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    When is halal meat not halal meat?

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    Fast food chain KFC is trialling halal meat in certain restaurants, but some Muslims say it hasn't been killed in the correct Islamic way. Catrin Nye asks when is halal meat not halal meat?

    It may claim its food is "finger lickin' good", but until recently strict Muslims might have seen a problem with it.

    Now fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is trialling halal meat - meaning it has been killed in accordance with Islamic dietary laws - in eight of its UK restaurants. But the trial has sparked a debate over what is and what isn't halal, with some Muslims boycotting the restaurants because they say the meat has not been killed correctly.

    The issue is whether meat can be halal if it has been slaughtered using mechanical methods.

    Traditionally, halal meat is killed by hand and must be blessed by the person doing the job. But some Muslims say a mechanised form is also now acceptable.

    Halal is the description of food and drink Muslims are allowed to consume under Islamic dietary laws defined in the Qur'an and in the sayings of the prophet Muhammad. Classifying of halal food can only be carried out by a Muslim expert in the laws.

    The meat is traditionally prepared by slaughtering the animal with a quick cut to the throat with a sharp knife to allow all blood to drain from the animal, the idea being that the meat is cleaner. The slaughterman is required to say the traditional proclamation of faith in one god as the animal is killed.

    At present two separate organisations regulate the halal food industry in the UK. The Halal Food Authority (HFA) says using machines is ok, as long as the meat is still blessed. It argues that advances in technology mean methods have to change and though a machine does the killing, the meat is still blessed by a Muslim slaughter-man.

    But the Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC) says animals should be slaughtered by hand and using a machine is not halal and not permissible. It argues mechanisation contradicts a fundamental principle of halal - that the person who slaughters the animal is the same person who recites the words over it.

    'Rotten and wrong'


    "Halal is a very sacred part of a Muslim's diet and many Muslims do not even know what they are eating when it's certified as halal in this way," says Yunus Dudhwala, chairman of the HMC.

    "I think the majority would be very upset to find out that it's been mechanically killed."

    KFC says it is following the guidance offered by what it considers a reputable advisor.

    "We are working with the Halal Food Authority, one of the most widely recognised bodies in the UK and overseas, who have audited and approved our halal suppliers, distribution and our trial store environments," says a spokesperson for the company.

    The debate has prompted calls for a single body to regulate the halal food industry which has a clear set of guidelines on animal slaughter.

    "The onus is not on individuals to identify each and every item that they eat, if the seller says it's halal that's enough," says Ajmal Masroor, an Imam and spokesman for the Islamic Society of Britain.

    THE ANSWER

    When it has been slaughtered using mechanical methods
    Halal Food Authority says this is acceptable
    Halal Monitoring Committee says it should be done by hand

    Source

    When is halal meat not halal meat?


    "I spent thirty years learning manners, and I spent twenty years learning knowledge."

    ~ 'Abdullāh bin al-Mubārak (rahimahullah)

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?

    What do the 'Ulema say about slaughtering using mechanical methods?
    When is halal meat not halal meat?


    "I spent thirty years learning manners, and I spent twenty years learning knowledge."

    ~ 'Abdullāh bin al-Mubārak (rahimahullah)

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Osman View Post
    What do the 'Ulema say about slaughtering using mechanical methods?
    MECHANICAL SLAUGHTER

    It is quite obvious that for those animals slaughtered by a machine to be Halaal, such animals would need to be slaughtered according to Zibah-e-Ikhtiyaari, where it is in possession. It is obvious that it is only then that it can pass through the procedure of mechanical slaughter. If it is said that the method that is used is not Ikhtiyaari, then it would be impossible for the animal to be mechanically slaughtered.

    During mechanical slaughter, the physical strength and intention of the person is not used, rather, the person appointed presses a button or releases a switch on the machine, which in turn causes electricity to pass through the cables of the machine giving motion to the motor, which in turn gives motion to the pulleys, which in turn gives motion to the blade causing the animal to be slaughtered. Neither is the motor, nor the blade brought into motion by the direct strength of the person operating the machine. If there is no electricity, then the motor would not run, therefore, not allowing the blade to operate and slaughter the animal. It is thus evident that the machine operator is not directly linked to the motion of the blade nor the actual slaughtering of the animal.

    For a moment, let us presume that a person places a sharp weapon firmly into a wall or ties it to some object with the intention of Zibah, after which livestock is chased in the direction of the knife, whereby it crashes into the knife in a manner causing the necessary vessels to be severed. Even under these conditions, the animal is Haraam since it was killed through its own action and strength and not through the strength of the slaughterer, even though there are fewer Zari'ah or means ("processes") here than as in mechanical slaughter.

