Saturday, January 21, 2017

Dawood Yasin: A brief response to the question regarding the legal position of halal slaughter & hunting

Imam Dawood Yasin
A brief response to the question regarding the legal position of halal slaughter & hunting.
Question: is hunting exempt from the normally applicable rules, or is the hunter, after he strikes his target, assumed to then slaughter the animal using proper techniques of the dhabh, e.g., cutting the two jugular veins.
The rules governing hunting and halal slaughter are different. Hunting an animal does not make one exempt from the normally applicable rules of slaughter; rather hunting is another form of the ritual slaughter. By hunting, he hunter employs a method that makes it possible to kill a non-domesticated animal, other than the standard slaughter procedures because of the difficulty or near impossibility of handling wild animals and slaughtering them.
Mentioning God’s name: the basmallah
Before shooting an animal, a Muslim hunter must mention the name of God basmala, although if the hunter leaves this act accidentally then hunted animal is still halal (permissible). However, if the hunter intentionally omits the basmala, then the hunted animal is impermissible to eat. The reason for the impermissibly is that the individual has intentionally left the injunction of mentioning the name of God.
After the shot
The question is best understood if we discuss it through two separate scenarios. The first is when the hunter shoots his or her intended game and recovers the game while it is dead. If the animal is killed as a result of the hunt, then no additional slaughter is necessary, and the animal’s meat is halal (permissible). It is important to mention that after the shot the hunter must begin to actively search for the animal, without any unnecessary delays.
The second scenario is if the animal is still alive after being shot, then one must slaughter it. In this scenario, if the animal is not slaughtered according to known conditions for thabh (the ritual act of standard slaughter procedures), then animal is impermissible and cannot be eaten. This position is according to the Hanifi School, and the Maliki School holds a similar opinion. As a bow hunter I would like to examine this ruling further in respect to the priority given to the preservation of life regarding the maqasid (the objectives of Islamic law).
The Safi’e School differs; if an individual fears that bodily harm may result in the process of standard slaughter procedures, then it is permissible for the hunter to allow the animal expire.
If the animal is not recovered and is left overnight, the meat is not permissible and cannot be eaten. The general rule in Maliki fiqh is that a wounded animal, which you cannot track down and leave during the night and find dead the next day, cannot be eaten. But there are differences within the school on that point.
This is a very general answer and I hope it adds some insight to your question.