Slaughter according to Islamic rites
In Islamic rites Halal slaughter is called Al Zakat.
The word Zakat refers to a good fragrance and purification. In slaughter according to Islamic rites this means that the animal is purified and fit for Muslim consumption. This applies to healthy animals suitable for human consumption and above all concerns animals authorised for Islamic foods.
Rules of Halal slaughter:
Al Zabeh slaughter concerns all animals.
Al Naher slaughter concerns large animals (camels).
The animals must be included in the category of animals authorised for consumption according to Islamic law and must be alive at the moment of slaughter.
The slaughterer must be a conscious man or woman, Muslim of all tendency or, if necessary, of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians). If the slaughterer should lose their state of reason through intoxication or through madness or be atheistic, the slaughter will not be considered Halal.
The tool of slaughter must be clean, sharp and metal and the cutting side used, not the weight. Should it be necessary, it is possible to use a stone, wood, glass, bamboo or bone as long as there is a sharp cutting surface. Teeth and nails are excluded.
The cutting must be carried out in one fast, brief movement in front of the animal (Al Zabeh) in order to sever the four living elements, the 2 jugular veins, the trachea (breathing) and the œsophagus (feeding).
5. Prayers :
The slaughterer must recite the prayer, Bismillah, at the moment of slaughter.
Surah 6 - Al-An’äm (Livestock).
Verse 121: « Eat not (O believers) of that (meat) on which Allah’s name has not been pronounced (at the time of the slaughtering of the animal), for sure it is Fisq (a sin and disobedience of Allah). »
It is preferable to face Mecca at the moment of slaughter. If the direction of Mecca is known, but the slaughter is done knowingly in the opposite direction, the slaughter will not be considered Halal. If not facing Mecca is simply an oversight, a mistake or ignorance, the slaughter is considered Halal. The slaughterer facing Mecca at the moment of carrying out the slaughter is preferable but not compulsory.
7. Slaughter done by The People of the Book :
Sürah 5 - Al-Ma’idah (Table Service).
Verse 5 : « His day (all) the good things are allowed to you; and the food of those who have been given the Book is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. (Are lawful for you) »
The tool used for slaughtering must be well sharpened and the animal must not suffer during slaughter. Halal slaughter is practised in order to protect the consumers’ health and also to respect the rules of Halal slaughter. In Islam all living beings have a soul and an animal should not be abused, nor made to suffer when slaughtered. The animal must be kept in good conditions before slaughter and given to eat and drink. An animal must not be slaughtered in front of another animal, nor cut up nor plucked before ensuring that it is dead. It is important to underline that the production and presence of products of porcine origin on a production site hinders the Halal aspect of any other products produced on the site. Such products are consequently considered Haram.
These rules of slaughter do not apply to sea foods.
The following were used as references for the above :
1. Fequeh Al Senna (Al Said Sabek). Published by Dar Al Touras, Cairo, EGYPT.
Volume 3, Chapter "Halal Slaughter", page 263.
2. Tahrir Al Ouassila by Koumaïni. Published in Qom, IRAN.
Volume 2, Chapter "Halal slaughter".
3. Al Fequeh according to 4 Schools by Abed Al Rahman Al Gezeri. Published by Dar Al Kotob Al Elmia, Beyrouth, LEBANON.
Volume 1, Chapter "Halal Slaughter page 716", pages 715-722.