animal that has been hit by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the gorging of horns while it still moves a foot or a leg, then eat from its meat.'' Similar was reported from Tawus, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, `Ubayd bin `Umayr, Ad-Dahhak and several others, that if the animal that is being slaughtered still moves, thus demonstrating that it is still alive while slaughtering, then it is lawful. The Two Sahihs recorded that Rafi` bin Khadij said, "I asked, `O Allah's Messenger! We fear that we may meet our enemy tomorrow and we have no knives, could we slaughter the animals with reeds' The Prophet said,

«مَا أَنْهَرَ الدَّمَ، وَذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ، فَكُلُوهُ، لَيْسَ السِّنَّ وَالظُّفُرَ، وَسَأُحَدِّثُكُمْ عَنْ ذلِكَ: أَمَّا السِّنُّ فَعَظْمٌ، وَأَمَّا الظُّفُرُ فَمُدَى الْحَبَشَة»

(You can use what makes blood flow and you can eat what is slaughtered with the Name of Allah. But do not use teeth or claws (in slaughtering). I will tell you why, as for teeth, they are bones, and claws are used by Ethiopians for slaughtering.)'' Allah said next,

﴿وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ﴾

(and that which is sacrificed on An-Nusub. ) Nusub were stone altars that were erected around the Ka`bah, as Mujahid and Ibn Jurayj stated. Ibn Jurayj said, "There were three hundred and sixty Nusub ﴿around the Ka`bah﴾ that the Arabs used to slaughter in front of, during the time of Jahiliyyah. They used to sprinkle the animals that came to the Ka`bah with the blood of slaughtered animals, whose meat they cut to pieces and placed on the altars.'' Allah forbade this practice for the believers. He also forbade them from eating the meat of animals that were slaughtered in the vicinity of the Nusub, even if Allah's Name was mentioned on these animals when they were slaughtered, because it is a type of Shirk that Allah and His Messenger have forbidden.


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