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Explaining the Lawful and the Unlawful Beasts Print E-mail

Allah said,

 

﴿أُحِلَّتْ لَكُمْ بَهِيمَةُ الاٌّنْعَامِ﴾

 

(Lawful to you (for food) are all the beasts of cattle) camels, cows and sheep, as Al-Hasan, Qatadah and several others stated. Ibn Jarir said that this Tafsir conforms to the meaning of (`beasts of cattle') that the Arabs had. We should mention that Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas and others relied on this Ayah as evidence to allow eating the meat of the fetus if it is found dead in the belly of its slaughtered mother. There is a Hadith to the same effect collected in the Sunan of Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah and narrated by Abu Sa`id who said, "We asked, `O Messenger of Allah! When we slaughter a camel, cow or sheep, we sometimes find a fetus in its belly, should we discard it or eat its meat' He said,

 

«كُلُوهُ إِنْ شِئْتُمْ فَإِنَّ ذَكَاتَهُ ذَكَاةُ أُمِّه»

 

(Eat it if you want, because its slaughter was fulfilled when its mother was slaughtered.)'' At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan.'' Abu Dawud recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

 

«ذَكَاةُ الْجَنِينِ ذَكَاةُ أُمِّه»

 

(Proper slaughter of the fetus is fulfilled with the slaughter of its mother.) Only Abu Dawud collected this narration. Allah's statement,

 

﴿إِلاَّ مَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ﴾

 

(except that which will be announced to you (herein), ) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that it refers to, "The flesh of dead animals, blood and the meat of swine.'' Qatadah said, "The meat of dead animals and animals slaughtered without Allah's Name being pronounced at the time of slaughtering.'' It appears, and Allah knows best, that the Ayah refers to Allah's other statement,

 

﴿حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالْدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَآ أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ﴾

 

(Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytah (the dead animals), blood, the flesh of swine, and what has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, 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.)﴿5:3﴾, for although the animals mentioned in this Ayah are types of permissible cattle (except for swine), they become impermissible under the circumstances that the Ayah ﴿5:3﴾ specifies. This is why Allah said afterwards,

 

﴿إِلاَّ مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ﴾

 

(Unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An-Nusub (stone altars)) as the latter type is not permissible, because it can no longer be slaughtered properly. Hence, Allah's statement,

 

﴿أُحِلَّتْ لَكُمْ بَهِيمَةُ الاٌّنْعَامِ إِلاَّ مَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ﴾

 

(Lawful to you are all the beasts of cattle except that which will be announced to you, ) means, except the specific circumstances that prohibit some of these which will be announced to you. Allah said,

 

﴿غَيْرَ مُحِلِّى الصَّيْدِ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ﴾

 

(game (also) being unlawful when you assume Ihram.) Some scholars said that the general meaning of `cattle' includes domesticated cattle, such as camels, cows and sheep, and wild cattle, such as gazzelle, wild cattle and wild donkeys. Allah made the exceptions mentioned above (dead animals blood, flesh of swine etc.), and prohibited hunting wild beasts while in the state of Ihram. It was also reported that the meaning here is, "We have allowed for you all types of cattle in all circumstances, except what We excluded herewith for the one hunting game while in the state of Ihram.'' Allah said,

 

﴿فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ﴾

 

(But if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience, and not transgressing, then, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) This Ayah means, "We allowed eating the meat of dead animals, when one is forced by necessity, under the condition that one is not transgressing the limits or overstepping them.'' Here, Allah states, "Just as We allowed the meat of cattle in all conditions and circumstances, then do not hunt game when in the state of Ihram, for this is the decision of Allah, Who is the Most Wise in all that He commands and forbids.'' So Allah said;

 

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ مَا يُرِيدُ﴾

 

(Verily, Allah commands that which He wills.)

 
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