Essays by the halaal foundation pakistan

Some Critical Issues of Mechanical Slaughter and Solution to Them

Before mentioning the critical issues of slaughter, its terms and conditions are being presented.

Definition of Zabh (Slaughter):

To kill animal or birds according to the Shariah

-defined method which renders the meat Halaal for Muslims is called “Zabh” or “Dhabh”.


  • The slaughterer must be a Muslim. (Animal slaughtered with the recitation of Allah’s name by a practicing Jew or Christian can also be used. But most of the western people have a tendency to atheism. Therefore, the Muslim slaughterers must be preferred to escape Haraam meat.

  • The slaughterer must be sane and must slaughter consciously. He must not be intoxicated or mad.

Equipment Used for Slaughter:

Any sharp equipment, which cuts the particular vessels immediately and makes the animal bleed, can be used for slaughter. It can be of any substance such as iron, copper, glass, etc. It is not permissible to slaughter with teeth and nails.

To Slaughter with Recitation of Allah’s Name

  • It is mandatory to recite Allah’s name while slaughtering animals or birds.

  • Giving up recitation intentionally will render the animal Haraam.

  • It is preferable to recite "بسم اللہ اللہ اکبر" during slaughter. If any other words that dignify Allah S.W.T. are recited, the animal will be Halaal. However, this recitation should be with the intention of making meat Halaal for food.

  • It is necessary for the slaughterer to pronounce himself Allah’s name for slaughter; playing recorded recitation and using knife with recitation written on it are not allowed.

  • Recitation should be on each animal separately during slaughter. It is not enough to just recite only once while starting to operate the plant.

  • It is the slaughterer who will recite. The recitation of a person standing with the rotating blade is not allowed because birds are slaughtered by the mechanical rotating blade, and not by him.

Critical Issues of Mechanically Slaughtered Poultry:

1)To Get the Poultry Passed through the Water with Electrical Current (Stunning)

Poultry is allowed to pass through cold water with electrical current (Stunning box) to make them unconscious. This is called stunning. It is disliked because there is likelihood that the birds die of stunning prior to the slaughter.

2)To Cut the Birds’ Neck with Rotating Blade and Issue of the Recitation of Allah’s Name therein.

In the mechanical slaughter of the poultry, birds are slaughtered with a rotating blade. There are two defects in it. Firstly, some birds escape the rotating blade and go live ahead and die of the hot water in next stage where they pass through the scalding tank for defeathering. So, these kinds of birds are Haraam as they are killed by hot water, and not in compliance with the Shariah.
Secondly, it is not possible to recite Allah’s name on each bird during slaughter with mechanical rotating blade because it is the slaughterer who has to recite, and the slaughterer here is not a human being but a machine.

3)To Let the Birds Pass through Hot Water for Defeathering

After slaughter, chickens pass through a tank full of hot water, called scalding tank, for defeathering.
The critical point at this stage is that the water sometimes gets terribly hot, which lets the impurity from birds’ stomach permeate into the meat. The next critical point at this stage has already been mentioned. It is the death of those birds which escape the mechanical blade caused by this hot water.

Solutions to the Critical Issues of Mechanically Slaughtered Poultry

  • Stunning must be avoided.

  • Instead of mechanical blade, a slaughterer must be positioned at the place, who will slaughter the poultry manually with the recitation of Allah’s name. Apart from slaughter, all the other activities may be performed with the help of the mechanical plant.

  • The hot water for defeathering in the scalding tank should be monitored; it should not exceed the defined temperature to the boiling point.

Note: The manual slaughter of poultry has been experimented within many countries after the consumers’ demand and certification bodies’ restriction. It is going on successfully without any reduction in the production. Some of the countries which started manual slaughter of poultry for Muslims are England, Brazil, Malaysia, South Africa, Iran, Pakistan, etc.

Mechanical Slaughter of Goats, Sheep and Cow

  • There are mechanical plants too for goats, sheep, cow, etc. But the act of slaughter is performed manually therein. However, other stages like cleaning, cutting the carcass into pieces, separating different organs, packing, etc. are done mechanically. So, there is no issue of mechanical blade. Anyhow, the conditions related to the slaughter and the slaughterer should be monitored.

  • Electrical and gas stunning are used for animals like goats and sheep, while animals like cow are stunned by captive bolt gun.

  • Stunning for these animals is also critical because there is the likelihood that the animal dies of stunning prior to the slaughter. Therefore, to get rid of doubtfulness about meat, stunning must be avoided.