    It is stated in "Kanzul Daqaaiq": "If a person places a small saw or a sharp weapon in a jungle by saying the Bismillah with the intention of hunting an antelope, and if he returns the next day to find the animal dead, due to it being severed by the weapon placed, then too it is not allowed for such an animal to be eaten". (Kanzul Daqaaiq, pg. 220)

    Imam Zaili (radi Allahu anhu) has explained that the reason for this, is that in Zibah-e-Ikhtiyaari, the Muslim should slaughter the animal himself and in Iztiraari he should cause the animal's death by severing it himself. Without this, the animal cannot be regarded as Halaal, since such an animal is in the category of "Natihaa" and "Mutardiya", that is either beaten to death or injured by falling. This is evident from the following verse of the Holy Quran: "You are forbidden to eat the dead and blood and flesh of swine and that on which any name other than Allah is invoked at the time of slaughtering, and that which dies by strangling and that which is beaten to death by a blunt object and that which is killed by falling and that which is gored." (Sura Maida, Ruku 1. Ayat 3)

    The point in "Kanz" about the animal being found dead the following day, is only hypothetical. However, even if it is found dead on the same day, it is still not Halaal, since the conditions of Zibah were not met. (Tabeenul Haqaaiq, Vol. 6, pg. 226)

    There is a possibility that certain persons may have a doubt the above law after reading the following quotation found in "Durr-Mukhtar", Kitaab-us Sayd, etc. concerning hunting game: "If a hunter places a sharp weapon in a trap and watches over it, then if an animal is trapped, severed and killed in it, then it is Halaal." From this, it may seem that if a Muslim places the knife saying Bismillah with intention of Zibah, and if the animal is severed and dies in this condition, then it should be Halaal. In other words, it would seem that it is enough for the knife to be placed with the Niyyah (Intention) of Zibah. It does not seem necessary that the animal should be slaughtered by the person himself. If this is so, then mechanical slaughter should also be accepted as Halaal, since the motion of the machine and the blade was through the switching on by a person, and in some way, man is part and parcel of this procedure.

    In clarifying these doubts, all I want to say is that it is enough to understand, that the law derived from "Durr Mukhtar" and other Kitaabs is specifically for those animals in the category of Zibah-e-Iztiraari and the laws of hunting are totally non-presumptuous (Ghair Qiyaasi), which cannot be applied on livestock, which are in the possession of humans.

    In reality, even if a wild animal is captured and is in the possession of a Muslim, even then such an animal cannot be slaughtered in accordance with Zibah-e-Iztiraari, as it is now in possession and will fall into the category of Ikhtiyaari.

    In this case, without doubt the animal of mechanical slaughter is in possession, and the law of Iztiraari is not applicable on such an animal. Such animals (in possession) fall into the category of Ikhtiyaari and must be slaughtered by the persons own action and intention. If it were allowed to slaughter livestock on the law of game animals, then it would also be permissible to severe livestock anywhere on the body causing its death. Whereas, to do so is disallowed.

    With the exception of this, there is Ikhtilaaf (difference of opinion) amongst the Fuqahaa (Muslim Jurists) on the law of Hunting Game. It is stated in "Khulaasa" and "Muheet": "If a hunter places a knife in a trap and then leaves, after which an animal is caught and killed in the trap, then it is Haraam, and if the Hunter places the knife and is watching the trap, then such game is Halaal." Differing on this, Imam Zaili (radi Allahu anhu) and various other Jurists say that in both circumstances the animal is Haraam. Thus, Imam Shulbi (radi Allahu anhu) writes that the argument of "Kanz" presented by Imam Zaili (radi Allahu anhu) infers that after the hunter places a small saw and whether he leaves or is present makes no difference, since in both cases the animal, through its own strength, was severed and killed by itself and not by the hunter, thus rendering it Haraam. From this it can be well understood that Imam Zaili (radi Allahu anhu) does not accept the opinion of "Khulaasa", and other Kitaabs in this matter. (Tabeenul Haqaaiq, Vol. 6, pg. 226)

    In this instance, Imam Shaami (radi Allahu anhu) has stated that in Zibah Iztiraari it is not a condition for the person making Zibah to do so himself. (Shaami, Vol. 5, pg. 192)

    It must be understood that a difference of opinion exists in the matter of Zibah-e-Iztiraari, but in the matter of Ikhtiyaari it is unanimously agreed that the Zibah must be made by the person himself for the animal to be Halaal.

