Proper Slaughtering of Permitted Animals

There are special requirements for slaughtering the animal. It must be a halal species slaughter by a sane, adult Muslim with the name of Allah pronounced at slaughter. The throat is cut in a manner that induces rapid and complete bleeding, resulting in quick death. Generally, at least three of the four passages, i.e., carotids, jugulars, trachea, and esophagus, must be cut to give zabiha or dhabiha meat (meat acceptable for Muslim consumption).

Although kosher meat is similarly slaughtered, a prayer is not said over each animal. Thus, most Muslim scholars do not accept kosher meat as halal. In the absence of halal meats, individual Muslims may choose to purchase kosher meat products.

Islam places great emphasis on humane treatment of animals, especially before and during slaughter. Some conditions include giving the animal proper rest and water, avoiding or reducing stress, not sharpening knives in front of animals, and using a very sharp knife. The animal may only be dismembered after the blood is drained completely and the animal is lifeless. Animal-derived food ingredients must be made from Muslim-slaughtered halal animals.

Hunting of wild halal animals is permitted for the purpose of eating, but not for pleasure. Allah's name should be pronounced when ejecting the tool rather than when catching the hunt. On catching, the animal must immediately be bled by slitting the throat. If the blessing is made at the time of pulling the trigger or shooting an arrow and the hunted animal dies before the hunter reaches it, it would still be halal as long as slaughter is performed and some blood comes out. Fish and seafood may be hunted or caught by any reasonable means available as long as it is done humanely.

The requirements of proper slaughtering and bleeding are applicable to land animals and birds. Fish and other water creatures need not be ritually slaughtered. Similarly, there is no special method of killing locust.

The meat of animals that die of natural causes, diseases, from being gored by other animals, by being strangled, by falling from a height, through beating, or killed by wild beasts, is unlawful to be eaten, unless such animals are slaughtered before they become lifeless. Fish that dies of itself, if floating on water or lying on shore, is halal as long as it shows no signs of decay or deterioration.

An animal must not be slaughtered in dedication to other than Allah, or immolated to anyone other than Allah under any circumstances.

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