Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 12 Jumada al-Ula 1444

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Eating the meat of machine slaughtered animals

Here in Australia, most animals whose meat is labeled as “halal” are machine slaughtered. Does writing God's name on the blade of the slaughtering machine make the meat permissible to eat?

Answer

There is nothing wrong with using machines to slaughter animals for food. There is no requirement that animals be hand slaughtered. The necessary conditions are cutting the main arteries to insure minimum pain, a speedy death and bleeding, and uttering God’s name. If this can be done with machines, then well and good. It is not right that the name of God be written on the machine or the blade. It is the slaughterer or someone close by that should utter God’s name to indicate that the slaughter takes place by God’s permission.

However, the inquirer lives in Australia, a mostly Christian country. God Almighty has given Muslims a concession that permits them to eat the meat that Christians and Jews consider lawful to them, provided it is not specifically forbidden in Islam. Christians today consider that pork is lawful to them as food. No matter who provides it or how it is slaughtered, pork remains forbidden to Muslims. However, it is permissible for Muslims to eat lamb, beef and poultry when prepared or served by a Christian or a Jew, even though they may not have observed the necessary conditions of slaughter required by Islam.

It is important to understand that a concession is meant to relax some restrictions. If we were to say that the same conditions apply before and after the concession, then the concession would be meaningless.

And God Almighty knows best.