    According to the Shari'ah and its terminology, the Faa'il (one doing the action, the subject) is that person who performs an action with his own strength and intention, thus it is deduced that the slaughterer is that person who, with his own strength and intention, slaughters the animal. Thus, it is clearly evident that in mechanical slaughter, the act of Zibah is neither carried out by the person saying Bismillah, nor by the operator of the machine, but by the moving blade showing that the severing of the vessels is the act of the machine. This is a clear fact that cannot be refuted by any intelligent person. Even those who sanction mechanical slaughter agree to this.

    Source: http://www.geocities.com/~abdulwahid/muslimarticles/slaught.html
    When is halal meat not halal meat?

    What I fear most for my people are the hypocrites, who talk wisely, yet act unjustly.
    ~ The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Umar bin al-Khattab ~

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?

    On this topic, I have noticed that halal meat seems to be really quite inexpensive compared to meat in general supermarkets.
    That always strikes me as odd, given that slaughtering by hand must be more time and labour intensive than mechanical methods.

    Does the definition of halal make any demands on how the animal was reared, or does it just refer to the slaughtering process?
    When is halal meat not halal meat?

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?


    I took my (non-muslim) friend to maryland chicken (basically a halaal kfc) and he said he preferred it to KFC....which was both amazing and great. We beat Sanders at his own game!

    +1 to Islam!

    It's kind of cool that KFC is trialling (alleged) halaal meat - good for them because they increase their customer base and good for me because I get to finally eat some KFC (without having to go to pakistan). But, there are more marylands (which a non-muslim rated higher than kfc...) where I live than any other take-out, so I think I will stick with them instead.
    When is halal meat not halal meat?

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?

    There's nothing great about KFC anyway ... I had a greasy family chicken bucket once. Never again!

    (Not on my own, I hasten to add! )
    When is halal meat not halal meat?

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?

    When is halal meat not halal meat?
    when it is killed and/or slaughtered in name of the dollar/pound/rupee

    An animal is halal and becomes food to eat when it is sacrificed in the name of and by the permission of its Creator.
    wasalam
    Does the definition of halal make any demands on how the animal was reared, or does it just refer to the slaughtering process?
    sick and mangy animals are not fit for sacrifice nor are the tortured ones be they the ones reared in veal cages or killed in front of other animals in the queue (I bet mechanical rearing and killing involves all that and more)
    Last edited by doorster; 05-28-2009 at 03:07 AM.

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?

    The onus is not on individuals to identify each and every item that they eat, if the seller says it's halal that's enough," says Ajmal Masroor, an Imam and spokesman for the Islamic Society of Britain.
    I don't agree with this at all, this is such an ignorant statement coming from an imam, it's like when I went to a chinese restaurent and the owners said everything was halal even the pork! was his statement meant to be enough for me to eat it?! and I've never heard of this ISB, must be something like the quilliam foundation
    Last edited by aadil77; 05-21-2009 at 06:12 PM.

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?

    Quote Originally Posted by aadil77 View Post
    I don't agree with this at all and I've never heard of the isb, must be something like the quilliam foundation
    Ajmal Masroor is not like the Quilliam Foundation at all. I have seen Ajmal talk and he is an Imaam whom I respect.
    When is halal meat not halal meat?


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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?


    Mr Ajmal does have a point about onus being on the company/provider. For example: It's not upto me to find out if a 'water-resistant' camera is actually water-resistant - if it says so on the box, that should be enough.

    That said, I would be cautious of companies that claim their food is halaal - especially if it is a non-muslim run company such as KFC etc (heck, even some muslim run companies aren't always legit!).
    When is halal meat not halal meat?

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?

    Quote Originally Posted by aamirsaab View Post

    I took my (non-muslim) friend to maryland chicken (basically a halaal kfc) and he said he preferred it to KFC....which was both amazing and great. We beat Sanders at his own game!
    Maryland is much better, but I don't know I kind of have doubts when I eat it so I've stopped now. I still don't see how its soo cheap and halal at the same time

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?

    Quote Originally Posted by aadil77 View Post
    Maryland is much better, but I don't know I kind of have doubts when I eat it so I've stopped now. I still don't see how its soo cheap and halal at the same time
    I've become a virtual vegan since coming to UK (occasionally we go to a friendly English farmer to buy live animal to sacrifice on site then bring it home for freezer)

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    Re: When is halal meat not halal meat?



    Quote Originally Posted by aamirsaab View Post
    I took my (non-muslim) friend to maryland chicken (basically a halaal kfc) and he said he preferred it to KFC....which was both amazing and great.
    ^I've heard some dodgy stuff about Maryland too... :X Not so sure if it's true or not. :><:

    When is halal meat not halal meat?

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